A guide for large removals
Some moves are much more demanding than others. If you and your family have a lot of things to transport and you have a long distance to travel, then it’s going to be much harder than if you were a single person just moving around the corner. For that reason, your packing isn’t likely to be a task that you can get done in a single day.
Interstate Removalists has helped hundreds of families manage some truly big moves. Besides moving your things from point A to B, we can also take care of packing and unpacking from start to finish. As such, we have plenty of tips to offer those managing big moves. Here are a few pieces of advice to help you get started.
Get rid of what you don’t need
You don’t want to bring any more on a big move with you than necessary, especially if you don’t want to have to pay for the additional transportation space. For that reason, it’s wise to start by having a thorough look over everything you plan on moving. If you can downsize on non-essential items, you can save space, time, and money. The earlier you start, the easier it is to sell unwanted items, whether online or through a garage sale. Otherwise, you should look for places you can donate those items to.
Consider relying on professionals to get it done
A lot of people like to save on money by packing everything themselves. However, if you have a truly big move or you don’t have a lot of time, or you’re having trouble finding the packaging materials that you need, don’t hesitate to ask Interstate Removalists. We can take care of the packing and unpacking phase from start to finish, offering a seamless experience and the care in handling specialist and fragile items. This includes equipment such as harnesses and trolleys for heavy objects like safes.
Prepare your bag or box of first night items/essentials
Even before you start packing, you have to consider the possibility that you might not be able to fully unpack when you first arrive at the new home. A move can take all day and you might have to spend a night with only the essentials. For that reason, preparing an essentials bag or box that is either transported separately or clearly marked is always wise. This should contain things like necessary medications, paperwork for the new home, some food and water, baby food, a change of clothes, essential toiletries, and a torch.
Start packing early
If you and your family have a lot of possessions, then trying to pack everything away in one sitting can be incredibly stressful. You simply might not have time for it. Instead, start packing earlier, starting with rooms you don’t use as often or objects that you aren’t likely to need before the move. If you end up with a full box, then make sure you label it so that you don’t late forget what the contents are or where they’re supposed to go.
Pack one room at a time
It’s much easier to organise your packing when you have it organised by which room all the items belong to. It’s not the only way to organise your packing, so if you have a different system that works for you, use it. However, if you start packing a little bit in each room at a time, it’s easy to end up with boxes of assorted goods from different rooms that can be quite time-consuming to unpack again. If you are slowly packing up in each room, at least make sure you have separate boxes detailing where they go. If you find an item in the bedroom that belongs in the living room, for instance, pack it in the box that’s meant for the living room, not the one in the bedroom.
Good labelling makes a huge difference when it comes to packing and unpacking. As mentioned, it’s recommended that you pack boxes based on where the items are going to be going in the new home. For electronics and valuables, label them specifically so you know what’s inside and, if the boxes don’t have a fragile marker on them, label them as is appropriate. Colourful post-it notes can help, too. They can make specific instructions easier to follow and you can even colour code them by which room they go into so it’s easier to find the right place for a box at a glance.
Make an inventory for your boxes
When you’re finished packing everything up, make sure you go from room to room, making a list of all the boxes. Identifying boxes by number can help, too. For instance, if you have three boxes for the kitchen, one can be labelled “kitchen 1”, another “kitchen 2” and the other “kitchen 3.” Keep a list of all the boxes you have and, when things are being transported into the new property, mark them off one-by-one. If a box is missing, this makes it easier to discover it sooner rather than later.
Keep the biggest items closest to the front door
When your boxes are all packed up, your home is going to look a lot emptier, with most of the space being taken up by furniture that you might not know what to do with. That furniture is likely going to take the most time to load onto the truck. You can help speed things along by shifting the heaviest furniture closer to the front door alongside the heavier boxes. Less of a distance to carry these heavy items across means less time shifting them.
Add extra layers of protection
Things move in transit and, if your goods aren’t properly protected, they can end up getting damaged. It’s wise to invest a little in protective items ahead of time. Buying a couple rolls of bubble wrap can make sure that you can easily and safely wrap up delicate items. You can also buy removal blankets, which are thin covers and slips that absorb the force of shocks, but standard duvets and cushions can work just as well. If you have items in boxes that offer them plenty of space to move around in, then it’s smart to make sure that they are at least well cushioned. Even scrunched up newspaper can offer some protection against the bumps and turns on the road.
Find plenty of small boxes
As mentioned, you want to reduce the amount of freedom that your items have to move around from place to place. Even with protection, if you have lots of small items packed together in a big box, then they are much more likely to move around and collide with one another, which can cause things to break. Instead, look for smaller, high-quality boxes. You should be able to easily find these at your local post office or art supply store, and you may find that local shops even have some that they are willing to give away for no cost. The less room your items have to move around, the less likely they are to get damaged in transit.
Put small boxes in bigger ones
Small boxes are useful for safely storing smaller items. However, you don’t want tiny boxes sliding all over the floor of the car boot or the truck. Instead, double up on your cardboard. Get high-quality bigger boxes that you can fit several of those smaller boxes into. If you have any extra space, then fill it with blankets, bubble wrap or scrunched up newspapers that stop those boxes from colliding with one another. Again, you can buy large, high-quality cardboard boxes at art supply and office stationery stores, or you can ask in your local shops and they may be able to offer some at no cost at all.
Be careful of box weight
Boxes can help you pack plenty of items without making use of too much space, meaning you can save the amount of room you need to transport everything. However, as well as the size of your goods, you need to think about the weight of them, too. Don’t pack any cardboard boxes with goods heavier than 30 pounds. At that stage, they may not be able to handle the strain and may break open when you’re trying to move them, putting all the items inside at risk
Keep heavier boxes on the bottom
Whether you’re packing them in a vehicle or simply storing them to save space on the home, you have to be careful when packing items one on top of the other. Don’t put heavy boxes on top of heavy boxes, and this can weaken the cardboard and make it more likely to break or may crush the items beneath. If you have pack one on top of the other, make sure lighter boxes are on top and heavier boxes are resting on the floor.
Be careful with breakables
With your fragile, breakable items like picture frames and kitchenware, make sure that you have plenty of reinforcement. Pack them separately from other items to reduce the risk of them colliding and breaking. Use removal blankets, dish towels, and even things like paper plates so that they can be packed together with buffers filling the space between them. Put them in vertical rows instead of stacking them directly on top of one another, as the pressure of the weight can cause cracks. Most importantly, ensure that there are a couple of inches of space filled with cushioning materials on every side of them, including the bottom and top of the box.
Protect clothes with vacuum seal bags
When it comes to clothing, many of your outfits might be easily stored by simply folding them up as neat as possible as storing them in boxes, such as jeans, t-shirts, socks, and underwear. For more expensive outfits, however, you might want to consider vacuum seal bags. These bags for an airtight container around the garment with space for a hanger. First of all, this fully secures them from dirt. It also effectively shrinks the clothes as small as possible, so that they take up much less space in storage.
Try to keep electronics in their original packaging
When possible, it’s wise to ensure that electronics, such as TVs, PCs, laptops, and other devices, are kept in their original package when being moved. Not only are they built for the exact size of the item, but they often have specific polystyrene slips and other securing items that keep them from jostling too much when moving.
If you don’t have the original packaging, then you should instead wrap items like TVs, monitors and laptops 3-4 times in bubble wrap. Tape the wrap firmly shut, then cushion them with additional removal blankets or cushions. Make sure to take photos of your electronics before packaging them so you’re protected if they sustain any damage.
Make sure you have the right team for the move
When you’re making a big move, especially over a long distance, you have to think carefully about how you’re transporting your possessions. Some might rent an extra vehicle, which isn’t the most cost-effective solution, or they may ask friends for help. However, friends don’t come with professional experience or insurance to make sure that your goods are fully taken care of. For truly big moves, Interstate Removalists provide the long-distance moving experience and vehicles of all sizes to make sure that you can see everything safely from point A to B.
Preparation is the biggest key to a successful move. For truly big moves, then understanding your needs and starting the packing process early is going to be a huge help. Knowing you have the right team on your side can make a real difference. Whether you want to know more about our services, find out our availability, or simply need some advice, check out our website or get in touch with Interstate Removalists today. Our one aim is to make sure you have as safe, expedient, and comfortable a move as possible.