Moving tips: Cleaning up and packing moving boxes

protective packaging

Once you’ve gathered your things for the move, you’ll be amazed at the amount of clutter that has accumulated over the years. A move is, therefore, the ideal time to tidy up and get rid of old things. Here you will find tips on how to plan the move effectively, how to organize things systematically and what to do with your discarded items. Finally, we give you some tips for properly packing the moving boxes.

Cleaning up the house – tips for sorting out

Cleaning up and sorting out before the move doesn’t just feel like a relief; you have to pack less old and no longer loved items and lift them into the removal van. But, simultaneously, you also create more space between the new four walls. You can use the following proven cleanup methods to help you do this:

  • Throw away small items you haven’t used for a year and won’t be using anytime soon.
  • Sort the things that would become ballast in your new home. Think very bulky but rarely used items.
  • Get rid of things you keep only because of a guilty conscience: expensive bad buys or unloved gifts can find a new owner.
  • Reduce mementos and keepsakes to a few individuals, important items.

Before the move, you can also say goodbye to everything that:

  • broken
  • is no longer used
  • is present in the new household twice or more
  • no longer fits in the new home
  • brings no more joy
  • is overdue (e.g., cosmetics and foodstuffs)

When you move, you probably already have some mementos and other small items, but they may be missing furniture and utensils.

Cleaning up before the move – step by step

A systematic approach is recommended so that cleaning up and sorting out before the move does not become a burden. The more voluminous projects are best saved for the weekend, and the smaller cabinets or drawers are best tackled during the week.

1.      Schedule time for sorting.

If you schedule the big clean-up one or two months before the move, you still have plenty of time to sell, give away, or donate the sorted items to charity. Also, take a look at the possibilities in your municipality to have bulky waste collected or where you can recycle/landfill your old stuff.

2.      Sorting according to the 3-box method.

Sort the items into three chests or boxes: keep, sell or donate, and throw away. During the move preparation, you can also make an even more precise classification for items that need to be kept in the basement or the attic. Items you no longer need until the move can be immediately put away in suitable boxes.

3.      Start in rooms with a lot of junk.

Over the years, many small items accumulate in so-called ‘junk zones’ such as attics, cellars, and garages. Because these spaces are likely to take more time and effort, it’s wise not to tackle them last. If you’re looking for a smaller starting point, you can also start with a desk or file drawer.

Lighting for moving boxes: sorting out the wardrobe wisely

For most people, clothing is much more than just an everyday item: the wardrobe also reflects one’s own identity and is often associated with important memories. That is why cleaning up and saying goodbye is not always easy. The move can be used as the ideal opportunity to clear out the wardrobe.

Clearing out the wardrobe: what should you pay attention to?

Depending on the size of your clothing inventory, it may take several hours to clear out the wardrobe. Weekends are, therefore, the best time to make good progress.

It is best to have at hand:

  • a large mirror to try on some garments
  • suitable storage boxes or clothing bags for everything you want to keep
  • boxes for garments in good condition that you want to resell
  • large garbage bags for anything you want to donate or recycle

Beginning of the Closet Detox: Sort or Pack

Organize your wardrobe and spread out the individual items clearly, for example, on your bed. Then you can look at each piece individually and see what you feel or think about it. To make the decision easier, ask the following questions:

  • Have you worn this item of clothing in the past 12 months?
  • Will there be opportunities to wear the garment in the future (e.g., at parties or for business)?
  • Do you feel good and comfortable wearing the garment? Does it fit well?
  • Does the garment easily adjust if it no longer fits properly (e.g., too long or too wide)?
  • If you saw it in the store again, would you buy it again? Does it still suit your style?
  • Does the garment combine well with other items in your wardrobe?

Everything that is regularly and gladly worn can stay. However, what you want to keep but no longer wear for the move (e.g., autumn and winter clothing in the summer) is best packed immediately for long-term storage. For example, a vacuum bag reduces the package’s space, and you can store the items directly in the new home.

Favorite garments with minor defects can be placed in a separate pile for repair at a later date. Small holes or loose knots can be repaired yourself; a tailor can help with larger damages.

If you are unsure about certain items of clothing, it may help to try them on and sleep on them again before making a decision. You can also pack some pieces in a box and see if you want to wear them in the near future. Finally, at the latest, you can sort out what has not come out of this box after three months.

Discarded clothes: donate, give away or resell

Garments are valuable and should be treated as such. Therefore the question arises: what do you do with your discarded clothing?

  • Valuable clothes that are still in top condition: sell them to second-hand shops or on the internet
  • Items of clothing in good condition: give them away to friends, offer them on the internet, or hand them into the clothing donation or a charitable organization
  • Broken garments: you can upcycle them yourself or throw away the worn pieces with the residual waste.

The last step: pack the moving boxes properly

To ensure that your entire household effects arrive in the new home undamaged, it is crucial to pack your belongings efficiently and carefully. The moving boxes must be sturdy and have handles to facilitate carrying. Boxes of the same size are also easier to stack. As an alternative to the classic cardboard boxes, there are also providers where you can rent reusable plastic or plastic moving boxes.

Packing tips::

Pack several small boxes rather than a few large ones. This prevents moving boxes from becoming too heavy. Use 15 to a maximum of 20 kilograms as a guideline. When packing, also pay attention to the following points:

  • Start with things you don’t need daily (e.g., books, decorations, certain clothing items).
  • Label the box with the contents and destination. Color markings (e.g., adhesive tape) on the box and a note on the matching room door in the new apartment can also work.
  • Laundry, clothing, and other textiles can also be easily transported in suitcases, sports, and travel bags.
  • (non-breakable) items can also be transported in laundry baskets or garbage bags.
  • You can also easily transport heavy objects in suitcases with wheels.
  • Wrap glasses and crockery in wrapping paper, kitchen roll or tissue paper, and fill any cavities with soft materials such as crumpled paper, bubble wrap or fabric. Plates are best packed vertically (as long as playing records). As an alternative, use moving boxes with special compartments for glasses and crockery.
  • Pack the books back to back in the moving box, so the pages don’t slide together and get damaged.
  • Pack your refrigerated items in a chilled packaging box having an ice pack. You can buy these types of protective packaging materials from Britwrap.
  • Protect technical equipment with bubble wrap and collect the associated small parts (such as remote controls and cables) in sealable bags.
  • Then lightly shake a packed moving box to see if everything is fixed or if there are still things that can move.


A move requires thorough preparation and good organization. If you carefully clean up and organize before the move, you will create more space in the removal van and the new home. When you need to transport fewer boxes, this also saves the costs and time that you need for the move. You can donate discarded objects to a good cause but sometimes also sell them. In the latter case, the moving greenhouse is a little bit extra.

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