Moving home is a great opportunity to restart your life in your own terms surrounded by the things that will support you in becoming a better version of yourself.
Yes, it can be hard work and a bit overwhelming, but if done properly it can actually be a great opportunity for self-growth.
Here are some tips that will make your move run nice and smooth.
As soon as you know you are moving, start decluttering immediately. Ideally, this should start 2 months ahead. This way you won’t be wasting time, energy and money moving items you won’t need in your new home.
If you’re not sure what to keep or leave, apply the 6 month rule. Hasn’t been used or worn in the last six months? If the answer is no, then you most probably don’t need it.
Rehome unwanted items
Finding new homes for your unwanted items is the most responsible thing to do, avoiding the landfill. There are 3 things you can do with the things you don’t want to keep:
host a party with friends/work colleagues and let them take what they want
donate to charity (there are charities that collect furniture) or FreeCycle
or list the item on Facebook MarketPlaces, eBay or Gumtree.
For things that are not donatable/sellable, check online for the most responsible way to recycle them.
The art of packing
Packing is the most important thing when moving and if you master this step, everything will become less overwhelming. Here are a few rules to follow:
Pack room by room
Label all boxes clearly and name the room where they belong to on the sides (there’s nothing worse than having a pile of unknown boxes)
Colour code each room (optional tip for perfectionists)
Pack light items in big boxes and heavy items in small boxes (don’t exceed 30 pounds per box)
Start collecting empty boxes or check with neighbours and local groups if someone is giving them away (this is an environmental tip)
Make each family member pack a small travel bag/backpack with the most essential items they can’t live without, like toothbrush, pijamas, phone chargers, school books, favourite pillow, etc. This way if anything happens and things get delayed, everyone is happy. I call it the survival kit.
It’s great to get kids involved at this stage. Get them to pack their own box for the move, and remember to keep it safe and take it with you on the moving day (the last thing you want is for this specific box to go missing…). In it you can have things like: favourite toy, book, bedroom items to create their own space, night light / reading lamp / torch, a few toys, photos, change of clothes, pijamas and bathroom necessaire.
Box of essentials
Prepare a box with all the things you will need to have a functional home straight away, even before you start unpacking.
I usually do a checklist together with my clients, as preferences will vary from person to person, but here are some examples: basic kitchen stuff to eat, drink and cook, cleaning kit for bathroom and kitchen incl. dustpan, towels and dishcloth, toiletries and loo roll, baby supplies, pet food (if you have a pet), first aid kit, batteries, torch, bin liners, scissors, tools to help you assemble beds and other items and a corkscrew (you will probably want to raise a glass in the new house!).
Label what is staying
Make sure you’re not taking furniture and appliances that are meant to stay in your old home. This can become a nightmare, as you will have to book the movers again to take back things that weren’t supposed to go. Make a big label in a piece of paper and tape it to the item.
Get a sitter
Organise someone in advance to look after kids and pets. If possible have a back up, in case the person you asked can’t make it last minute. This is a win win as moving is not kids’ favourite thing to do either.
Move your bed first and make it
You’ll be exhausted by the end of the day and will be happy to have a comfy bed to rest, plus you will be too tired to make it at the end of the day. It’s really important to feel comfortable in your new home.
Forward your post
Updating your postal address is one of those tasks that keeps being pushed back. I good idea here is to leave forwarding labels with the new tenants/owners and have them sending you the post that hasn’t been updated.
It’s also a nice gesture to leave a welcome card and a bottle of wine for the newcomers.
Don’t be too organised
When all the boxes are in your new home, your objective should be get rid of them as soon as possible. To do this, don’t be too precious or it will take you too long and you lose your motivation. Unpack the boxes and place into the right drawers and cupboards, but don’t be too worried about it being orderly and organised, once all the boxes are unpacked you can go back when you have time and make it look better.