When you move house every few years like us, you soon learn a few ‘tricks’ to make things easier. Packing up a whole household of possessions can become a marathon operation leading to arguments about what to pack and what to leave until the last minute.
Here are some tips to make the process as stress-free as possible.
- Organise Things as Early as Possible. As well as packing, there are lots of people and organisations to notify about your change of address. Among others are your phone and Internet companies, utilities, doctors and dentists, banks and credit card companies. Making lists helps. As well as having a to-do list of people to notify, make inventory lists of packing. You can update and change items on the packing list as you go, so you can see at a glance (away from the clutter of boxes) what you still need to tackle. Little things that are easy to forget include defrosting the freezer in good time. Put those mundane jobs on the list, including when you estimate you should do them once you know your actual moving date.
- Take the Opportunity to Declutter. There’s nothing quite like a house move to show up just how many possessions you actually have. During sorting and packing is a great time to declutter, and try to be a bit ruthless about what you want to keep. It can help to do things by category rather than room. If you’ve got lots of books, tackle those by themselves. Do the same for kitchen wares, DIY tools or hobby equipment. Packing by category helps to avoid muddles, and it makes unpacking easier too because similar items are all together rather than bundled randomly throughout your boxes.
- Pack in Stages Knowing what and when to pack is tough, especially when children are included because they never want a possession more than when they suddenly can’t have it. Despite this, it’s vital you give yourself plenty of time for packing so you can do it properly and reduce breakages or losing something important. One of the hardest things is living amongst piled-up boxes for weeks Renting a self storage unit can solve this problem. As soon as you have a few boxes packed, move them out of the house and into storage so you clear the decks at home as much as possible. You can rent storage units in the short term, so there’s no worry about paying for storage space when you no longer need it. Larger pieces of furniture can go into storage, as well as seasonal items you won’t need for a few months. Think garden machinery or furnishings, seasonal clothing, sports kit, or anything else you won’t miss depending on the season you’re moving into. Labels are your best friend when you’ve got lots of similar-looking boxes. Even the best packers in the world sometimes find they need to temporarily unpack something, and it cuts frustration if you can go straight to it. So, don’t use labels that are too vague. Instead of writing ‘kitchen things’ on a box, write down what’s actually in there, such as slow cooker, best dinner plates, food processor. Little tricks like stuffing cables and wires into empty toilet roll holders, then writing on the tube what the cables are for, really helps at the other end when you’re unpacking. Moving house is never going to be a perfectly smooth operation unless you can hire a complete house moving and packing service. But a bit of forward planning makes it go a lot smoother, and saves a lot of frayed nerves.