Fridges, lawnmowers & more: your guide to moving awkward items

pack a box when moving house

After a long and arduous search, you’ve found your dream home. The papers are signed. You’ve received the keys.

Now, it’s time to move all of your possessions from your old home and into your new home.

You look around with fresh eyes and start agonizing. How are you going to move the fridge?

If you’re like the rest of us, awkward or difficult items are the worst part of moving house.

Foxie is here to help you out with a ton of advice on how to pack your possessions. (This list is just one of our many moving house resources, including the best moving house checklist ever).

 

The quick list

  1. Getting started with your packing
  2. The boxes
  3. Get the right packing materials
  4. Protect the odd-shaped items
  5. Label the box
  6. Packing cumbersome and oddly shaped things
  7. Electrical appliances
  8. Moving a large screen TV
  9. Moving a washing machine
  10. Moving furniture
  11. Moving a sofa
  12. Moving a dining room table
  13. Kitchen appliances
  14. Moving house fridge freezer
  15. Moving an oven
  16. Garden items
  17. Garden tools
  18. Lawnmower
  19. Get packing

 

Getting started with your packing

 

Step 1: The Boxes

Try to find boxes in different sizes for smaller items, and custom sized cartons for bigger items.

For free moving boxes online, check Gumtree or Facebook Community Groups.

You can also go to local retailers, such as Coles, Woolies, and JB Hi-F — these stores typically receive a weekly box stock and will have a surplus of cardboard boxes. Just ask the manager or the customer staff if they have a box or two to spare.

Buying boxes is always an option, too. Go to eBay or do a quick Google search for moving box companies.

You can also look into renting boxes — Hire a Box lets you to rent a box for up to 3 months, which gives you plenty of time to unpack.

 

Step 2: Get the Right Packing Materials

Be sure to get some of these packing materials to accompany the boxes — you don’t want to find yourself short on the right accessories in the middle of the packing process:

  • Bubble wrap
  • Foam sheets
  • Packing peanuts
  • Tools (screwdrivers, pliers, scissors)
  • Old towels
  • Felt-tip pens
  • Moving blankets
  • Packing tape

For more things to use, here are some household items that can serve as packing supplies.

 

Step 3: Protect your odd-shaped items

As one example, here’s the best way to pack wine glasses when moving house — cutting out custom styrofoam inserts for optimal protection.

securely pack glasses in a box
Photo: plastifoam.com

You can also do this for any family heirlooms or expensive items may you have.

If you’re into DIY, here’s a video on how to make foam cavities on your own.

Step 4: Label the box

Use markers or felt-tip pens for labelling to make sure important or fragile boxes aren’t damaged or pierced through.

You can write directly on the box, or you can use packing labels. Write what’s inside the box, and add any handling instructions for the movers (“heavy, fragile, this side up”).

Check out these 30 moving tips that will make your life easier.

During packing: taking care of heavy or oddly shaped things

Here’s a list of items that people struggle with the most, with advice on how to pack each one.

 

Packing and moving electrical appliances

You don’t want to leave any tripping hazards lying around. Make sure that all the cables are tied up and none are left trailing.

To secure cables, use cable ties or packing tape.

Moving a large screen TV

Put a large screen TV in the original packaging. If you don’t have it, ask your local TV store for a spare box.

Start to pack by putting something soft in the bottom of the box, such as bubble wrap or a blanket. The depth between the cardboard and TV should be at least 10 cm.

Use cardboard to cover the entire TV’s screen, then wrap the TV with bubble wrap and add a protective layer on the top.

Finally, tape up the box. Label “fragile.”

Moving a washing machine

Before you start transporting your washer, here’s what you should do:

  1. Enlist friends and family to help — washers can be anywhere from 140 to 230 pounds, so make sure you have helpers.
  2. Check the manufacturer manual. If you didn’t save it, see if you can find it online.
  3. Get transport bolts. Insert them into the slots to ensure the drum is safe during the move.
  4. Get a dolly to move the machine from your home to the truck.

Now that you have everything you need, here’s how to securely pack this large item:

  1. Do the laundry before the move.
  2. Clean the drum. Leave it open for 24 hours to dry completely.
  3. Turn off the power to avoid an electrical shock.
  4. Turn off the water supply — local water valves are usually found behind the machine.
  5. Empty out the water hose, remove it, and put it in a bag labelled “washer accessories.”
  6. Insert the transit bolts. Their place is usually located at the back of the machine.
  7. Secure the power cable to the back of the machine with tape.
  8. Wrap the machine with towels/blankets.
  9. Put the machine on the dolly and move it to the truck.

Moving furniture

Furniture tends to be cumbersome; it’s one of the most challenging things to transport when you move house. Here is how to pack a large furniture item — such as a sofa — like a professional:

 

Moving a Sofa

Pack awkward items, pack size
Photo: mirror.co.uk

  1. Measure the doorways the sofa will go through. This avoids cramming and having to squeeze through a small opening, which will lead to sofa damage.
  2. Remove everything — like tripping hazards — in the way of moving the couch.
  3. Remove any extra items (pillows, blankets).
  4. Get a furniture dolly.
  5. Disassemble hardware. Check if the legs of the sofa base can be unscrewed.
  6. Wrap the sofa. (For a leather sofa, use packing paper or blankets. For an upholstered sofa, use paper padding or plastic wrap.)
  7. Get help. Find at least one other person to help you and stand at opposite ends.
  8. Go slow through doorways and staircases.
  9. Load it in the moving truck.
  10. Use cargo straps to secure the sofa inside.

For more tips and tricks, check out this video.

Moving a dining room table

Another large and heavy item that doesn’t fit into a box is the dining room table. Here’s the best way to pack it:

  1. If possible, unscrew the legs.
  2. Put all the hardware in a plastic bag, and tape to the underside of the table.
  3. Wrap the legs in bubble wrap.
  4. If you have a drop-side table, put the sides down before wrapping the tabletop.
  5. Wrap the table with blankets.
  6. Use packing tape to secure the blankets — don’t use tape on the table’s top, as it could cause damage.
  7. Move the tabletop to the truck.
  8. Place it against the wall.
  9. Secure with rope.
  10. Place the legs so that they won’t roll or damage other items.

Moving kitchen appliances

Time to move all those large, awkward, and fragile kitchen items. Here are tips on the best way to pack them.

Moving a fridge or freezer

You don’t need a moving company. We have all the advice you need on how to pack this awkward item yourself:

  1. The first step in moving the fridge freezer is a yummy one — you don’t want to waste food, so, before the moving date, eat as much as you can.
  2. Defrost the freezer.
  3. Clean it with a mixture of baking soda and water.
  4. Disconnect the fridge freezer, according to the user manual.
  5. Tape the doors and wrap it with a blanket.
  6. Strap the fridge onto a dolly.
  7. Tilt the fridge back when you move it.
  8. Use a plank to move it to the truck.
  9. Secure it inside with straps.

Once you are ready to reinstall the freezer, leave it upright for a long period of time and then switch it on — the oil and fluid need to flow back into the compressor to prevent damage.

Check the manufacturer’s guide for advice on how long to wait before plugging it back in.

Moving an oven

Moving and packing awkward and heavy appliances, such as gas ovens, is tricky. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so we recommend getting a professional tradesperson to disconnect and reconnect your gas appliances.

A professional removal company will have a person who can help you plumb your item straight away in the right location.

If this is not the case with your moving company, call Foxie.

We can help you out with sorting any utilities — such as TV, gas, broadband, water, and more.

And, best of all, we’ll do it for free!

Moving garden items

Gardening items are easily overlooked, but you’ll also need to clean and pack these.

 

Garden Tools

No matter the size they come, you have to pack garden tools.

For smaller sizes, such as hand tools, leave them in your toolbox.

Long garden tools with sharp edges — such as forks, rakes, or brooms — need to have the blade covered with bubble wrap.

Pack all long tools and bind them together, and then put them in an appropriate box.

 

Lawnmower

Your lawnmower needs to be as clean as possible — the last thing you want is dried grass in everything you packed — and any wires need to be taped to the top of the mower to prevent them from dangling.

If your lawnmower is electric, you’ve got nothing to worry about — it’s easy to transport. Just ensure it’s clean.

However, if you have a petrol one, drain the tank before the move. If you don’t, the movers may refuse to transport it.

 

Happy moving (even awkward items)

With our advice, no one will doubt your expertise in packing all those awkward items — it will be a breeze to pack anything that’s been giving you a headache.

To ensure the rest of your move goes just as smoothly, check out our top 5 tips for moving house.

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