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Packing Options

Before loading your effects into a removal vehicle, all the small, non-furniture items must be packed into boxes. This not only applies to loose items on open work surfaces (lamps, ornaments, books etc) but also items inside cupboards, drawers and wardrobes (files, papers, trinkets etc). The basic rule is - if it can fit in a box, it must be in a box. Even the smallest home can easily require 50 or so packing boxes and larger homes can easily use over 300! Packing is a time consuming activity and its all too easy to under-estimate the quantity of cartons and time required. 


Thankfully, Cooks of Cranleigh offer a range of packing options to suit your individual circumstances. Most of our clients select our full packing service, however we are also able to supply a range of quality packing materials for customers wishing to do their own packing. We can also provide part packing services such as fragile only or non-fragiles to meet your individual needs.


  • Full Packing:
    Take the easy option and let our crews pack your entire household into boxes for you.  All you need to do is make sure that essential papers (passports, banking etc) and small valuables (jewellery etc) are put somewhere very safe, preferably in your car.  
  • Part Packing – Fragile Goods:
    Items such as China, Glass, Ornaments, Lamps and Pictures are fragile and easily broken if not properly packed to withstand the rigors of transportation. Packing fragile items is also the most time consuming part of a house removal, so if you are short on time or not confident packing fragile items, then ask Cooks of Cranleigh take care of these tricky items whilst you pack all the non-breakable items.  We will supply and deliver cartons, tape and wrapping paper in advance of the move so you can pack the non-breakables prior to the moving day.  
  • Part Packing – Non Fragile:
    You can choose for our staff to pack all or just some of the following options to provide you a little extra help:
    • Books / CDs & DVDs / Videos / Records
    • Kitchen Items
    • Shoes / Linen / Bedding / Clothes (our specially designed wardrobe cartons mean that hanging clothes can be packed still on their hangers ensuring they arrive at your new home in the same good condition that they left)
    • Toys / Sundries
    • Garage / Shed Contents
  • Self-Packing:
    If you have plenty of time on your hands and want to save some money, then you might consider packing everything yourself, using your own materials or making use of the range of professional quality packing cartons, wrapping paper and tape that we can supply in advance.


If you are considering doing any of the packing yourself, have a look at our packing tips further down this web page.

With regard to all your furniture items, these will be protected on board our vehicles with woollen transit blankets. For extra protection we might recommend export wrapping of antique or special items with padded paper blankets first. Soft furnished items such as sofas and mattresses will be protected from dust and dirt by poly bags.

Contact us to learn more about our packing options

How to Pack Cartons for Moving House

Fancy doing all or some of the packing yourself?  Here are some hints and tips on how to pack various items:

Be Prepared!

Most important is that you prepare your consignment well before the moving day; never leave packing to the last moment, it will feel more stressful and there is a risk you might not be ready in time.

What type of Boxes/Cartons to Use

When packing up small items, use cardboard boxes that are strong (preferably double wall construction) and of an appropriate size for the weight of items inside. For example, use small cartons (2cft volume) for heavy things such as books or canned food and larger cartons (4cft volume) for lightweight items like clothing and toys. Old fruit and vegetable boxes are not suitable; they tend to be unlidded and constructed of thin single wall card which will not offer the appropriate protection.  Additionally, inferior boxes will hinder the stacking of the truck as they tend to deform under load.

Make sure that you tape the bottom and the top of all your boxes. Don't just fold the flaps of the box in a criss-cross way; this would cause the box to deform and the bottom to collapse when filled with heavy objects. 

If you are using your own materials, it is ok to use plastic crates providing they have lids on and can be stacked on.

How to Pack Boxes/Cartons

The basic rule of packing boxes is to place heavier, non-fragile items at the bottom of the carton and lighter, fragile items at the top. Pack cartons as fully as possible, being generous with packing materials to minimise damage risk. 

Stack plates upright on their sides, making sure you wrap them individually in paper, bubblewrap or tissue (because fragile items such as china & glass require more care when packing, there is a more detailed instruction further down this web page). If you find the contents are loose in the box, scrunch up balls of packing paper and use as padding to keep items in place. 

During UK domestic removals, folded clothing, bedding and linen can remain inside chests of drawers, so no need to repack these items. These are the only items that can remain in drawers, everything else (trinkets, paperwork, toiletries etc) need to be transferred out of furniture and into boxes. Hanging clothes can be left in your wardrobes until the removal day when they will be transferred to portable wardrobe cartons to minimise creasing.

How to Mark Boxes

Use a marker pen to label the contents inside each box. Put warnings if any fragile items are within and note which room the boxes are to be placed at delivery address. Clear labelling will speed up the delivery process and prevent boxes being double handled.

Have an 'essentials box' and fill with items you might need quickly such as: Kettle, mugs, tea, coffee, milk sugar, toilet rolls, snacks and soft drink. Keep this handy both at your old home and your new one!

How to Pack China and Glass

1. Get a strong, medium sized carton, preferably double wall construction with flaps to close securely down with adhesive tape (Cooks removal carton size Pk2, 4cft loading volume). Cartons with this specification will protect your effects and facilitate stacking inside the truck. Do not use open grocery boxes as they will make stacking the truck very difficult and offer little protection.

2. Scrunch up wrapping paper into little balls and place at bottom of the carton to create a cushioned layer. The aim is to pack the carton in layers, starting with heavier, more robust items at the bottom with each subsequent layer being more fragile than the one below. You might have 2 to 4 layers in a medium carton, depending on the size and weight of the items you are putting in. Between each layer of items you need to create a cushion of scrunched up paper.

3. Get your first item, for example a dinner plate. Wrap it in several sheets of paper and place at bottom of carton, positioned vertically on its edge.  Professional movers normally use large sheets of wrapping paper and would typically wrap 2 to 4 dinner plates together in a tight bundle, with layers of paper in between them. Continue to fill the bottom of the box by adding items of a similar size in order to finish with a level top to the layer. If you have packed a layer of plates at the bottom of a medium carton, this will already have made the carton quite heavy so make sure subsequent layers are packed with lighter items.

4. Create another layer of scrunched up paper to act as cushioning between the top of the plates and the next layer of items. Perhaps you choose tea cups and saucers for this second layer. Wrap in paper as before, stack vertically on edge and then create another layer of scrunched paper for cushioning on top.

5. The next layer could be glasses.  Wrap each glass individually place in carton standing up.

6. If there is space remaining for another layer, the chances are the box is now quite heavy so choose very light items such as, plastic Tupperware boxes, boxes of cereal or perhaps 1 or 2 cushions from the lounge and fill the last bit of remaining space with scrunched up paper.

7. Make sure the carton flaps close down flat or slightly convex on top of the scrunched paper – if the flaps drown down (concave) some strength of the carton will be lost and you will not be able to stack things on it inside the truck. Seal the flaps closed with heavy duty adhesive tape.

8. Using a marker pen, summarise what is inside the box and from which room it came from (i.e. “china & glass, Kitchen”) – this will help you relocate it quickly at the delivery address. Also write ‘Fragile’ on the box if there are things inside which could break easily.

9. When unpacking, be sure to remove every piece of paper from the carton to make sure it is truly empty  - flatten out and examine every piece of scrunched paper just in case a little item is hiding in it.

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