In the past 5 years we have moved houses 5 times, counting the latest move (which was in our own house, so hopefully we won’t be moving for a while now).
Compared to all our prior moves, this was probably the easiest and least stressful, even though we had more stuff to move now than we had during all our previous moves combined. With every move we learnt new ways and I think this time around we were particularly organised. We are now in our new home, have started unpacking and it has been so stress free so far! We know exactly where things are, which boxes to open first and which can go straight into the shed or garage for the time being.
I thought it would be a good time to write a post to share our experiences. I have tried to write down as much as I can remember from our move. Hope this post is useful to you and your move is hassle free too!
1) Whether to get movers and packers?
Movers and packers do everything for you – get packing boxes and materials and pack each room carefully, move the boxes to your new home to the rooms you want them in and even unpack if you want them to. They also do furniture disassembling and reassembling for you. Check for quotes online and choose one which best suits your requirements.
2) Packing the boxes yourself
Personally I like packing my own things, so we went for movers only. We looked at a few packing videos online and made a list of all the packing material we would need. Here is what we used :
a) Packing boxes – Go for double walled boxes as these are sturdier and will take the weight of the items well. Ask friends and family, check your local freecycle or freegle group or, if you can’t find any, do some research and buy them online. We got some of ours from our local freecycle group (a family who had recently moved) and some more from Amazon. Try to keep the sizes of the boxes as similar as you can so they can be stacked on top of each other properly.
b) Tissue paper – Tissue paper is very useful to wrap things before keeping them in the box. All your glassware and dinnerware should be wrapped in tissue to avoid chipping. Alternatively you could use newspaper but we just bought tissues from Amazon.
c) Bubble wrap – We bought a large roll of bubble wrap (very economical to buy it in bulk) to wrap the TV and other electronics such as the desktop, laptops some paintings and even other expensive and decorative pieces. Later, when you unwrap these items after the move, you can burst the bubbles as a stress buster! 😉
d) Black marker and a notepad – Number all the boxes on the side and write what the box contains and which room it should go in e.g. Kitchen, Christmas decorations, Living room decorative stuff, handbags, shoes etc. Also draw upward arrows to indicate how the boxes should be handled and kept. In the notepad write down the number of the box and a list of what the box contains. e.g.
1) Kitchen – Pans, lids, utensils, small frying pan, wok
2) Living room decorative stuff – cushions, candle holders, picture frames, showpieces
3) When to start packing – If you are getting movers and packers they’ll do all the packing for you on the day of the move but if you are doing it yourself, you would need to plan properly and get a bit organised. We started packing a month before moving day because that was when we signed the contract and agreed on the exchange of keys. Otherwise I reckon I would have started packing even earlier out of excitement 😉 If, like us, you start packing early, start with things you know you will not need in the coming weeks. In the last week before moving, we realised we could have packed even more stuff, as we didn’t really need as much as we thought we would.
4) How to pack: Before you start packing, take the opportunity to sort all your things and give away whatever you no longer use or need. This will save you a lot of trouble later.
a) Clothes – We packed our clothes is suitcases and the rest in boxes but you can pack them in laundry bags or in bin bags. Our movers told us that we could even leave the clothes in the chest of drawers and that we didn’t need to empty the drawers out.
b) Glassware and dinnerware – Wrap all the glassware and dinnerware in tissues. Place the glassware upright and the dinnerware flat. Since we had a lot of bubble wrap I packed some expensive glassware in bubble wrap too. Also wrap picture frames, candles, candle holder and other delicate, breakable things in tissue before keeping them in the box. These boxes are likely to be heavy – mark them ‘heavy’ and ‘fragile’ on the side, which will help the movers handle them appropriately.
c) TV and monitors – Protect the screen by wrapping it with bubble wrap. We wrapped the entire TV with bubble wrap!
d) Food items – Make a note of the perishable items you have and accordingly plan your grocery trips. Plan meals and try to finish leftovers. Keep things in airtight containers. Tape open packets and keep them in a plastic bag or in a large container before packing them in a box. Keep essential food items (which you need require on a daily basis, such as spices etc) accessible.
e) Last, but definitely not the least, makeup and toiletries – Keep the makeup and toiletries you use on a daily basis in a separate makeup bag and pack the rest of it away. Wrap small bottles and tubes with clingfilm or plastic wrap to prevent them from opening and leaking. Place the wrapped bottles upright in the box. Keep the small bottles and tubes in a bag before packing them so they are easy to find when unpacking.
5) What size van?
Capacity is measured in cubic feet. For example, a 12 inch x 12 inch x 12 inch box is 1 cubic foot. Based on the size of your furniture and an approximate estimate of the number of boxes you would need, you can estimate how many cubic feet of space you would require in the moving van. This way you can have an informed conversation about your requirements with the movers. Remember that boxes can be stacked high in the van! Our movers used a Luton van, which has about 600 cubic feet of capacity.
Good luck with your move! 🙂
p.s This is not a sponsored post