Honestly, there are few things as tiresome and unpleasant as moving house. Even if you manage to wrangle the help of some of your muscular guy friends to help in exchange for pizza and a cold one, it is still a physically and emotionally draining undertaking.
The best solution is to plan properly from start to finish. Understand who and what is involved, from side loader transport if your belongings will travel far, to the process of unpacking the boxes at home. Knowing what exactly the move entails will help you be prepared for any eventuality.
Here are top tips to guide you along the way.
Step One, Start
To begin the process, you should select the items in your house that are seldomly used; think camping equipment or fancy dinnerware you use once a year during the holidays. The possessions you won’t miss during the move are exactly the items you will be boxing up first. This makes your home comfortable to live in for as long as possible before the actual move.
Create a System
Now, be smart about how you pack and where you place items. Pack containers and boxes in a way that enables you to still lift them, even when full. It won’t work if you pack all your heavy books in one book. No one will be able to safely lift it.
Also, position boxes in such a way that the ones you want to access first in your new home, will be the ones first off the truck.
A Touch of Colour
Here’s another strategy for easy unpacking on the other side. Colour coding your boxes to specific rooms will simplify the process. If you don’t feel like buying stickers or special packaging, simply swipe a coloured marker across the top and sides to indicate what belongs where.
This is useful for you and the movers who will know where to place boxes as they get unloaded. This saves a lot of time and energy!
Instruct the Movers
If you let them, movers will dump everything you own into one giant pile in your front room and be done with it. Make sure you’re present to instruct them where to place your boxes and guide them in your colour system. See? This is where the colour coding on the outside of the boxes comes in incredibly handy. For example, green goes to the kitchen, yellow to the spare room and so on.
Another important point is to not stack a room’s contents against the back wall. Instead, place the load in the middle of the room to make space for furniture you want to position. Unpacking is also easier when you can easily access the pile from every angle.
Save Time and Energy
There is no good reason to move all of your freshly washed and folded laundry out of your set of drawers and into boxes. You’ll just reverse the process when you move into your new abode. Rather, pack them snugly and lock or seal the doors and drawers with some tape.
The only time you would really be forced to unpack the contents of furniture is:
- If it cannot seal and items may fall out and break.
- Items inside are too heavy for anyone to manually lift and move. This is the case with heavy tools and appliances perhaps?
- Items inside are fragile or breakable, such as your plates and glasses.
Even if you’re short on time it won’t take up much time at all to have a ‘throw-out’ and ‘donate’ box around while you’re packing. What better for identifying items that are actually clutter. Do you really need items you haven’t used in the last 5 to 10 years? Maybe someone else would love to own what you put aside during decluttering. Or perhaps it needed to be binned a while ago already.
Pack a Bug-Out Bag
Has this happened to you? You arrive at your new home only to find you have no teaspoons. Worse still is forgetting your essential items. Here’s a quick list of personals to keep in an overnight survival bag:
- A change of clothes
- Your toothbrush and essential bathroom products
- A roll of toilet paper
- Important medication
- Phone chargers
A good idea is to have some fresh bedding that is easily accessible. Come the end of a hard day of unpacking, you won’t have to rifle through boxes to make a comfortable bed.
For the Truly Dedicated
Now it may seem a bit of a Sheldon Cooper thing to do, but making a detailed spreadsheet and numbering your boxes is inspired! It can make the move less overwhelming and help you unpack the essentials faster. For example, when you wake up to no teaspoon, you can do a quick search and find that they are in box number 36 along with the coffee press and kettle. Magic!
Don’t reinvent the wheel. Many others have had harrowing experiences during a home or office move. Learn from their mistakes and trust the advice of experts. Some proper planning and proper communication with the moving company will save you lots of trouble—and perhaps even money.
And please share any tips you may have!