Packing Tips – prepare yourself for moving abroad

Tips for packing your house to move. Imagine – relocating from a big four bedroom house – FULL OF STUFF- to a one bedroom flat in a foreign country – but living in one room in a relative’s house while the flat is being built! That is what faced me – quite some challenge!So – I devised a removal plan, packing tips in several quick steps!

Step 1

Declutter!

There is no point in packing what you do not need! Be honest – be brutal.

Throw everything from the attic downstairs and hire a skip. If it’s been in the attic for years it has no relevance to your life in the future! Empty the shed, greenhouse and the garage into the skip – if there is room.

Get friendly with the guys at the recycling center – they helped me empty my car many times!

Supermarket cardboard boxes have one purpose – to be filled with stuff for Oxfam. I think they came to dread my frequent visits.

Ensure you eBay account is running smoothly – and give yourself time here to take great pictures – borrow a camera if necessary.

Take bulky items to Impact Housing or Age Concern.

Be nice to your neighbours – mine allowed me to fill their paper recycling bins over and over again!

Step 2

Involve your removal company. Mine provided me with the correct size boxes to fill with books, which were safe for the men to carry. They advised me about storage options and they saw potential snags – like the heavy old piano.

Step 3

I needed to sell my house before moving. I found an estate agent whose plug line was a “fast sale”. I never regretted my choice.

Step 4

Painter decorator – Oh! He was lovely! New carpets on the stairs and the house began to look the relaxed, serene place it certainly was not. (Magnolia is the cheapest option here)

Step 5

The house sold I could start packing the house properly for moving.

Step 6

Packing house for move

This was when I really started to organise things so that when I open the crates in another few months time I might be able to find things. I decided to have a traffic light system.

Green for “open me now”
Amber for “open me soon”
Red for – “I am important – open me when you are ready”.

I used coloured tape as that didn’t easily come off the boxes and could be easily seen by me and the removal men. If I had been moving straight into a ready built house I would have done this differently – and used the different tapes for the different rooms, but my barn conversion was still at the barn stage.

The few boxes for specific locations could be labeled at side, front and top. Luckily the piano hasn’t to go upstairs. The kitchen equipment is also clearly labeled as I don’t want pans in my study.

I didn’t make lists of the box contents – I’ll know what’s there when I open them – but you could do this, and either number the boxes to refer back to your notebook, or stick the list on the box.

Delicate things – ornaments and some chine/glassware I wrapped in bubble wrap – lots of it. I kept these boxes together, and told the removal men. I did put a big Fragile notice on just two boxes but I reckoned the removal men would treat everything with due care.

The pictures I left to the removal men as they have thick blankets, I did prop them up together. I also taped together the shelves of several bookcases, and cleared the door ways.

So now all that was left was the small case for the car, a few books, the cat, the dog, and the kettle. I am pleased to say that the day of the removal went smoothly, packing the house to move had been hard work – but quite illuminating.

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