Packing Made Simple

Packing Made Simple

WOULD YOU LIKE TO MOVE HOME, STRESS-FREE?

Moving house is often described as one of life's most stressful events.

However, there are steps you can take to make your moving day smoother and less frenetic. This is my step-by-step guide to moving house.

PART ONE - PLANNING YOUR MOVE

The first part is to be used when you’ve first placed your home, on the market.

DECLUTTER YOUR BELONGINGS

When you're moving house, the last thing you want to do is pay to move items that you end up throwing away once you’re in the new place.

Have a thorough sort out and know what you’ll be throwing or giving away.

Make sure you clear items from everywhere – the loft, under the stairs, spare rooms, outbuildings and the garden.

It can come as a big shock to discover just how many hidden items there are and how many things you have accumulated over the years.

THINK ABOUT WHERE YOUR FURNITURE WILL GO

Once you know the home you’ll be moving into, think about how and, indeed, whether you actually will use your current furniture in it.

If it doesn't fit, plan to sell it, give it away or take it to the dump.

It's a good idea to visit your new property before completion so that you can double-check measurements and see for yourself whether there's room for your curtains, furniture, appliances etc.

The sooner you plan, the longer you'll have to try to sell unwanted belongings for a fair price, rather than being forced to give valuable items away because you're desperate to get rid of them before moving day.

TIP: FLOORPLANS

Use the floorplan, used in the property brochure

TIP: LIGHTBULBS

Make a note of the types of lightbulbs the house uses. Make sure you buy spare bulbs, especially if you’re moving in the winter.

You don’t want to move in, in the dark!

DECIDE WHETHER TO USE A REMOVALS COMPANY

If you live in a ground-floor, one-bedroom flat with little clutter, you can hire a van, get a couple of friends to help and move on the day. This could cost as little as £100.

If you're doing it yourself, book the largest van you can (bearing in mind that you can drive a van up to 3.5 tonnes with a standard driving licence).

Ask for one with a low kerb height or a let-down tailboard to make loading and unloading easier. 

Remember you’ll probably have to make several journeys, including a final one to return the van, so this option is only practical for moves over a reasonably short distance.

If you’ve got more than four rooms to empty, there’s probably too much to do.

Consider how many possessions you have. Now imagine having to pick up each one of them, carry it across an obstacle course (including stairs) and put it down without breaking your back – and all to a deadline.

A removals firm can ease the mental and physical stress of loading and unloading to a 12 pm deadline on moving day.

If you decide to use a removals company, start looking into who to use early on, so you have time to get competitive quotes.

IDENTIFY YOUR VALUABLES AND BREAKABLES

While most of your belongings can go straight into boxes, you'll want to take extra care over any breakable items.

It's worth packing these separately from the rest of your belongings.

Wrap up anything likely to break in bubble wrap or extra packaging, then label these boxes as fragile.

If possible, transport these items in your car, rather than in the van. This also holds true for anything valuable.

The removal company's insurance may not cover you for items above a particular value (even if they pack them for you), so plan to move anything especially expensive or sentimental in your own vehicle.

 

PART TWO - RESEARCH

This part is to be used when you’ve accepted an offer; around 8 weeks, before move-in day.

  • Research moving companies who specialise in home removals. Ask for removal advice from friends and family for their favourite local removal companies and compare removal costs.
  • Conduct online research on what you need to know before you work with a company that will help you move all of your belongings. Find out how you can protect your valuable items.
  • Look for reviews when it comes to doctors, banks, hairdresser, etc. Contact each one of the service providers and ask them about their rates.
  • If you have children in school, look for a new school and transfer their records.
  • Buy a small notebook to help you keep track of all your to-do lists, paperwork, and important phone numbers. You can also store them as notes on your mobile phones.

7 THINGS YOU’LL NEED WHEN PACKING

You will be packing some non-essential items, in the next few weeks. In readiness, these are items you’ll need to have when packing.

  • Boxes & Cartons
  • Protective Packaging
  • Packaging Tape
  • Printed Tape
  • Strapping
  • Cutters & Scissors
  • Marker Pens

 

PART THREE – INVENTORY, PAPERWORK & DECLUTTERING

This part is to be used, around 6 weeks, before move-in day.

Contact at least two moving and self-storage companies and ask for estimates.

  • Put all of your paperwork in one folder.
  • Create an inventory for all of your belongings.
  • In your moving notebook, write down all the steps you need to change your address, and put aside a few minutes every day to make some phone calls
  • Start cleaning your cabinets and closets, and arrange all of your items into three piles: broken items, things that can be donated, and those that are in good shape and can still be used.
  • Put items that you use only during certain seasons in different boxes and label them.
  • Be wise about grocery shopping. Don’t buy too much food that will stay in the refrigerator. Make sure you cook all your frozen food before you go.
  • Start decluttering your house. Hold a garage sale or sell some belongings you don’t need on websites such as eBay to cover some of your moving expenses.
  • Choose a removal company and ask them what additional services they cover.
  • You may want to hire out your own van, if that’s the case, make sure to get van insurance or a breakdown cover. If youre hiring a car make sure you have car insurance and a driving license. You can get instant quotes for insurance at confused.com. You may also want to get content insurance if transferring your own stuff, and health insurance just in case you have an accident.
  • Start decluttering your house. Hold a garage sale or sell some belongings you don’t need on websites such as eBay to cover some of your moving expenses.
  • Choose a removal company and ask them what additional services they cover.
  • You may want to hire out your own van, if that’s the case, make sure to get van insurance or a breakdown cover. If youre hiring a car make sure you have car insurance and a driving license. You can get instant quotes for insurance at confused.com. You may also want to get content insurance if transferring your own stuff, and health insurance just in case you have an accident.
  • Start cleaning the garden and shed, and set up a day for cleaning the whole house as well.
  • Check with your home insurance cover, gas, and electricity companies about the steps you need to take when you change your address.
  • Check if all of your furniture and rugs will fit well in the new house. Look online for new furniture and home decor if you need to as well.
  • Reach out to a friend if you need help moving.
  • Contact your doctor if you suffer from a condition that needs regular medication.
  • Make a list of all of the moving supplies you need, including boxes, tape, specialised boxes for fragile items, etc.
  • Label each box by room and contents.
  • Cancel any subscriptions to magazines and newspapers, as well as any local services you may be using.

 

PART FOUR – PACKING

In this part we discuss Packing and other steps; around 4 weeks, before move-in day.

  • Speak with your employer about your move and ask for at least two days off.
  • Look over the contract signed with the company that is helping you move and make sure you have moving/travel insurance in place for everything in case something breaks or gets lost during the move. Your home insurance may not cover the move.
  • Take photos of your furniture and belongings that can potentially end up scratched during the move. In case your items get damaged, the images will serve as proof.
  • Email your friends the new address you’re moving to.
  • Contact a babysitter if you have children. You’ll need that extra hand during the move.
  • Clean and defrost your freezers before the move.
  • Withdraw enough money in case you will travel to areas with no ATM machines so get that travel money.
  • Book a motel or a hotel room in case you need to stop on your way. Check online reviews first for safety and cleanliness, or ask a few friends for recommendations.


TIP – Plan to pack a ‘Snack Box’  with kettle, cups, saucers, spoons, milk and sugar for a cup of tea and biscuits, for when you arrive.

  • Ask one of your friends and family to help you out if you have a pet, or consider hiring a specialist.
  • Return borrowed books or movies.
  • Start packing seriously. Look for items you rarely use and get rid of them.

 

TIP –Label all boxes with which room they're due to go to and a description of what's inside. Put these labels on the top and side of the box, so you know what's inside when they're stacked.

 

PART FIVE – ESSENTIAL TASKS

This part is to be used at Exchange Of Contracts; around 1-2 weeks, before move-in day.

  • Double-check if you paid all of your bills and if you cancelled all of the local subscriptions. You can double-check this with your credit card company.
  • Hold a small goodbye party if you have too much frozen food left in your freezer.
  • Get rid of all of the items that can’t be taken with you (e.g., flammable chemicals).
  • Save everything on your laptop or computer, to the cloud.
  • Make sure your new place has all utility bills paid (energy supplier, broadband and phone, TV etc.) before the move. You can check the meter readings when you arrive.
  • Look through your boxes and find out whether you have belongings that you could donate, sell, or throw away. You may not have space in your new house.
  • Make sure you packed all the essentials for the move.
  • Call the movers company for any last-minute changes and re-confirm the moving date.
  • Schedule a cleaning day with your friends or family. If you don’t have time, hire a company to leave the house sparkling.
  • Start dismantling furniture. Pack some comfortable clothes for moving.

TIP - Put screws and bolts from bits of furniture in freezer bags and stick it to the relevant bit of furniture with masking tape.

ONE WEEK TO GO

  • Check the weather for moving day. Make sure your clothes are appropriate and clean.
  • Put all of your documents in a folder. If you have a small wooden box where you can protect your documents, use that instead.
  • Give away all your plants if you can’t bring them with you. Keep in mind that most moving companies don’t accept plants since they are very fragile.
  • If you have pets, make sure you have someone looking over them during the trip.
  • Allow your children to have a small goodbye party with their friends, and share your phone number and new address with them.

INFO TO LEAVE YOUR BUYER

You’ll want to welcome your Buyers into their new home. These are 10 things that will help them to settle into the property.

  • Where's the main stopcock (to shut off the water)?
  • Where are the gas and electricity meters?
  • Do any surfaces need special cleaning products, e.g. wooden floors?
  • What day are the bins collected?
  • Do you have any old tins of paint in the same colour as the walls?
  • Do you have any instruction manuals or warranties on electrical items?
  • Where did the kitchen and bathroom tiles come from?
  • Where did any fixed furniture come from, e.g., kitchen cabinets?
  • Which company supplies energy, broadband and home phone?
  • Where is the thermostat?

 

PART SIX – MOVE-IN DAY

This part is to be used on move-in day and beyond.

  • Look around the house and make sure everything is clean.
  • Check all boxes and folders with important documents, and give the moving company a call to confirm.
  • Make sure you have the keys to your new house or confirm details of where they are to be collected from.
  • Charge your mobile phone.
  • Take the bedsheets and curtains, and pack your mattresses. Bring some spare clothes with you.
  • Don’t forget your toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, comb, showering gel, shampoo, towels, and toilet paper.
  • Pack a few snacks, as you’ll probably be too busy to cook.
  • Don’t forget to pack your bicycles
  • Go through your moving house checklist to see if everything is checked off once again – it is the day of the move after all.

UNPACKING

Congratulations, you’ve gone through the whole moving house checklist and just moved house. Now that you are in your new place take a few moments to look around and start unpacking the essentials.

It will probably take you roughly a week until you get everything in place, depending on how many people will help you along the way. Here are a few final tips, to help you settle in:

  • Flatten some cardboard boxes and lay them down to protect your flooring.
  • Move your furniture into the new house first. Otherwise, you'll end up moving boxes around again to make room.
  • First, make sure you get a little bit of privacy by setting up your curtains.
  • Next, put your cosmetics and towels in the bathroom, and take out a few pots and frying pans that you are likely to use in the following days.
  • Take out your rugs and the carpets, and place them on the floor. This would protect your floors from getting stained and you from getting a cold if you moved to a colder environment.
  • In the following days, make sure you set aside a few hours every day for unpacking. After day 3, you should be done with everything.
  • Remember to provide meter readings to your utility providers.

 

 




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Heenay Joshi