It’s a very rare thing to live in the same house your entire life. Already, I’ve clocked that number past 50. Moving day can be one of the most stressful days that you’ve ever had. There’s always something that you’ve forgotten. Someone will turn up late, early, or not at all. You’ll find that you’ve got more stuff than you have boxes! Here are some of the tips I’ve learned along the way to make your house move go smoothly.
If You Don’t Use It, Don’t Pack It
Use this opportunity to get rid of the stuff that you really don’t use. Sure you could take it, but remember, you have to find a place to put it when you’re unpacking and if you’re travelling a long way, you’re also paying to move it. All of those knick knacks, end tables, cards and boxes of things you hoarded because you intended to give them to someone one day – today is that day! Never underestimate the power of the word “Free”. Utilise the internet and your local free advertising pages or recycling centre, it is amazing what some people will grab.
We once had a massive stack of polystyrene left over from buying our new appliances because, yes, I used to be one of “those” hoarders. I really didn’t like the idea of throwing it even if I could take it to the recycling centre. After twenty minutes of listing it on a local buy/swap/sell page, there was a woman saying “Yes! Ill grab it!”
Turns out it’s actually pretty hard to get your hands on and she had been looking for a long time, intending to use it to put into the bottom of heavy pots before filling with soil to make them easier to move. Perfect!
Repeat after me, “Tape your boxes properly”
None of this slap a bit of tape on and call it a day rubbish. I mean tape that bad boy like your baby is the precious cargo inside the box (note: this is not an option, so stop that line of thought now). If you don’t, the ass of the box WILL fall out, and your stuff WILL get broken. Your movers insurance also probably won’t cover it, because come on, you taped it like a muppet.
I know I can go for the overkill when it comes to taping my boxes (think Egyptian mummy), but I would rather a few more lines of tape over it to make sure it is secure, than have my belongings scattered or broken because the box gave up during the move. Save yourself the heartbreak and stress, and do it properly from the start. This includes the bottom and top of the box.
Find Your Own Rhythm
Yes, this can mean music, because music always makes everything better, but I mean find a way that works for you. I’ve never been the sort of person who can go from one room at a time and pack it all at once. Maybe it’s a short attention span and I just get bored.
I like to go through and pack a few boxes in every room at a time. Then (here’s the trick) move those boxes to another empty room, or a room with not much in it anyway. The reason this helps is:
- It stops you getting overwhelmed. If you ended up surrounded by packed boxes, it still makes the room like you haven’t made any progress. Move them out, the room looks significantly more empty.
- If you haven’t received a quote yet (“How many boxes are you shipping?” Umm some?) keeping the boxes together gives you a better idea as to how many items you are shipping for a more accurate quote.
- It might give your other half something to do. I love him to pieces, but Mr Zed sucks at packing. Absolutely. So giving him a job to do makes him feel useful and like he’s contributing. It also gets them out of your way.
If you prefer to do one room at a time, do that instead! The same thing is not going to work for everyone. Heck, if you’ve got the money and you don’t have the time/energy/want to pack, you can often pay moving company to do the hard work!
Fat Bottomed Boxes
Heavy stuff at the bottom. Think of when you’re doing the groceries and someone chucks something heavy on the bread. Squish. That is one thing you can look forward to if you don’t pack the heavy stuff at the BOTTOM of your boxes.
Another reason is it can make them top heavy and more prone to tipping over. Not fun.
Use your tea towels and linen to pack the gaps between items to not only protect them for the move, but to also squeeze every bit of use out of those boxes.
Save The Cleaning Tools Till Last
When you’re moving into a new place and you don’t know what the state of it is going to be until you get there, it becomes common sense to take the cleaning materials in the first load. Right? Wrong!
Take a few bits and pieces, sure. But when you get to the last few boxes and you go cool, now all we have to do is…clean…damn it. Put them to the side and make sure you have everything you need on hand to make sure you don’t have to make another trip back just because you’ve already moved the broom or toilet brush.
Take Toilet Paper First
On the other hand, if you are looking for things you should take in your first load, toilet paper is one thing people will quite often forget. I don’t know if it is built into the male genetic code, a primal need to mark their territory – the moment you move into that new house, someone in your moving crew (yes, most likely a man) is going to want to take a dump and then the inevitable, “Hey, do we have any toilet paper…?” will be heard echoing throughout the house.
Chuck a roll into the front seat before you leave, you can thank me later.