Moving House: the big day. How to do it efficiently?
Accumulating a lot of possessions is part of life when running a busy household: a fact that becomes all too obvious when it’s time to move to a new address. What seems in theory to be a fairly simple moving process can become a mammoth task that is alleviated only by detailed planning that begins well before moving day. If you are considering a move for yourself or your family, there are plenty of guidelines and moving house tips that will help minimise stress and avoid frustration along the way.
Getting started: your moving house check-list
Removalist companies recommend initiating your moving plan at least a month before the actual moving day. The first things you need are a pad and pen, or a computer spreadsheet program. This initial step will save you time and energy, while avoiding confusion and frustration in the long run. All your boxes should be individually numbered, and the contents listed on your spreadsheet. Don’t overlook this step. Nobody’s memory is perfect and it’s almost guaranteed you will need many more boxes than you anticipate. Alinta Energy has a very decent moving house checklist that can also be downloaded as PDF. Very useful.
A second list should consist of a moving timeline. Every moving task completed is another one that can be crossed off the list, and it’s a good feeling to move into a new home with all your paperwork in order. This list will include not only the physical moving stages but also essential information for service providers and insurance companies, plus change of address details for post, businesses, and any other private or commercial contacts.
Make sure you have plenty of supplies. If you are packing in the last minute and run out of boxes or tape, the move will take more time and cost you more money. Advance planning equals savings. Boxes of all shapes and sizes are easy to procure from commercial recycling bins, department stores and grocery outlets, or you may prefer to purchase them from your moving company. Unused boxes can be returned for a refund. Make sure to purchase more packing tape than you think you will need, as it’s another essential packing item. Well packed and securely taped boxes are easier to move, more stable, and less likely to result in damage to the contents.
Keep them in the loop
Although your move might be a month or more away, you will need to lock in a moving day and time that suits your needs. Your moving company have large and small vehicles suited for every type of move, and if your move is long-distance or you require extra muscle-power, they are up for the job. The peace of mind in knowing you have the right vehicle, equipment and manpower far outweighs any possible savings accrued by trying to do the job with inexperienced friends and family. Your back will thank you.
Boxes are only part of the equation. When it comes to the heavy stuff, it’s important to keep removalists in the loop. They have the right equipment for moving heavy pianos, overweight refrigerators and any other big items, and providing an accurate appraisal of your belongings will help the mover give you the right cost-estimate for the job. At this stage you should also inform them of any access difficulties at your present of future home. Considerations include overhanging trees, parking restrictions, narrow staircases and small elevators.
Keep it together
There are several strategies to keep in mind when boxing your belongings. Heavy items such as books should be packed in smaller boxes, while lightweight and bulky items such as bedding, comforters and pillows can go in larger boxes. Another sensible idea is to pack accessories with their device. For example, extension cords with appliances and brackets with shelving. You might even have a ‘bits and pieces’ box with cables, screws, remotes, connectors and other odds-and-ends all packaged in individual bags and containers for easy identification when you are ready to unpack and re-assemble at your new address.
Start packing ahead of time
The tendency will be to leave packing to the last minute so everything is still available for use at your present home. However, packing takes much longer than most people realise and can lead to delays and added expense or heartache. A better strategy is to get on with packing things you don’t require. These boxes can be placed conveniently aside so you can continue with your orderly life, and you can always leave them open during the interim until moving day gets closer.
In any case, it’s a good opportunity to clear out clutter, dispose of things you don’t need, and maybe even host a garage sale to offset moving costs. Unwanted belongings can also be given away to family and friends or donated to a charity shop.
Cleaning supplies and materials
There is invariably quite a lot of cleaning to do when moving house. Once you start to shift furniture and clear cupboards you will discover a whole world of dust and grime that had been hiding behind the scenes. By commencing packing early, you will be able to get the cleaning phase underway in stages, rather than taking on the monumental task all in one go.
Keep your cleaning kit and materials aside from things that you are packing. You will need a range of different products and materials for cleaning the oven, windows, tiles, cupboards and more. Unwanted clothing can be used as cleaning rags, so don’t pack or give everything away. While we are on the subject of cleaning; don’t forget the garage. It’s often a repository of long forgotten belongings that can be tossed, cleaned or sold. Tools will need to be tidied, fuel drained from any motors and toxic substances ditched as they are usually not part of the move.
Handy hint: use your luggage
Everyone owns a suitcase or two plus a variety of bags. These can all be used for packing, but don’t overburden valuable cases with heavy items. Suitcases are great for packing towels, sheets and clothing. By consolidating your possessions and ridding yourself of unwanted items you may even realise a smaller truck will suffice for the job. If this is the case, contact your moving company and inform them of any changes to your requirements.
Keep valuable items with you
There is no need to pack absolutely everything in the removalists truck. If you are driving separately to your new home, you may like to keep your treasured possessions plus personal identification with you. Items such as valuable antiques, special collections, passports and licenses, along with important records, certificates, contact numbers and outstanding bills are just some things you may prefer to take care of yourself. Another alternative is to keep important and valuable items in a safety deposit box until after you move into your new home.
If you have followed your packing timeline, moving house packing tips, and kept your moving company in the loop, this will be the easy and fun part. Be ready when the movers arrive so the job can be performed as quickly and inexpensively as possible. Make sure everyone in your family has had breakfast as it can be a long day which will be an ordeal on an empty stomach. If you have pets, it’s a good idea to have them stay with a neighbour or friend during the move. Your pet will feel less stressed and anxious if they are moving into a settled new environment.
If you are expecting any deliveries, especially larger items, inform suppliers of your change of address, otherwise additional bulk will only add to the moving load, and remember to back up any important computer files just in case anything goes wrong during transit.
Whether you are moving locally, or moving house interstate, the same strategies apply, and by following these simple guidelines the arduous task of moving will be broken down into doable chunks that won’t cause stress or disrupt your family harmony. You will also have energy left over to relax, enjoy and explore your new home and surroundings. Happy moving.