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Moving house can be a nerve-wracking experience. Not only are you packing and organising your belongings, booking removalists and transferring utilities, but you’re also managing the demands of work, children and pets. No wonder it’s considered one of life’s most stressful experiences!

But moving doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you prepare in advance. In this article, we give you some helpful tips to make your move as smooth as possible – and help you stay sane if things don’t go as planned.

Make a checklist

As soon as your moving date is locked in, start a checklist. Compile your own list or find one online. Some tasks can be done in advance, like packing linens or books. Others will need to be done closer to the date, such as using up perishables in your pantry and fridge. Make sure you number the tasks in order of priority and allocate days for their completion. This will ensure that everything gets done on time.

Book a removalist or hire truck

Using a removalist makes life so much easier! Get a few quotes to secure the best deal – and make sure they’ve got insurance. If you’re hiring your own truck instead of a removalist, make sure you’re comfortable driving it. Hire trucks can be tricky to operate if you’re not used to them. Next, calculate how long it’ll take you to drive to your destination and back. Multiply this by the number of trips you plan to take and add loading time. You don’t want to book a truck for six hours only to find that you need it for two days!

Get materials for packing

Look for boxes or plastic containers you may have in storage to save on moving costs. If you don’t have any, ask friends to lend you theirs or pick them up from the supermarket. A quicker option might be to purchase packing boxes. They won’t fall apart and they’ll look neat when you stack them together. Other packing materials you’ll need are a tape gun, bubble wrap, butcher’s paper, permanent markers and furniture covers.

Pack your belongings

Start by packing your heaviest items first. This ensures you have a sturdy base for the other boxes. Try to fill them as much as possible so there are no gaps inside. Wrap any plates or delicate items in bubble wrap or butcher’s paper to prevent breakages. Fasten the boxes with a tape gun and mark their contents clearly. You may even want to mark the room in which the box belongs, such as the kitchen or master bedroom. This will make your job – and the removalist’s – much easier.

Dismantle your furniture

When you’re a day or two away from your move, start dismantling your furniture. Try to protect it with sheets or furniture covers. This will prevent accidental chips or bumps. Leave your bed till the morning of the move and make sure it’s ready before the removalist arrives. The less they have to do, the faster and cheaper the job will be!

Transfer utilities and mail

Advise your utility suppliers and other contacts of your change of address. This will ensure a seamless transfer and prevent any bills from going unpaid. Go through your phone, email or personal files to create a list of people or organisations that need to know about your move.

Organise care for children or pets

To prevent accidents and distractions, it’s best to keep children and pets out of the way during a move. Arrange for them to stay with family or close friends until you’re done. New environments can be disorienting, so try to get your new home in some kind of order (e.g. put beds in place and familiar objects within reach) before you pick them up. If you’ve got older kids, get them to help with the move. As they say, many hands make light work!

Meet removalist or pick up hire truck

By the time the removalist arrives, everything should be ready for pick up. Let them know what’s going in the truck and do a final check to make sure they’ve taken everything. If you’ve got fragile items, transport these in your own car. For those hiring a truck, make sure you’ve got ropes, blankets and other straps to secure items. Some hire trucks have a rear tailgate lifter and ropes to make life easier. When packing the truck, put the heaviest items first and top them with lighter boxes to maximise your space. The last boxes you load should be filled with things you’ll need straight away, like kitchen utensils, personal grooming products and food.

Stay calm

Moves can be stressful, so try to stay calm if things don’t run smoothly. Removalists can run late. Furniture can get chipped. Pets can run away. Accept these things as part of the process. People doing their own removal may find it harder because they’re not accustomed to lifting heavy items and driving a bulky vehicle. If that’s the case, try to get as much help as you can from family and friends. When it gets too much, take some time out, breathe deeply and think about the exciting potential of your new home. When you’re happily settled in, you’ll barely remember the move!

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a student moving into your first flat or a family upgrading to a larger home, the key to a successful move is preparation. But if your new home is too small for your belongings, or you want to store excess furniture, you can always use Storage Plus. We provide clean, flexible and affordable storage for moves. If you’d like to discuss your self-storage needs, contact our friendly team or fill out our online form to get a free quote.