Changing house is very likely one of the most stressful transitions in a person’s life. However, if the process is planned well beforehand, in a detailed and structured manner, things can go much more smoothly and can take much less time, so it is quite important to look ahead and tackle the move with a heads-on approach.
Being a list maniac, I find that writing things down and being clear about what needs to be done helps me a lot in that it gives me a structured and realistic outlook, not to mention helping me not to forget something important. So, in this case too, I would advise anyone moving house to make a list of what is to be done in chronological order.
Here are some salient tips:
1. Decide what stuff you would like to keep and what things you are going to throw away. Generally, moving house makes you realise how many things you have accumulated over the years and which you no longer need. This is your chance for a fresh start. If you don’t want your new house to be as cluttered as the last one, take this opportunity to throw away as much useless stuff as you can.
2. Get rid of any large, bulky or broken furniture and/or appliances by calling your local Bulky Refuse Service, who will come for it themselves and dispose of it in an environmentally-friendly manner. One can also ask one’s Local Council for more information. Most Local Councils offer the Bulky Refuse Service free of charge, however this depends on your country of residence.
3. Stock up on cardboard boxes and big plastic bags. It is better for clothes to be carefully folded in large plastic bags (new clean garbage bags are good for this purpose) than cardboard boxes, since this would minimise space, as well as keep them fresh.
4. One can find free cardboard boxes from any retail shop or factory. There are also specialised outlets which provide these at a cheap price. Make sure you also stock up on good quality packing tape. It wouldn’t do for your carefully packed cardboard box to burst open while you are carrying it!
5. Always make sure your clothes are clean before you pack them. This will make it easier for you when it comes to unpacking.
6. Minimise on space – try to pack as many items in one container as possible.
7. Be sure to pack breakables, such as plates, glasses and glass ornaments in bubble wrap and/or newspapers. Write the word ‘FRAGILE’ in big, clear letters on the box itself. The person carrying it will then know that he/she needs to be more careful with that particular box.
8. Organise like with like. For example, fold all the bedsheets together in the same bags, put all the kitchen utensils in the same box, all the stationary in another, etc. If you also write the ‘final destination’ of these items on the box, you can actually take the boxes directly to the particular the room in the new house where the items will be kept. For example, kitchen utensils will be taken straight to the kitchen, etc. This will make it much easier for you to unpack, as well.
9. Dismantle any bulky furniture such as wardrobes and bedsteads before the actual move. Some movers offer a dismantling service as well, at a different charge. You might want to consider how much you are willing to spend for the move.
10. Do you need any movers or a lifter for the furniture, or can you handle everything yourself? Plan this from beforehand. Do you need a truck? Parking permits at both the old location and the new? A permit from the Local Council to park heavy machinery? The best thing to do in this case is to ask the Local Council for more information. Someone else might already have a parking permit for the spot in front of your house on that particular day, in which case you might need to reschedule. It is also important to think about how the movers will be taking the furniture out of the old house and into the new one. If you are using a lifter, are they going to use the balcony? A window? Or are you going to move everything by hand?
If this is the first time that you are moving house, the most important thing is to ask for tips from someone who has already done so. You might also want to ask friends or family to help you with the packing – four hands are always better than two!
No matter how many unpredictable hurdles and issues crop up during the process of moving, never lose your cool, and don’t panic! Seeing all that clutter, not to mention all of your life (that’s what it seems like anyways) bundled up in bags and boxes is not easy.
Keep your target always in mind – that is, that you are leaving your current abode for a new and better one!