Chapter 5: Packing & Packing Materials

The process of buying a house, paying Estate Agents, Stamp Duty, Solicitors, renovations etc  is probably the one of the most expensive activities you can undertake.  It is certainly one of the most stressful! Of all the many aspects of moving home Packing is one thing that most people believe they can do themselves. Think about it: throughout the whole process people have employed professionals to make sure everything is not left to chance, so why leave the most important parts i.e. the moving and packing to chance?

When asked by the remover “do you want a quote for packing?” most people think “at last we can do something ourselves and save some money!” Some even unwisely think they can move themselves, although this is a very small percentage and they certainly don’t repeat the process.  The unprofessional remover will agree to provide the packing materials but will not provide enough and will sometimes charge for additional materials.  You may have been in your home for many years and will usually accumulate a lot of packable items, so to expect to have this all packed up correctly for 8am on moving day is, to say the least, unrealistic. In reality you will start off well by packing some non essentials and easy items to pack but as you get closer to moving day, you will start running out of room, energy and willpower. You may be running low on packing materials too. Most items you will feel need to be packed towards the end especially kitchen, study and bedroom items, so in the end you will be trying to pack the majority of your house in the last few days.  In many cases you will run out of packing materials the day before and will request more which may not come until removal day due to short notice. This will leave you plenty to do on moving day. You may have opted to dismantle the beds and wardrobes also to save money or just because it’s something else you feel you can do. The net result is that your remover will be waiting for you and may either offer to help at an additional charge, or leave when they have loaded all they can. This may also result in additional charges if they are kept waiting at the new property.

As you can imagine a lot of self packers regret the decision to pack. In the end it has cost them more money, ended up in the damage of several of their precious items and their back is aching! There is little or no hope of claiming on the removers insurance for any damage as it will not be covered.

So when the remover asks you “do you want a quote for packing?” I would at least suggest you ask what the options are and what they cost. Most removers will offer two types of packing, full packing and glass and china packing. Some will offer bespoke packing i.e. china and Kitchen & selected precious items such as canvasses and chandeliers.  Some removers will also offer unpacking.  Depending on the size of your move the packing will usually be done the day before your move, will be efficient and be fully insured.  On the removal day itself the remover will have allowed time to pack up the last few bits including all the bedding, your stress levels will be normal(for a moving day!).You may even have time to enjoy the experience. Some removers will also offer cleaning services and specialist services such as catalogued collection packing, most will also offer dismantling and re-assembling. A good remover will survey your property and advise what services you are likely to benefit from, clearly listing them on a written quotation. They will also list the type of packing materials you will receive, and what quantity you can expect to get.

Packing yourself is not the only possible disaster in this section. You’ve probably guessed it -your old friend the rogue remover will also offer all of the services you require. He could see this as his most profitable part of house moving!…. (Remember the talking friends in section 2) Well- run removal companies and certainly ones that are Members of the Ombudsman scheme or at least members of a Removal Trade Association (not a haulage association) will only use staff that aretrained, vetted, and directly employed.

So don’t assume you’re doing the packing and dismantling. Discuss all your requirements with your remover. They will want you to have a stress free experience and be a happy customer as happy customers recommend and write appreciative testimonials.