Updated: Dec 14, 2021
Yes, it’s true that moving house is an entire process with its own definite beginning and end. More importantly though, the act of moving from one home to another is a consecutive process in its essence, meaning that there’s a step-by-step logic in the way the home relocation progresses in time.
For example, you can’t start searching for a licensed and insured removal company the day before your move day for the same reasons that you don’t want to protect your home against accidental damage 2 entire months before your move-out date.
1. Create a home inventory
One of the very first things that you are recommended to do before removals arrive is to decide what exactly you will be moving come your move day. For this purpose, you will need to create a detailed inventory checklist of your entire home and consult it frequently in order to make the best decisions under the presented set of circumstances.
Yes, creating a home inventory sounds like a lot of work, and in most cases it is. Depending on the number of rooms, the number of items in each room and the selected inventorying method, the entire process can take anywhere between a few hours up to one day, or sometimes even more.
And before you have the chance of asking whether it’s actually worth the time and effort to inventory your home before the arrival of your removals, it’s good to know that your house inventory checklist will later serve as a useful packing list. You only need to link your inventory sheet to a good labelling system, and you will know exactly what you have and where you have it. Also, if something goes missing during the move, you will be the first to know thanks to your super detailed home inventory.
2. Take only the good stuff
Is this your idea of packing only the most essential items in your home?
The good stuff is all the things that you like, want to keep, and intend to use in the foreseeable future – those are the things that you should take with you to your new home. It’s rarely practical and sensible to move all of your current household items to your new home due to the fact that the total weight of your shipment determines how much money you will pay in the end. As mentioned above, a detailed home inventory will help you re-assess your material treasures and slim down their number to essentials only.
Getting rid of unwanted possessions of yours will always be a win-win situation for you. In reality, it’ll be a unique case of a win-win-win situation simply because:
You win by spending less money to cover the transportation costs of your shipment of household goods;
You win by spending less time to prepare all the unwanted things for transportation – i.e. to pack them safely;
You win by ensuring more uncluttered space in your new home.
Furthermore, you can also become a winner on another level if you choose to gift a smile or two to friends or strangers by giving away some of your unwanted but still usable belongings.
3. Pre-pack whatever you can yourself
While waiting for your removals to arrive, you should use up the remaining time in such a smart way as to save hard earned money and valuable hours in the end. Even if you’re expecting the arrival of professional packers, make yourself a favour and pre-pack whatever you can by yourself.
First of all, get familiar with the specific things that removals will not relocate for you for safety reasons and don’t lose any time packing such non-allowable items. Instead, think of good ways to either dispose of them before move day or make them completely safe for transport.
Secondly, leave the truly tough packing jobs for your hired moving specialists (heavy and bulky furniture, easily breakable fragile items, specialty items – pianos, pool/snooker tables, and so on) while you take care of anything that is relatively easy to pack up. Unless you’re really pressed for time, you will do fine boxing up clothes that you won’t be using until after the relocation, books, or any other type of small and non-breakable bric-a-brac.
Of course, you will need adequate packing materials to get the packing job done by yourself, or at least part of it. Before you rush to purchase the necessary packing supplies though, think about what household items you already own can be used as substitution for cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, and packing paper.
4. Pack essentials boxes
No two home movers will prepare identical survival kits. What will you pack?
Regardless of whether you choose to pre-pack on your own or you prefer to leave the packing task entirely for qualified professional packers, it’s highly recommendable that you still prepare a few boxes filled with absolute essentials.
The main idea of packing so-called open first boxes or survival kits is that you may be forced to spend one day at your old place, or one or even more days at your new home without any access to your normal everyday items. So, in order to “survive” until your shipment and you reunite, you can resort to an easy access to your most important possessions.
Here are some suggestions about highly practical and useful items that you can place inside your essentials boxes: medications, plastic utensils, paper plates, non-perishable food, toiletries, towels, additional clothes, games for children and/or pets, hand tools (a set of screwdrivers, a hammer, a flashlight, a measure tape). Make sure your survival kits stay by your side at all times, including during the relocation trip itself, for it would definitely be a rookie moving mistake to hand these boxes to your removals. It’s not a bad idea to write DO NOT LOAD ON VAN on them just to stay on the safe side.
5. Label your packed boxes
Often a subject of gross underestimation by home movers, the implementation of a clever labelling system is the next thing you should do before your removals arrive at your door. In practice, marking your packed boxes with their contents, destination room and special handling instructions is more important than you might think. Labelling your moving containers not only lets save an extraordinary amount of time after your items are delivered, but it also eliminates, in most cases, any mistakes as a result of confusion and miscommunication.
All you need is a black marker and you’re ready to mark up your packed cardboard boxes. Another option is to use colour codes for easier identification, either in the form of colour markers or colourful stickers. Regardless of which method you prefer, the most important thing is to make things easier for everyone after the relocation is over – you and your removals alike.
Make sure each box is correctly labelled on at least two of its sides and write down what’s inside it and where it should go. Avoid general labels such as KITCHEN but be more specific: KITCHEN GLASSES. In the case of delicate, fragile and breakable items, mark down FRAGILE, HANDLE WITH CARE, THIS SIDE UP with big letters.