10 easy tips for moving house
If you're reading this you're likely on your way to a new home, so firstly, congratulations! Intermingled with your excitement is probably a certain level of dread; I mean, you've accumulated lots of junk in your old place, you're not sure how to organize things for the move, and the D-date is fast approaching. Well, don't worry, we've got you covered. Here's a list of our top 10 best tips for moving house stress-free.
There are so many things to think about when you're planning to move your entire household. Avoid the temptation to procrastinate, something that's easy to do when you're trying not to think about the stress of relocating. Putting your planning off only increases your stress levels as the move approaches, and won't do you or family any good. Four weeks before the big day, sit down and make lists of all the things that need to be done, and delegate as much as possible to responsible family members.
Moving companies need an inventory of your household contents before they can give you an accurate quote. Most of them supply a form for you to fill in, but it seldom covers everything for every home. Take the time to walk from room to room in the house, listing every item of furniture, and large décor pieces like pictures and mirrors. Estimate how many boxes it will take to pack up the contents of all cabinets and drawers in the room, and don't leave out rugs and pot plants. Make sure you also check the garden for tools, garden furniture, toys and so on, that also need to be listed. When you're done, go back and check the list with another family member, who may notice things you didn't see. Use this list when asking for quotes, even if you also fill in the moving company's quote form.
Now is the time to get rid of extra stuff that you no longer use or want, long before it's time to pack. Get your kids to try on all their clothes and sort through their toys. You can either sell unwanted items, or give them to charity. Either way, you are saving yourself time and money by not moving unnecessary items to the new house.
Don't order moving cartons a few days before the move. Rather, get them as much as 3 weeks earlier. Yes, they may make the house messy for longer, but giving yourself plenty of time to pack means that you will pack more efficiently. Plus you'll realize in time if you have too few boxes and need to order more.
Do yourself a favour, and splash out on good-quality brown packing tape, as well as plenty of bubble wrap. Knowing that your precious décor items are well protected lessens your worries and prevents the heartache of losing things that you love in the rush of moving day. If you can afford it, go for the thin white plastic spongy sheets for your crockery. They are extra protective and don't dirty your plates. But if you're on a budget, good old newspaper will do just fine. Get your friends to save newspapers for you for the month before you move. And remember – you always need twice as much as you originally guessed you would!
There are always going to be a few boxes full of odds and ends, but do your best to keep each room's packing to itself. In other words, pack boxes in the room that the items come from, and then label them clearly. Don't just write “bedroom” when you can write “Susan's bedroom – dolls and dresses”. It makes it so much easier to move in on the other side, especially when it comes to telling the moving guys where to put stuff.
If you have pets, then you know that they generally hate moving. They're already freaked out when you start packing, and they can sense the family's stress and excitement. Think it through… What is going to happen to them on moving day? Have you organized cat baskets? Do you need to get sedatives for a nervous pet? If you have cats, you should lock them in a secure room the night before the move. They won't like it, but they also won't get the chance to run away, something cats are famous for. And then, how are the pets getting to the new house? With the movers? In your car? With a friend? Have you kept food and water bowls out for them?
If possible, try to organize a babysitter for really small children. It's hard work getting the final stuff done, and the actual move is hectic. Small children can easily get in the way of heavy furniture, or they can act up, much as pets do! If you can't get a sitter, choose one room of the house to be a safe place. Take all the furniture and boxes out of that room the day before, and make sure that you have all the toys, kiddy food, diapers and so on that might be needed, easily on hand.
As hard as you try to clean the house before the day, the move itself is bound to create more mess than you believed possible. If you're lucky enough to be moving before the very last day that you have to be out, then schedule the big clean-up for the day after. If you're not that lucky, then consider going to the expense of hiring a cleaner for the day, to clean rooms as they're emptied.
Pack one box or crate with the bare essentials that will need straight away, like a couple of pans, some crockery and cutlery, a kettle, coffee, milk and sugar. You get the idea. You will love yourself when you get to the new house, and DON'T have to go rooting through piles of boxes to make yourself a coffee, or give the kids supper. And make sure you know exactly where all the bedding is. Make your beds first, and at least you know you'll be able to have a good sleep that first night.