7. January 2020 18:30
It’s impossible to move homes and not forget anything… or is it? Don’t underestimate the great power of the checklist – here, you don’t even need to make the list, we’ve done the hard yards for you.
So why the careful planning? Doesn’t this take?more?precious time? Well technically yes, but planning in advance spreads the tasks out over a longer period, leaving you less flustered at crunch time: moving day.
“Taking the time to get the packing process right can actually save us a lot of time at the other end,” says Robyn Amott, professional organiser at?Bless This Mess.
Booking a removalist in advance can ensure you’re not having to ask for a time extension. Picture: Kate Hunter
Planning ahead will also enable you to book a removalist that works with your dates (potentially for a better price) and not put you at risk of limiting your options.
So, now you know planning is essential – how the heck do you do it?
What to think about far in advance
First and foremost, book your removalist, Amott says. Once you’ve done that, start to think about the things you can donate or pass on to friends or family. There’s no point packing things you’re planning on ditching.
“This is a great opportunity to declutter,” says Amott. “You don’t necessarily need to be packing at this stage – just focus on removing those items you no longer have any need for. Consider hosting a garage sale, donating to the local charity store, or passing on hand-me-downs to friends or family who might need or want them.”
Decluttering means you won’t have the extra expense of carting things you don’t need. Picture: Kate Hunter
Two weeks out is when you start thinking about setting things up in your new home, like your internet. With?Belong, you can set it up online and therefore save a whole chunk of time you might have wasted talking to sales people over the phone or in-store.
If there’s anything else that needs doing that you feel you can tick off quickly and easily, go ahead and do that too, says Amott. “If it’s fresh in your head, I’ll always say to people, action it straight away,” she says.
Things to think about might be: transfer school records if you have kids; change your home and contents insurance across to the new place; or check parking restrictions that may make your removalist’s job tricky.
Having all your ducks in a row well in advance will also make you prepared should you get any surprises on moving day, such as real estate agents unexpectedly bringing forward the date suddenly realising you need at least 10 more packing boxes.
Melburnian Emmanuella Grace recently pulled off a crazy home move, from a home she was renting to a place she bought which was mid-construction.“The agent moved up our moving out day and we didn’t know if the new house would have the floors ready until two days before we moved in!”?Things like this are out of your control, Grace explains, but if you aim to control what you can, as early as you can, it can help mitigate unprecedented circumstances.
What to think about closer to the date
Closer to the move, but still with more than a week to go, is when you should start packing – beginning with items you have absolutely no need for like out-of-season clothing and spare bedding.
“It’s even better if you can drill it down to the number of plates and spoons you’ll need in that first week, so that when you get closer to the date, you’ve got minimal content to pack,” says Grace.
The less you can have to pack closer to the day, the better. Picture: iStock
This is also the time you should start changing your mailing address; getting your utilities changed over; and eventually switching them off at your place.
Then there’s food, glorious food. You’ll need to turn the refrigerator off a day or two before the move to let it settle – and you’ll need to let it settle on the other end too – so there’s about a four-day period where you won’t be able to store any perishables.
Try to consume anything that won’t keep in the days leading up to that period, and use an ice cooler to store anything leftover for up to two days. Once moved, use it as an opportunity to trial run the best local spots for take-away or even a nearby restaurant. It’d be a fun way to get everyone excited about the new neighbourhood!
Speaking of which, it’s also important at this stage to do a thorough scout of the neighbourhood.
According to Grace, two other things she and her partner had to consider a few days out from their move were: who would look after her toddler during the move? What is the best way to get to work from the new home?
So perhaps do a short ‘neighbourhood drive-by’ a few days out, looking for childcare options (if you have kids), traffic conditions, parking availabilities (if you don’t have a driveway) and proximity to shopping amenities.
What to think about on moving day
Then comes moving day.
“I also recommend that you put non-breakable kitchen items (think, cutlery, not crockery) in one of your cars while the truck is being loaded with all the other items,” says Amott. “And then you can use that time they’re unpacking the truck to set up your kitchen.”
Storage is another big thing to consider – particularly if you’re downsizing. Picture: realestate.com.au/buy
Another tip? Don’t double handle things.
“If there are clothes on hangers, leave them on the hangers and lay them in the back of your car. If there are non-breakable items in drawers and cabinets, leave them there.”
Finally, now’s the time to relax. At the end of the day, crack open that bottle of bubbly you’ve been saving for the occasion and toast to your new home and life.
The next day, and the day after that, is for cleaning and decorating, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to start browsing online for inspiration… Harness that fresh outlook and start pin-boarding looks and ideas for the new space. Before you know it, it’ll begin to feel like home in your mind.