So, you’ve signed thepapers on your new place. But before your thoughts turn to your home décor, bathroom renovation ideas and what finger food to serve at your housewarming party, there’s moving house to consider. You might be imagining that the move is going to be the pinnacle of organisation, until you realise just how tricky it can be.Any Martha Stewart fantasies are shattered as soon as you’re knee-deep in cardboard packaging and the contents of every drawer and cupboard. It’s at this stage that no matter how good your initial intentions, there’s a strong chance you will frantically pack your belongings into moving boxes scrawled with illegible, and often incorrect, room names. And then things break. Or get lost. Or you end up with a garage full of unopened storage boxes.Many people thinkthe chaos of shifting homes is an unavoidable struggle, but it doesn’t need to be. Preparing for a move is key, so the process can be organised, easy and fun...relatively. Create a moving listthat includes a room-by-room game plan, and follow these moving tipsfor each area of the house:
Hold a moving sale.
Moving is easier when you get rid of the stuff you don’t actually need (or want!). Garage sales are an easy and fun way to make a little extra cash while also making moving day a bit easier.
Consider your utilities early.
You don’t want the power left on in your old place after you’ve moved out or, more importantly, want to be left in the dark because you forget to connect the electricity and gas in your new place before moving in.
Avoiding this is easy: just let us know when you’re moving in advance and we’ll get you sorted.
Living room & dining room ideas
Take a photo of the back of all your AV/electronics so you can set them up again.
Unless you’re a regular Elon Musk, you probably don’t want to worry about which plug goes where when it comes time to getting your internet and AV system set up again. Instead, take a clear photo of the back of all your electronics so you can reference them when it comes time to start your first new-home Netflix binge.
Have pros take care of your carpet.
Carpet stains are unavoidable, but sadly landlords aren’t always understanding to this. The good news is the stains you uncover while moving can often be removed if treated correctly. Take the time to research carpet cleaning prices and book a professional carpet cleaner who should have higher quality, and often more sustainable, cleaning products.
Prepare your plants.
Moving is hard on our photosynthesising friends. Make sure your beloved blooming fern gets plenty of love and attention for a couple weeks leading up to the move. Then, when moving day arrives, transfer your plants into non-breakable containers, and drain any remaining water from the soil. Then, box them up in plastic-lined moving boxes. Don’t forget to give your plants early priority when unpacking or they might not make it.
Keep track of furniture screws
Don’t make the mistake of combining all your furniture screws in one bagor container: some screws can be hard to tell apart and you could end up using the wrong ones when you reassemble your furniture. Instead, store the screws for each piece of furniture in a separate zip-lock bag and tape the bag to the corresponding piece of furniture.
Save money by wrapping breakable kitchenware and home accessories in clean clothes.
This will save you money on both moving boxes and packaging supplies such as bubble wrap. You can even keep your glasses safe by stuffing them with socks!
Stack your plates vertically like records.
This handy trick helps prevent them from breaking while being transported, so long as you’re careful transporting the box. Just make sure they’ve all got a divider of some sort (this can be a handy use for your pillowcases).
Defrost your fridge early.
Most people don’t realise how messy defrosting your refrigerator can be. Make sure to dispose of your perishables and defrost your refrigerator several days before the move, so you have ample time to clean up the wet mess it can make. While we’re on the subject of cleaning, if it’s within your budget, you might consider hiring domestic cleaners to make your job a whole lot easier.
Store non-perishables in zip-lock bags
Don’t resign yourself to throwing out the contents of your pantryjust because you’re moving. Instead, use zip-lock bags of various sizes to decant and transport non-perishable ingredientssuch as baking supplies and herbs. One big advantage of this technique is the space you’ll save:the zip-lock bags can be packed snugly into boxes and the empty containers can be washed and stacked like Russian dolls.
Start by clearing out your wardrobe
Many of us don’t realise just how much stuff is in our wardrobes until it’s time to move. To reduce the amount of clothing and personal effects that you have to lug to your new home, begin by blitzing your shelves and clothes racks and donating to charity anything you don’t absolutely need
Cling wrap your hung clothes.
This will save time unfolding and rehanging your clothes. It’s as easy as wrap, pack, move, unwrap!
Set asidebedding andplenty of clean clothes
You might be intendingto unpack your clothing boxes as soon as you arrive at your new home, but delays or drama on moving day could derail that plan.To be safe, pack a small suitcase with two changes of clothes plus a clean set of sheets.
Purchase a plastic mattress bag
It may be tempting simply to move your mattress bare (orcoveredwith a fitted sheet) but remember that it will be travelling in a dusty truck and will be handled by grubby hands. Thick plastic protectors that slide over your mattress are available from most self-storage facilities and hardware stores.
Make a plan for your lamps
Many of us forget about our lamps until packing is almost complete, which can lead to breakages and dented lampshades. Ensure your lamps reach your new place in tip-top condition by packing all the lampshades in a sturdy separate boxand removing the lightbulbs (these can be transported inside your shoes).
Conceal jewellery and personal effects
It’s a good idea to label your moving boxes, with one notable exception:the box that contains your pricey jewellery and priceless family heirlooms.Don’t risk your treasured belongings being pinched out the back of the moving truck by a passer-by: instead, pack them in a small box and place it inside a larger box surrounded by clothes or other less-valuable items.
Kids’ rooms ideas
Budget for a sitter.
If you think moving is stressful, you won’t believe what it can be like for your kids (or your furry four-legged children). While finding a baby sitter may sound unnecessary, everything will go smoother if you budget for one to keep the little ones entertained in places free from the hustle and bustle of the house movers.
Don’t bury bathroom essentials in moving boxes.
If you’ve used something in your bathroom in the past 24 hours, it’s probably something you don’t want to have stashed in a box for who knows how long. Before things get hectic, stash all your toiletries and beauty supplies in a travel bag that’s stored somewhere accessible.
Don’t forget about towels
There’s no point having access to toiletries at your new home if you’re unable to shower. Towels often end up stuffedat the bottom of moving boxes, which can be frustrating when all you want to do is wash off the day’s grime. So, make sure you pack towels separately in a clearly labelled box or bag.
Tape up your bottles and jars
Bottles of toiletries have a frustrating tendency to leak in transit, even when the lids are tightly screwed on. Avoid any mishaps by taping shut the lids. Place items without lids (such as pump packs) in large zip-lock bags.
General Moving Tips:
Label boxes on their sides
Otherwise you may not be able to see the label when the boxes are stacked.
Use suitcases for heavy items such as books
The wheels and handles make them easier to carry than boxes.
Purchase a clear plastic tub with a lid
Fill this tub with items that you expect you’ll use within the first couple of days of moving (such as remote controls), so they’re easy to retrieve.
Consider colour coding
Use packing tape in different colours to differentiate between the contents of your boxes.
Take the time to be organised.
To make unpacking easier, get started well before moving day. First, research where to find cheap moving boxes. Use a larger number of smaller boxes, and transparent plastic containers where possible. Pack with purpose, and try to make sure everything in a box is related somehow. Use different coloured tape for different rooms, and write detailed labels on each box. This sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but it makes unpacking way easier, and that’s worth it. We promise. Also, check Planet Ark’s website to find the nearest cardboard box recycling centre to you.
How we can help
Does your house need a little more TLC before it can become the organised utopia you want it to be? We’ve also got some helpful advice for the pre-move cleanout (hint: start with a cleaning checklist) and some great energy plans so you’re ready to go, with the lights on, from the day you move in.