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Moving house - your best tips!


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#1 cardamom

Posted 26 August 2019 - 03:22 PM

DP and I have just bought our first place (eeeek!)

I'm ridiculously excited but settlement is a few months away so I'm spending lots of time daydreaming (a reading room! squee!) and planning.

It's been quite awhile since we last moved house, and that was just from one flat to another, 100m down the road. This will be from a 2-bed flat to a 3-bed unit, a few suburbs away - so still pretty low-key, but a bit more involved than literally carrying the mattress up the street in the dead of night like last time :laugh:

So - tell me your best moving tips!

What can we be doing now to prepare?
Any wise and innovative packing ideas?
We'll be doing the move ourselves mostly - any suggestions?
Should we aim to do it all in one day, or spread it out?
Big stuff first or last?
We will have a nice outdoor deck - what are the easiest plants to keep alive?

I did a lot of decluttering earlier in the year and have also been slowly weeding through things the past couple of weeks, but there isn't really a whole lot of stuff to get rid of.

The place is vacant and fairly clean but I'd like to give it a scrub before we move in, and obviously we need to clean our rental before we go. Any tips? Things we should take advantage of while the place is empty?

We're going to paint and polish the floors before we move in, and the bathroom will need doing at some point, but that's probably a year or so away.

Thanks for indulging me :)

#2 Beanette

Posted 26 August 2019 - 03:38 PM

Pack one box with essentials for your first night - towels, sheets for the bed, toiletries, the kettle for a coffee, etc and label it "FIRST NIGHT". That way you're not hunting through every box trying to find what you need to go to bed after a long exhausting day.

I also try to do a bit at a time, pack a few boxes each day so it's not so overwhelming.

Bunnings have free boxes you can get for packing, some supermarkets will give you boxes too if you ask.

Expect it to take much longer than you think to move everything. Even with about ten helpers it still took us the better a part of a day to move a three bedroom house

#3 Meelah

Posted 26 August 2019 - 03:39 PM

Make your bed first so that no matter how much other stuff you get done - when you are tired you can go to bed!

Nothing worse than being exhausted from moving all day and then realising you have to actually put your bed together and make it before you can sleep.

#4 Apageintime

Posted 26 August 2019 - 03:43 PM

Start decluttering now. Things like the junk drawer, clothes clear out etc etc

The less you have to move the better.

Hire people to help. I've never regretted it.

If you have small kids, put a toy in each box so they can find something to play with along the way.

Do bed first. So if you run out of puff unpacking at least you can sleep.

Get a Coles online grocery order delivered the day you move so its one less thing you've got to leave the house for

#5 PrincessPeach

Posted 26 August 2019 - 03:55 PM

Label every single box you pack with its contents.

Also start packing the things you wont need sooner, rather than later, so the pretty decorative things, books etc.

Id also do a deep clean of the place the day you get the keys before you move in. There are some places which wont get cleaned for another few months (like behind fridges & heavy furniture).

We moved in 2 days, it was pure hell as DH wasnt the type to declutter. Plus i was 35 weeks pregnant, ds was still footling breach position so i couldnt lift anything heavier than a bottle of milk.

#6 Tinselonthefloor

Posted 26 August 2019 - 03:56 PM

Use lots of ziplock bags-all sizes

Have one box that is clearly marked "Don't Touch" and put all your phones, iPads, Chargers, keys etc in and sit it somewhere prominent

Go to Bunnings or a Kennards and buy their zipped soft large storage bags-great for packing clothes, linens, cushions etc in ( they're pretty cheap )

If you have overlap time use it to take stuff over and unpack immediately- best is to use clothes baskets as you can't make them too heavy-can take over plates/glasses/saucepans this way-use cushions or tea towels to protect the items

Use rolling duffel bags or suitcases to take clothes over in or picture frames, books etc

Best of luck


#7 smilinggirl

Posted 26 August 2019 - 03:58 PM

We had a friend come over at a particular time with pizza our first night here. It meant that we had to take a break and eat. Having been on the go since early in the morning, it was great to have a forced break

#8 MerryMadrigalMadge

Posted 26 August 2019 - 04:03 PM

I'd use overlap time to really clean, bug spray, do any painting you need to do.

We didn't paint and within 8 weeks we were painiting around furniture because the colour was making me ill.

Don't underestimate how long it takes to move clothing, garage stuff, backyard stuff etc

start packing now.

#9 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 26 August 2019 - 04:05 PM

You need more boxes. Always more boxes, then some more.

Spray all the wardrobes and cupboards with surface spray before moving in. To kill silverfish and moths and cockroaches. Even the nicest homes will have a few stray silverfish.

Pay for removalists, don’t do it yourself.

#10 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 26 August 2019 - 04:09 PM

I still would consider getting a small truck moving service to at least move the large furniture and appliance items. They will have the trolleys, anti damage mats, mattress bag etc plus the strength to move stuff without you getting an injury. I used Man with a Van. We did the packing and they did the big stuff, moved it, put it in place and we unpacked.

#11 nakedrhubarb

Posted 26 August 2019 - 04:29 PM

I would pack a few boxes a day from now. That way it is small and manageable. Label every box with the contents. This means you can find what you need and don't have to unpack all the boxes on the first day.

I would use colour labels for my boxes. All the things I won't need immediately get blue (generally everything I packed early). All the essentials get red labels (usually the stuff I had to pack in the last few days)- this meant I could say to the removalists (or my friends who were helping) that I wanted the boxes put into piles according to colour and it made it faster to unpack on the day.

For close moves I just put all the clothes on coathangers straight into the car, and then put them straight into the wardrobe. Saves crinkling the clothes and wasting time folding/rehanging.

On the day of the move I would put all the kitchen essentials in the car and set that up first. I would also have a box of tools for putting things together, along with all the screws for reassembling the furniture - ziplock bags and lots of labels!.

Congratulations on your new house. I hope the move goes smoothly for you.

#12 No Drama Please

Posted 26 August 2019 - 04:33 PM

I’d also get someone to move the big stuff, I don’t think we could do it on our own anymore, I always think we are total minimalists until we have to move house.

I’d probably pay a cleaner to clean the new place so you just clean your old place. Feels nice knowing you have a fresh new start.

Don’t move on a weekend! Move on a weekday and put the kids in before and after school care so they are not around to “help” lol.

Congratulations! Exciting times :)

Edited by 28 Barbary Lane, 26 August 2019 - 04:34 PM.


#13 got my tinsel on

Posted 26 August 2019 - 04:37 PM

Start packing now.

All those things that aren't in everyday use:

books, extra crockery, cutlery and glassware, kitchenware, out of season clothes, knick-knacks, vases, kids toys, board games, wines/spirits, extra linen, photo albums/paperwork etc.

It's amazing all the stuff you'll have that you can pack so that the last minute packing is minimal.

#14 archyandmehitabel

Posted 26 August 2019 - 04:38 PM

If your rental has a garden get it up to scratch now.

The best move we ever did we moved in over a couple of days and then had removalists for the big stuff.

We had built in wardobes so we didn;t pack our clothes from the wardrobe, just took all our clothes which hang up in piles with the clothes hanger still in over in our cars and hung them straight up in the new house.

We moved our bathroom stuff and kitchen and unpacked everything beforehand as well.

It meant we were camping out in our rental but as soon as we moved into the new house it was ready to go.

#15 got my tinsel on

Posted 26 August 2019 - 04:39 PM

Also, budget for take away/meals at the pub when the big move is happening.

#16 Not Escapin Xmas

Posted 26 August 2019 - 04:40 PM

Sugar soap everything in the new place. Even the walls!!! You'll be amazed how much gunk/grime/grey comes off everything.

But most importantly, congratulations! How exciting :)

#17 Not Escapin Xmas

Posted 26 August 2019 - 04:42 PM

Oooh, and for your new deck, take note of which way it's facing and wander around the neighbourhood to find other balconies/gardens facing the same way. That way you can see what both looks nice AND what will grow.

#18 wilding

Posted 26 August 2019 - 04:47 PM

Set it all on fire and begin again? :secret: :rofl:

J/K maybe! Goodluck with the move, lots of good tips I won't add to the mix.

#19 Treasure Island

Posted 26 August 2019 - 05:06 PM

Quote

Pack one box with essentials for your first night - towels, sheets for the bed, toiletries, the kettle for a coffee, etc and label it "FIRST NIGHT". That way you're not hunting through every box trying to find what you need to go to bed after a long exhausting day.

Add to this a box of things you will need during the day while traipsing back and forth like toilet paper, soap, hand towel, cups, lollies/snacks. Take this the first time you go over.

You will need takeaway at least the last night at the old place and first night at the new one. Resist offers to go to someone's for dinner - it will take more time than you want to spare.

It will take more boxes, time, trips and energy than you think so don't be too hard on yourself.

#20 cakeys_mummy

Posted 26 August 2019 - 05:32 PM

Do the bathroom before you move in! We’re 11 years in and still haven’t done it.

Apart from that, on moving day, when you get there set up the beds first (sheets and all). Then when the excitement of unpacking wears off you can just collapse.

We labelled each box with a number on a little coloured sticker and kept notes on the content of each. Some didn’t get unpacked for weeks/months so it was then easy to know which box to open.

Tape gun. One each if you can.

And tie the black texta to a rope around your wrist when packing. Saves hours of wondering which box it’s in.

#21 cardamom

Posted 26 August 2019 - 05:46 PM

Thanks everyone, some great tips here :)

View PostMands09, on 26 August 2019 - 03:34 PM, said:

Get a pest spray before you move in. Definitely clean (scrub the place) before you move in.

Didn't even think of pest spray, that's a great idea.

View PostMeelah, on 26 August 2019 - 03:39 PM, said:

Make your bed first so that no matter how much other stuff you get done - when you are tired you can go to bed!

Definitely on the agenda!

View PostApageintime, on 26 August 2019 - 03:43 PM, said:

Start decluttering now. Things like the junk drawer, clothes clear out etc etc

If you have small kids, put a toy in each box so they can find something to play with along the way.


Already done - did a big clothes clear out earlier this year and have been decluttering a lot of stuff over the past couple of weeks. Our current flat is fairly small so there's not a whole lot to get rid of (though I may take that back when faced with the prospect of packing it all!)

View Postfouronthefloor, on 26 August 2019 - 03:56 PM, said:

If you have overlap time use it to take stuff over and unpack immediately- best is to use clothes baskets as you can't make them too heavy-can take over plates/glasses/saucepans this way-use cushions or tea towels to protect the items

We're planning to structure it such that we have some overlap. The new place is only 10 minutes away so I was hoping to take clothes etc. still on hangers and hang them straight up.

View PostMarigoldMadge, on 26 August 2019 - 04:03 PM, said:

We didn't paint and within 8 weeks we were painiting around furniture because the colour was making me ill.

Don't underestimate how long it takes to move clothing, garage stuff, backyard stuff etc

That's reassuring to hear, we were debating whether to paint but it seems foolish not to while it's sitting there empty, the current paint job was done hurriedly by the vendor and is a bit dodge.

Currently in a small-ish 2 bed flat so no garage, backyard, etc. to speak of. SO excited to have a garage at the new place! I can finally stop using the boot of my car as storage overflow.

View PostKiwi Bicycle, on 26 August 2019 - 04:09 PM, said:

I still would consider getting a small truck moving service to at least move the large furniture and appliance items. They will have the trolleys, anti damage mats, mattress bag etc plus the strength to move stuff without you getting an injury. I used Man with a Van. We did the packing and they did the big stuff, moved it, put it in place and we unpacked.

I'm trying to convince DP of the merit of this. I don't think we'd need more than a couple of hours to get the main things sent over. I think he feels it's too indulgent to pay removalists and that we're fine to DIY, but I have CFS and rheumatoid arthritis and my body will be screaming at me for days. Also contemplating whether to pay someone to clean - that's the bit I really can't bear the thought of, I'd much rather unpack boxes than scrub stuff.

View Post28 Barbary Lane, on 26 August 2019 - 04:33 PM, said:

Don’t move on a weekend! Move on a weekday and put the kids in before and after school care so they are not around to “help” lol.

That's the plan, will take a few days off mid-week. No kids but will have to keep the cats out of our hair!

View Postarchyandmehitabel, on 26 August 2019 - 04:38 PM, said:

If your rental has a garden get it up to scratch now.

Thankfully not :)

View PostNot Escapin Xmas, on 26 August 2019 - 04:40 PM, said:

Sugar soap everything in the new place. Even the walls!!! You'll be amazed how much gunk/grime/grey comes off everything.

But most importantly, congratulations! How exciting :)

Googling sugar soap and it sounds like exactly the kind of thing I should have been using to clean the grimy tops of the kitchen cabinets today - far out that was a workout!

And thank you! Sad to leave this suburb but very excited to be in our own place after a hard slog saving the deposit.

View Postcakeys_mummy, on 26 August 2019 - 05:32 PM, said:

Do the bathroom before you move in! We’re 11 years in and still haven’t done it.

We labelled each box with a number on a little coloured sticker and kept notes on the content of each. Some didn’t get unpacked for weeks/months so it was then easy to know which box to open.


Re: bathroom - I wish! Too poor to do it right now, plus my dad is a plumber so planning to do it at a time when he can come visit and give a hand. Plus I need time to think! I'm terribly indecisive - shower only? Shower over bath? Separate but squashy bath and shower? I'll probably need 11 years just for that, heh.

Love the sticker idea, will definitely be doing that.

#22 Blue Shoe

Posted 26 August 2019 - 05:46 PM

We had an overlap of a couple of weeks when we moved house, so we took all the non essentials over gradually during that time. We were doing a lot of work on the place (reno’d a bathroom, cleaning and painting) so were going every day so would just put another load of things in the car every time we went.
We bought about a dozen of those $1 IKEA bags for transporting random stuff in. Good for anything you don’t need to be too precious with, and you can see at a glance what was in them. Great for things like linen that we took out of a cupboard at the old house and put straight into a cupboard at the new house - less daunting because it wasn’t in a box, somehow, so we would just do it straight away rather than leaving it for later.
We used a rent a box service so we paid a rental fee. They dropped off the boxes and collected them again when we were done. Also had wardrobe boxes which made moving the clothes on hangers really easy.


#23 just roses

Posted 26 August 2019 - 05:52 PM

I have moved many times. My best tip is to declutter (as you have), pack into boxes (drawer contents go into separate bags) and then list inventory on top of each box.

#24 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 26 August 2019 - 06:02 PM

General things we do (given we have shifted so often)

- We don't tend to start packing up until about 2 weeks before moving day. Before then, we do tend to go through things and cull out stuff we want to give away, sell or throw out. Why move something if you don't actually want to keep it anyway?

- we pack as much as we can into boxes and use removalists to move 95% of our gear. It's much more time effective than doing 40 trips with our cars. WE have found that it's worth it for even local moves.

- label boxes with details of contents as much as possible . And try to keep contents from the same house area together (eg, kitchen stuff together, bedroom 1 stuff together).


Before you move into your new place, get some of the big cleaning/repair/maintenance things done - it's completely empty, perfect time to do these things
- clean carpets (or replace flooring, if that's your plan),
- get pest spray done
- clean everything, including walls, windows, deep-clean the bathroom, clean the oven, etc
This is also the perfect time to repaint, if that's also a priority. So we try to have 1-2 weeks overlap between places so that we can clean up the new place before moving in and clean up old place before hand-over.

2-4 weeks before the move day
- start collecting boxes for packing
- get quotes for removalists (I usually book this about 2 weeks before we need it, depending on their availability).

1-2 weeks before the move day
- start packing, starting with the gear you use the least. For us, this is the stuff in the garage, spare room, books/DVDs/CDs, etc. Our packing gets more serious the closer we get to move day. The kitchen is usually packed in the last 2-3 days, LOL!
- when pulling furniture apart, put all the bits and pieces into snap lock bags, seal securely and tape to a major part of the furniture.

The night before you move, assume you will have no kitchen stuff to use for cooking - plan for take away.

Agree with others to have a "UNPACK FIRST" box. For us, with local moves, this is the stuff we transport ourselves. This is the stuff like
- coffee machine,
- toaster,
- kettle,
- tea/coffee, & a carton of long-life milk
- a packet of tims tams and a bag of lollies/chips
- a few cups and plates,
- a few knives/forks/spoons,
- a couple rolls of toilet paper,
- a box of tissues,
- full roll of paper towel & some spray-and-wipe (or equivalent),
- scissors/box-knife  
- a few garbage bags
- tools for putting things back together again (ie screw driver set, drill, allen key, etc)

If we are moving locally, we strips the beds at the old place the morning of the move, throw the sheets into a box and move that ourselves (with the "unpack first" box)".  We do the same with the towels in the bathroom. It means we can immediately make the beds and go for a shower the first night, no problems.

We tend to go nuts with the unpacking and try to do it as quickly as we can. It usually takes us 2-3 days to unpack all the boxes, we are often completely moved in and unpacked with 3-4 days (including paintings on walls, etc). For us, the sooner we have unpacked everything, the sooner it feels like home. DH puts the beds together first and I follow up with making the beds. Large furniture gets put into place next and DH re-assembles everything as quickly as possible. I usually focus on unpacking the kitchen/dining rooms first, followed by the linen closet and bathroom. Once DH has done furniture, he hooks up all the electrical gear (TV, stereo). I tend to set up internet stuff. Then it's just hitting the boxes and getting them unpacked.

We have got it down to a fine art, LOL!  Did it last time about 18 months ago.. We took the Friday off work (cheaper for the removalists) and we were both back at work on the Monday, had about 4 boxes left to unpack (garage stuff, inside the house was all unpacked). I was knackered, we both were, but it was so nice to feel at home so quickly!

Edited by YodaTheWrinkledOne, 26 August 2019 - 06:06 PM.


#25 BornToLove

Posted 26 August 2019 - 06:19 PM

If you have to take things apart, such as your bed frame, stick all the screws/bolts/nuts/etc together with painters tape (pull out a long strip, stick all parts on one half, fold tape over to secure). Write on the tape strip what they belong to, keep the strings of sticky tape in one box with the tools needed for reassembly.




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