Moving may feel like an enormous task, especially when you survey your property and realise how much you’ve packed into it over the years.
The best way to approach projects of this scale is to break it down into small pieces. If you identify each task required and apply a suitable order in which they should be tackled, the job will feel less formidable.
A first decision must be made on whether you’re going to take on this task yourself or hire a professional company.
Removalists take away the workload and the stress that can come with it. Not only are they skilled packers, but they’ll have the right vehicle for the job and store your belongings if there’s a few days gap between leaving your current home and occupying your next.
If you’re on a budget, you may want to take on this task. But be aware that you’ll have to hire a van, buy packing materials, organise any storage and do all of this without insurance. We’ve broken down into weekly increments the essential tasks and how to tackle each of them.
4 weeks to go
- Begin to go through all your belongings. Do this room by room. While it is tempting, do not fall into the trap of doing this in multiple places simultaneously as the task will quickly become overwhelming.
- Separate unwanted items into piles that you believe you can sell or are prepared to give to charity or friends. Be brutal here!
- Buy boxes, labels and bubble-wrap from a local storage facility so you can begin packing. Purchase varying sizes of boxes and any packing suitable for framed pictures and fragile items, such as glass vases.
- Don’t buy boxes that might be too large to lift.
- Sort through all your bills and notify suppliers of dates to turn off or move supply to your next residence. Don’t forget to change your driver’s license and notify your bank and insurance provider.
- If you need to find accommodation for your pets during the move, do this now.
3 weeks to go
- Combine your packing and labelling of boxes with taking down pictures and other fittings that you’ll take with you. Some will require special packing, so don’t leave this until the last minute.
- If you have a freezer, it’s a good time to start working through its contents so it will be empty and can be cleaned in good time.
2 weeks to go
- By now, you’ll start to see light at the end of the tunnel. Most of your rooms will be packed away. Any items that you have borrowed should be returned, whether that’s a neighbor’s ladder or library books.
- If you have delivery of magazines, newspapers or weekly food shopping, you should now cancel those and, if practicable, redirect them to your next address from a prescribed date.
- Plants that you wish to take should be potted and gathered in a single, easily accessible area for transport.
1 week to go
- You’re just days from the deadline now. Defrost your fridge and freezer and clean them, so they are ready to be used immediately on arrival at your next home.
- Start to take boxes downstairs as this will ease the physical burden on moving day.
- Prepare and box items that you’ll need for the first days in your new home. This includes anything from toiletries to coffee makers, favourite toys or teddy bears, medication and some snacks. This box should be kept separate from the others, or be the first off the van
- If you have a family home, make sure you hire the van at least one day before the move so you give yourself plenty of time to load up. It will be hard work, and not everything will fit the first time. It’s a brave amateur who’ll try to get this done in a single day.
- Try to hire a van with a gate that raises automatically. This means you will not need to lift every box into the back.
- If you cannot hire a van that can take all your belongings, be prepared to make multiple journeys and know that it can be exhausting.
- A trolley will be a godsend to help you take boxes from the property to the van and is worth purchasing from a hardware store.
- Make a few boxes available for moving day. You’ll need them to store bedding and other sundry items.
- Lock up the property. Check all the windows so they’re secure.
- Hand the house keys to your agent for the next owner.