9 November 2012
Moving home without descending into chaos: Last few tips
Be selective when marking boxes as FRAGILE. If every other box has FRAGILE written across it, they are less likely to be treated as such. You might have a crystal vase that is wrapped in towels and blankets - this box is not fragile. If it's dropped or handle roughly the vase is plenty cushioned. Don't mark this box as FRAGILE; save that label for items that really will be damaged easily. If only a few boxes are marked FRAGILE they are more likely to be treated as such as they stand out from the rest.
Label all sides
Whatever you're marking your boxes with (contents / numbers), do so on the top of each box as well as on each of the four sides. Yes, it's a little bit of a pain doing it 5 times per box but if you label every side then no matter what's stacked next to the box or on top of it you, will still be able to see your label.
Mark each box with a code or colour to indicate which room they go in. You can use coloured stickers, with a colour for each room and a corresponding coloured sticker placed on the door frame in the new house. Or you can simply write the name of the room ("Kitchen", "Bathroom" etc) or use a letter (G for garage, MB for master bedroom, etc). Just make sure whoever is unloading knows which room is which, especially when it comes to bedrooms.
Plan your meals
If you have time before your move, try to cook a little extra and freeze individual portions. There's no need to go on a cooking spree, just make extra of the meals you'd normally cook (preferably choose to cook meals that freeze well), even if it's just one portion. These homemade ready meals will be invaluable in those tiring days after the move when you are more concerned with unpacking and getting organised than cooking, they're cheaper than eating out, and are more nutritious than store-bought processed meals
If you don't have freezer space or are moving far away and can't transport frozen meals without them thawing then you can't really cook ahead. It still helps to plan your meals ahead of time, so you know what to stock up on. Choose easily prepared meals - hot dogs, pasta with sauce from a jar, frozen pizza - and make sure you have the ingredients or at least shopping list on hand before you even move.
Plan what you'll do for dinner on the day you actually move. If you have a close friend who offers to bring you a meal, take them up on it! We don't get take-out often so we plan on doing so on moving day as a treat. Try not to plan on anything that requires the microwave or plates and utensils - it just creates pressure on moving day to have those things unpacked. Day 1 of moving is all about getting the boxes and furniture from A to B - unpacking usually commences after that.
If you are moving with a partner, significant other or friend, decide who will do what. Have one person in charge of each area:
- organising removal company / van
- notifying change of address
- ISP, telephone, electricity, etc services
- cleaning the house you're leaving
That way everything gets done and nothing gets duplicated, wasting time and energy.
All posts in this series:
The "do not pack" boxes
Where to get boxes
Declutter as you go
Last few tips