So, you're moving home. You're either renting a van, using a man and van service, or using a full on removal service. Either or. What do you need to ensure you've packed properly, are able to unpack efficiently and all around have a pleasant moving experience? Let us run through the check list.

1. Sturdy cardboard boxes

Boxes of different shapes and sizes, all of them need to be sturdy to keep your possessions right where you need them. Make sure you pack smartly, don't leave too much free space. And be careful not to overload them.

2. Labels / Permanent markers

One or the other. These are for convenience's sake, so when you reach your new home, you know exactly where everything is. There's nothing else to it.

3. Plastic bags. Preferably bin bags.

For storing clothes, blankets and other non fragile items. The reason I specify bags for these is for space management. Bags take up a lot less room in the back of a van and are a lot easier to carry once you arrive. They also save valuable space for items that need to be carefully packed in the moving boxes, such as your 'potential breakables'.

4. Bubble wrap

Speaking of 'potential breakables', you will need bubble wrap to protect them. Wrap them all up in multiple layers. Take note that even bubble wrapped items need to be packed smartly to ensure that they stay in one piece. Just use some common sense.

5. Old newspaper / packing paper

Tightly pack some packing paper around the corners of the moving boxes and into the empty spaces in-between your things. This makes sure that the items are tightly packed and won't roll around and be damaged during the move. It also ensures that the boxes remain structurally sound and are less likely to split.    

6. Scissors / box cutter.

Your nails aren't going to cut it when you get to your house, and all of the boxes are (well, they should be) carefully packaged. This might sound like a no brainer, but you don't want the stress of moving to be compounded with your belongings being inaccessible.

7. A folder / ring-binder.

For all the important pieces of paper, such as the moving documents, bills and bank statements. It's helpful to keep them together and close to hand for if (or when) they're needed. Packing them into one of the many moving boxes really won't help in situations such as those.

8. Moving blankets

Helpful on long trips, incredibly necessary on night and winter journeys. They'll make the stressful ride more comfortable for both the kids, and for one of the designated drivers who has had a long days shift, and needs some well deserved shut eye.

9. Basic living items

This is where the we think past the move itself. By packing things like dish soap, toilet roll, kitchen utensils and basic foodstuffs (tinned soup, instant noodles) separately, it'll make the transition to the new house more smooth, especially since the unpacking process is usually slow. It's good to have the bare essentials out and ready, to save having to go out and buy things after a long and stressful move.

So, print this document off, or write the list down by hand, do whatever you need to. Just make sure you have these items and documents with you, especially the food, you don't want to run around a relatively unknown neighbourhood looking for a fast food restaurant, do you?

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