Moving house can be an exciting but also daunting time, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the mountain of tasks in front of you. The thought of having to put everything you own into boxes, only to carry them somewhere else and take everything out again is no one’s idea of fun, but with the 7 lifehacks below, we hope that your packing experience will at least be painless and organised!
1. LET IT GO
Not just a catchy and annoying Disney song, this is also the mover’s mantra. When moving to your new home, it can be tempting to bring across everything from your previous place and sort it out later, but you need to resist that urge! You’ll be so swamped and tired after moving that your priority will just be to unpack, not to sort through and categorise all your belongings. Then before you know it, all your junk has found a place in your new home and the cycle of hoarding continues (yes, this is the voice of experience)…
Image source: @rosebudprintco
Make sure you have enough room for all your junk by hiring a small skip bin, and let every family member know the deadline for rubbish removal so that they can sort through their own things.
If you have items that are too good to throw out, consider giving them away on freecycle communities such as Zilch, Freecycle or Trash Nothing, or donating them to charity. The Salvos offer a collection service if you have furniture that you’re unable to drop off to them yourself.
2. DOUBLE UP
Of course sturdy cardboard boxes are a must for moving, but you can also utilise other objects too. Large items such as storage bins, luggage, laundry hampers etc can double up as packing containers - luggage is particularly useful for transporting books and other heavy items because of their wheels. Cushions, scarves and soft toys make great protective fillers when placed inside of boxes containing fragile items. Throws, towels, t-shirts, tea towels and other fabric items can also be used to wrap fragile pieces, saving you a small fortune on bubble wrap.
Image source: Weft Textiles
3. MAKE YOUR MARK
Make sure you clearly mark all your boxes, not just with what’s inside, but also with the room in your new home that the box needs to go to. This is particularly useful if other people are helping you on moving day, as everyone will be clear on exactly where every box should go. Keep in mind that your boxes will be stacked on top of each other, so you’ll need to label the sides as well as the top. A quick and easy way to mark all your boxes is to purchase some coloured stickers, with each colour representing a different room in your new home. You can then slap a sticker on the top and all 4 sides of a box in a flash, and put a corresponding coloured sticker on the door of the room it belongs to. You should also number your boxes and prepare an index list so that if you need to find something, you can quickly identify which box it’s in.
4. PICTURE THIS
A new home can represent a fresh start, and you may want to furnish and style it in a new way, but there are certain things that you will want to keep exactly the way they are – the wiring of your computer equipment and electronics for example! Before you start pulling out and detangling all your cords, take plenty of photos of how everything is connected together. That way, you can simply refer to the pictures when setting it all up again in your new home, instead of poring over pages of installation guides.
If there are any other items you own that need to come together in a particular way, take photos of them too. You might even want photos of your display cabinet, mantle or sideboard styling so that you can recreate that look again – snap away, you can’t take too many photos!
5. TRUSTY TOOLS
Make your life easier by having the right tools! I recommend getting your hands on the following:
- Tape gun: make sure your seal boxes securely with a proper tape gun…and don’t even bother with cheaper versions, the Australia Post branded tape guns are the best we’ve tried by far, and are what we use exclusively in our warehouse
- Blue painters tape: perfect for taping up drawers to keep them from opening, or for securing any other moving parts. Unlike regular tape, painters tape is easy to remove and doesn’t leave any sticky residue behind
- Zip lock bags: ideal for packing bits and bobs and for separating components. These are especially handy when you disassemble furniture – store the screws into a zip lock bag, label it with a marker, and either stick it onto the furniture with painters tape, or keep all your zip lock bags of screws in a shoebox.
- Caddy: great for keeping yourself organised prior to and during the move. Keep all your essentials (eg. index list, markers, coloured stickers, tape, zip lock bags, Stanley knife, rubber bands etc) on hand and easily accessible.
6. GET HELP
With the existence of businesses such as Airtasker, you’re no longer restricted to moving companies, and can find someone with a truck or large van who might be able to do the job for much cheaper. Make sure you check out the person’s reviews first before awarding the job though, and that they’ve done this kind of work before - handling unboxed furniture is very different to delivering packaged parcels, and requires extra skill and care.
7. ORGANISE AN OVERNIGHTER
After you’ve moved the last box into your new home, you’ll no doubt be exhausted, and not in the mood for fumbling around through bags and boxes, looking for your toothbrush! Make sure each person has packed an overnight bag that has everything they require for the first night and for the following morning – PJs, toiletries, a change of clothes etc… Also pack a first night box for the whole family that contains essentials such as bed linen, pillows, toilet paper, hand soap, towels, hairdryer etc…
Image source: Veramay
Well done, you've made it to your new place! Hopefully it's been a relatively painless move - now go on and treat yourself to a nice dinner and a bubblebath, you deserve it...
Ready for the fun part? Yes, you need to deal with connecting your utilities, changing your address, unpacking and all those other boring essentials, but there's also the fun part – decorating your new place! Check out our beautiful range of furniture and homewares, and don't forget to sign up to our Design Insider loyalty program for perks such as points that convert to coupons, and free warehouse storage.