Anyone who’s ever done it agrees that moving house is stressful. It’s an anxious time, wondering whether everything will go through smoothly, but it’s also a huge time and money drain. Given that time is also money, counted partly in terms of working days lost or income not earned if you freelance or work from home, anything you can do to streamline the process is worth investigating.
Packing up your belongings ready for removal is one of the most time consuming aspects of moving house. As soon as you know the move is definitely going ahead, start packing. Sort your belongings into two groups comprised of things you use every day and things you can live without for a while. You can do this in your head, or on paper if you like making lists, rather than physically sorting things. Pack up the items you can live without, including ‘best’ versions of things such as dinner sets.
Pack to Protect
Save money by stockpiling old newspapers and magazines for a few weeks so you have plenty of padding material to wrap up delicate ornaments or crockery. Wrap glasses separately and place sheets of protective paper between nested plates, bowls and cups.
Take extra care with electronic items, wrapping them individually then placing them in a larger box with room for additional padding around the edges. It’s a good idea to stick matching colored stickers on cables and the sockets they plug into before you disassemble everything. This will make putting everything back together at the other end much easier and quicker because you only have to match up the colors. Save yourself frustration by packing the cable and the item in the same box so they aren't separated.
Clearly label your sealed boxes so you don’t arrive at your new place with a hundred boxes and no idea what’s in any of them. Write on the outside of the box which room it belongs to and what’s inside before you seal it. Be specific: write ‘plates and cups’ rather than ‘kitchen things’.
Arm yourself with good quality packing tape to seal up the boxes. It’ll save you money in the long run since it’s stronger and less likely to come unstuck. It will also prevent the bottoms falling out of heavy boxes, causing delays and possible damage to delicate items.
Maximize the Power of Self Storage
You can get ahead with packing if you put large items into self storage.
Are you moving within the same town? Rent a small self storage room where you can store larger items (such as spare beds) until you’re ready to move them into the new house. Short term rentals mean you can have a room for just a week or two to use as a holding area.
Put boxes of smaller belongings you don’t use every day into self storage too. They’re safe and secure but out of your way, making the necessary last minute cleaning easier and quicker to get through.
By breaking the move into stages, you’ll save time and frustration in the long run. For busy, working people, it’s easier to find an hour or two spare to get a couple of jobs done than it is to find an extra day nearer the time.
It would be misleading to suggest you can take all the stress out of moving home but, by taking it in smaller steps and making the most of storage and packing options, you can save time, money and anxiety.