Packing up all your things ready for a move can be daunting, but with a bit of preparation and some careful organisation, it doesn’t have to be.
Start early with non-essentials
Many people look around their well laid out rooms at home or in the office and think that perhaps they don’t have that many possessions after all, and that packing will be straightforward. But it’s easy to think like that when everything has its place. Start moving stuff around, and you quickly realise just how much there is.
So don’t underestimate – you’ll only end up stressing yourself out by rushing to get it all done before your removals people arrive. Instead, start a couple of weeks before moving day by packing away the non-essentials. Anything you haven’t used in the past few weeks and have no plans to use immediately can start going into boxes right away.
Get decent boxes and label them well
Packing boxes vary in quality, so make sure you get ones that will comfortably hold any heavy objects, which will massively reduce the risk of any damage occurring.
When you label your boxes, be thorough – put a room or category on each box, and go as far to list the contents on the outside, because it is surprisingly easy to forget what you put where, even if it was only a few days before. Be detailed, and try colour-coding with a marker pen, or coloured stickers – anything that will jog your own particular memory and make locating specific items far less stressful after the move.
Find a method in the madness
Many people find packing by room is easiest – you can see a clear progression in your packing which keeps you motivated, and it helps you estimate how much time you’ll need overall. Or, you could start by packing the non-essentials of each room, or packing little and often, to avoid demotivation and the temptation to procrastinate. It’s much easier to get on with a couple of hours of packing each day, than face two or three straight days of packing when moving day finally looms.
Think ahead to moving day
If you and your belongings are travelling a long way, you may not get to your new place until after dark. Make sure you pack light bulbs within easy reach so you can get some light when you arrive. If you think there may be a problem with electricity connection, or the lights working, or simply that you’ll be too tired to do anything by the time you arrive, pack an overnight bag with essential toiletries and some spare clothes, so you can wait until the following day to start the big unpack, feeling refreshed.
Put your absolute essentials in last so your man with a van can take them out first, and keep the kettle and teabags within easy reach for a cuppa when you arrive. If you have pets, ensure you pack some pet food and a lead separately so they can be fed and walked when you arrive. If you have children, make sure you can get to their favourite stuffed toys easily to ensure a good night’s sleep on the first night, without having to root around in boxes in the dark. When it comes to unpacking for real, unpack your kids’ stuff first and fill their new rooms full of familiar items to reduce any unsettled feelings. This will help them adjust quickly to their new home.