As anyone who has ever moved house will tell you, the process of upping sticks and relocating to a new home can be an extremely stressful process. With the right advice however, packing for a big move can become a lot less arduous. Here we explore 28 of the best practice house moving tips.
1) The big clear out
Clear outs are not just for spring! You have enough possessions to box up and transport without dealing with unused and unnecessary items you no longer need.
The only way to tackle this is head on and be ruthless. Still think you should hold on to those jeans that have been too small for 3 years? Nope, get rid.
Severely reducing the amount of belongings you have in this manner will save you countless hours and space later on in the packing and moving process.
2) Sort things by category
The age old advice is to organize everything by room – however this is not always the best approach. As things are often packed differently it is a much better approach to gather together things by type.
So instead of cleaning out room by room, start by gathering all of your clothing together, creating piles based on where you gathered them from, e.g. Kids clothes, mums clothes, dads clothes etc.
Instead of spending a day cleaning out your entire bedroom, spend an afternoon sorting through every article of clothing you own.
Do the same thing for books, shoes, important papers, and the like.
After your mammoth purge in step 1 the chances are you will have a pile of clothes and other items that are in perfect condition but just not wanted. This is a great opportunity to drop down to the local St Vincent De Paul or other charity shop with your boxed-up goods.
4) Make a little extra money
A clear out is a great opportunity to make a few extra euro as you probably have a few items that are in a sellable condition and have value.
There are a multitude of websites now that you can sell on your 2nd hand items, from eBay to Adverts.ie and DoneDeal.
To maximize the amount of money you can make be sure to put some time into crafting detailed descriptions and taking high quality photos.
5) Research professional moving companies
A moving company can often make or break your entire moving experience, so it’s important to get it right. The more effort you put into finding a reputable company with excellent customer service ahead of time, the less hassle you’ll have on moving day.
6) Pick the right moving day
Decide on your moving date as soon as possible, you will have a lot of things to organize and not knowing how long you have just makes things harder.
Be sure to book your moving company as far out as possible, if you have flexibility then look at different options regarding your moving dates as you may find some weeks are cheaper to move than others with your chosen company.
Be aware, moving companies are busiest on weekends, so if you can take a day off work and arrange your move for a Wednesday, you might get a better discount.
7) Know how to get to your new home
It doesn’t matter how far you are travelling, there is no point in wasting time sitting in traffic or having the stress of getting lost – yes even with your trusty Google Maps.
Figure out the easiest, most efficient way to get where you’re going. Look up potential road works and tolls you have to pay ahead of time. Always take traffic, detours, and necessary stops into account when making your plan.
8) Create a master moving to-do list
Moving home is no easy task and you will inevitably end up having dozens and dozens of different things to do and remember. Don’t let any of these important tasks, no matter how small slip your mind.
Written lists are great when doing actual jobs but they are not so great for a master list as it can be easily lost. Use your phone / tablet / laptop to create an electronic list, adding every task you have to do, including as much detail you can think of, no matter how trivial.
Once your list is complete spend some time mapping out your important tasks into a calendar – having firm dates to achieve certain things is a great motivator!
9) Get your moving boxes sorted
Moving and boxes go hand in hand, and yes you are going to need a lot of them!
Gathering boxes together can be an art form in its own right – it’s easy to assemble quite a collection of varied sized boxes by just keeping your eyes open in daily life.
Work – most places of work receive packages on a daily / weekly basis – disused delivery boxes can be a great source of sturdy, small boxes.
Electrical Stores – Many electrical stores allow you to deposit the old cardboard back in store. Why not drop by and see if there are any good boxes ready to be reused?
Friends – people are always moving and the chances are you know someone who has just moved. Ask around and you will be surprised.
No matter how much boxes you manage to assemble via the methods above, you are going to need to invest in some good sturdy boxes. Whether you need specialized wardrobe boxes or just an array of boxes to make up the numbers you can always source sturdy and reliable boxes from your storage provider.
10) Grab extra packing and moving supplies
Don’t forget the “just in case” items that you might need when you first get into your new home.
Building a stockpile of extra supplies like light bulbs (check your lamps to verify the type you need), extension leads, and cleaning products so you’ll be set to go when you start moving things in.
11) Cancel your utilities
Moving home means moving (or more likely cancelling) all the services that supply your existing house.
Call your phone, internet, electricity, and gas providers at least a week ahead of your planned move date to figure out when you need to shut everything off. You will also need to be in a position to take meter readings on the big day so why not find or buy that key that lets you open to meter reading boxes on the outside of your property now.
12) Need help? Be polite and give them notice
Moving is not a one person job, and is rarely a two person job, so if you’re thinking of getting some extra help from friends and family then don’t be that person who asks the day before. By being polite and giving them proper notice (at least a couple of weeks) you give yourself a much better chance of getting people on board to help.
13) Updating your address
There is nothing more annoying than having to drop by your old apartment or house to collect the mail, yet we all forget to update our address until after we move.
Be sure to change your address ahead of time so your bills, credit card statements, and packages can arrive on time and without hassle.
14) Use the right-sized boxes
When packing your items it is important to pack them into the most suitable boxes available. Heavy items such as books should go into smaller boxes while lighter items such as linen, curtains & pillows should go into larger boxes. The bigger the box the more difficult it is to carry so always keep the load light.
It’s also important to make sure that every bit of space in each box is filled while taking caution not to overfill – or underfill. Many removals companies will actually refuse to accept boxes in this condition.
15) Don’t leave packing until the last minute
Packing at the last minute will almost certainly make the process of moving more stressful than it needs to be.
Starting to pack weeks before your moving date, finding things that you know you won’t need before settling into your new place. This can be things like books and clothing that you won’t be wearing etc.
Try also targeting those fragile and oddly shaped items such as paintings and decorative items – these always take longer to pack as they will require more care.
By starting this process of you will begin to chip away at probably the biggest job of all.
16) Go label mad
The only way to find that important box containing the coffee on moving in night is by how well you label your boxes. Stacking boxes means you will be working in a 3-dimensional space, so just labelling the top of the box is going to be no good to you. Be sure to label the top, bottom and all sides so that you can identify any box, not matter how they are stacked.
We recommend you label your boxes by both category and room, for example, Books, Library and Books, Bedroom. This will help speed up the unloading process at the other end.
If you want to get really advanced you could look to create a numbered inventory. As you pack up a box, take note of every single item inside of it. Write the list in a Google document or notebook and then give the box a number.
Why go through all this bother you ask? Simple…
- You can go straight to the box with the item you are looking for, rather than opening every box that says kitchen on it.
- You will know exactly the number of boxes you are transporting – making it infinitely easier to identify if a box goes missing.
17) Use packing tape
Unfortunately, the old roll of Sellotape you have had for 2 years just won’t do when it comes to securing your boxes properly. The same goes for the fancy interlocking method your friend showed you once.
If you want to be confident that your boxes are secure then use packing tape – it is heavy duty and designed specifically for task in hand… packing. Tape the bottom of the box 2 to 3 times over to help support the weight above it.
18) Protect fragile items
Transporting fragile items is a scary business, however if you do it right the chances are everything will arrive in one piece.
Packing paper and bubble wrap are your best friends in this situation. Use them to pad all your fragile plates, dishes and decorative items. Stuff it inside glasses, wrap it around bowls, and shove it between your plates and the side of your boxes.
Make sure everything is fully cushioned and wrap each of your items separately. If you have some spare blankets or towels these can also make for great padding.
19) Pack dishes vertically
Most people pack by placing dishes on top of one another – this is a bad idea as they can still break or crack. We instead recommend after you have finished wrapping them, place them into a box on their sides like records, and then fill the empty spaces in between with bubble wrap.
20) Cover messy bottle caps
Have you ever opened your bag to find it covered in shampoo or conditioner? This next tip is not just for moving home but also when you are going on holiday.
You can prevent potential leaking or spilling by securing your toiletry bottles with either of these steps:
- Unscrew the cap of your shampoo bottle, wrap a piece of shrink wrap (or a Ziploc bag) over the top, and screw the cap back on.
- Sellotape around where the cap to your bottle unscrews to prevent it from coming loose during transport.
21) Pack an essentials and overnight bag
Moving day can be very long and then chances are everyone will be tired once everything is moved. Having some essentials ready to go in a bag can make life a lot simpler.
As a bare minimum, we suggest; a change of clothes, your toiletries (including toilet paper, hand soap), towels, sheets, snacks and a water bottle.
22) Reduce the food waste
Having a full fridge on moving day is not only a waste of money but a terrible waste of good food that you may not be able to take with you. Consider saving money on your final weeks food shop and use what you have remaining in the house.
Moving home can be a good excuse to test out some new culinary concoctions… baked bean tacos anyone? Why not also enjoy a final takeaway with the money you have saved?
23) Cables, Cables, Cables
The average house has multiple Tv’s, iPads, iPhones, consoles and much more – all of which require their own special cables to power, charge etc.
Have some spare zip lock bags to hand? Why not separate out and label your various cables by device. Have a complicated setup with a maze of wires? Then why not take a photo before unplugging so you can get back to watching and surfing as soon as you land at your new home.
24) Keep important documents with you
Accidents happen and the last thing you want is to lose an important document like a passport, medical card etc. Pack a separate bag or briefcase that contain all of your most important documents – things that are either very hard or expensive to replace.
It is unlikely you will be able to take every single document you deem to be important with you, so for those that you can’t take with you in person why not make copies; take a scan or photograph etc.
25) Fridge & Freezer
If you are going to be taking your fridge freezer with you then you will want to make sure it is fully defrosted before the day of the move – most modern freezers make this process a lot less painful.
In any case taking some time to thoroughly clean your fridge whether you are bringing it or leaving it is a must do.
26) Moving day cleaning
The chances are you are going to want (swap with need if you are renting!) to clean your old accommodation before you say your final goodbyes.
Gather together a small cleaning kit so you can do one final sweep through your home on moving day. Handy items include a dustpan and brush, a mop, dusters, sponges and an array of cleaning products.
27) Loading boxes
Having gone through the hassle or arranging, packing and labelling everything by room it is now time to pack the same way. Load boxes according to the rooms indicated on the labels.
By loading all the bedroom stuff together etc you can unload the boxes from the same rooms at the same time, which makes unpacking everything a super easy.
28) Loading heavy furniture
If you are using a moving company then this step is a doddle, sit back and have a cup of tea! If not then take note.
Load your heavy furniture first (sofas and tables), finishing with lighter items. If your jigsaw puzzle of a van is looking tight for space, try positioning things differently. Tables often slide into place easier on their side or even upside down. No matter what it is, if it doesn’t fit, try moving it around until it does.
Remember, just because you are loading something that is heavy doesn’t mean it can’t be damaged. Often parts of “hard wearing” furniture are not as solid and hard wearing as they appear.