Smooth Move

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Moving house can be a daunting affair. Find out how you can breeze through the shift to your new home.

Try to plan for at least a month to do the packing if you can. With a full-time job on hand, the weekends and some week nights might be the only time you can afford for packing. Should you not have the luxury of time, a shorter time would suffice; you just need to make sure you’re disciplined to pack during such available time.

After all the renovation and the shopping sprees for household appliances and furniture, your new house is finally ready. For some new home owners especially the Chinese, they’d likely pick an auspicious date for the big move. And if their house is ready near the seventh lunar month, they’d very much pick up speed with the contractor so that they could avoid moving in during this period. However if you’re not the superstitious type, any time of the year should be fine. Other dates to avoid would be seasonal periods like the Lunar Chinese New Year where workers are likely to be away.

Once you’ve decided on the move date, you should already start to think about packing. And that could mean a lot of teeth gnashing, hair pulling, and sleepless nights for some. You wouldn’t want to wake up in the middle of the night and try to recall if you’ve already packed your trustworthy Happycall doublepan for example. If you’re like me who possess not an ounce of “organised” genes, you really need to work out a plan. Not forgetting a reliable and reputable professional mover of course. Now, that can really make a difference. Some moving tips could give you a head start:

After you’ve packed, write down the inventory list or box contents on sticker labels and paste them on the carton boxes. Number the boxes for easy identification. You might like to differentiate the boxes for various rooms by using different coloured marker pens or labels. This would make it easier to direct the mover to the designated room during the move.

Also, pack one room at one time. To prevent disorientation (especially when work gets hectic in the office) and to avoid messing up the house (after all you’re still living in it) limit the packing to an area each time. For furniture and items that need dismantling, put all the screws in a separate Ziploc and label them accordingly before packing them into the boxes.

When packing, take note to place heavier items at the bottom and lighter ones at the top. And try not to load all the heavyweights into one box but vary them so that it’s manageable for the mover to shift. Generally the heavier stuff needs to be in smaller cartons and vice versa. Fragile items need to be shrink-or-bubble wrapped and to be placed in between clothing for instance to prevent breakage; indicate on the boxes where fragile items are packed.

For valuables and personal documents, pack separately into a duffel and bring it with you. And last but not least prepare an essentials box to help you settle on arrival – this could contain first-aid kit, medication, toilet paper, wet tissues, screw driver, scissors, telephone chargers, keys, cleaning supplies among others.

Four weeks before the move
Review mo.vers’ quotations and choose one that you’re most comfortable with. The mover would usually supply the carton boxes, fillings, plastic and shrink wrapping materials for delicate items and mattresses. If you’re unsure how many boxes you’d need, the mover company could make a trip down and survey your place before passing you the boxes. The charges vary among companies and usually priced upon the number of boxes, per trolley load or vehicle load.

Once you’ve settled the mover company, do a scan of your home especially kitchen, store room, and garage and dispose items and furniture you have no need for anymore. It’s good to ascertain and dispose them now otherwise you need to pay for these to be shifted to your new place. Give them away to friends, relatives, charities or the Salvation Army.

Two to three weeks before the move
It’s perhaps a good time to notify the banks, credit card companies, billing organisations, children’s schools of your new address. Also terminate any delivery services and newspaper subscriptions and transfer your printed magazine subscriptions to the new place. Let family and friends know of the move date and your new address.
When you’ve a big family, you naturally store a lot of stuff at home. And to feed so many, the refrigerator is one spot where much food is stored and frozen. Cook and finish up the food to prevent wastage during this time.

One week before the move
Make arrangements for young children to be with a family member elsewhere so that they can be taken care of properly during the move. Utilise help if necessary to oversee the shifting; assign family members duties to take the stress off managing the entire procedure.

For example, a family member could be in-charge of briefing the mover on what to move at your current home and another could be tasked of assigning where the boxes are to be placed at the new place; and another member could make sure the mover’s driver knows the exact location of the move. Go through the plan and ensure all grounds are covered.

Then, call up the mover company to remind them of the move date again. Try to plan for the move in the early morning and prepare simple lunches like sandwiches for friends and family if time permits. Otherwise, you could designate someone to pack lunches back.

The move day
When the mover arrives, brief him on the items to be shifted and for his workers to note special requirements such as delicate handling of fragile items. Make sure the mover’s driver knows the new address location.

Walk-through the house to ensure all the cartons have been cleared and double-check the cupboards to ensure you don’t leave anything behind. Switch off the power, close all the windows and lock the door. And voila, you’re off to your new home. And off to yet another round of unpacking and cleaning…

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