How to pack for your move efficiently

The eMove Moving Places column

How to pack for your move efficiently

We’ve all been there — slogging away for hours packing smaller boxes into bigger boxes, bigger boxes into bigger boxes again, and generally trying to cram everything bar the kitchen sink (and, yes, sometimes even that) into a sprawling collection of cardboard recently scored from the local supermarket. So here’s a few words of sage advice — and I say sage because having moved some 16 times in ten years, I’ve picked up some pretty good tips along the way — prepare early! ‘Smart packing’ means efficient packing, and efficient packing will save you a bundle of time at both ends of the move.

So, think ahead. You should collect your boxes a month or two baefore you need to begin. And collect a lot of them. It’s better to have too many than not enough. Then start assigning goods to boxes on paper via simple lists, so that when you commence packing, you know exactly what needs to go where.

Buy moving supplies

Buy a supply of marker pens. And not just any ones, but dark ones that say it like they mean it. Get hold of an endless supply of bubble wrap, some newspapers to be used for cushioning only (the ink can rub off onto fine china), several rolls of strong packing tape, and a pair of sharp scissors.

If you’ve kept them, use the original packaging for small appliances and electronics. If not, pad, pad, pad — that’s what the bubble wrap’s for. That and for protecting your crockery, valuables, and photos of your mother-in-law (or father-in-law, as the case may be), You can add more layers to delicate items by using towels and blankets to insulate the boxes.

Keep lists

I keep lists of each item as they‘re packed away, and then stick that list to the top of the box, some marked with ‘Now’ to indicate that they’re needed as soon I arrive at my new address. Make sure these ones are loaded last onto the removalist’s truck for easy access.

Did someone say removalists? They’ll be your best friends from the moment they walk through the front door to the moment your goods arrive safely at your new place. So make them a cuppa and have everything perfectly organized for when they arrive.

Smart packing is really just well prepared packing. And while that may be a tongue twister of sorts, it’s the key to doing it efficiently. And quickly. These days I find packing to be a totally painless exercise. Unless, of course, I slip with a Lockback Pocket Knife while cutting some tape and then … well, that’s a different column altogether.