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When you're preparing for the big house move, there's an awful lot going on. This can be stressful, organising all those last minute things. One of the biggies is packing everything you own into scores of boxes. So here's our easy guide to help you get packing.
 
First, get the best removals company. They might loan or give you all the boxes and the packaging materials you need. Reused boxes are good for the environment, collecting them after a few months or as soon as you are unpacked. Your costs are cut, and you're helping the planet, too. Always compare prices, though. Especially on the internet, there are specialist home removal packaging companies who can give excellent prices on boxes for house moves, bubble wrap, packing tape and more. Make sure you check that your removals firm isn't charging you over the market price for these items and hiding the cost in their overall package.

Second, choose the right box for the right contents. You're entrusting every prized possession you own, plus the heavy and fragile items to these boxes, so avoid the flimsy and spend a little more on reinforced, strong and double wall ones. You'll need different types of box for different jobs. Linen boxes are large, but only suitable for light clothes, soft toys and bedding. It's a very different story when it comes to heavy items.

Books, files, CDs and other heavy items need to go in much shorter boxes. Special book boxes are designed to carry fewer items, so the total does not weigh more than twenty to twenty-five kilos. Anything more, and you'll be breaking your back. Or those of your moving crew. And they'll just refuse to lift them.

No larger box should be filled over half way with heavy things. Avoiding overpacking is key. Put the heavy items near the bottom, then pad out the rest with much lighter matter, such as pillows and cushions. Use all those soft furnishing and even the kids' soft toys that you have as extra padding and protection. And learn correct lifting techniques: bending your knees and taking the weight as high as you can, so it's nearer the shoulders and not the lumbar region.

Consider speciality boxes for your special items. There are now bespoke boxes for golf clubs, other sporting goods, painting and mirrors. You can even get metre-high wardrobe boxes, with a hanging rail, so that you can take clothes straight from wardrobe to box, and then back to wardrobe again in your new home. This is time and space saving (as hangers are a pain to pack, taking up heaps of room) and also allows your clothes to stay dust and crease free during the move. And don't stint on packing tape, either. Reinforce not just the bottom of the box, but edges and corners too. Packing tape should be the brown sort, at least 2 inches wide.

For your precious items, use bubble wrap, and maybe polystyrene chips. Pack china and glass carefully and tightly, so nothing can rattle around or collide when the boxes are moved. Ideally, use their original packaging, with cardboard separators so each item is kept separate. If you no longer have the original boxes, you can buy or hire wine glass boxes which serve the same purpose. Double walled boxes also help cushion any blow. And don't forget to mark these boxes FRAGILE in very large letters! These simple but effective tips will help prevent you unpacking a heartbreaking collection of broken fragments on arrival in your new home.