If you are about to move to a new house and the sheer thought of packing up your whole life and unpacking it in a strange new place is starting to overwhelm you, then you are in the right place. As someone who has moved houses twice in the last two years, I speak from experience that your moving experience will be far less stressful if you follow these 15 guidelines.
1. Make use of the perfect opportunity to purge all the unnecessary and unused items that have piled up in your house. Get rid of any old clothes that you think is cute but haven't worn in a long time. Throw out the chair that you have to warn your guests not to sit on because one of the legs is broken.
2. Get organised early. Pack things by category and not by room. For example, go around the entire house and collect all the pieces of clothing you own instead of packing up everything inside the bedroom.
3. Packing little by little is far less stressful than trying to tackle it all at once. Start packing a couple of months before the actual move and start with the stuff you know you won't be using. This can be anything from off-season clothing and wall hangings to books you've already read.
4. Check to see if you have the original boxes to your television and other such electronics as it will make moving them a lot easier. Take a photo of how your electronics are connected so you can later remember where all the wires go. Do a quick backup of important files just in case something happens in transit.
5. When moving liquid toiletries like shampoo and body wash, cover the opening with plastic before putting the cap back on. This will prevent them from leaking all over your stuff during the move.
6. Use small boxes for heavy items. This could be your school books or your silverware. Pack up your breakables such as glass items and dishes with clothing for protection. You'll be saving up a lot of space by packing two things at once. Remember to label the SIDES of the boxes, not the tops. This way, you'll be able to identify them even if they're stacked.
7. Make your last grocery trip two weeks prior to moving. The more food you end up using before moving, the less you'll have to throw out. Remember to defrost your refrigerator at least a day before moving and wipe up any spilled liquids.
8. Schedule disconnect times. Call your cable, internet, electricity, and gas providers at least a week ahead of your move to figure out when you need to shut everything down. Remember to change your mailing address wherever required so that you get your deliveries at your new house on time.
9. Pack the items you will need first in the new house in a clear plastic box. These include things like eating utensils, cookware, phone chargers, toilet paper, etc. This will allow you to see inside the container; it also separates the immediate necessities from the myriad of cardboard boxes.
10. Pack a personal overnight bag. Chances are, you won't get everything unpacked on the first day, so bring whatever you need to feel relaxed and settled on your first night. A change of clothes, your toiletries, a water bottle, and your laptop can go a long way in making your new place feel more like home.
11. If you can, show up to your new home before the move and clean the bathroom and kitchen. Make sure the electricity and gas are working in the new house BEFORE you actually move. You don't want to be stuck with no fans or AC after a long day, with no food to cook either because the stove doesn't work.
12. Protect your valuables by finding a safe place to store them on moving day. A lot of things will be on the move and there will be a lot of confusion, so you need to make sure your expensive watch or favourite necklace isn't lost in the process.
13. When you arrive at your new home, unpack by room instead of unpacking one box at a time. The unpacking process will feel more manageable.
14. You won't be able to find your stuff for a few days (read weeks) but it'll all come together. Just remember to take one step at a time and things will get a lot easier to tackle.
15. Finally, be a good host. Make sure you take care of the people who help you move. Provide beverages and snacks for everyone and keep cool glasses of water ready for quick refreshment. Also, remember to say hello to your neighbours as they are the people you are going to be living next to in the future.
Moving to a completely new place is definitely not an easy situation to be in. Initially, there will be moments when you'll be feeling homesick, but it is only a matter of time until your new house becomes home sweet home.