Moving house is exciting, but it’s not what you’d called fun (unless you happen to work for Kiwi Movers!). You’re most likely going to be stressed, worried about your stuff and trying to get from place A to place B in an increasingly unrealistic time.
For small-scale moves that you want to tackle on your own (we recommend calling in the professionals for bigger moves), here are some of the Internet’s best tips for taking the stress out of a moving house.
Have a good clean out.
According to our research, one in four house-movers pack at least one box of stuff they don’t need. This is a waste of effort and money. Get rid of everything you haven’t used in the last six months.
Start with anything that is duplicate. Whether it’s ‘spare’ mobile phones, fondue makers or clothes; if there’s multiple versions of pretty much the same thing, give it to charity.
But keep at least one pair of fitted bed sheets.
The single exception to this rule is bed sheets; these are perfect for protecting your mattress during the move. You can even keep them after you’ve moved if you plan to do any painting at the new place as they’re ideal for covering furniture.
Get some proper boxes.
It’s very tempting to grab a load of used cardboard boxes from your local shop – and this is fine for transporting stuff that is either unlikely to break or unlikely to leave you upset if it does break – but for the important stuff, like audio equipment, crockery and glassware, you’re going to need proper boxes. You can order removals boxes from your removals company in advance.
The difference between proper, double-walled removal boxes and cardboard boxes is massive. When you’re carrying half your kitchen in a slightly damp banana box, you’ll feel the bottom buckle, the sides bend and thin cardboard is hardly going to protect the contents from bangs and bumps. When you lift a proper, sturdy removals box designed to protect your valuable stuff, you’ll be grateful this is one area you decided not to cut corners.
Keep clothes on their hangers during the move.
This saves space and time. Transporting clothing is a bit of a faff. Clothes are heavy, cumbersome and difficult to pack efficiently. Using hangers in this way at least removes the effort of packing and unpacking.
Download EvidenceCam for iPhone or Android.
This nifty little app time-stamps, dates and watermarks your photos with GPS coordinates; ideal for proving beyond doubt that the meter reading you sent to your gas supplier was accurate and legit. No more debates about when you took your reading and whether it’s accurate, all the proof you need will be on your phone.
Take photos of meter readings.
Sort of self-explanatory after the previous tip, but important nonetheless. Send these off on the date that you vacate the house if it’s at all possible.
Invest in some sandwich bags and strong sticky tape.
When dismantling furniture, put all the screws, nuts and bolts in the sandwich bag and stick it to a non-visible part of the furniture. Don’t do this with antique oak furniture please.
Use rope or very strong string to keep drawers shut when moving them.
This saves fingers and drawers from damage. If your drawers contain fairly light objects, it may be worth moving them full. This obviously means you’ve got one less packing job at each end, but it’s only a smart thing to do if the full chest of drawers can be moved with its contents in place.
Photograph wiring configurations before packing electronic equipment.
This way you’ll have a handy reference for when you come to rewire your TV, stereo and anything else that requires such attention. So many hours are lost to trying to figure out exactly which wire went where and why.
Put a rubber band around the lock on your front door.
If you’ve got one of those doors that lock automatically, this will stop that annoying scenario when the door swings shut as you’re carrying a box of books.
Use soap to fill in small holes left by hanging pictures.
Take photos of your freshly cleaned and tidied rental property
Don’t be one of the 8 in 10 private tenants who struggle to get their deposit back. If your moving budget can stretch to it, hiring a professional cleaner as for your move can take a lot of hassle out of the process. This is especially true if you’re vacating a rented property. Even if you aren’t renting, it’s never nice to move into a dirty house, so if you’re feeling gracious to the people who bought your house, this could be a good way of earning some house move karma. You never know when you might need the removals Gods to smile down on you…