9 Packing Mistakes You Need Not Make

Moving home is ranked highly as one of the most stressful things a typical human being can endure over the course of a lifetime. Here at European Moving, we do whatever we can to make your relocation as smooth a process as possible. For example, I have listed 9 mistakes many people still continue to make when packing their belongings, so you don’t have to make the same errors.

Packing without a plan.

This is easily one of the most common mistakes people make when planning on moving, whether domestic or international: Not planning on how to pack their belongings. Many people are quick to start boxing up their property, believing they are making headway in the most time-consuming aspect of their move. But what is packed one end must be unpacked the other. Has your property been organised to minimise confusion as to where it will belong in your new home? Have you prioritised your packing tasks to maximise efficiency? You can’t leave these things to the last minute, which leads me onto…

Leaving it to the last minute.

There is no time like the present and no spare time whatsoever on the day of your move. Even if you think there are just a few last minute items to get packed, don’t pick the day of collection to do it. Worse still, many people have fallen victim to the belief that you can do all the packing, loading and moving on the same day. Moving to a different country, no less.
There is no job more necessary to organise than the speedy facilitation of the loading and unloading of your belongings, and this all comes down to packaging your goods ready for the day you move.
The day your move is confirmed is the day you need to start preparing for it, so be kind to yourself and get this arduous task done with plenty of time to spare. Relocating to a new home need not be week long panic induced stress headache; with a little less procrastination and a little more action, the transition should be a smooth process.

Sort yourself out.

No, really. Are you certain you wish to take the entirety of your material goods with you? What about furniture and electrical items? We all have belongings we wouldn’t dream of parting with, but maybe those unwanted Christmas gifts and unused items you were sure would come in useful sometime or another would be better off sold or donated to a loved one or charity of your preference.
This may not strike you as something of importance. But if you are in the market for a low-cost removal from one country to the next, then you are governed by the space and weight your items take up. Removal of some of your worldly goods before they end up costing you more than their worth is the stuff successful moving is made from.
So, make your fresh start a fresh start and leave behind all those things that stop you moving forward.

Not all boxes are created equally.

They really aren’t, and although this seems obvious, too many people bend to the will of saving a few pennies on packaging, costing them many pounds in the long run.
Crumpled, non-sturdy, torn and thin cardboard are the cardinal sins of boxes when moving. These are going to be stacked together in a van for a lengthy distance and will contain your treasured possessions – don’t endanger those for the sake of a few quid.
Also, consider your packaging. You can often get clean, dry and most importantly free bubble wrap from sites such as GumTree, Freecycle or your local Facebook ‘For Sale’ groups. But if you can’t find it for free and your saved collection from years ago is damp and dirty, invest in some brand spanking new packaging. You and your new home deserve it.
Oh yeah, and for the love of all things that belong safely in a box for a day or two – invest in some high-quality packing tape.

Look for the bare necessities, so you can relocate with ease.

When all systems are go, the boxes are packed, the bags filled and the ETA on the van is five minutes, you’ve earned yourself a cup of tea. Except the kettle is packed in one of the boxes marked kitchenware, the tea bags aren’t in the cupboard anymore and you’ve just remembered you threw the last of the milk out the night before when you unplugged the fridge.
Never mind, at least you have a spare change of clothes, snacks, bottled water, toiletries, phone charger, prescription medications and anything else that’s of absolute necessity before you depart, am I right?
Maybe add a spare kettle, mug, tea bags and milk to that list. Nothing rejuvenates the soul quite like a hot beverage.

It’s health and safety gone sensible.

Filling each and every box to the brim may seem like a no-brainer. You are being charged by each cubic meter, and for the weight regardless. But I ask you to reconsider, if not for me then for your back.
Try and distribute the weight evenly, something useful for calculating the overall weight accurately (Now seems like a good time to highlight the importance of the first point in this post and how it ties in with the rest), helping you avoid any surcharges for breaching your weight limit.
Also, you can’t put a price on not having back trouble for the rest of your life. It’s easy to hurry through the moving process – after all, it’s not something we want to spend any more time on than what we have to. But do it safely. Boxes not exceeding 20kg each are advisable, as well as adequate assistance moving. Look after yourself, you’re worth it.

But don’t do the opposite either!

Don’t overfill your boxes, I know I just said that. But please don’t underfill them either. Especially in regards to breakable items, as some things in life require as little wiggle room as possible. If the box can be filled, safely, with adequate room for protective packaging, then you are the benchmark all future movers should aspire to be.
An inadequately filled box belongs stacked on the very top of the pile. Placing heavier boxes upon ones unsupported by their contents will tempt the gods of moving home to wreak chaos upon you when you open up the van at it’s destination. Not to mention the disappointment caused by a broken vase that wasn’t immobilised, instead left to smash itself to bits, back and forth, for the entire journey.
Remember this, though: That space can be filled by crumpled paper, bubble wrap and re-purposed bath towels cut into smaller pieces. Just make sure you fill it with something.

Learn the rules!

For all the things you can legally take with you to your new home, I cannot stress enough how important it is to leave behind what you can’t.
“Hazardous goods” seems obvious enough until you forget to drain the petrol out of your lawn mower. Anything, flammable, explosive or corrosive is not allowed. When crossing international borders, perishable goods are almost exclusively disallowed, while sealed food items must generally be declared to customs, depending on which part of Europe you are moving to.
Have you renewed your pet passport? Your beloved pet will need up to date vaccination records alongside one, even when travelling within the European Union. If you are more the avid gardener type, consider moving your plants in with a trusted friend instead of with you. Not only are many too fragile to comfortably survive such a journey, but there are hurdles involving health and safety and declaring them at customs.
In summary, research what I’ve just said until you know what is and isn’t going to be an issue. Make sure you’re in the know.

How dare you label me…

… said no box ever. Not only does it make for speedier identification upon signing off on your inventory, it makes it a darn sight easier to put everything in the right room. Playing Packing Roulette is a game of no winners. Take the few extra minutes to label your boxes.

That’s the list of the most common issues we believe that you may endure (if you’re not already a packing pro, of course) when planning on moving house, especially internationally. If you think we haven’t covered something painfully obvious, or just wish to voice your opinion, please comment below. If you or anyone you know is planning on moving in the near future, hit the share button and help them avoid any unnecessary headaches.
Happy Travels – Simon, European Moving.