I was inspired to write this blog post having recently been asked to help a client organise her house after a move.
Of course the real benefit of moving is that it gives you a brilliant opportunity to de-clutter and organise items into “keep”, “donate” and “sell” categories. Review your paperwork and shred any outdated documents and junk mail. Discard any guarantees and the instruction manual for a washing machine bought cira 1972. The only real danger zone when packing is photograph albums – great resistance must be sort not to reminisce! Throw away outdated tins and supplies.
Separate cleaning items into a box to use before closing the door on your old property and it will be handy for your new property when you arrive too.
Pare down cooking, bathroom, clothing, foot ware and electrical items for the last two weeks, making sure that lotions and potions are placed into seal-able bags to ensure nothing else gets soggy from leaking items.
Most removal companies provide insurance for possessions in transit, but check that there are no exclusions. For example, anything you pack may not be covered by the removal firm’s insurance. Keep valuables with you on moving day and check that you’re covered when in transit with your contents insurance.
Before closing the door, don’t forget to check in each cupboard, and in each integrated appliance (washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher) and have a final check around the garden, shed and garage.
If you have them leave instruction manuals and guarantees for the new owners and details on refuse/recycling collection and any tips on good restaurants, pubs etc. if they are new to the area.
It’s important to cancel milk and newspapers and request that the Post Office redirect your mail. Registering with a new GP is a good idea too.
There’s nothing worse when packing to keep losing key items. Keep a small box handy to keep all of your essential packing items in, ie. marker pen, tape and labels. Each time they are used place them back into the same box so that you can always locate the item that you require.
What better containers than cases and luggage bags to put all of your clothing in that you are going to need for the next couple of weeks. It will certainly take the stress out of finding essential clothing items for you and your family.
A wash bag for each member of the family (just like when going on holiday) is the easiest way to ensure that you have the necessary items for the next week.
It always surprises me how many lengths of cable are required to enable electrical equipment to function. Take the stress out of marrying these at the new property by putting labels onto each cable detailing from where and to where it needs to be placed. Put each cable in a resealable bag and attached it to the equipment it belongs to.
The same method can be used when you dismantle furniture. Place all the fixtures into a clear bag and secure it to the underside of the furniture it belongs to.
Duvets, pillows and towels that are not used for extra packing are packed easily into clear sacks. It’s important not to place them in black bin bags to ensure they don’t get mistaken for rubbish.
Ask your children to pack a box with toys and anything that is going to keep them entertained on arrival.
It’s important to make a note of what is in each box on a “master packing sheet”. Each box should be labelled on each side with “↑ this way up ↑”, a number and a coloured sticker. The same coloured sticker can be placed on the door of the room in the new house where the box should be placed. It makes it much easier for removal companies as there is a guide they can follow without having to ask the new owners constantly where each box should go. A “fragile” sticker can be put on boxes with delicate items and the “essentials” boxes can be identified with an additional sticker.
Furniture can also have a tied label and coloured sticker to identify which room they need to be placed in.
keep some empty boxes handy for moving day for unforeseen packing items.
put a masking tape “x” on mirrors and glass in case of breakage.
put heavy items at the bottom.
fill to the brim to prevent boxes getting crushed or dented.
place a good layer of packing material at the top of each box to avoid slicing into goods when opening the box.
make boxes too heavy to lift
use newspaper as it can mark your items
The last box(es) to leave your old house and the first box to be brought into the new house. It should contain: kettle, snacks, tea, coffee, milk, mugs, glasses, soap, towel, tea towel, dish cloth, first aid (include head ache remedies – you could need them!), toilet paper, cleaning equipment and bin bags. A mini tool kit for putting furniture back together. If you’re super organised, it’s a good idea to have a one pot meal to put on for the end of a busy day with the appropriate number of crockery and cutlery to enjoy it.
Unpack and put away items in each box in turn. If you unpack an item and you’re unsure why you have it, you probably don’t need it – time to organise items into “keep”, “donate” and “sell” categories again!
TV Licensing, Driving License, Vehicle Registration, Vehicle Insurance, Breakdown Service, Inland Revenue, Employers, Council Tax, Bank, Building Society, Credit and Store Cards, Premium Bonds, Employers, Schools, Subscriptions, Telephone, Internet Provider, Gas, Electric, Water, Pension Provider, Loan and Investment Companies, Doctors, Dentist, Post Office and of course Friends and Family.
Wishing you lots of luck and many happy years in your new property!