Packing for your removal

We always recommend using our professional team to do all of the wrapping and packing for your removal, but we appreciate that some people prefer to do some or all of their own packing. Therefore we have put together some materials to make it easier for you. This page will provide advice on packing for your removal and an easy way to order packaging and removal boxes online!

Buy Packaging Materials Online

We have partnered with the British Association of Removers’ packaging division to provide an easy way for you to order your packaging materials and have them delivered straight to your home. Simply click on the link here or the button in the sidebar and you will be taken to the BAR Services page, where you can order the main packaging items such as removal boxes, tape, packing paper, mattress covers and small rolls of bubble wrap.

As shown in our videos below, for overseas removals full “export wrapping” is recommended for all furniture – this involves the use of specialist wrapping materials such as Furniguard (or Furnisoft). This product is not available through the BAR packaging website, but we can order it separately for you if you require it. Or remember that our team are happy to do all of the export wrapping for you, for a small additional cost which includes all materials.

Please note that online packaging orders are only applicable for delivery to UK addresses.

Advice on Packing for your Removal

For international removals where goods are travelling long distances, it is critical that goods are packed according to industry standards of “export packing” and “export wrapping”.   Moving from the UK to Greece or Italy is much further than moving from say Exeter to Edinburgh, so the approach to wrapping and packing your goods prior to transport must reflect this.

Ideally it is always best to use Nomad International’s professional team to do all of your export packing and wrapping for you.  Our team are fully-trained professionals and they will do a very good job of export packing and wrapping everything to BAR standards.  They will also save you a lot of time and effort, and at only £1 + VAT per cubic foot, the cost is very reasonable considering the amount of work and packaging materials involved.  But we understand of course that some people prefer to do some or all of the wrapping and packing themselves, either to save money or just as a matter of preference.  Therefore we have decided to create a series of videos demonstrating how to pack for your removal to BAR standards, so that you can have the confidence in knowing you have done the job properly.

Please note that the production values of the videos are not our main priority – our primary objective is to provide useful information to our valued customers.  We hope you find the videos interesting and helpful in packing for your removal.  We will include as much practical advice as possible, including identifying which factors are essential and which are “nice to have” added features to include in your packing strategy where possible.

Choosing the Right Packaging Materials

In order to do a good job of your packing you have to start with the right materials!  There is no point investing a great deal of time into carefully packing your boxes if you have chosen boxes that are too thin or are made of brittle plastic and are not suited to transport.  The video below will show you what to look for when choosing boxes, tissue paper, tape and protective wrapping materials.

Please always use double-walled boxes.  The two layers of cardboard give the box a great deal of extra strength, which is very important.  It is even possible to buy triple-walled boxes – if you have these they are fine to use, but if not, double-walled boxes are fine.  It is OK to use second-hand boxes as long as they are in good condition, not squashed, crumpled in any way or damaged from dampness etc.  They should be fully sealable, not open-topped.  They can come in any size – we show a couple of examples in the video but it is fine to use boxes that are smaller or larger than these, as long as they are not so large that they are too heavy or awkward to carry.  It is also possible to order specific sized boxes for specific items if necessary (eg: bicycles, fising rods), although most people make do with normal boxes in order to avoid the high cost of ordering one-offs.

Packing paper is very important for wrapping fragile items to put inside the boxes.  The most commonly used variety is sometimes called butcher’s paper or “news off cut” paper, although please note that it is not the same as newspaper.  Please do not use newspaper to wrap fragile items – not only does the ink get all over everything, but the paper itself is not as flexible as butcher’s paper or tissue paper, which means that it cannot be scrunched and moulded as easily so it does not do as good a job.  Tissue paper is also very useful – it is thinner than news off cut and comes in two types – traditional and “acid-free”, the latter of which is useful for wrapping silverware and assisting in packing oil paintings.  Any of these three types of paper are suitable – you don’t necessarily need all three types.  Just don’t use newspaper!

Tape is of course critical for taping and sealing the boxes and securing the protective wrapping materials on your furniture.  There are several types available – although we tend to use the more expensive type because it is easier to use (it tends not to break and tear-off at an angle as often), it is OK to use cheaper tape if you prefer, as tape can be very expensive if bought in small quantities.  The video discusses a few varieties – brown low noise tape, white vinyl tape and white tape with the word “fragile” printed onto it.

Bubble wrap and foam can also be used for packing fragile items to go into boxes, but these are not absolutely necessary – in fact, professional removers tend to use tissue paper as a preference in most cases.  On occasion void-filler materials can also be useful, although again these materials are not absolutely necessary if you are doing your own packing.

Wardrobe boxes are incredibly useful as they save you having to fold all of your clothes into boxes and iron them again at the other end – instead they can hang safely on a hanger the whole way there.

Protective wrapping materials are essential for proper export wrapping, and should always be used for removals to or from Italy and Greece.  The gold standard product is “bubble blanket”, which is the generic term for Jiffy’s furniguard and furnisoft range.  We find these products to be very good, although they are not as easy to find at small retailers / storage centres.  If you do not have a furnisoft-type product, it is OK to use bubble wrap but we would recommend using at least 2 layers plus a layer of plastic outside, in order to provide more strength to the wrapping.  Bubble wrap alone is usually too thin to provide adequate protection on its own, unless it is wrapped many times around.  Other “nice to have” materials include corner protectors and corrugated cardboard but these are not absolutely necessary.  Please note, as metioned in section 8 above, blanket-wrapping alone is not sufficient for long-distance overseas removals.  Blankets are a useful tool to provide added protection to furniture which has already been wrapped.

A final note in this section: please do not use plastic storage boxes for your removal! These boxes are useful for storage since they are usually transparent and stack easily, but they are not suited to transport at all.  Even in storage we find that they cannot be stacked more than two high without risking the integrity of the lids, which are always very brittle and crack very easily.  Additionally, the plastic walls and base are almost always too thin and also very brittle.  This makes the walls liable to cracking, and more importantly, does not allow enough “give”, which is essential in protecting the goods inside during transport.  It is also very difficult to tape the edges properly so they can’t be made air-tight, which is another problem.  With insufficient “give” in the boxes and no way of making them air-tight, every little vibration on the journey is transferred directly to the fragile items inside.  In short, please don’t use plastic storage boxes for a journey of 20km, let alone a journey of over 2000km.

Packing Fragile Items Into Boxes

Many of our customers ask us questions about the most appropriate methods for packing china, glassware and fragile ornaments, so we have decided to film a video showing you how to do it!  The video is in two parts, with a total length of just over 15 minutes.  Special thanks to Rob Baldwin, our Removals Manager, for starring in the video for a second time.  This video covers the techniques involved in packing various types of fragile items properly, according to BAR methodology.  If you have any questions about packing for your removal please don’t hesitate to give us a call, or if it all seems like too much trouble, just ask us to do the packing for you instead.  Our staff are well-trained and experienced at export packing, and our charges are very reasonable.  But if you would prefer to do the packing yourself, these videos will give you a guide as to how it should be done.

We’ve used traditional “packing paper” in this example, but you could use tissue paper if you prefer, or if you cannot get packing paper from your local supplier. With tissue paper you may need an extra layer or two just because it is thinner. If you are packing any silverware or any items with silver plating that may be affected by acid leaching from the paper, please use acid-free tissue paper for these items.

You can see that we are not using any bubble wrap, foam or other wrapping materials – just paper, tape and a good quality double-walled box. These are the only materials you need to pack fragile items properly, to BAR standards. With particularly fragile items it is OK to use some extra bubble wrap or foam if you prefer, but not at the expense of the tissue paper – particularly the scrunched up “bounce” around and between the items, which fills up the box and keeps everything from moving. In future videos we will show some examples of packing extremely delicate items, where only one item is packed into a box and it is filled with void-filler, but those situations are very rare. The techniques shown in this 2-part video will be appropriate for packing the vast majority of china, glassware and ornaments in your home.

Export Wrapping Your Furniture

“Export wrapping” is the process of preparing furniture so that it is protected for transport overseas.  In this series of videos we will demonstrate export wrapping techinques for a range of different furniture items, in order to enable you to understand the principles of export wrapping which you can apply to any items.  If you have any questions with specific pieces of furniture please don’t hesitate to ask us.  Alternatively, if you would like our team to do your export wrapping for you, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Also, don’t forget that in addition to our full export wrapping services we also offer wooden crating services for antiques or very fragile pieces of furniture.  Building a bespoke wooden crate for each individual item is usually considered unnecessary unless the value of the item is very high or the item is very fragile – normally export wrapping techniques such as the ones demonstrated in these videos are sufficient.  But please just ask us if you are interested in wooden crating services.

In our first export wrapping video we demonstrate the correct method for wrapping a standard dining chair.

Our next video explains the method for export wrapping a standard lamp. The principles used in this video can be applied to other items such as unusually shaped pieces of furniture or pieces of furniture that have electrical components.

The third video in this export wrapping series deals with the issues involved in export wrapping a large table.  Some tables have removable glass panels (this one has four, it is more common to have one large glass panel), so this has to be dealt with first.  Then comes the consideration of whether the legs come off the table.  Hamish and Rob demonstrate the methods for export wrapping in both cases.

Our next video demonstrates the techniques used in export wrapping a settee.  Settees are one of the most common items that we are asked for advice with, so it is great to have this video to demonstrate some of the techniques involved in wrapping them.  These techniques can be applied to any settee, although if you have a particularly delicate or expensive one (such as a Chesterfield), please ask us for additional advice or ask our team to wrap it instead.  This settee is unusual in that it has a wooden base, but the techniques for wrapping it are the same as with most sofas – in this case we just use an extra layer of furnisoft around the bottom to provide some extra protection.  With settees, taping all of the seams is well crucial due to their awkward shape.  Rob and Hamish demonstrate this well in this video.

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