ESCAPE PLAN

Top 10 tricks to packing up

Follow these top ten tips and your moving nightmares will be over

STORY: KYLIE DULHUNTY

You’ve sold your house, bought a new one and thought all of the agonisingly tough decisions had been made.

Sorry to burst your bubble – they haven’t. Now you have to wade through the potential hell that is moving.

Do you do it backpacker-style and rope in all your friends, and their trailers, in a massive DIY mission? Or do you hire removalists and leave it up to the professionals? What about insurance?  And just what are you going to do with the 257 novels in your back bedroom?

Here are 10 top tips to help you move without breaking the bank, your antique clock and your back.

1. Clear the clutter
Take a leaf out of Marie Kondo’s book and start the moving process with a thorough cull of everything you don’t need, don’t like, no longer use or just won’t suit your new property.
Sort your belongings into items you can sell, donate or send straight to the tip or recycling centre. Be ruthless.

2. Choose your removalists
Good removalists, or bad, can make or break the moving experience. Do your research. Look at online reviews, including Google reviews, and not just those on the moving company’s website. Also ask family and friends who they have used in the past. Make sure you analyse the services each company offers and compare this against price. Get at least three quotes. Some companies charge by the size of your home, the amount of goods to be moved, the type of property (including if it has stairs), the distance between the two addresses and by the hour. The more detailed a quote you can get, the better.

3. Don’t skip insurance
It might be tempting to save some money and skip moving insurance, but it’s a big risk to take with a truck full of your furniture and most treasured possessions. Moving insurance can cover a range of different losses for varying types of unforeseen events, including if the truck is in an accident, or if items are stolen. Make sure you check exactly what you are, and aren’t, covered for. Also, don’t assume your removalist company will automatically insure you. Many removalists do offer insurance at an additional cost, and many traditional house and contents insurers also offer moving, or transit, insurance.

4. Pack early
It’s never too early to start packing. Once you’ve completed your declutter it’s time to get out the boxes. Start packing the items you use least and continue until you have packed your most used items. If you break your packing down into bite size chunks, such as an hour a day, it will seem much more manageable. Don’t forget to clearly label your boxes with their contents, what room they are going to and whether they contain breakables.

5. Have the right materials
Essential items include quality packing tape, a permanent marker, bubble wrap, clean butcher’s paper and the right size boxes. Having boxes of varying sizes is essential. Pack light items such as linen or Tupperware in larger boxes and pop heavy items such as books into smaller boxes. It might be tempting to skimp and use newspaper instead of butcher’s paper to wrap crockery and glasses, but doing so will only leave you with a mountain of dishes to do at the other end, as the ink will leave a mark.

6. Pack an essentials box
Pack a specially marked box, or plastic tub, with the essential things you will need on moving day and the first day in your new home. Include things like a change of clothes, toiletries, toilet paper, phone chargers, pain killers, bandaids and bottles of water.

7. Be smart about electronics
Don’t you hate it when you’re staring at a bunch of cords and wondering which one connects to what? Grab your phone and take pictures of all of your electronics set up before you pack them. That way, when it comes time to plug everything back in you can look at the picture and get it right the first time.

8. Get your utilities connected
You don’t want to arrive at your new house to discover you’ve only got cold water so ensure you have your utilities set up. Most providers now have online services where you can do this with just a few clicks of a mouse. Don’t forget to cancel services at your old property but ensure you do this after you’ve cleaned it as you’ll be needing hot water there too.

9. Clean before you move in
If you can make it to your new house a day or two before the move, clean the bathrooms and kitchen and the inside of any cupboards and drawers, so they are ready to use. At your old house save a day to clean it, top to bottom, once it’s empty. If you’re renting you’ll need to do this to get your bond back. If you’ve sold, a sparkling clean house is a lovely way to welcome the new owners. But whether you have been renting or an owner, if your new home is a long way from your existing one, consider hiring professional cleaners to clean your current property so you can just shut the door on your old life and head off.
A good rule of thumb is that the home should look as good as it did on open home or inspection days.

10. Be kind
Moving can be stressful for everyone concerned – even the removalists. Being a removalist is backbreaking work and nothing makes a job harder than a rude client. So even though you’re tired and feeling the pressure of moving, offer your removalists a smile, a helping hand and a cold drink. They’ll love you for it!

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