Saying goodbye – 7 top tips for moving house
Today is the day before we pack up our lives and our memories into boxes and drive them the five or so miles down the road to our dream home. The day before we say goodbye to the first home we lived in as husband and wife, the home that we brought our daughter home to from China, the only home that our Little Man has ever known.
The first garden that Curly Girl learned to play in…
…and taught her brother to play in too…
…the kitchen where all my blog posts are written and where the Little Man learned to play hide and seek…
…the living room where we chill out and upside-downies happen with Daddy….
…the bathroom where a friendship was cemented…
I’m feeling a pick-n-mix assortment of emotions – sadness, excitement, trepidation, stress! There’s so much to do and yet I feel like I’m still in denial that we’re actually saying goodbye to Bod Towers tomorrow.
And so, as is often the case when I need a helping hand, I asked for the advice of my friends on Facebook and they were brilliant, offering fab hints and tips from their own experiences. I just had to share them, so here are my crowdsourced 7 top tips for moving house!
#1. Get a removal company to move you and PACK for you too
When we moved our lives lock, stock and barrel to China for our four year expat adventure – and the start of our infertility treatment – we had a professional removal company sent by my husband’s company to pack and move us. The team of men that arrived were like locusts, picking, wrapping and packing up everything so quickly I could hardly catch my breath! A little disconcerting but oh so much easier.
Louise from Team Lloyd, Jax from Making It Up and Liz at Violet Posy all advised this, if you can afford it and my good friend Vicki from Honest Mum agrees saying that having movers meant she “could move everything over slowly so wasn’t stressful and painted and made changes before we moved in.”
Incidentally it’s worth seeing if you can negotiating with a removal company to see if they will drop the price of packing you if they spread the move over more than one day.
#2. Pack an essentials box for each room.
When all the boxes arrive at your new house it can look like a sea of brown! To help you lay your hands on all the bits and pieces for everyday life without having to open everything at once pack some essentials boxes with the key things you need for each room. Then pop them in your car before the movers arrive so you know you’ll have them straight away.
Liz at Violet Posy advises: “Put essentials kettle, tea, loo roll, meds etc in a box in the car so you know where they are immediately” and Joanne from The Boy and Me says: “Pack an overnight bag with change of clothes, meds, toiletries and put it in the front seat with the box of essentials Liz mentions above. (Plus any essential cuddly toys for children).” Tinuke from Circus Mums who has just moved herself says: “I second the essentials box. We had a box with kettle, mugs, toiletries, phone chargers etc so we could have a cuppa as we unpacked and could put essentials in place straight away.”
Viv from 76 Sunflowers advises “Depending on day pack a weekends worth of spare clothes toiletries etc in case it all goes belly up and you’re effectively homeless for two nights with no clean clothes. Which it won’t! But I speak from experience…” and finally Jax adds “Don’t forget chargers in that box of essentials.”
#3. Prioritise jobs when you arrive at your new home.
There is so much to do when you move home that it can be quite overwhelming! Prioritising certain jobs when you first arrive can help to ease the stress later on. My friend Suzanne says “Sounds silly but I always make one of my first jobs to make up the beds. After a tough day like moving, you will just want to crash at bedtime rather than fighting with duvet covers!!” Definitely going to be our first action, after a mug of coffee of course!
Kelly from DomesticGoddesque adds “put the hoover and cleaning stuff in the boot of your car. It’s rare that the house you move into is spotless, but this way you can whizz round vacuuming before all the furniture and boxes get dumped in the wrong places. You can wipe out the cupboards as you unpack into them.” Fab advice!
#4. Don’t move what you won’t use.
Moving house is a great opportunity to declutter and finally get rid of those items that you’ve shoved up in the loft or under the bed years ago ‘just in case’ *ahem*. My good friends Lorna and Holly (who has moved more times than I’ve had hot dinners) both championed this.
Rosie from Pamper Parcels also adds “Do as much of the paperwork as you can before move day eg redirecting mail, change of address for TV license etc.” that way there’s less to worry about when you arrive. (P.S. get Rosie to send you one of her fabulous Pamper Parcels – like this one that I reviewed last year – to your new home so you have something gorgeous waiting for you!)
#5. Pack the kids (off for the day)
Moving house is stressful enough without two little people running around re-arranging the boxes that you’ve just carefully packed. Gemma from Sunshine On A Cloudy Day advises to get a babysitter for the day and Susan from Susan K Mann says: “Get childcare for the kids for as long as you can on move day. Helps they are out of the way & allow you to get on with what needs done.” The gorgeous Katie from Pouting in Heels advises “Rope in as much help as you can get from family and friends… (Oh and never move with a child when they’re six weeks old like we did).” Eeek!
#6. Be prepared
Make like the Scouts when you’re moving home and get prepared for the big day with labels and marker pens for labeling your boxes with what’s inside them and the room it needs to go in at your new house. My friend Monica says: “I label rooms doors with signs “Guest room” or “Michelle’s room” so the crew will easily know to label boxes with the same and label doors in new home the same. Otherwise you may wind up with boxes labeled bedroom 1, bedroom 2, etc. which isn’t as easy to remember which was which. The crews move so fast, and you can’t be everywhere at once, so I also label/write out any special instructions. For example, I leave a note on a desk that looks like 1 piece but actually breaks down to 3 to save time explaining during the actual pack.”
Libby who’s a close friend from our fab local brewery Bishops Nick , and who has recently moved house too, advises: “Be looking over their shoulders with a black marker to put more specifics about what goes in to the boxes. Otherwise you’ll have a pile of boxes which say ‘Sitting Room misc’ and you’ll not know which one has the remote in! And they’ll use random cushions and blankets etc… to secure valuables so a box will say ‘kitchen china’ and you won’t think to look in there for your bedside rug! And if you can be the one at the receiving end when the boxes arrive at new place already have an idea of what you want where so they can take boxes straight to rooms and get unpacking straight away.”
#7. Take your time, then stop and relax!
The final words in this list have to go to Hayley from Downs Side Up: “Take your time. Small bitesize chunks of extremely stressful work….” and the marvelous Kate from Striking Mum: “Make an appointment with a bottle of Baileys and no matter how much or little you have got done, down tools and enjoy at the appointed hour.” Sounds perfect to me!
If you’d like more moving tips my lovely friend Sophie from Franglaise Mummy, a seasoned mover herself with ten moves in fifteen years and two more coming up this year, has written her own top tips post.
I’d like to say a huge that you to everyone that offered their advice for this post. Is there anything I’ve missed? What hints and tips would you add for our moving day?
(P.S. If you like this post I’d really appreciate it if you’d take a moment to vote for me in this year’s Brilliance in Blogging Awards. And I want to say a huge thank you to the utterly lovely Hannah from Mums Days and Katie from who both wrote this week that they are voting for me – thank you so much ladies, I’m overwhelmed by your kindness, you all have my vote too!)
House image: Nobuhiro Asada/Shutterstock.com