Make Moving Breezy, Not Crazy

Moving. It’s right up there with a trip to IKEA on a Saturday. There are not people out there that don’t find moving a stressful experience. There’s just so much to co-ordinate that you’re almost waiting for something to go wrong. But there’s definite prep you can do to minimise the stress on the big move day and in the weeks to follow in your shiny new home.

How to plan a move for your home

Even if you’re planning on getting removalists, there’s a lot you’ll need to organise and buy to make the move seamless. It’s best to start planning and prepping a few weeks in advance – it will take a long time to declutter, organise and pack your things before the big day.

You’ll also need to think about prepping your new home before the move – there’s nothing worse than arriving to your new home with no toilet paper or soap for your shower that evening. Drop a few essentials over the day before the move if you can.

Decluttering is a big one though – and a good place to start on your moving house journey. It’ll save you precious time packing and unpacking stuff you don’t really need. If you haven’t watched Marie Kondo yet, watch one episode for inspo then start getting ruthless with your stuff that doesn’t spark joy. You don’t have to bin everything though – maybe you can find your stuff or new home or make a bit of cash to cover the move via eBay and Gumtree sales.

How do I declutter?

There’s a process. Decluttering in categories such as clothing, books, paper, miscellaneous, and sentimental, rather than by room, can avoid duplicates. Anything that doesn’t serve you should go in a donation, sell or rubbish pile and moved on from there.

Hiring a professional organiser can initially feel like a waste of money because decluttering is a task you can do on your own. However, if you’ve lived in your home for a long time and you have a lot of clutter, hiring someone to coach you through the countless decisions you’ll have to make and physically help move items out can make the process faster and less stressful. They cost around $60-120.

How to pack

Clutters out, time to pack! Packing definitely is one of the most time-consuming parts of moving. The first question is often, where do I start? Because you’re starting weeks in advance, pack the least-used rooms and storage – guest rooms, formal dining rooms, storage spaces, garages. In fact, you should probably start with the garage and that can be your storage space for boxes. Just remember, the last items you load into the truck will be the first items off, so you load your beds and other must haves last, so they can be the first to set up.

How to pack glassware

Choose a suitable box with dividers to avoid glasses banging together and breaking. Cardboard wine boxes are available from liquor shops and often include dividers. You can protect the wine glasses further by wrapping each individual glass with newspaper or bubble wrap. Label the box “fragile” so removalists know to be especially careful when handling.

How to pack and move valuables and important documents

Try and keep valuable items such as jewellery and filing boxes on you or with a trusted friend to avoid these being misplaced while moving. Keep in mind some removalists will actually refuse to transport items too risky to be carried safely into their truck or too valuable to be covered under the insurance.

How to pack electronics

Take photos of any cables plugged into the electronics, so you won’t have to remember where they go when setting them back up, then label all the cables and pack them away together. 

Clean your TV and other screens with a dry cloth to remove any dust.

Pack your TV snugly into a suitable box or cover it with bubble wrap and wrap other screens with a dust protector or blanket. If your TV is left unboxed, move this yourself where possible to avoid damage – the fit snuggly on the back seat of most cars.

Also, be sure to back up all computer files and phone data before moving in case of damage during transit.

How to pack and move antiques and artwork

Make sure your home and contents insurance covers your specific pieces of fine art or antiques, while they’re being moved. Cushion fragile items with bubble wrap or soft blankets when packing. Paintings can be covered on the front side with cardboard then wrapped in bubble wrap. Avoid stacking or leaning anything on paintings.

How to pack (and move) pot plants

Pot plants are another item that should be moved with you in a car where possible because you can regulate the temperature better than in a truck. Even a short trip can cause some plants to suffer, so be sure to water plants well and allow to drain before moving, and water again when you arrive.

It’s best to use a sturdy timber or plastic crate or box when moving small plants, rather than a cardboard box. If transporting multiple plants in one box, ensure the edges of the pots are padded so they don’t chip, and ideally position plants on the floor rather than on a seat.

For large, heavy pot plants, it’s best to use a flat-bed trolley or dolly to avoid tipping soil out of the pot. If large plants won’t fit in your car, ensure they are the last item packed into the truck and the first item unloaded to avoid prolonged heat exposure.

How to pack and move gardening equipment

Bundle any small tools you have together and place them in a toolbox. Larger tools should be separated and packed securely into a strong box or packing carton. Remove any attachments on any equipment and empty the fuel tank in machinery such as lawnmowers or edgers prior to transportation.

There are some common garden shed items that most removalists won’t move. These include paint tins, pool chemicals and gas bottles

Prepping your fridge for the move

Unplug your refrigerator the night before moving, then thoroughly clean it by removing all items and disinfecting the surfaces. When clean and dry, remove the interior glass shelves and wrap these separately with bubble wrap. Carefully manoeuvre the fridge out of its position, using sturdy cardboard or carpet squares to protect the floor. Use packing tape to keep the doors closed and secure the cord so it doesn’t get in the way. Pro-tip, make sure you measure the fridge space at the new place!

Essential packing and moving tips

  • On moving day, get the furniture and big pieces in and placed in the correct positions first. If you move the boxes in first, you might end up having to move them to position the furniture which is an added hassle.
  • Use a marker, label boxes both top and side with the new room destination. Make sure the movers know which room is which by putting a sticky note on the doors in the new home, then have them place the boxes in those exact rooms when offloading. 
  • For key items such as bed linen and kitchen utensils, put a sticky note on the box with dot points of what’s inside. That way, if you have 10 boxes for the kitchen, you can quickly find what you need and prioritise while unpacking. 
  • Keep clothes on hangers even if you are layering them into boxes to save time down the track. Wardrobe moving boxes are super handy.
  • Put everything in boxes rather than bags. Moving taped boxes is easy, whereas juggling bags that are overflowing and washing baskets piled high can result in items being lost or damaged.
  • Try to pack “like with like”. For example, pack books from the living room together, and toiletries from the bathroom together.
  • Make sure nothing is blocking your storage spaces so it’s easier to place items straight into them.

Moving checklist: essential items to buy before moving

Most people will need to buy the following items before moving house to help declutter, pack and unpack:

  • Bin bags and boxes for organising rubbish and recycling while decluttering
  • Good quality tape and a packing tape dispenser
  • Boxes of various sizes
  • Packing materials for fragile items
  • Basic tools for dismantling furniture
  • A permanent marker to label boxes
  • Stickers or masking tape for labelling boxes
  • A box cutter to open boxes when unpacking
  • Cleaning supplies and a vacuum cleaner
  • Gloves for moving dirty or dangerous items

Hopefully, this helps! It’s also not a bad idea to take a little time off work if you can. Moving on a Thursday is a great idea. Gives you Thursday to do the move, Friday and Saturday to unpack and Sunday to rest. Let’s move!

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