Pre-Pack Prep

Check the entire house before the packers arrive, to make sure there is nothing there they shouldn’t pack. Murphy’s Law says even if you’ve designated and clearly marked it “DO NOT MOVE” or they shouldn’t move it because #commonsense, they’ll pack it.

That loaf of bread you left on the counter to make lunches with, that suitcase you set aside for during transit, those cleaning supplies you need for the final clean after uplift and that phone charger you left plugged in for use on pre-pack night.

The movers pack anything and everything.

So the best thing you can do is to prep before the movers arrive.

I have simplified pre-pack prep for you below!


Disconnect, drain and clean the washing machine, dryer, fridge, freezer, microwave, kettle and that water reservoir or grate in the coffee machine.

I usually turn my freezer off to defrost two days before the move.

The day before pre-pack, I make my morning coffee, do a final load or two of washing and then I clean the washer, dryer, microwave and coffee machine.

I give the toaster an extra shake out and my Kitchenaid and sandwich press an extra clean down. If you enjoy a good brew, leave your kettle clean until the morning of pre-pack. It’s simple to clean down and dry out with some paper towel.

Don’t forget to empty any water jugs and throw away used and wet filters from inside them and your coffee machine if it has one.

Remove those personal items

Think *and grab* what you wouldn’t want your child to find in your bedroom drawer. Enough said.

Anything that breathes

Empty and clean any pot plants of soil and any plants. Rehome the goldfish in the bowl. I kid you not, it wouldn’t be the first time such things have been packed such things in the all the commotion.


Do a clean sweep for fresh food items, missed containers of food in the fridge or freezer, and almost empty condiment bottles.

A good rule of thumb is if it’s unopened or in airtight and sealed containers, it can be packed. If it’s open and less than half-full, give it to a friend, neighbour, take it to work for colleagues, to a homeless service or check if your local community centre has a post out/post in pantry you can donate it to. I know the Edinburgh one has one each year!

With your non-perishable items you pack like flour, brown sugar and packet mixes, a good storage trick is to stow them inside empty containers. For things like olive oil, cooking sauces and spices, pop tape around or over the top of the container lid to secure them fast and ensure they won’t pop open.

Get rid of anything fresh in the fruit bowl and that loaf of bread you have on the counter. You don’t even want to leave food items you intend to use for lunch on pre-pack day out on the kitchen counter or inside the cupboard because if they can reach it, it will get packed. You do not want to be opening that box at the other end. Trust me.

Anything that smells

Dirty clothes and garbage are the same as anything that breathes. Smelly at the other end.

If you have diaper or bathroom bins, don’t forget to empty them.

Chuck the toilet brushes too!

Check your shoes and get rid of any with smells you can’t get rid of.

This can include candles too. Unless it is a local same day move or a move not taking place in the Summer months, don’t pack any candles that are not in a container. Trust me, melted wax is a pain to clean up and off of things.

You really, really don’t want these items packed. Believe me.

Final clean items

After uplift you ALWAYS need items to clean and run over the house with one final time. You’ll also want these when you get to the new place. So items like your vacuum you want to be among the last items they load during uplift. While they load the last two rooms, you can start vacuuming and wiping over the already cleared areas. To avoid these supplies being packed early on pre-pack day, ensure you’ve safely stored them out of reach of the movers until the very last hour of uplift.

Personally, if the car hasn’t been uplifted, I place these items in the car, where they are firmly out of reach from the packers. Otherwise the neighbour’s house is a safe option too.

Travel and Transit Supplies

Make sure you’ve separated out the bags and/or suitcases you’re taking with you to get by between the losing and gaining locations.

If you have kids make sure their favourite toys, security blankets they need, that favourite book they just can’t go to sleep without reading and those items that are going to get you through travel and transit accommodation aren’t packed.

Personal and important documents and possessions

Double, no triple, check that those documents and items you should keep in your possession during posting are set aside, safe and sound from packing.

Now if you’re like me you’re probably thinking what do I do with the clothes, bed sheets and towels that you use the day before and of pre-pack? Well, that is laundry you can’t do. You let the towels dry until the afternoon of uplift. Then add the towels, clothes worn and bed sheets used to a box and voila, you’ve got your first loads of washing in the gaining location.

Of course, I’m compiling this prep for the movers arrival into a checklist of things you can run through the night prior to and early in the morning before “knock, knock knock”.

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