There is no shorter route to hysteria than a last minute rush associated with moving. Pack whatever you are not using as soon as you know that you are going to move.

Don’t overload furniture. A cabinet full of books or other heavy items will be almost impossible to manoeuvre. Empty out heavy items and store them separately. Use cupboard or drawer space for lightweight bulky items.

Collect boxes and packing materials ahead of time. Sealing tape should be suitable for the job. Selotape is not a good choice; proper brown packing tape or silver duct tape is better.

Tape, tie or otherwise secure furniture doors and drawers. Make sure that any lids are secured so that they do fly open.

Clean anything that has been used to store food. Check all items for mould or dampness and deal with the problem before shipping.

Use a marking method to show the joints of any furniture or other items that you have taken apart for packing. This way, it’s easier to reassemble your things when setting up your new home.

All gaps and hollows should be filled with packing paper.

Bubble wrap is a wonderful thing and a great way to protect furniture as long as it stays where it is supposed to be. Carefully wrapping tables and chairs in bubble wrap should protect them but not if the tape used comes off or is not used in sufficient quantity to prevent the wrap from moving.

Mark the outside of each box, other container or item with a label or marker pen clearly showing the following:

Your reference number

Your name

The total number of items using the following numbering system:

For eg, 27 items number the labels 1 of 27, 2 of 27 etc.

Try to keep boxes to a manageable size and weight. If you struggle with a box you will certainly struggle to move the 20th box.

Remember that one of the reasons for moving abroad is usually to escape from the rainy weather. There is a good chance that it will be raining as your goods are taken out of your house. Please make sure that your things are protected from the elements.