Moving home is exciting but it’s a heck of a job, especially if you plan to borrow or hire a removal van and do the job yourself. Here the team at Sterling insurance come up with some tips on how to safely pack your removal van for the big day. How is your confidence and your insurance cover? If you are not used to driving a removal van you had better take it for a test run before the big day. It is a good idea to take it on a quiet trip, preferably with gear inside as the vehicle will behave slightly differently when fully laden. It will accelerate more slowly and you may need to brake a little harder because of all that extra weight. You should also check that you have adequate short term insurance to drive the removal van and that your licence permits you to do so. 1. Use a trolley for heavy items When you borrow the removal van, try to borrow a trolley which will be very handy when it comes to shifting heavier items, such as your white goods. 2. Get plenty of packing crates You can probably never have too many packing crates and the longer you take to pack them the better. Don’t overpack boxes. You will need to be able to lift them and stack them. Pack a room at a time and clearly label each crate with its contents. Label it on the top and sides because the one you need when you are unloading may end up being beneath a number of other crates. With multiple labels you will still know which one to open. 3. Take furniture apart before loading You can save space in the removal van by disassembling your furniture before packing it. When it comes apart, pop the screws, nuts and bolts into a sealable plastic bag, label it and keep it somewhere safe. 4. Prevent trip hazards while working Roll up flexes from electrical items such as fridges and tape them to the top so there is no danger of them dangling and causing you to trip over them. 5. Pack heavy items in the removal van first Heavy items such as wardrobes and white goods, including fridges, freezers, ovens and washing machine, should be first on the removal van and stowed upright and lashed to the wall between the driver’s cab and the luggage hold. If they are not secured there is a danger they will topple and crush other valuable items. 6. Protect fragile or valuable items You can use bubble wrap, dust blankets, tarpaulin and even quilts and to protect fragile and valuable items, such as wooden furniture and glass cabinets. 7. Pack the sides of the removal van After the heavy gear has been safely stowed pack awkward long items, such as beds, settees, mattresses and table tops along the sides of the van. They should be upright and, just like your heavy items, roped to the side of the removal van. 8. Heavy packing crates go in next Heavier boxes and crates should go into the middle of the removal van next. Pack them in as snugly as you can to ensure they don’t move in transit. 9. Lighter packing crates go in last With the heavy cargo safely stowed, you can now start packing lighter boxes and stacking them to the ceiling of the removal van. Again, try to pack them snugly so there is no danger of them shifting in transit. 10. Take care with your fragile items Fragile items such as crockery, clocks, ornaments, computer equipment and TV and audio equipment should be packed into boxes with bubble wrap or newspaper to protect them. If you are able, it might be an idea to make a separate trip for the most fragile items, or, to be on the safe side, transport them in the boot of a car. Cover for your home, cover for your car Whether you’re looking for a short term policy or an annual deal, Sterling Insurance provides bespoke car insurance to match your individual circumstance. And through our household insurance partner Adrian Flux, we can provide cover for your home and possessions too. If you’re not doing the job yourself, hire a professional If moving yourself is too much, make sure you get a professional, with experience, insurance and know how to do the job for you. You can find a BAR (British SAssociation of Removers) member at this website.