I hate moving house and find it stressful. Even though I may be looking forward to living in the ‘new’ house, the actual moving is another story. Being organised can reduce the amount of stress but I don’t think there is a way of avoiding some degree of stress.
Here are some tips to help with your next move.
Plan ahead where possible Sometimes you know well in advance that the move is coming up. Make lists of the tasks that need to be done and do as much as possible well ahead of time. Have a positive mindset about the move.
Declutter If you have already parted with items you don’t need and don’t love that is great news. I have found there is nothing like picturing having to pack up all my possessions to make me decide I really don’t need some stuff I once didn’t want to part with.
Before my last move I had donated boxes of stuff to charity and had a garage sale. Then I found my ‘new’ house and realised how much smaller it was than the ‘old’ one. I held another garage sale and put lots of freebies in the driveway. I was as excited about the free stuff people took as the items I actually got money for.
It was such a relief to find a home for a large wall unit that wouldn’t fit in my ‘new’ house and I didn’t mind that I gave it away. A church worker knew a family who would gratefully accept it.
I haven’t used Gumtree myself but I have a friend who has been using it for a couple of years. At the moment she has a large three bedroom house but plans to move into an apartment when the time is right. She is advertising a few items at a time on Gumtree.
Accept any help offered If anyone offers to help in any way, say ‘Yes, thank you’.
Get three removalist quotes If you are using a removalist, get three quotes as prices can vary greatly. The highest quote for moving my furniture was exactly twice the price of the lowest. Price will not be the only consideration. You need to feel confident the company will take care of your possessions as well.
Collect empty boxes as soon as practical You can get boxes from the removalist or pick up free ones from some businesses. My Avon lady was happy to give me her empty boxes and they came in various sizes. These were useful for packing smaller items. I also got some from one of the local supermarkets that put empty boxes out for people to take. Larger boxes were available from the Spotlight store. The staff told me the best days and times to come in so I could get the pick of the boxes.
I knew I would be moving so I started collecting boxes months before the move and I told all my contacts I wanted boxes. I was amazed at how many boxes I needed and it was good to have various sizes.
Pack up anything you aren’t currently using well in advance. Tape the boxes securely.
Label all your boxes Don’t trust your memory, label every box. Use whatever method works for you. I have read of people using a spreadsheet with a numbering system. They match the spreadsheet item to the number on the box. This wouldn’t work for me but could be great for some.
As well as a list of contents I put coloured dots on the boxes indicating which ones would go in bedroom 1, bedroom 2, the shed etc. I then put a couple of matching coloured dots on each door so the removalists and others knew which room a particular box went in. I also put coloured dots on the furniture. Sticky tape helped keep most of the dots in place.
Keep items you will need on arrival in clearly labelled boxes which you can access easily. Perhaps these boxes could travel in the car boot.
Label boxes clearly Fragile and This end up where relevant.
Notify utilities of your move well in advance You don’t want to be without power when you move in. Also check any discounts you were getting at your previous address apply to your new address. This may not happen automatically.
Arrange for your mail to be redirected Make arrangements for mail to be redirected. People on certain Centrelink payments are eligible for a discounted rate.
When you move in Keep your sense of humour. Life will be chaotic for a while and there will be some hiccups. You will get through it. You will have the internet again and meanwhile you may be able to use it at the library. (Yes, we were without internet for a while and there was a problem with our landline which had to be sorted out.)
Drop your standards. Get takeaway and don’t feel the least bit guilty. Buy frozen meals from the supermarket. Have spaghetti on toast. Once you are settled you can return to your previous way of feeding the family.
Stress relievers Use any stress relieving methods that work for you. Even though you have done all you can to be organised and reduce stress, moving house is known to be one of the most stressful life events. Accept that and be kind to yourself.
I moved house a couple of years ago and now feel it was worth the stress. However, I am not in a hurry to do it again.