Apparently moving to a new house is ranked under the top 10 most stressful life events.
Anyone who has moved will most likely be able to relate to this statement, even if you are looking forward to the move, it doesn’t mean that it is not going to be stressful.
So, having had to move twice in a span of eight months, I can indeed confirm that moving is STRESSFUL!
Add working full time, two kids, a family dog and hubby in another city and you have got yourself an anxiety attack waiting to happen.
So, I did what any other TYPE A personality will do, I started decluttering in advance. I parted with many empty containers (that I was still going to use one day), toys, books, clothes and furniture.
I packed (with the help of my dear parents) labelled, colour-coded and organised boxes and the remaining furniture and was ready to unpack the light load in our new home.
Or so I thought. Turns out after moving into our new, tinier apartment (from a more spacious townhouse), I did not declutter nearly enough for all our “precious belongings” to fit in the new modern living space. We now also did not have a double garage for the “I’m hanging onto you because I might need you in the future” items.
Having to unpack all the boxes ALONE and finding a suitable space for everything was overwhelming!!
Since modern living (on a family budget) is not always spacious, I ended up having to declutter and throw out even more items, boxes full of items that never really had to move with us in this first place.
It was annoying to think that we spent money moving boxes of items that we had no use or space for in our new home and that I now had to get rid of them.
So, to save you the effort of having to pack items that you will unpack and then repack to donate later… here are a few of my moving tips that might save you some money and your sanity:
- Start decluttering in advance!
Really declutter!! Besides something sparking joy in your life, you must ask yourself whether you have a need or the space for the item in your new home? This means that you must remind yourself of the reasons why you are moving or seriously consider the space that you are moving into. Are you moving to downscale? Is the new home less spacious? Is there enough cupboard space and will you have enough wall space for all those clocks and decor?Consider the space and consider how your belongings will fit into the space. This will prevent you from unnecessarily packing items that you will not need or use.
- Stock up on moving supplies such as boxes, bubble wrap, furniture wrap, tape, scissors and more bubble wrap.
This way you won’t have to constantly rush out to get more supplies, it really slows you down.
- Vacuum bag your linen, blankets and curtains
Invest in proper vacuum storage bags and vacuum your linen, winter blankets, curtains and even winter coats. Vacuuming these will save space and keep them cleaner during the move.
- Colour Code, label or number your boxes
I did all of the above! Choose a colour or number for each room in the new house and number or colour code your boxes as you pack them. Ensure that you communicate your number or colour allocation with the moving team, or whoever is supervising the move in the new place so that they can ensure that the boxes are taken to the correct room. This SHOULD make unpacking quick and easy.(Hubby did not get the importance of this memo and I therefore had to reshuffle ALL my boxes when I arrived at the new place before I could start unpacking them. NOT FUN!)
- Clearly indicate what you pack in each box
I know you think you will remember that you packed your winter boots with the vacuum cleaner nozzle and your son’s fire truck. TRUST me, you won’t remember.Why did I not categorise when I packed, you ask? Because, as much as you will try and keep every similar item together, realistically, you also do not want 50 boxes that are half full, because not all your similar items will fit into the box together due to shape or size.
- Declutter some more
Yes, if, as you start packing you will realise that you could declutter some more, do it. Declutter as much as you possibly can. You will not regret it.
- Take inventory
If you have appointed a moving company to assist with the move, they would have already asked for a moving inventory. Use this as your guide when packing to make sure that you have packed and wrapped all your items according to their standards.
- Ask for and accept help
Whether you are roping in your friends and family to help pack the boxes or whether you send the kids on a playdate to have time alone to get the packing done yourself, accept any help that is offered and don’t be too proud to ask for help when you need it.
- Leave wrapping the appliances to the professionals
I contemplated whether I should try and wrap EVERYTHING myself. I’m glad I didn’t. We asked the moving company to wrap our appliances and outdoor glass dining table. They sent a team ahead of the moving truck that quickly wrapped the appliances. It saved me the frustration of having to do it myself and prevented the appliances from scratches and dents during the move.
- Declutter some more!
I promise you will not miss the extra tablecloth that you were hanging onto for that dinner party that you still wanted to have or the third set of utensils that was lying in the kitchen drawer.
And I promise you, you will thank me when you unpack only the items that you need and that you will find a space for in your new (perhaps tinier) family home.
Happy packing and unpacking!
Remember to give us a call if you feel that decluttering, packing, and more decluttering is too stressful! We are happy to help you move and staying Oh So Organised, throughout the process!