Moving can be a simple and quick process – if you get it right. The following tips, tricks and insider secrets will give you an added edge to make sure your whole move is smooth and successful.
- Use the move as an opportunity to have a clear-out. Have a yard sale or go to a car boot sale with anything you don’t need/want. Or give your local charity shop a boost. Either way it’ll make you move cheaper and easier and might actually make you some cash.
- Think about the space in your new home before you move and start to imagine the best way to arrange your furniture in it. You can even make sketches if you like. This will make moving in much easier and help you feel at home.
- Take any staples out of boxes before you pack them. Stray staples can scratch floors and surfaces, as they’ll probably move in transit.
- Buy LOTS of packing tape. It’s great for strengthening boxes, won’t let them open in transit and can be easily opened when you want to with a knife. Go the whole hog and buy a tape gun too – it makes taping so much easier and it’s kind of fun too.
- If you have a piano think about how it’s going to get out of the house – your mover may need special equipment.
- Plan where your movers can park to load and unload – the further they have to walk the longer it’ll take.
- If you’re moving yourself hire something to help you move stuff in bulk such as a trolley or dolly. It’ll speed up the move and help make sure you don’t injure yourself!
- Teach your kids your new address and phone number as soon as you have it.
- Don’t use any special cleaning/maintenance products such as wax or oils on antique furniture for a couple of weeks before your move. They can make the wood softer for a few weeks and leave it more likely to get damaged.
- If you unplug your TV a day before your move it’ll settle down to room temperature. Unplug it just before you move and it’ll retain heat – this can actually cause internal damage.
- Write down instructions for any systems in your home such as central heating and air conditioning etc., and make sure the people moving in know any alarm codes. If you have brochures, guarantees or any paperwork relating to systems or appliances you’re leaving behind make sure to leave them somewhere obvious. This will make their move much easier for them.
- If your new home has an alarm system ask for the code before you move!
- Try to get a good night’s sleep before your moving day. Leaving things to the last minute so you’re up all night will just wear you out for the next day.
- Packing starts out being fun but can soon get boring. Make yourself feel better about it by setting deadlines (i.e. a week to pack up the garage etc) and keeping to them!
- Underpacking is almost as bad as overpacking and the contents of underpacked boxes are MUCH more likely to be damaged. Make sure you fill boxes with a mix of heavy and light.
- Don’t leave all your packing to the last day. You’ll be up all night and still not get it done right. But don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get everything done. The majority of us will run round in a flat panic as moving day approaches. If you’re pushed for time it doesn’t matter if you just box up non-fragile items quickly or even just stuff them in bags. If this happens to you do make sure you ask your movers to take extra care or just transport these last-minute packed things yourself.
- Don’t use foam ‘peanuts’ to pack round a computer – they can generate static electricity and cause damage.
- Try not to wrap fragile items in newspaper, as the print will come off on them. You’ll just have to wash everything before you can put it away. And, newsprint doesn’t generally come off well in a dishwasher so chances are you’ll be washing them by hand. If you don’t want to buy wrapping materials save up magazines for a few weeks beforehand.
- Don’t use newspaper to wrap around lampshades – chances are you’ll not be able to get the newsprint off again!
- Get one of your removal men to do a last walk-round your old house with you before you leave. A fresh pair of eyes can often spot things you’ve left behind.
- If you’re in the habit of hanging clothes or stuff behind bedroom doors remember to check them as well. This is one of the most common places people forget stuff.
- Write OPEN FIRST on boxes of essential items and DO NOT MOVE on boxes you’re planning on taking with you!
- It’s easier to clean your new home before you move in. If you can’t do it yourself think about hiring professionals to whiz round for a couple of hours before your load arrives.
- Try to move on a weekday. It’ll be less busy, may even be cheaper and you’ll be able to get hold of the contacts you might need if there is a problem such as utilities companies not connecting services etc.
- Tell your movers if some of your boxes contain fragile items even if you have marked them clearly. They’ll take extra care if you warn them in advance.
- You don’t need to take drawers out of chests of drawers for the move – even if they can’t be locked. To stop them falling out in transit place the item with drawers facing the wall of the moving vehicle or against a bigger item with a flat surface.
- If you’re carrying heavy boxes bend with the knees and not with your back!
- Have your stereo speakers loaded away from your TV – they can damage it!
- Before your movers arrive try to make sure that all boxes and containers etc are stacked neatly in the room (ideally around the walls) and leave them room to maneuver. This will speed up the process.
- Make sure someone is at your new home to meet the movers and to tell them where to unload stuff.
- Moving is a weird mix of action and boredom. Prevent people flagging by taking regular short breaks. Feed people regularly – they’ll be using a lot of energy.
- If you’re moving with kids let them loose on their new bedrooms with a couple of boxes of stuff they can unpack to keep them occupied. Alternatively give them jobs to do such as helping movers put boxes in the right rooms etc.
- Don’t lay major appliances such as refrigerators on their sides – it can cause damage if they’re not kept upright.
- Give your mover your cellphone number or that of your new home so they can keep in touch with you if necessary. Try and get a number for them too.
- If you notice that your possessions or buildings get damaged by the movers on the day of the move tell the guy in charge immediately.
After The Move
- Don’t forget to tip your movers. It’s a nice touch to tip them all individually if they’ve been really helpful otherwise tip the guy in charge and he’ll sort them all out. Don’t feel you have to tip if you’re disappointed with the service they provided.
- Give electrical items a chance to get to room temperature before you plug them in.
- Expect to feel a bit ‘blue’ a couple of days after the move. It happens all the time and doesn’t mean you hate your new home – just that the move and the thought of unpacking has taken its toll on you a bit.
- Call your friends and family to let them know you’ve moved safely.
- If you feel up to it throw a housewarming party!
- Keep your kids occupied and give them lots of attention – they’ll probably be unsettled by the move. Make time to have some fun!
- Check for damage as soon as you can – some insurance policies only give you a specific time to make a claim. Miss it and you won’t be able to claim.