A Packing & Unpacking Guide When Moving House

Moving home can be fairly stressful when it is done incorrectly, however, there are certain tips that you can follow before and after the move, which will allow the process to go ahead smoothly and stress-free.


Having the right tools for the job is extremely important, which is why you need to make sure you consider all of the packing supplies you will need. This is a list of the packing items you will generally need:

  • Heavy-duty boxes in a range of sizes(small, medium & large) 
  • Wardrobe boxes
  • Mirror/artwork boxes
  • Mattress covers
  • Packing tape
  • Bubble wrap
  • Styrofoam
  • Old newspapers
  • Stretch wrap for furniture
  • Markers
  • Plastic bags
  • Labels

You can get these things individually or you can also get moving kits with all these things in them, alternatively, packing services can be used to make the process as simple as possible.


Packing is probably the most important step to creating a stress-free move. These are some tips that will help this process go a lot smoother.

Start Well in Advance

Most people find that it takes longer than you think to pack up the house. As an average estimate, if you want to do the process slowly so you don’t have to rush, pack up 1 box a day and this should take you around a month for a small house or 2 months for a large one.

Start With Less Used Items

Pack up the items that aren’t used a lot first, this could be the stuff in the loft or even seasonal items such as garden tools or Christmas lights. This gets a lot of the work out of the way early on without you even realising it is gone.


Moving house is the perfect time to get rid of anything that isn’t used anymore, taking all of that stuff with you will just mean more boxes to pack and unpack as well as less room for new things in your new home. You can either sell these things on eBay or even donate them to charity.

One Room or Category at a Time

This one is up to personal preference and how you plan to design your new house, but as long as there is some kind of structure it doesn’t matter which one you do. Packing by room means that you pack everything that is in each room in the same group of boxes. Alternatively, you could do it by category such as packing all of the bedding items together from all of the separate bedrooms.

Essentials Box

An essentials box is one of the most important things to do. Think of it like when you are boarding a plane, you wouldn’t pack your passport or phone in your hold luggage so why would you pack things you need as soon as you move, in with all of the other boxes. In this box you should put things like:

  • A spare change of clothes
  • Toothbrush
  • Bedsheets and duvets
  • Snacks or some canned foods to eat when you get there
  • Can opener
  • Eating utensils
  • Pans and pots
  • Towels
  • Washing up utensils
  • Toiletries
  • Toilet paper
  • Pet food (if applicable)
  • Charger


After all of the packing and moving you may be exhausted so after a well-earned break, it is time to start to unpack, these are some tips you can follow to make the process a bit easier.

Cleaning Each Room

Before you start to unpack everything, you might want to give each of the rooms a quick clean while there is nothing in them. This could be as simple as a quick hoover around the house as well as a wipe down of any surfaces. Alternatively, this could be done when you receive the keys, saving you a job on arrival.

Essentials Box

Once the house has been cleaned up it is time to start unpacking, the essentials box is the place to start. This has all of the things that you will need within the first day or even a few days of moving so start by getting all of those things unpacked before tackling the rest.

Bathroom Box

Since the bathroom already has all of the furniture pre-installed, it is probably the easiest to unpack. Start with all of the boxes labelled bathroom and get that all organised first. This also gives you the satisfaction of having at least one room completed quickly!

Unpacking Furniture

If you have hired a moving service, the movers will usually place all of your furniture exactly where you want it. However, if you haven’t come up with a plan of where everything will go, they will just put it wherever they can. This is why it is a good idea to create a plan beforehand so you won’t have to struggle moving cupboards up the stairs by yourself.

Contact Our Moving Team

At McKellar & Sons Removals, we carry out a range of services including removals and storage. If you are in need of a team to help you move, get in touch with us on 01992 561200 and we can help.

Transporting small vehicle in removal truck