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DIY Removals

Moving has often been voted in one of the top five most stressful experiences. The obvious reasons for this are the total upheaval of your life, the uncertainty of the whole venture, and the concerns about moving your possessions from A to B without them being ruined. Once the movers are hired, or you’ve decided to ship your stuff yourself, it’s time to start putting your whole life into paper and boxes for the ride.

So what is the best way to start this task? Allied Pickfords in Sofia give us the low down on how to pack like a professional when moving to Bulgaria.


We all hear of disaster stories of ancient heirlooms or sentimental items being damaged in transit, so ensure that you practice clever and careful packing to provide the peace of mind that your items will arrive at your new home undamaged. Before you tear your hair out at the concept of tackling the junk in every room of your abode, relax, and let Allied Pickfords advise you with their insider knowledge on the best way to pack items for moving.

One of the first things to consider are the packing materials that you will need. This usually involves lots of newspaper, and boxes pinched from the office back room at work, plus enough cellotape to make you think five Christmases have come at once. Moving companies have noticed this need for better packing solutions, and Pickfords for one have actually come up with self-pack materials to be delivered to your door. These kits range from professional, business (tailored for offices), and budget kits for those who’ve already assigned all their cash on a beachside apartment!

So, you can tailor your packing materials to whatever you move, for example, book cartons to separate books, a cardboard wardrobe carton with bar to hang your clothes in transit, and paper sofa or mattress covers, etc.

But the basic packing must-haves remain:
- a dark marker pen,
- plenty of bubble wrap,
- plenty of gaffer tape,
- various different sized boxes,
- and a notepad to list what has gone in which box.

Packing should be started well in advance, and the evening before moving day you should endeavour to have everything packed bar what you’ll need for the move.

Often, moving companies only transport boxes if they meet specific standards, as this keeps the contract and the insurance in order. If the company feels items are improperly packed or susceptible to damage, they will need re-packing. Usually, it is obvious if a box won’t meet standards. If they are torn, won’t seal, soiled, or won’t close, or rattles when shaken, then unpack and try again.

Start methodically, working from room to room. Starting with the worst room, what wives call ‘the utility room’, or husbands like to call it ‘the tool shed’ or ‘hobby room’, and most others would think of as ‘the junk room’. This room is the hardest to pack as many items are oddly shaped, heavy, or require special care to ensure you don’t get pronged with a garden fork. Starting with tools, all the long-handled ones, such as rakes and shovels, should be gathered together and tied up securely, with the functional ends pointing the same way. Attachments should be detached from all power tools and packed in a separate box. If there are sharp edged tools, wrap them in old rags – ideally towels which are harder to pierce – and tape to secure. Hand tools can be left in their tool-box, padded out with newspaper. Heavy tools should occupy small cartons.

Garden furniture and toys should be cleaned before being dismantled and bundled together. Take care to store all screws and fittings in a labelled jar, so in case an emergency swing set session is demanded by a move-weary child, you can quickly put it together on your new lawn. Parasols should be dry before packing, wound tight and wrapped in a large plastic bag and taped shut.

Lawnmowers need to be drained of all fuel if they are petrol/gas powered, and cleaned. Likewise, barbeques need to be cleaned and all charcoal disposed of.

If there is a fuel tank on the bbq, it cannot be transported and must be removed.

Moving on to the office, start by backing up your computer onto a CD or pen drive, in case the worse happens, and keep this on you. Remove ink cartridges from your printer, and invest in new ones at your destination, as they do not travel well. Tape down all flaps and pack into a box with bubble wrap. Dismantle all modular office furniture and keep parts of the same item of furniture together. To make it easier to put together again, as by now you would be guaranteed to have lost the instructions, or ripped them apart in frustration after trying to assemble it the first time round, put marked masking tape on the edges to indicate which bit goes where. Keep little bits together in a marked shoebox or jar.


 

Sort books by size and pack in special book cartons, either flat, or with the spine touching the bottom of the carton. Don’t pack with the spine upwards as the glue can break away from the binder. Individually wrap expensive or sentimental books. Documents can be stored in special document cartons to ensure you don’t have weeks of shuffling paper back into place upon your arrival.

For bedrooms, get different coloured labels so each family member knows which box has their items in. If you want to keep your clothes hanging up for the journey, purchase wardrobe cartons which have bars. Otherwise, fold all clothing and store in a box lined with paper.

Bedding, linen and towels should be folded then put inside a plastic bag before packed in a box, or alternatively used as padding for other items. There are also special mirror cartons available to pack fragile mirrors, but if the mirror is particularly large or fragile, it should be transported in a crate.

A nifty tip for rugs, is to get them professionally cleaned before the move. They will come back from the cleaners rolled up and wrapped, so the hard work is done for you. Very valuable items of jewellery should be wrapped in tissue and put in a small box or envelope to keep with you. Toiletries should be taped shut and bagged in sandwich bags to prevent leakage, then packed in a box.

Living areas usually have the most expensive items in, so great care should be taken to pack these items properly. For CD and DVD players, secure the laser with transport screws located on the bottom or back of the unit. Pack speakers all round, cushioning the sensitive area well. Larger televisions may need to be transported in a crate, but smaller TVs can be placed in a box with padding.

Stand CDs on edge, never flat and on a layer of crushed paper. Support at both ends with large, hardcover books, or several pieces of cardboard cut to fit. Top with another layer of crushed paper.

Identify contents on the outside of the box and mark as fragile. Family photos, videos and negatives should not be packed with other household items. Also, be aware that hot or humid climates can affect photos and negatives, so ensure they are packaged to protect from the elements. Photos in frames should be packed on edge in a small box.

For small lamps, remove the bulb and lamp harp, then wrap the base, harp and bulb separately in newspaper, but pack them together in a well padded box. Wrap lampshades in tissue paper, as newspaper will soil them. Smaller shades can rest inside larger ones, but pad the layers with tissue and store in a box separate from other household items, and marked fragile. Glass shades and chandeliers should be packed in a crate.

Dining room and kitchen contents will require the most newspaper, so subscribe to all the regular Sunday rags well in advance! Wrap all pieces of china and glassware individually.

Using several sheets of clean paper, start from the corner, wrapping diagonally and continuously tucking in overlapping edges. Label cartons with room, contents and “FRAGILE - THIS SIDE UP”.

Layer flat china and glassware on top of each other. Larger china and glass plates, platters and other flat pieces are excellent as the lowest layer in a dish pack. Surround each bundle of wrapped dishes with crushed paper, being careful to leave no voids or unfilled spaces, then add two or three inches of wadded paper on top of the bundle to protect rims and make a level base for the next tier. Smaller plates, saucers and shallow bowls could make up a second layer. Wrap and pack in the same way as larger items. For cups, if you are not using cellular dividers, wrap cups individually first in a double layer of paper and place them upside down on rims in a row on an upper layer with all handles facing the same direction. Top off the layer with wadded newsprint. Even when using a dish pack and cellular dividers, wrap china cups individually first, protecting handles with an extra layer of clean paper. Then, pack cups upside down.

All silverware should be completely enclosed in plastic or paper wrapping to avoid tarnishing. For other delicate items, such as ornaments or figurines, wrap first in tissue paper, then wrap carefully in paper that has been wadded and flattened out. Small mirrors, plaques and pictures should also be wrapped individually in tissue paper with an outer layer of newsprint. Then, a bath towel or small blanket makes an excellent outer wrapping and also as padding for glass. Place flat items on edge in a carton.

Don’t ever use newspaper to directly wrap items, as the ink can impregnate some china. Use clean paper instead.


In preparing large appliances for your move, it is important that they be clean and dry to avoid the build up of mildew and mould. Grease left on a stovetop will catch dust and dirt and leave spots on anything it touches.

Remove perishables, then clean and dry out refrigerators and freezers, and service if scheduled before transit. For dishwashers, washing machines and dryers, once they are clean and dry, disconnect all hoses, wrap in towels and place inside the machine. The washing machine should have the tub secured following the manufacturer’s guidelines to prevent swaying.

Detach all removable parts from the cooker, and pack safely in a box. If you are moving a gas cooker, it must be disconnected prior to moving day by a qualified service technician, and the gas line properly secured. When arriving at your new residence with a gas cooker, you will need a qualified gas installer to check your gas supply, connect the gas line, seal any openings, light the pilot and handle any other hook-up requirements.

There are items that moving companies legally can’t transport. Hazardous materials such as: aerosols, ammonia, ammunition, car batteries, charcoal, lighter fluid, chemistry sets, cleaning solvents, fertilizer, fireworks, gas, kerosene, lamp oil, bleach, loaded guns, matches, motor oil, paint thinner, nail polish remover, paints, pesticides, poisons, pool chemicals, propane tanks, and weed killer, cannot be moved.

Also perishables such as frozen foods, plants, refrigerated foods, and open or half used foods cannot.

It is best not to send via transport goods which are overly sentimental, high in value, or likely to spoil such as cash, deeds or wills, moving documents, family photographs, stamp or coin collections, or valuable jewellery.

Packing can be a mammoth task, so if this sounds like too much to handle yourself, moving companies can professionally pack for you. As a general rule, furniture and major appliances will actually be wrapped and padded by your moving professional. Items requiring professional disassembly and/or crating - such as slate pool tables, chandeliers, or large glass table tops - are also best left to the pros.

However, if you want to DIY, follow the rules stated to ensure you pack like a pro and get your goods to their new place of adornment in one piece!

www.pickfords.bg/diy