Friday, 27 April 2012

My top 10 tips for moving

I know!  There are tons of suggestions online to help you when you're moving.  But I figured I'd add my two cents worth anyway :-D

(I was remiss in not noting when I first posted this that these tips are my mum's and I am re-learning their importance.  Mum is the moving Queen!  When they move, they have everything clean, in place and unpacked by no later than the next day, and normally on actual moving day.  And she never seems flustered or stressed about it - just busy.  I love you mum - you're my hero!)

1. If you can afford it, hire a removalist and/or cleaner.  I dream of moving this way one day :-)

2. Start early!  No matter how organised you are, and how clean you think your house is, it will take longer than you think to get it all packed and clean.  I'd recommend starting everything a week earlier than you think you need to. Even if you're all done early, a quick dust/wipe is much easier and quicker than a full clean.

3. Make a list.  I know, I'm a list freak!  This post is an example.  And here are my current lists:

But even if you're not generally a fan of lists, I really recommend making a list of each room in your house and the things you need to do in that room for it to be "finished".  You may like to check everything off as you go or just read through it when you think you're done to make sure nothing has been forgotten.

You may also need a list of other things you need to do such as:
  • Redirecting your mail
  • Arranging for your utilities to be turned off/on
  • Paying the bills in advance

4. Get rid of stuff.  We all do it.  We buy something on sale but never end up using it.  Or we keep that thing "just in case" and the opportunity to use it never arises.  We plan to fix that shirt/toy/frame but never get around to it.  We have old clothes in our cupboard for when we get back in shape.  But basically our house is just filling up with stuff we don't want, use, love or need.

Now is the perfect opportunity to get rid of it!  Why pack and move things that you don't want, use, love or need???  What a waste of time, energy and packing materials!!!

5. Invest in good packing materials.  There are lots of places where you can get free boxes (eg. Bunnings, supermarkets, recycle dumpsters), but it's really worth making sure you have good, strong boxes and that you fill them completely.  When you stack the boxes up you don't want them collapsing, or worse, spilling their contents everywhere!  Try to get ones that are the same dimensions so that they stack neatly - it'll make your job on moving day that much easier.

And don't forget the tape!  If you can afford it, buy a good tape dispenser (don't get a cheap one - they're not worth it).  But definitely buy the good quality tape.  It sticks to the boxes better and basically keeps everything much more secure.

You will also need a marker or two.  I got a little crazy this time and bought coloured markers.  I used a different colour for each room/area then stacked my boxes in room piles.  I'm hoping it'll make it easier at the other end but it's probably just me being overly organisational :-D

Also, don't forget to write exactly what's in your boxes and the room it is for. Writing "SHED" and "Tools" is probably not going to be especially helpful if you have 10 boxes of "Tools" and you're specifically looking for your battery drill so that you can get the beds together and the kids are screaming because they're completely exhausted.

6. Use quality cleaning products.  It's worth purchasing good cleaning products because they make the job go so much quicker and with much less elbow grease.  I highly recommend:

  • Good quality microfibre cloths.  I especially love the ones that are designed for glass because they work with just water and they don't leave fluff everywhere.
  • Liquid sugar soap is awesome for cleaning ceilings and walls.  If you have a flat mop (the ones with the removable pads), use that to make the job quicker and easier.
  • Magic Erasers - these things really are awesome and work on almost all marks that I've tried.  You do need to be a bit careful though because they sometimes remove the paint so make sure you test them out (try inside the cupboard - scuff marks perhaps) first.
7. Take a break.  Yeah, there's heaps to do but if you kill yourself you won't make it to the end.  Take 15 minute breaks for drinking water, having a healthy snack or lunch, and going to the loo.  Sit down and rest while you're having your break so that you can recharge for the next attack.

8. Accept help!  When someone offers to help, make a time and date with them straight away.  Even if it turns out you don't need help, packing and cleaning with a friend is not only quicker, but way more fun!  And if you get everything done, you can go out for coffee :-D

9. Have a last/first box.  This is the box that you pack last and open first.  It will have:
  • Clean sheets for each of the beds
  • Clean towels
  • The kettle and hot drink items (tea, coffee, sugar, milk - small UHT cartons can come in handy here, mugs, teaspoon/s)
  • Things for breakfast (toaster, bread, plates, butter, knife, spread/s, and/or cereal, milk - again UHT is the go if you won't have a way of keeping your milk very cold, bowl/s, spoon/s)
  • Anything else you need straight away even if you don't unpack any other boxes (for example, we'll need our curtains and rods at our new place)
10. Make it fun!  Moving can be seriously stressful!  But it can also be a great time.  I mean, it's the exciting start of a new phase in your life right?  So turn up some fun music (careful of offending neighbours of course), get others to help (many hands make light work!), and don't forget to have some food and drinks available for you and your helpers throughout the day (and the stronger stuff for when it's all done and you're just chillin' out in your new place with your mates).

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