Moving is a time-consuming business so the sooner you start your packing, the smoother the move will be. Whether you are having the movers pack for you or doing it yourself, the sooner you get organized the better.
It is well worth having the movers pack your gear for you, but many people simply can’t afford the added expense and so decide to pack everything themselves. If you do this then start collecting boxes. You can buy these from a moving company or do what I always do and go around local shops, including wine-merchants and off-licences which generally have some good sturdy boxes which are not damages. This is a way of recycling which you may not have thought of and will reduce the overall carbon footprint of your move a little. You can use shredded paper and old newspapers for packing material too, and make your move a comparatively green one.
You will need to calculate how many boxes you need and get all sizes, as it is best to pack heavier items in smaller boxes and then fill up any remaining space with old newspapers in balls or shredded paper so that the item can’t move around and get damaged during the move.
Use your computer for logging what goes into each box and mark the boxes, wither with a numbering system or colour code them. Then, in a computer file (spreadsheets are good for this) put the number, room and items in the box in the file. It is time-consuming but try to be specific; for example, if you have a kitchen box with loosely packed spices in it say which spices, cinnamon, chili powder, and so on so that you can find things more easily when you start to unpack and need a particular item.
Ask your mover to provide you with wardrobe boxes so that you can pack your clothes in them. You will need to tape down the hangers onto the rail to keep clothes in place during the move and can use the bottom of these large boxes to store plastic bags full of clothes which have come out of drawers, or which cannot be moved on hangers.
Books need special attention and can be packed in smaller boxes or mailed book rate to your new address which could work out cheaper than moving them with the rest of your household belongings.
Remember that boxes need to be lifted, so don’t make them too heavy or someone (probably you) will get back strain. You don’t want the contents to fall out of the bottom of a box and scatter over the ground either. Tape the edges of the boxes and double tape the bottom and top when you close them.
Make sure all the fragile items are well protected with wrapping material and use clothes, sheets and soft material to cushion them if you think this is necessary.
Start packing the items you rarely use but need as soon as you know you are moving, and keep a file of where you pack what.