Tips for planning your next move. By Wong Yen San
Moving house can be overwhelming and it is one of the activities that rate high on the stress scale. And any of these –small children, elderly parents, and sulky teenagers –can shoot up your stress level really fast. Similar to exams you’d sat for during your school days, moving house can send many sleepless nights your way. If a move is not planned well, chaos will very well ensue – screaming children that refuse to be pacified, lost valuables, and missing parcels – all happening at the same time. But before you swear off your next move, consider some move tips that might help you to stave off some stress and ease your heart beat a little.
Get the right mover
Enlist the right help to help you move. Source for movers and ask for a couple of quotations to compare pricing. If you have not used any particular mover before, enquire with friends on their experiences with movers and ask for recommendations. Getting a mover with a good reputation will ensure the reliability of the move – that your furniture and valuables are properly cared for during the shifting for example. A good mover will also supply you with enough materials such as bubble wraps and carton boxes according to your needs. Also, getting a mover with adequate helpers will mean that the move can be done swiftly and in a much shorter time needed, saving you time to pack and unpack after that.
Start planning early
Don’t leave things to the last minute. Planning is crucial to getting your move done in a breeze. Plan at least 2 months ahead. Start a timeline and checklist of the things that need to be done. If possible, do a project schedule and group the tasks according to the category that fits them best. In this way, you will have an overview of the amount of work as well as the time needed to work on it. Once you have completed the tasks on the schedule, cross them out or update them on your computer.
Enlist help beforehand
If you have small children who like to throw a fit for no particular reason, then it’s perhaps best to put them with their grandparents or your close friends before the shift. Pack their favourite toys and other essentials in an overnight bag and leave them with your close ones so that you can fully concentrate on the shift without needing to be concerned about them on site. How about other help? If you need some help to unpack or for someone to drive you to the new place during the shift, ask for help beforehand. Your friends may be available to help but notify them early so that they can free up their time for you. Look at where you might require extra help and book them early.
Pack an essentials bag
In it, have your change of clothes, toiletries, tissues, toilet paper, cleaning wipes…anything that help you get freshened up and right down to the business on hand after the move – unpacking. If you have children with you, it may include toys, diapers, and milk powder – stuff that can comfort and soothe them in an unfamiliar setting. Preparing these items on hand makes it easier for you to find them rather than rummage for them amid the chaos and mess.
Keep spare boxes handy
Now is the time to get ready any unused boxes, small and big for your moving stint. Boxes from the new appliances can be used to hold the appliance for example when moving. Small boxes are also handy to house smaller, loose items together. Get a variety of sizes to accommodate your packing needs.
De-clutter as you pack
Packing is a time when we get to revisit how much stuff we actually own. Many at times, we forget about the things we hoard whenever we push them at the back of the closet. Moving house is an opportune event to de-clutter the stuff in our life. Minimising the amount of things you own also means a lower moving cost as some companies charge a fraction of the moving cost based on the number of cartons in the move.
Use the suitcase
Now is the time for the suitcase to make an appearance before the holidays. The suitcase can be a packing outlet for you too; pack your clothing or winter accessories into the suitcase; this would leave the empty boxes for other items, maximising the use of these boxes.
Keep the hangers on
To minimise the effort of packing and then unpacking, keep the clothes hangers on them when you toss the clothing into the carton box. Use clean garbage liners as the base for protection when you put clean clothes in these boxes. This simple effort will help you loads when you unpack.
Tape your drawers shut
Provided the drawers are not too heavy and not made of solid wood, small drawers and cabinets can be taped shut at their openings to save you the effort of packing and then unpacking them. Just make sure that they are not too heavy for your movers to handle. Show some consideration to these workers.
Label them everywhere
Stick on the carton boxes with labels stating which room they will go to at the new place. This will help the movers put the boxes at the correct place when they do the unloading. Also, label the doors or have someone stationed there to direct the move when the movers arrive. To know what you have packed, stick a label of the items that are packed outside the box, saving you time and effort of hunting high and low for the stuff you need.
Segregate your valuables
Needless to say, your valuables stay with you at all times. Whether it is jewellery or important documents, have them packed separately and lug them with you in your handbag or stash them at your mother’s first. Pick them up after the move. This will minimise any loss of important and valuable items.