We recently moved house and if I said it wasn’t a tad bit stressful, I’d be lying. There are no written guidelines for moving house during a pandemic and thinking about it made me feel very anxious. I dreaded the whole thing.
Would we have to sanitize every minute we came into contact with the movers? Do we all have to wear gloves? Do we sanitize the movers? So on and so forth – these were the questions that were lingering at the back of my mind every single day as our moving day approached slowly.
Furthermore, we didn’t have any boxes to pack our stuff in. Sadly, this was my fault – I can attest to that! I got so good at decluttering the house, I threw away all the boxes we had accumulated over time not thinking we might one day need them.
Decluttering is necessary but even if you are in a purging mood, please do not make the same mistakes I did and overdo it. Keep those boxes!
15 top tips to make your next move less stressful!
- Plan in advance
Do not wait until moving day to start packing, labeling and sourcing for movers. That is a recipe for disaster. Start planning on your move from the day you give notice to your landlord. That will give you a month’s head start. Use this ample time to get items that you may not have such as packing /masking tape, bubble wrap and a marker pen to label. Not everyone thinks of these items.
- Find moving boxes
If you still have moving boxes from your last move then by all means, please use them. If you threw away your boxes like I did, may this be a learning moment for you. Get free moving house boxes from your local grocer or supermarket. This is what I did last minute and my local grocer did not disappoint. You can also borrow boxes from your friends or family who live nearby and have no use for them. I got some boxes from a dear friend as well!
- Reduce your stuff
Go through every single item and separate the clutter from the essentials. You may be surprised by the amount of stuff you have accumulated over time and quite possibly, been hoarding – unknowingly. Once this is done, then plan to donate or dispose. This will definitely make your move easier.
- Source for movers
Depending on your budget, you can opt for a professional moving company or just your regular moving guys in the neighborhood. We opted for the latter because their price range was within our budget. The downside was that our media cabinet and fridge got scratched during the move. Other than that, their services were good.
*If you are able to fit the services of a professional moving company into your budget, then please use them.
- Put your garbage bags to use
Put your un-used garbage bags to use – you can pack your clothes in them – either folded or on the hanger, shoes, paperwork/documents and toys too. Be sure to label them if necessary.
- Pack a separate box for your 1st day in the new house
When we moved house, I didn’t unpack all our stuff until day 2 and 3. We lived out of our suitcases on day 1 and I had made sure all the essential items were easily accessible. The essential items were toilet paper, soap, diapers, towels & day and night clothes. In a separate box, I had dishes and cutlery. As for foodstuffs, we opted for take-out for the first couple of days as we settled in.
- Pack delicate and treasured items separately
Souvenirs that are fragile should be packed with care and separate from other items. Even if it means using extra bubble wrap or newspaper – do that! Additionally, don’t forget to label.
- Label EVERYTHING!
Make sure to label all your boxes and indicate what each single box has inside e.g. ‘fragile kitchen dishes’ or ‘master bedroom’. As you label and number the boxes, make a list of the same too. This list will come in handy when verifying all your belongings.
- Pay off any utility arrears
Request for your current water and electricity bill and pay so as not to have any arrears. This will save you from having a hard time clearing with your caretaker or landlord.
- Repair any damages in the house
Have you ever moved into a house and there was a broken toilet seat, missing door knob or cabinet handle? It is so annoying! If you are able to repair such damages, kindly do them before leaving. Alternatively, agree with the caretaker or landlord that part of your deposit will cover the cost of damages and you’d part with the remainder.
*I honestly feel it’s very discourteous to leave the next tenant with a damaged house.
- Move house with cash in hand
Make sure you have loose cash in hand the day of moving. This cash is necessary to pay the movers, to use in case you encounter any situation on the road while on the way to your new address and also to buy take-out for lunch and dinner (if necessary).
- Update your internet & cable TV subscriptions
Get in touch with your internet and cable Tv service providers and update them that you will be moving. Plan when they can come to disconnect and take down their appliances and re-install them in your new home. Make sure their office has your new physical address as well.
- Inspect new house before moving in
A week before moving house, make sure your new home has running water and electrical power connectivity. If these utilities are not in order, alert your new landlord so that they are attended to immediately before you move in.
- Jot down a shopping list
Our former place had a shared garbage disposal bin that would be emptied every single day by the cleaners. However, our current place does not offer this facility. So before we moved, we had already realized that there were several items that we would need to buy before we moved in. You may need to do the same before moving house.
- Leave your old house keys
Be sure to leave your caretaker or landlord with their house keys and any copies you may have made.
With these 15 top tips for moving house, you can be sure to have a less daunting move. And if you are planning to move during this pandemic, sanitize your hands, the movers as well and request them to wear their masks. That is what I did and I’m happy to let you know that everyone is okay!
Do you think I missed anything on the list? Please let me know in the comments below and I hope this will come in handy for you.
Save this for your next move!