FYI, this post is just about tips for moving yourself, if you hire movers then a lot of this will be covered by them, but if you’re DIYing it, then read on!
Let’s start a few weeks before you move. The most important thing, before you do anything else, is to have a big sort out. It’s always good to do this fairly regularly anyway – I wrote about my tips for a successful sort out here – but even more so if you’re moving!
I tend to have a big sort out about once every 6 months. But if you’re not quite as obsessed as I am, it’s worth setting aside a weekend (or more, depending on how much stuff you have!) to go through absolutely everything (and I mean everything – no scrimping, guys!) and get rid of all the stuff you don’t use. Take old clothes to the charity shop, sell better quality pieces or even just take things round to friends to see if they want anything. Doing all this before you move means you have less stuff to pack, plus it makes sense – you’re moving to a new place, so why would you want to bring old stuff with you that you’re never going to use?
In terms of what you will actually need to assist with the move, there are a few staple pieces that you’ll want to pick up:
- Bubble wrap – order yourself a big roll of bubble wrap – it is so useful. Wrapping crockery, accessories, furniture, it’s a life saver. You can get hold of HUGE rolls really easily on Amazon, but you will always need more than you think, so just make sure you order enough! You can also use packing paper (I like to think of it as sort of thick tissue paper) which will work similarly to bubble wrap but can be used on the less fragile pieces.
- Parcel tape – don’t use standard Sellotape for moving, get yourself some heavy duty parcel tape – just the normal brown stuff you see everywhere, but it’s thicker, wider and just generally more hard-wearing than your average tape. If you’re feeling fancy, you can even invest in a tape gun – I didn’t use one the last time I moved, but they really are useful!
- Boxes – speak to family & friends first off and see if they have any spare boxes they can lend you. If not, you’ll need to buy yourself some. Have a shop around online – you can find them in various places, for varying prices, so make sure you do a bit of research to avoid getting ripped off. Ikea, Argos and Amazon all sell moving packages of boxes, sometimes with bubble wrap and tape bundled in too. Just make sure you check the sizes and quantities of the boxes before you buy them, I’ve been stung before buying boxes without properly checking the size, to have them arrive and be much smaller than I imagined… doh.
Something else I always find really useful are Ikea bags – you know, the big blue ones you get at the checkout – they are really strong and great for transporting clothes/shoes/bedding etc, and they hold a huge amount, so if you have any of these tucked away in cupboards, make sure you use them!
Another thing to remember, is to make use of what you already have. Do you have a big collection of bags? Pack things in them or pack them in each other. A huge laundry basket? Make use of it! Store your bedding or coats or towels in there for moving day. Not forgetting suitcases, make sure you’re using them as well! Also, if you have small drawers it’s sometimes easier to just keep everything in there – use the trusty bubble wrap and wrap each drawer up individually with everything still in, making sure it can’t all fall out everywhere, then that way you don’t have to worry about packing and unpacking, you can just whip off the bubble wrap, slot the drawers back in and you’re good to go! When I say small drawers though, I do mean small drawers, don’t try and wrap up drawers full of clothes, you’ll be there all day!
Don’t forget to pack yourself a little box of bits that you will need once you’ve moved. I’m talking toilet roll, food, drink, a small amount of crockery and cutlery and don’t forget some shower stuff – you’ll be wanting a shower after a long day of moving and you don’t want to end up rummaging through boxes to find the essentials!
Give yourself plenty of time. Might sound like an obvious one, but things always take longer than you think. If you’ve hired a van make sure you’ve allowed yourself a few hours to spare before you need to take it back, and similarly, if you have a set check-in or check-out time, make sure to allow yourself plenty of extra time.
Sort the bed first. Yep, this is an important one. If you’ve dismantled your bed, make it your first priority once everything’s successfully moved into the new place. Have something to eat and drink, but before you do anything else, make that bed. I know that the last thing you’re probably gonna want to do is assemble furniture, but believe me, when you get to the end of the day, you will be so glad that your comfy bed is all ready and waiting for you, I promise!
And lastly, enjoy unpacking! Okay this one might just be for me… I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with packing, I love sorting through everything and getting it in order, but actually packing everything up – what a nightmare. For me the fun part comes when you’re in your new place, everything’s arrived in one piece and now all that’s left is to find homes for it all. You get to play around with the layout, see what pieces fit where, and just have fun with how you’re going to fill the space – I absolutely love that part!
**Just to clarify, I unfortunately didn’t move into the beautiful cottage above, but it made for a good picture! Image credit here, by the way (edited by me).