Packing tips and tricks for moving
Looking for some smart packing tips for moving? Help make it easier, and maximise your space and weight allowance, with our top packing tips and tricks for moving.
Pack the essentials last
This might seem obvious, but if you’re stressed about packing it can be easy to forget: the things you need most should be packed last. This means you’ll still have access to them before you move. When you arrive, they’ll be easy for you to find.
Spread the weight
When you’re packing boxes to move, you don’t have to pack them one at a time. You can start filling a few, putting heavier items at the bottom but leaving space at the top for lighter things.
Remember that someone still has to pick up the box – whether it’s you or a mover. Most moving companies also have weight limits for boxes, so make sure you know what they are. The limits are not just in consideration for the people packing. An overfilled box risks breaking, and the last thing you want is your belongings spilling out everywhere en route.
Wrap fragile items in your clothes
This is one of our favourite packing hacks. Your clothes, pillowcases, or other material items can be a great replacement for bubble wrap and scrunched up newspaper. Save space and weight by using things you’re already taking with you as packing material for more fragile objects.
Roll your clothes
This is another great space saving packing hack. The most efficient way to pack clothes for moving is to roll them. Tightly rolled clothes take up less space than when they’re folded. They’re also less prone to wrinkles and creases. If you’re packing your clothes in a box for shipping, they could be there a while, so everything you can do to keep them smooth is a bonus!
Fill all empty spaces
Packing shoes? Containers? Baskets? Maximise your space by using all it and filling those otherwise empty gaps. Putting things in your shoes is a great packing hack for your carry on luggage as well. If you have fragile items (like a bottle of cologne) tucking these inside a pair of shoes can be a great way to prevent it from getting broken.
Vacuum packing helps keep things small, giving you extra space. It also seals items against damp or other damage. This can be especially good if you’re shipping items a long distance or if they need to be in storage for some time.
Organise and label
Knowing what you’ve put where makes life so much easier. Label your boxes. Packing like with like can be helpful. Some people like to pack by room, but this doesn’t always work, depending on the kinds of items and their weight and size. Work out a good system for you that balances all the practical considerations – but keep a tab on what you’ve put where so you can find it quickly.
It also means you’ll know what you’ve already packed, just in case you need to find it again or aren’t sure if it’s in a box yet. Keep a list.
Use your carry-on allowance
You have a luggage allowance when you travel, so make sure you use it! True, you don’t want to overburden yourself on your journey, but you can still be strategic about what you take on board the plane (or bus, or train). This includes the clothes you wear. For example, wearing your bulky, heavier clothes will save space in both your carry-on and what you pack to ship over.
Have a moving checklist
Planning makes a big difference. Work out what you need to take, want to take, and when you need to start packing. After all, packing’s just one part of moving overseas, so plan broadly. We’ve put together some moving checklists that can help you get ready.
Find a good storage option
There are likely to be some things you don’t want to take with you, but may not want to get rid of. Maybe you want to suss out your new home before you ship everything over. Or perhaps you want to try out your new location before committing longer term.
Whether you’re paying for a storage space or making use of family or friends’ houses, make sure everything you put in storage is packed well and labelled clearly. A storage space should be dry, have humidity control, and be secure. If you want friends or family to post things over once you’ve arrived, have these easy to access and leave instructions before you go.
Don’t take too much
Even if you’re moving permanently overseas, you won’t need to take everything you own with you. You can buy things like household items, furniture, clothes, and entertainment in most countries. Bulkier items take up precious packing space, as well as your precious time. Being ruthless and practical is helpful.
At the same time, there will be some favourite items you just don’t want to part with. That’s where prioritising is invaluable. Work out what’s most important to you. Our moving tips about deciding what to pack and what to leave behind might help.
Know the customs regulations
If you’re moving overseas, there may be some things you can’t take with you to your new country, or that you need special permission to import. There are also regulations and limits on some items, including electronics. Most everyday items will be fine but it’s still a good idea to look this up in advance, just in case.
Consider a relocation consultant
For a small move, you can probably manage things yourself – although it’s still going to have stressful moments. For bigger moves, when you might have to arrange for several boxes of belongings to be packed and delivered, it’s worth considering a shipping relocation consultant. They’re experts and can help you choose the best relocation package for you, as well as give you extra packing and moving tips. We’ve pulled together our top reasons for using a consultant here.