Hard to believe it, but we have moved again...the fourth in six years. You think it should be easy for me, as I have done this house moving malarkey a few times, but to be honest it is still one of the most stressful things to deal with and it is made even worse if you are not organised. I’m sure there are a number of you going through the same thing (I feel for you) or are thinking about it, so I have decided to write down a plan and not just keep it to myself, but post it here so others can use it and avert a disaster.
1. Know your dates
What date do you pick up the keys of your new house and what dates do you need to be out of your current house? If you plan ahead, you can set it up so that you have the keys of your home a week before you plan to leave the old house. This will give you time to move items to the new place, but also gives you time to clean the old house with nothing in it.
Don’t forget to:
Book the removalists – ensure they will assist in doing the move as green as possible. Our removalist reuses cardboards where appropriate, as reusuable plastic totes, reuses packing materials and supplies blankets and towels to cushion furniture.
Hire truck – if you are moving yourself, make sure you have booked the truck/van ahead of time.
Re-direct your post to the new address
Alert your energy and phone providers. Now is the chance to change to a more green energy supplier.
Book in a carpet cleaner
Inform key people of your move – your kids school, employer, bank, etc. Make a list of everyone that you think needs to be notified. Email or write them a letter, giving them your new contact details. It is too easy to lose track of who knows about the move, once you are at your new address for a few weeks. Good idea to have a sender address label for any mailing you do. This will alert people to the change, but also help the post office if there is a problem.
You need to be organised, otherwise you will move stuff you don’t need anymore. As I have said, we have moved houses (and countries) a number of times, so we have become experts at moving, but one of the things I have learned from it, is to declutter. Each move has made me realised we don’t need half the stuff we hold on to. So use this opportunity to clean up.
Kitchen gadgets – I love cooking and I love to collecting cooking gadgets. Over the years, I have got better at not buying new stuff. I don’t buy many electrical kitchen aids, unless I absolutely need to. But I am a collector of plastic containers/tubberware, as I plan to reuse them, but sometimes you can have too much. If they are not badly stained, someone else might be happy to reuse them.
Kids toys – I’m sure the kids have outgrown some of the toys and there are probably some they don’t use at all. Place them in boxes to bring to a charity or op shop.
Broken equipment or unused – we all have a few items we always mean to get fixed or to get rid of. If there is no way of salvaging them and you feel no one else could make use of them, bring them to your nearest recycling centre.
Garage/Spare room items – Every time we move there are always boxes that we never open. In our household they end up in the garage and if they remain in the garage for 6 months without opening, it means we are not missing those items. I’m sure everyone has a dumping room/garage where they place stuff they don’t use too often. Have a look at it. Do you really need it? Do you really want to bring it to your next place? Can you resell those items (support your move)? Maybe have a garage sale, sell on gumtree or eBay or bring to the op shop.
Under the bathroom/kitchen/laundry sink – we all are guilty of this. Sticking cosmetics or cleaning supplies under the sink, only for them to end at the back of the cupboard, never to be used. Often most of these are out of date, dried up and of no use. Time to get rid of them, but make sure you dump them safely and appropriately. Wash out any packaging for recycling.
Books and Magazines – I’m sure you have a friend or two that would love to have a read of your old books. If not, donate to your local library.
This is a time to minimise your clutter. Don’t bring them with you to the next house.
3. Be organised
Start packing early. Not only will this avoid the stress of leaving everything until the last minute, but it means you will pack everything that needs to go together (for a particular room) and everything will be packed appropriately so it doesn’t break. To help you with this, make sure you have:
Cardboard boxes – these will come in handy in the move. I still have some of the boxes from my last move. As friends have been moving house, we have given some of the boxes away, but I know I can always ask those friends or our local shops for a few extra, if needed.
Old blankets and towels – great for wrapping and cushioning furniture and the larger items.
Reusable packing materials – butcher paper and newspaper is great for wrapping glassware. Old packing peanuts will cushion a lot of the kids toys. And use bubblewrap for breakables. Luckily we have a green recyclable bubblewarp and masking tape.
Your own clothes – I often wrap breakable from the bedrooms and jewellery in our clothes. Socks tucked in on themselves, are great for cushioning items.
Have eskys and tote boxes cleaned out in preparation for your fridge and pantry items.
Things you don’t need everyday, such as sports equipment, linen and documents, can be packed ahead of time. Make sure each box is labelled and is marked as to which room it needs to go to.
4. Your Essentials Pack
There will be those items you need right up to the time you are moving. These are your everyday items. Keep them separate from everything else, as they will be packed at the last minute. Thing to think about:
Enough cups, plates, bowls and cutlery for your family to have their meals for a day/two in between moving. I always allow a few extra mugs for anyone helping us with the move. We will definitely need a cuppa.
Your kettle, coffee, tea and sugar.
Any food you need during the move. I will advise being easy on yourself during the move have a meal or two prepared in advance or get take-away for dinner. I am not a lover of take-away, but sometimes you have to be realistic – will you have everything to cook with on the day you move?
Sleeping gear – blankets and pillows.
Your clothes for the few days during and the day after the move. You won’t find your clothes straight away, if they are in a box somewhere.
Phones and charges.
List of contacts – during the move it will be hard to find your address book if it is away in a box. So make sure any of the essential contacts e.g. real estate agent, removalists, doctor, solicitor, etc can be found easily. Either add them to your phone contacts or have a list handy. You never know if you may need to contact them.
5. Moving to the New Home
A few days before the move:
Before you bring all your belongings to the new house, doing these few things beforehand will save a lot of problems and time:
Ask some friends to give you a hand on the day of moving. It will make it a lot more fun and your will find your will get a lot more done when the load is shared. Even get someone to pick up the kids after school and mind them a while. This will take some of the stress away.
Whether you are buying or renting your new home, make sure to take photos before you move in and sign off any contracts. You’ll need to record the condition of your new home when you move in and make sure any problem areas are sorted out.
Although the previous owner/renter should have cleaned the house before you take it over, it is always a good idea to give it the once over. It will save doing it while unpacking and it means you know the house is in good condition for you and your family to live in.
If you need to install shelving or paint, do so prior to moving your belongings into your new home.
Arrange kennelling or pet sitter for your pets.
On the day of moving
Have the keys to the house. Nothing worse than removalists arriving, but not able to gain entry to the house.
Direct anyone helping you with the move. Keep boxes from one room together (even colour code with a sticker) and tell them where they need to go.
Empty your perishable food from the fridge into eskys.
Pack all your pantry goods upright. Make sure lids are on tight and place extra packing material underneath to mop up spills. Nothing worse than an oily explosion.
I tend to clean the Fridge on the day of the move at the old house (first thing in the morning). It is nice to arrive in your new home to a clean fridge.
Keep all your essentials to one side and explain to anyone helping.
Unpack kitchen items first. You will need to be able to prepare food and cook meals.
Another area to look after is the bedrooms. Ensure the beds are set up and you can find the bedding. You don’t want to be sleeping on the floor.
Once everything is moved, you can gradually open boxes and put everything in it’s right place.
It is never easy moving house, but by taking these few steps it might lessen the pain and make moving into your new home more enjoyable.
I hope these tips help you out. We would love to hear what tips you have when moving. Make a comment below.
Hope your move is earthly passionate.
Attracta & The earthly passion team