Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Tips on preparing your house items for removals

This is a guide for those who are going to have removalists pack their items for freight. It doesn’t include information on how to pre-pack furniture or white goods.

As I mentioned in the previous post, our freight arrived from Australia and I found out that our stuff wasn’t packed properly by the removalists and was more like stuffed into boxes. Not everyone is going to have bad removalists but you never know until it’s too late. So here is a guide on how to prepare items for the move so they arrive all in one piece.

General Tips
  • Don’t count on the removalists to do a good job. Prepare everything for the worst case scenario.
  • Have a clear dividing system. If only some of your items are going in the freight and the rest are going into storage, ensure that you don’t keep all these things together but divide them in a very clear manner. You will not be able to keep an eye on very removalist in every room telling them what’s going and what’s staying and if you don’t divide things you’ll end up forgetting something or they will pack something that was meant to stay. Unfortunately I'm talking for experience of someone who had a dividing system but not a good enough one.
  • Put all the little things in lock bags. Most things that can fit into a lock bag probably should go into one.
Tips for the Kitchen
·         Take extra care of your expensive and precious breakable kitchen items. It might make sense to you that something should be packed extra carefully but not to the removalists. Prepare all these items yourself by wrapping them and placing them in the right size boxes. If you kept the original boxes, use those. 
·         Place small items in lock bags. The removalists might wrap them well but when small things are unwrapped on arrival, they might be forgotten in all the wrapping paper and be thrown out. Items to be mindful of are lids of small containers/jars (unless kept on the container itself but this option takes lots of room and the removalists might remove the lids to save room) and small cutlery (especially anything smaller than a tea spoon).
·         Use the dividing system. Do have all freight items on the bench-tops and all storage items in the cupboards. Don’t have freight items in one cupboard and storage items in another cupboard as things will be messed up! Don’t have some items on the bench-tops and some items in the cupboards, things might get forgotten.

Tips for packing clothes
·         Ties. Roll them and put them in a (shoe) box.
·         Hats. Put any hats that might be squashed in a box. Same apply for other delicate head wear like fascinators.
·         Shoes. If you keep shoe boxes, put your shoes in their boxes. If you don’t have shoe boxes, get boxes or containers that will fit your shoes. I recommend hard boxes and not soft ones that can be squashed. Another option is to stuff the shoes with paper and wrap each shoe individually in a cloth or paper (make sure it’s plain paper so it doesn’t colour the shoes). This will ensure that your shoes aren’t squashed or marked by rubbing on each other.
·         Handbags. Take appropriate care based on the type. If they are flexible, fold and put in plastic bags. My bags ended up with hubbies tools! So, do your best to keep your bags nice and clean. If they are the kind that might get squashed, stuff them with paper/clothes and/or place in a box.
·         Fold all of your clothes and put them in containers. There are special fabric containers for clothes and I highly recommend these, otherwise use plastic once. If you fold and pre-pack your own clothes, they will all stay together and will be much easier to unpack.
·         If you’re not meant to pack your personal effects, make sure it looks pre-packed and not packed. So don’t use cupboard boxes but the kind of boxes I mentioned earlier. Use clear plastic containers instead of opaque ones.   
·         Prepare to do lots of ironing when your clothes arrive.
·         Use the dividing system if some of your clothes are going into storage or you haven’t packed the clothes that you take on the plain with you. Do put the freight clothes in one room and the storage clothes in another room. If you have to, do put the freight clothes on the bed/floor and the storage clothes in the closet but make sure to tell the removalists not to pack the closet items. Don’t put freight clothes in one closet and storage clothes in another, it might confuse even you. Don’t put freight and storage clothes in the same closet or on the floor in the same room, storage things will end up coming with you.

Here are a few clothes storage ideas. These ones are from Ikea but they can be found in other stores as well. They also come in different sizes so you can choose something that will be handy for you after the move as well.

Tips for linen and towels
·         Fold and put in a plastic bag. There isn’t much that can go wrong here, especially if you plan on washing your linen and towels before use, but you never know what the removalists will pack them with. The plastic bag will keep them clean, all together and it will be easy to unpack.

·         Put all your tools in an appropriate container like a tool box. This will ensure they are all together and don’t damage anything else they might be packed with.

·         Computer & screen. Cover them in bubble wrap or a thick cloth. Unless you wrap your computer and screen, they are likely to go straight into the cupboard box without any protection and if the box get squashed, your computer and screen might get damaged.
·         Books & albums. If you have an especially precious book/album, wrap it in paper/cloth or/and put it in a plastic bag. Unless it’s something really precious, I wouldn’t bother.
·         CDs & DVDs. If you have a large collection that is likely to fill a box or more, don’t bother preparing them as they will likely all end up together. If you have a smaller collection that is likely to end up with other things, buy special boxes intended for CDs and put them there. This will ensure they are not squashed by other items.
·         Put pens in lock bags. Some pens might leak, especially if squashed or due to air pressure, so put them in a separate lock bag.
·         Place small items in lock bags. Items to be mindful of are cables and USB sticks. 
·         Use the dividing system. Do put freight items in one room and storage items in another. If have to, do put all freight items on the floor and leave storage items on shelves and table. Don’t put some of the freight items in one place and some elsewhere, things will be forgotten.

If you have more tips or any questions, just leave a comment.

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