Moving house is hard. It is emotionally and physically tiring and then the first thing that happens when you get to the new place… You look at all your boxes and you have no idea what to do with them all!
You will be overwhelmed with decisions the minute you pick up the new keys, so the more you can decide beforehand, the less stress you will deal with on move day.
If you can, take photos of the home you are leaving behind – if layout and placements work for you in one house the chances are it will do so again (filing cabinets belong in offices and pots need to be close to cookers!). And if you spent hours figuring out the perfect layout for family photos in the hallway, chances are you will want to repeat the display in the new place, so take a photo to make the putting up in the new place a little easier.
Here is a handy checklist, scroll down for more detail.
- First day essentials crate
- Pack the boxes you will need first with red tape
- Don’t try to work out the perfect home for all your items as you unpack them
- Outsource fiddly tasks that you won’t have time to sit down and complete
- Don’t pack clothes
The minute you start to pack, make a ‘first day essentials’ crate. A clear, lidded plastic box is ideal and this will be the last thing you take as you leave the house. From a kettle and teabags, to a favourite bedtime book or a spare bullet charger for your phone, these are the items that you will need as you unpack!
As move day can sometimes be delayed and make for a long day, make sure you pack noodle / pasta bowls for the whole family, cereal bars for an emergency breakfast – and instant hot chocolate. There is nothing like hot food or a warming drink to make you feel like you’re at home!
Work out what you will need first and pack these boxes you will need first with red tape – eg duvets and covers for bedrooms, phones and chargers for the office and pans, cutlery and dishes for the kitchen. It is also a good idea to pack a pile of paper plates and maybe your picnic set in with dining room items. Don’t slow yourself down trying to figure homes for everything as you unpack – just place boxes on counters and use disposable / picnic items for the first day or so.
Don’t try to work it all out on day 1
The most important thing is for you to find what you need – so group like with like where you can and move on to the next thing. You need time to live in your new home to establish your natural rhythms and routes (when making breakfast for instance, or when sorting laundry). You can’t possibly figure this all out on day 1 or 2, and there is a lot of work to do so unpack and place, and move on to the next box as quick as you can… and before you tire out!
Packing and moving parties are the myth of sitcoms like Friends, but the chances are your friends or family will appreciate the stressful time you are in and will be glad to do something constructive to help out. If you are moving a fair distance, ask someone to work out the route to drive there and load it to your sat nav. Or if you have a friend with time on their hands, ask them to find a list of numbers and addresses for the places you will need in those first stressful few days – directions to the local recycling area, the closest supermarket and corner shop and the number for a couple of local take away places!
Seriously – don’t pack them! Excepting furniture, these items stand to take up 4-6 crates or vacumm bags per family member. If your movers are taking chests and wardrobes full, that’s great, but not everyone offers this service. If not, take a roll of extra large bin liners or large vacuum bags and roll clothes still on their hangers 8-12 items at a time. Only the very middle items will crease.
For chests, pack per person / per chest and shove it all in large, strong bags. Buy a cheap pack of flannels and pack these in with your clothes. If items are creased as you unpack, put them in the drier along with a couple of wet flannels for a 30 minute refresher cycle – creases be gone!
Clothes will be as good as new and no stress of futile folding and unfolding at both ends of the packing journey.