How to Pack a Van for Moving House

If you have a lot of belongings to move, renting a van can be a good option. It’s often more cost-effective than hiring movers and gives you the freedom to move at your own pace. However, there is an art to efficiently packing your moving van. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it can be challenging to fit everything into the vehicle without damaging your possessions or making them unpleasant to transport.

Packing a Van

Before we begin, here are some essential things to keep in mind:

Moving vans are much bigger than cars, and they feel much larger on the road because of their width and height. You’ll want to practice driving it around before the big day arrives so that you’re comfortable with its size and handling.

Another thing that makes moving vans different from cars is their weight distribution: they’re heavier in the back. This means that full vans tend to feel less “stable” on the road than full cars. If this is your first time driving a van this size, try not to load it too heavily toward the back until you get used to its handling capabilities.

Choose the right size van.

When choosing the right size van for your move, it’s essential to consider how much stuff you will be moving, how far you’re moving, and what type of items you are moving. If you’re on a strict budget or if your things aren’t too big or heavy, a smaller van may work fine for you. However, if your items are large and bulky or if you have a lot of things that need to be moved, then a bigger van is better—it will save time and energy.

  • If the vehicle is too small for all of your belongings, it may not fit into one load. This means that more trips will need to be made between the old residence and the new one, wasting time and gas while increasing the potential damage done to transported items.
  • If the van is too big for all of your belongings (which can happen when someone uses their best guess rather than going off actual measurements), they may shift around during transport and get damaged. Additionally, some moving companies charge extra fees such as distance travelled with their vehicles or the amount of space used; a bigger van could incur additional charges above the original estimate.
Packing a Van for moving house

Sort your stuff

Sorting your belongings is a crucial first step. It will help you to tackle the actual packing process quickly and efficiently. Sorting your things into piles of keep, donate, throw away, and store will make the entire experience less stressful.

You can start by sorting through the items you don’t use regularly. If you have time to spare, it may be worth going through every drawer in your home to ensure you aren’t missing any hidden treasures that need to be packed or tossed.

Take your time when sorting, and don’t rush it. You’ll want to set aside the items that are too precious or large for storage bins or boxes while ensuring they’re not necessary for immediate use to be stored in a safe location until moving day arrives. When it comes time to pack up all of these items, think about using trash bags instead of boxes as an easy way to transport them from one location to another without ruining abandoned decorations or heirlooms with tears in cardboard corners.

Gather packing supplies

You will want to protect your most fragile items during the moving process. You can use packing paper, bubble wrap, or even blankets and towels to wrap delicate items, then tape them up with packing tape. Mark “fragile” on each box with a marker or stickers. You may also consider using stretch wrap on furniture as an extra layer of cushioning and protection. If you have wooden furniture that can be easily marked or scratched, cover it with a tarp and place moving blankets underneath for cushioning.

If you plan to move large appliances like washing machines or refrigerators, you should stack cardboard between each appliance so they do not touch one another during the move. Otherwise, you risk denting or scratching their surfaces. You should also remove any glass shelves from your refrigerator and wrap them in plastic bags before placing them inside the fridge as an added layer of protection while they’re being moved.

Use ropes to tie down objects like ladders that cannot fit into boxes safely so that they do not shift around while driving in the vehicle. Also, be sure to utilise furniture pads when wrapping heavy items like cabinets or bed frames; thick towels can work well if needed!

Pack fragile items securely.

While it’s easy enough to pack heavy items, packing fragile items securely is a little more complicated. You’ll want to use plenty of cushioning materials. Such materials include:

  • Bubble wrap
  • Newspaper
  • Old clothes or towels
  • Packing peanuts (if you’re feeling adventurous)
  • Plastic wrap (wrapping the item in plastic before wrapping more with bubble wrap can help protect against dust and dirt)

You can even improvise cushioning materials by using old blankets, quilts, cardboard, socks, and even bedding. Be creative! The goal is to keep your breakables safe and secure during the move.

Label your boxes

As you pack your belongings, label each box with a marker. Most people mark their boxes by the room they were in (living room, kitchen, bathroom), and it’s a good idea to include the contents of each box on the side as well. This helps you and your movers keep track of everything you’re bringing along and makes unloading much more manageable.

It’s also helpful to colour-code your boxes according to the rooms they’ll be going into in your new home. For example, designate blue tape for all kitchen items going into the kitchen of your new home (the one you’re moving into). This allows movers to see which rooms these items should go into quickly.

Pack the van from back to front

The heaviest boxes should be packed first and placed on the floor against the wall of the moving van. The lighter boxes should then be stacked on top. If there are fragile items, they should be placed in the middle so they aren’t crushed underneath heavy boxes or damaged during transport. You don’t want your packages to slide around, so pack them tightly together. Also, make sure you don’t stack them too high; this could cause instability and dangerous situations when you make sharp turns.

Loading the heaviest items in first

When packing a van, the first thing to remember is that the heaviest items should go in first. This may seem like common sense, but it’s crucial to follow this rule: putting heavy objects on top of lighter ones can result in damaged goods due to crushing. It also ensures that your heavier stuff won’t roll around and damage other belongings while driving to your new home. After all, you don’t want your blender to become a blender smoothie halfway through the trip!

When the items are in the van, lay them out so they’re not all on one side of the van or stacked too high. Why? Although it might seem like you’re using up space by doing this, having weight dispersed evenly throughout will help prevent any boxes from rolling around and getting crushed during transport. It also helps create a sturdy platform for stacking lighter boxes later on. Consider lining up sofas and chairs along each vehicle wall to maximise space and support fragile items better before placing other objects inside. This provides extra support for less sturdy boxes. Still, it also creates an effective barrier between easily breakable kitchenware and appliances and the back door of your moving van—especially if said back door is open during transport (which we’ll talk about soon).

Use furniture and appliances to create a barrier between fragile items and the van’s back door.

Once your movers have placed the first piece of furniture in the van, it’s a good idea to use that item as an anchor point to which you can secure other items. If the article in question is heavy enough (it should be, since you should be using your heaviest items first), consider strapping it down or chaining it to a spot on the floor. Next, use smaller but still sturdy pieces of furniture to build a wall around it. Then use lighter and more fragile items like chairs and stools to fill in any gaps.

However, when doing this, leave a space between the wall and the back door of the moving van large enough for someone—usually one of your movers—to pass through. This is important for two reasons: one, it allows you to have someone in the van to help with the unloading process, and two, it gives you easier access to your belongings if you need to grab something while en route.


Packing a moving van doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following the tips in this article, you can rest assured knowing that your belongings will arrive at your new home safe and sound.

Fancy Us doing all the hard work?

Don’t hesitate to call or email us for a friendly chat about your upcoming move. We can do all the packing a day or so before, then our professional team can move you and your belongings to your new home!

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