Moving into a new house can be exciting and at the same time stressful. When contemplating the move in your mind, you are all charged up and rearing to go. But then you run into common but unexpected problems when moving and you start to panic. Wouldn’t it have been nice to have guidelines for moving beforehand and avoid making it up as you go? Here are 38 tips to guide you as you avoid unnecessary inconveniences as you move into your new house:
- Leave the old house in order. I know what you’re thinking, how can I leave an empty house in order? Well, if you are selling the house, make sure the maintenance is done. If it was a rental and the lease is up, consider cleaning the place or hiring a cleaner to get your bond returned. Moving can be less expensive if you take care of these things in advance.
- Start packing early. Instead of scheduling your packing activities for the weekend, start packing early if you have the time. Packing small amounts over a couple of days or weeks will give you an easier time on the moving day. Your stuff will also be more organised to some degree. Packing all your things and unpacking them on the same day will leave you exhausted.
- Plan according to the size of the move. This simply means that moving isn’t the same for all situations. Moving into a three-bedroom house is different from moving into a first apartment or going to college. Get to know what the move will involve in order to know if to hire help and which kind of services to ask for from the removalist company.
- Get an inspection quote. Instead of getting an estimation quote over the phone or via email, call the moving company to do an inspection and produce a quote. Moving companies such as Interstate Movers Sydney will give you an estimate once they have inspected the premises. You can call up to three companies and order an inspection to get the right price.
- Timing your move is great if you are hiring a removalist company. When you have decided that hiring a removalist company is the way to go, you should schedule the move in between the month. Moving companies usually charge more at the beginning and end of the month. Save some money by scheduling a mid-month move. In some countries, moving is cheaper in certain months of the year during low season. You can take advantage of this and get removalist services at a discounted price.
- Declutter your house. Most of the times, that is if you don’t declutter often, you will find your house is full of junk. Including them in the things you are planning to move will be a lot of unnecessary work. Get rid of junk and stuff you are not going to use way before moving. Here are some ideas on how to declutter your house:
- Start selling stuff three months before leaving. Organize a yard sale and sell old items to declutter your house. Sell them at a low price because your main aim is to get rid of all of them.
- Donate clothes. Instead of throwing out clothes and shoes, you can donate them to a charity organisation of your choice. Just make sure they are in good condition before donating. Books and toys can also be donated towards a worthy cause.
- Organize seasonal items into plastic storage boxes. Storage boxes are awesome for putting seasonal items such as Christmas decorations. By putting them in storage boxes, you can easily clean out your attic and organize what items will be disposed or stored.
- Carry essential items to the new house. If it is convenient, moving short distance for example, you can carry some items such as pyjamas and two or three days’ clothes for everyone. Instead of getting them from boxes, ironing them and whatnot, you will have an easier time easing into the new house.
Tips on choosing a moving company
So you have decided that hiring a moving company is in your best interest. Choosing a good removalist company is not that hard. Just look around for a local moving company and compare them. Here are some tips to help you out
- Get recommendations. It never hurts to ask around for the best removalist company from your friends, family and co-workers. Ask someone who has actually moved using a moving company and whose opinion comes from experience. You can also call the removalist company and get an estimate over the phone. In Sydney for example, Interstate Movers Sydney have the most competitive rates and offer full moving services.
- Show the estimator everything. Do not try and dupe the estimator into estimating for less items. This is because the moving company charges at or below the standard moving price. He/ she will quote a price that can only be disputed before the items get on the truck. This will prevent any misunderstandings about the price. You should also compare the in-house estimates of different companies as described in tip 4.
- Read through the estimate and make sure you understand everything. What are the contents of an estimate? A basic one should contain a contract signed by both the company and yourself and also an inventory list created during loading. The estimate should have all the moving details especially if you are moving interstate. Interstate Movers Sydney for instance will give you a different estimate with more details if you are moving interstate. The main reason for checking the estimate is so that you do not pay extra for services such as packing and supplies which you might have already covered on your own.
- Ask basic questions. Do not be afraid to inquire from the estimator anything you need to know about the company. Ask them how many years they have been in business, how fast it takes to load and offload, their location and so forth. You can go online and check if everything you heard is true. Also check the local authority’s website to check if the company is licensed to do business.
Things to remember before moving out
- Pull out your tape measure and get the new house’s measurements. The living room space could be smaller than your old house and that grand piano may not fit. Stay away from such inconveniences by getting measurements of the rooms in the new house. If the house is close by, conduct as many pre-visits as you deem necessary before the moving day. On the other hand, you might be moving long distance. Schedule a weekend date to go to the new house, get the measurements and leave some essentials at the house.
- Defrost your refrigerator two days before moving day. This simple tip is one that many people forget to do. Defrost your fridge two days before moving and dry it using a towel. Hauling the fridge to the moving truck can cause a wet mess inside the truck. The ice melting can even damage other items when moving.
- Empty your lawn mower tank. Your lawn mower can leak fuel all over the truck and on your belongings. This fuel is flammable and can cause a fire if not checked. Any other machinery that will be put in the moving truck should also be emptied of any petrol before being loaded into the truck.
- Take a picture of your cords. Disconnecting and reconnecting the TV can be a hassle for some people. The easy solution is to take a photo with your smartphone and you can use the photo to reconnect the cords at the destination. Still on the subject of cords;
- Put your cords, cables and devices in one place. You do not want to lose your cables when moving. Especially after a long day of moving and just when you want to connect your TV and relax, you notice some cords are missing. Putting them together in one place is a simple solution to avoid losing them.
- Call your friends and have them pick stuff they had lent you. Your friend could have left some stuff at your place or lent something to you. Have them come over to your place and pick stuff up. AS they come over, you can give them some of your stuff such as pots, pans, crockery, cutlery and so forth. And if they don’t want them, you can give them to a charity or include them in your yard sale.
- Alert the neighbours that you are moving out. Being a good neighbour isn’t reserved for only when you are living there. When you are moving out, alert your neighbours about the moving day and that there will be moving trucks outside. They can also help you out if their day is free or if you made a good impression on them.
- Invest in boxes. When moving, you will require to have somewhere to put your stuff right? Buy boxes that will fit your stuff. Approximate the number of boxes you need according to your stuff. It is better to buy a few first and add more later and avoid overspending on them. You should also try and buy durable boxes which are of more value than cheap cardboard boxes. Boxes are also way better than putting your stuff in baggies. Also, you should go for customized boxes. There are awesome wardrobe boxes that have a hanger rack and let you store clothes without removing the hangers. This can be reused when you plan on moving later on.
- Label your boxes. As much as this sounds like common knowledge, not everyone does it. You can attach a key code or colour code to boxes too. For example, yellow stickers for kitchen boxes, blue for living room, red for the bedroom and so forth. You should also label boxes with fragile items and which side of the box goes up. Needless to say, it will help you when unpacking your items.
- Use soft garments to pad boxes. You can put soft items such as pillows, stuffed animals and blankets in a trash bag and use them as a sort of padding in the moving truck. They can absorb shock and prevent fragile items from breaking. These soft trash bags can also serve as space fillers to keep things compact. It is also good to pad the inside of the box with garments to prevent things from moving or breaking.
- Put heavy items in suitcases. Items such as books which are bulky can be packed in a suitcase with wheels. Moving heavy items can be cumbersome and a rolling luggage bag can be relieving since you just pull them to the truck. You will spend less energy moving them in and out of the truck.
- Keep your packing tools in one box. After buying packing supplies such as tape, marker pens and a utility knife, keep them in one location. This will make your packing process easier because you will not have to keep looking for your supplies every now and then. After packing, you should ideally leave them in the same box.
- Cut small triangles on the sides of the boxes if you decide to go DIY. If you decide to go the Do-It-Yourself way, you will have to carry the boxes yourself right? Cut small triangular holes on two sides which you can use to carry the box. Use a sharp utility knife to make the cuts. When cutting the holes, do not remove the flap made out of the cut.
- Put hanged clothes into trash bags. Without removing them from the hanger, put the clothes inside a trash bag. You can use the trash bag while upright or upside down and poke a hole on the bottom of the bag for the hanger. This will prevent them from creasing and you having to iron them again. Alternatively, you can order wardrobe movers from your moving company where your clothes are put in wardrobe handlers without removing them from their hangers. Interstate Movers Sydney offer additional services such as these alongside basic removalist services.
- Use empty toilet paper rolls and egg cartons to pack jewellery. Instead of throwing out empty toilet paper rolls, use them to pack jewellery like necklaces by looping the necklaces inside the roll. This prevents them from tangling into a mess. Egg cartons also come in handy for keeping smaller jewellery pieces such as rings and earrings.
- Plastic wrappers can come in handy. Instead of emptying out drawers and cabinets especially the smaller ones, you can use plastic wrapper and keep them in place. This way, you can move your furniture easily without necessarily emptying out every drawer. Another advantage is that you can put the smaller items such as screws and bolts inside the drawers and avoid losing them during the move.
- Use double boxing to prevent fragile items. That flat screen TV can crack or get damaged when moving. To prevent expensive electronics from breaking, use double boxing. You can use the original box and put it inside another. This will absorb any shock in case it gets thrown around in the truck or falls when being carried.
Unpacking tips on arrival
- Visualize your new house. You already know how it looks and how the rooms are positioned. Imagine yourself in the new house, where your pictures and paintings are going to go, how furniture will be arranged and such. Doing this before moving is advisable. When you get to the new house, you will have an easier time arranging the place. It is also good to put things where they were in the old house to avoid confusion.
- First things first, unpack the kitchen. The kitchen should be the first to unpack. Unpack the essentials and load foodstuff into your refrigerator. Ideally, you should start with the cabinet and later the drawers. Essential items e.g. those used for cooking should be first.
- Put your cleaning supplies in a separate box. Cleaning the house might be the first activity you undertake after the moving truck leaves. Instead of rummaging through boxes to look for cleaning supplies, have them in a separate box for easier accessibility.
- Order take-out meals for the first two days. Remember you defrosted your refrigerator and you have just but unpacked your kitchen. You can order food from a restaurant for the first two days as you organize food in your refrigerator the way you want it. Have fun eating takeout meals on the first days with the family.
- Hang pictures as soon as you see them. Pictures everywhere when unpacking can slow you down. When you encounter a picture or painting, just hang it on the wall as you continue unpacking. You can rearrange them later on if you want. This also prevents damage to the pictures e.g. broken glass or a broken frame.
- Electronics go last. As much you want to relax and watch a few shows after moving, you should put this off until you finish unpacking. Keep off the telly until you have finished unpacking lest you get distracted. There is really no relaxation when you still have boxes waiting to be unpacked.
- You don’t have to do it in one day. You can unpack for a few days after moving and keep your sanity. Start with the kitchen and unpack the essentials first. You can also put your mattress on the floor for the first two nights as you unpack and put things in their place.