Moving house. Easy, right?
When you’ve never done a big move before, it can seem like moving house is a breeze. Sign the paperwork, hand over the keys, pack up and go.
However, in reality, moving house is a test on your patience, organisational skills and, let’s be honest, physical stamina at times. Those hefty hardbacks and cast iron pans aren’t going to pack themselves!
And there’s always a new and unexpected surprise around every corner. With that in mind, here’s our handy guide to things we wish we knew before moving house.
You’ll need more boxes
Stop whatever you’re doing and find some more boxes, because you’ll need them. When things are tucked away in cupboards and drawers, behind curtains and under beds, it’s easy to think you’ve got far less stuff than you have.
That’s mistake number one. Get more boxes.
Mistake number two is getting boxes that are too big. Think about it, a huge box might be great for packing light linens and feather-light cushions, but start chucking books into them and you’ll soon find you can’t even lift it!
So, be sure to get a range of boxes too.
You’ll need more time
Similarly, you will probably underestimate just how long all the packing will take. Save yourself the stress and embarrassment of throwing stuff in any old place while the new residents are banging on the door wanting to be let in, and give yourself plenty of time. Even if you don’t use it, you’ll be far calmer and more organised.
You don’t need everything
We wish someone had told us to purge those half empty jars of unidentifiable spreads from the kitchen cupboards before packing them neatly into boxes. Not only are you wasting valuable time and, more importantly, box space, you’ll probably end up throwing them out when you start unpacking in the new place anyway.
Save yourself the hassle and be brutal in your possessions purging before you pack then. Plus, the less you pack the less you pay to move your things, which brings us on to…
You can’t do it all alone
No (wo)man is an island and that most definitely applies when it comes to moving house, the definitive activity—except, maybe, pairs tennis—that cannot be done alone.
You can try, but you will fail.
And while you can rope in some reluctant friends, you might end up being at each other’s throats by the end of the afternoon.
Instead, just hire a removals company. You can save the stress, save some money (in the long run) and save your friendships too. The best place to compare national and international removals is over at buzzmove, where you can easily find the removals company that’s right for you.
You can turn a move into a teachable moment
If you have kids, no matter how old, having them present when you do the actual moving (especially if a long drive is involved) can be a patience-testing, tongue-biting exercise in self-control and quick thinking.
So, we wish we’d known about these fun and educational games discussed over at Mom Fuse to keep the kids occupied while moving house.
From counting games on the drive over, to fun geography and concentration activities that have them searching for licence plates from different places. There’s a ton of great advice that we think any parent would find very valuable before moving house.
Running a house takes a lot of work
This might seem obvious to people moving from one home into another, but for those of you moving for the first time, it’s important to address just how much work it can be maintaining a house.
Not only do you have bills and rent (or mortgage repayments) to worry about, you have to deal with cleaning supplies, taxes and, possibly, roommates.
Just remember to take it one step at a time and not worry if things go wrong at first.
And if all else fails, call your mum.
You NEED an ‘open first’ box
When packing, you’re probably going to pack either by category (for example, ‘cushions, pillows and throws’ or ‘cleaning supplies’) or by room (‘bedroom stuff’ or ‘kitchen stuff’).
Both methods are solid.
However, you also have to make an ‘open first’ box. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself scrambling for clean underwear on your first night in your new home.
The ‘open first’ essentials vary, but should generally include some clothes, a kettle and one or two sets of plates and cutlery, as well as any first aid supplies, medication and toiletries. You could even throw a lamp, some books, electronics (plus chargers) and a towel in there too!
Something will go wrong
Either something will break, something will go missing, or people meant to be helping you out simply won’t show up on time or at all. Rest assured, it will happen.
Having said that, as long as you’re aware of it and realistic about the possibility, you’ll be able to take it all in your stride.
Prep the place you’re moving into
The chances are you’ll have had access to your new place ahead of time. So, take the time to clean, plan a fire escape route, test the plug sockets and smoke alarms and childproof if necessary before you even move in.
This will mean it’s immediately liveable when you arrive with all your boxes, pets and family in tow.
Plus, it might take just one iota of stress out of moving day.
Don’t overstretch yourself
Moving days are long, stressful and arduous, so don’t try and do too much. Unpacking everything as soon as you get in can seem tempting (and that’s what you have the ‘open first’ box for!), but it’s not worth it.
Trust us, order a pizza, put on some Netflix and crack open a bottle of wine.
You’ll deserve it.
What packing tips do you wish you’d known about before moving house? Tell us in the comments!