So, you’ve signed the papers 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 think that the 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 house checklist that includes a room-by-room game plan, and follow these tips for 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.
Be sure to advertise the sale on online classifieds at least one week before the sale, and hold it on a weekend. Don’t forget to arrange a charity collection service for anything that’s left over, or investigate ways to sell your second-hand furniture online.
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.
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).
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!
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.
Cling wrap your hung clothes.
This will save time unfolding and rehanging your clothes. It’s as easy as wrap, pack, move, unwrap!
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.
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.