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Packing for your London removal Ė top 10 tips

Moving house or flat is a tough business, and anything you can do to make it go as smoothly as possible can only help save stress at the end of what will inevitably be a stressful day. If youíre moving within a large city like London, hiring a Van neednít be too much of a problem. Assuming youíre not moving from a six bedroom mansion, one of the companies offering a man with a van service is not a bad choice. Itís a lot easier than having to drive a large unfamiliar self-drive hire vehicle around often narrow and congested streets and the flexibility of a team of loaders to help with the heavy lifting can be a life saver.

Most London man and van hire companies will do the packing for you too but this is definitely one area where you can save money by doing it yourself, but if youíve never done it before, there are one or two pitfalls to avoid. Hereís ten top tips to ensure your packing preparation helps make your London removal go smoothly.

1. Give yourself time. You may think you can throw your stuff into a few boxes on the morning of the move. Chances are you canít. Give yourself at least twice as long as you think you might need, add a couple of days and double it. That should be about right.

2. Get help. You may be able to get the packing done by yourself, but it can be a laborious and tedious job. For the price of a few beers, itís much better to co-opt a few friends to share the fun.

3. Think about the materials. Youíll need a couple of rolls of decent quality parcel tape (forget about office sellotape Ė itís neither strong enough nor wide enough), several pairs of scissors (youíre bound to inadvertently pack at least one of them Ė trust me!) several marker pens for labelling and bubble-wrap or similar for the delicate items.

4. Sort out the boxes. Itís tempting to go down to the local supermarket and blag whateverís available. For anything other than a small flat, this is rarely satisfactory. Itís much better to spend a bit of cash on purpose made removal cartons: theyíre stronger and, most importantly, a regular size which means theyíll stack easily saving space in the van.

5. Think about weight. Thereís no point cramming the boxes to the point that you need to be a professional body builder to lift them.

6. Label the boxes. Clear instructions will help you and your team get the boxes to the right place in your new home simply and quickly

7. Think about the order. Pack the least important stuff first. That way the most important items are last on the van and therefore first off at the other end.

8. Be careful with precious items. Most London removal companies carry insurance, but itís better to be safe. Pack delicate things like glassware really well. Use blankets and bedding to provide extra cushioning. For really delicate and precious items, it may be best to make special arrangements rather than trust them to the scrum of the general packing exercise.

9. Dismantle flat pack items. It can be a bit tedious, but if you can knock down the flat pack furniture like computer desks, it makes them a lot easier to handle and frees up room in the van, perhaps saving an extra trip. Most van man operators carry flat pack assembly tools and are a whizz with an allen key.

10. Keep the kettle handy. Plus the cups, milk, sugar etc. And make sure you know where the corkscrew is!

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