I am coming up to my 17th move since I left home at 17. Which is 17 moves in 23 years (yes yes, do the math on that one), and approx one move every 1.35 years. We didn’t move last year, which was heavenly and let me really enjoy the lead up to Christmas for the first time in two years, but this year we are moving again, but this time into our own home.
With that number of moves under my belt I have quite a lot of experience in what works and what doesn’t. So, with that in mind, may I present:
Moving Tips for the Unorganised Procrastinator
(because lets be honest here, as much as I promise that next time I’ll have decluttered and be prepared and organised, it just never happens)
Things to do asap
- You’ll need to get utilities (electricity, gas, internet) sorted as soon as you are able. I was a bit TOO organised this time round and was told to call back about the Internet and told off by my husband for going with the same electricity provider as we’ve always used.
- Insurance – don’t forget to let your home and contents insurance company know you are moving! Two moves ago I totally forgot about it until moving day and we were already moved in, luckily the insurance company was fine with changing our address then and there. This goes too for car insurance and roadside protection – you might even get a discount with your change in circumstances.
- Get your mail redirected – let’s face it, even the most organised of us will probably forget to notify at least one company or beloved aging relative of our new address. The trick of course is to immediately change your address with the sender as soon as you receive redirected mail. And not do what we usually do, and ignore it until it’s time to move again. (Because you can’t have more than one redirection, at least here in Australia, you will have to stop any redirections on previous addresses when you set up your new one).
- Sort out how you’re going to move. Once my flatmate and brother and I moved up the street by hand. We carried a fridge a block between four people. I do not recommend this method of moving. We also used to call on friends and family *cough*Dad*cough* to help us move, but after I moved 10 hours away this became a bit impossible and as our family grew it became unfeasible to ask my 60+ Dad to help lug beds and wardrobes for a family of four up and down stairs. For us, it is much less of a pain to simply hire movers. Hubbie doesn’t even have to skip work, I can oversee and the painful large furniture is done in one day.
- Boxes, boxes, boxes. We used to get by with scavenging boxes from the local supermarket but I’ve long since invested in boxes from a moving company and have kept them between moves, but you can sell them back as second hand if you don’t scribble over them or break them too much.
- When. Okay, I’ve found the most difficult moves have been when we’ve had to move without much lead time between getting access to our new house and when the movers arrive. When renting it’s important to have a few days to do the rental inspection report before you put in the furniture if locations permit (this doesn’t work if you’re moving to another town or interstate). And whatever you do, make sure you book the movers for an early start on your moving day, the last thing you want is for them to be finishing in the late afternoon/evening and then you still have to set up your beds and organise things a little before you can finally put your feet up. You might get a cheaper move if you move mid week rather than the weekend, so check that out when you book your movers. Then of course, book your movers in!
- If locations and time permits, what I like to do is move all the bits and bobs that are hard to pack before the actual moving day – which leaves less fiddly stuff for the movers to do and saves money if you’re doing a move where you pay by the hour.I hate wrapping and packing kitchen stuff, and then unwrapping and unpacking them again at the new house. I like to move the kitchen by loading up baskets and bags with the kitchen stuff and taking it directly into the new kitchen and unpacking it straight away. If you can get a few days lead in between getting access to your new place and actually moving, you can have the luxury of getting those things done and dusted before the big day. Other things you can move in advance – clothes from your wardrobe if you’ve got built in closets, pictures, paintings, cushions, pot plants.
If you get all those fiddly things moved before the big day it’s fun and exciting, not so much to have to keep going back to your old house after the movers have moved almost everything else and you have all the unpacking waiting for you.
- It’s best if you pack things according the room they are to go into. That being said, I have been known to use linen such as tea towels, tablecloths, towels and sheets to pack around breakables or to fill up boxes.
- Label, label, label. Seriously.
- So, it’s probably a good idea to declutter as you go and, like, don’t drag boxes of stuff from house to house for twenty-three years. Yep. You should definitely do that. (I’m trying this time, I really am, I’ve done the paperwork boxes, just feeling a bit daunted by the memorabilia boxes).
- Start early and help the movers as much as you can to reduce the cost.
- Accept help, especially re childcare. There’s nothing more difficult than having to juggle small children and the whole moving experience. Another reason why a mid week move is a good idea if you have school aged children.
- Well if you follow my advice above, you’ll already have the kitchen done by the time you’ve waved the moving guys goodbye. Other things to do first: get your beds set up, and the couch, then at least you can rest after an exhausting day.
- Books – they take up a lot of boxes but they’re easy as pie to unpack. Get them done and out of the way and you’ll feel better about all your progress. Unless you don’t have 20 boxes worth of books like me that is…
- Your clothes, get those suitcases unpacked.
- Make sure you get the moving guys to put all the heavy furniture where you need it. I made the mistake last time of popping to the transfer station while they guys were unloading and ended up with nearly all our furniture in the living room…
So… just some tips I’ve learned by painful experience. I’ll let you know how I go after this next move!