Moving house tips please?(59 Posts)
It’s likely I will be moving house in the next month or two. Can I ask for your top tips to make it as easy and painless as possible?
Start packing things you don't need now, and get rid of any clutter, don't pay to move it.
Use a removal company that does the packing.
Keep back a box of emergency supplies like the kettle, some mugs and tea things, some plates and cutlery, and take them with you.
Get the movers to do the packing
Put pets into boarding for a few days (or see if family or friends can have them) if they're likely to be underfoot or upset by the disruption.
Pack an overnight bag. Have things like necessary papers, tea/coffee making things easily accessible.
Make a list of utilities you need to change. Take photos of meters at old and new house on departure and arrival.
Redirect mail for a couple of months whilst you update everyone. Make a note of what gets redirected so you can make a note to update them.
If you are moving cats take them to the new house and lock them in the bathroom with food water etc. Assuming there's a separate toilet you won't then need people in and out and they can be kept apart from the chaos. Whatever you do don't put them in a room with an open fire place they can disappear up chimneys!!
Get packers if you can afford it! So much less hassle! We moved last year and they came and packed the day before, and moved everything for us on the day. We (me and DH) have two young kids and were both working full time up the time we moved, so it was invaluable!
Do however pack up an overnight bag for your first night or two with essentials clothes etc in for your first night, and put aside a box of moving essentials so they don't get packed (mugs, teabags, teasponns, biscuits, marker pens, tape etc). Also always worth taking a tape measure with you on the day.
Oh and write a list of who you need to notify of your new address.
Box of essentials
Scissors tape cups teabags screwdrivers phone book takeaway menus biscuits pen paper for meters cat food! Phone numbers for solicitors etc spare money kettle cleaning clothes spray
Suitcase for overnight pjs toothbrushes knickers clothes for the next day
Wash bedding on the days before - put each bed in a bin bag so it’s ready to go on in the new house
Pay the movers to pack. I think I paid about £400 for a 2 bed in London, but I had a lot of stuff. I’d have paid double, it was amazing. They turned up at 9am and it didn’t look like I was moving. By 4pm everything was packed.
Go through your stuff and get rid of anything you don’t need. Don’t pay to move it. So much can be packed now, books, dvds, summer clothes, ornaments, all the cooking stuff you don’t need every day.
I got boxes from my local John Lewis. I asked at customer services and they saved them for me.
Thank you so much for the tips so far. Unfortunately I can’t afford packers but I will definitely take the advice to do an overnight bag and essentials box. That’s excellent advice.
I’ve got some boxes to begin packing things we don’t use much and can manage without.
Hopefully I can manage getting a few days overlap between this property and the new one to move so I have time to move and do a thorough clean.
Ask any local shops for boxes though. They have to pay to get them taken away so they’d sooner give them to you. Also check Facebook selling or gumtree. I gave away my moving boxes on gumtree.
Pack as much kitchen stuff as you can,it's frightening how much is in a even a small kitchen as a lot of it needs wrapping.
Label which rooms you want things to go in.As above have an essential box and an essential kitchen box with kettle,cups,wine and corkscrew in.
Write a list of all the places you need to inform a change of address, get changing them as soon as possible and get a postal redirection service in necessary.
Also, don't forget to take a photo of your electric meter and gas (if you have it) readings before you leave for the last time.
You're not having packers but are you having professional movers?
I found the above website really useful last time we moved.
I found it helpful to write on the boxes the exact location they needed to go, kitchen, bedroom etc. And also a quick synopsis of what box contained.
It saved time as all boxes were immediately put into appropriate room and I could then just tell at a glance what was in them and could prioritise the unpacking.
I’m looking into movers. If I can afford them I will get them. If not I plan to at least get someone with a van who can help out with the big things.
Thank you for that website link needcoffee. I will have a good look through it when the kids give me a minute later.
That’s an excellent tip about writing what’s in the box when packing as well nocanoe. It will save me searching 6 kitchen boxes to try and find the toaster or something.
Pack one box a day between now and moving day, you’ll be surprised how many things you can manage without. Just keep out the bare minimum of plates and pots and pans you need for example. It would be worth going to your local moving supply company (uhaul here in USA not sure what the equivalent there would be) and buying boxes and packing material, bubble wrap, paper, tape etc from them, they have dedicated boxes for everything and will often buy back unused ones. Ones we found useful from them were wardrobe boxes, they have a hanging rail so you just transfer all your clothes still on their hangers into the box, and a dish ‘barrel’ which has cardboard dividers for cups, glasses, plates etc.
Oh and label the boxes, it makes life so much easier to know which ones are for bedroom, living room, kitchen when you get to the other house.
If packing yourself wrap plates in paper and pack standing on their edge, not flat in the box, much less likely to break that way.
Never fill a box with books, half fill with books then other half with lightweight stuff like pillows, cushions etc.
If you have young children put their old curtains up in new room (even if they don't fit) as the first thing they will see in the morning is light shining behind old curtains (so safe and familiar).
Enjoy your new home!
Thank you for the plates tip redredrobins. I will certainly bear that in mind. Hopefully I’ll hear next week if I’ve got the house I’m trying for and can really get cracking on the packing.
as well as the other tips that you have had i find that with clothes hanging in wardrobes what i have done in the past is make sure all the hangers are the same way round and then scoop say 5/6 items together on the bed put a bin bag over them with the hooks hanging out, then back in wardrobe till you move then on moving day all you have to do is scoop up the individual parcels and the clothes can be laiud flat on top of things and when you get to the new place. bin bag off clothes straight back into the wardrobe the other end
If you need to clean I would get cleaners to do that and save money on packing . It's really not that hard , hits do a box every night from now on . I've packed up 3 houses myself as dh always seems to be away with work before any move . Start early and get rid of anything you don't need as you go along.
Check that your home contents insurance covers you for the move and if not, ask if it can be added. If not, the removal company should offer you transit insurance as an add on. You will find in the small print of your removal contract that anything damaged or lost, even if by the removal company has a very limited liability. Generally up to £40.
Ditto pack things like books, ornaments into boxes and label them but be prepared for helpers asking, 'where does this go?' instead of actually reading them.
Don't pack all unseasonal clothes away just in case the move takes longer than it should or you'll have to unpack some again.
Rely upon yourself to go round the place you're leaving to ensure nothing has been left behind. Get into the van and check that everything really has been taken out - if there's an old blanket or some such - pick it up and make sure it's not hiding anything.
Best of luck and keep calm.
Definitely pay for packers. If you don't want them to do everything, just get them to do all breakables as this includes all china, crockery, lamps, mirrors and a few pieces of furniture that I needed protective wrapping on. .
Tape the remote control to the back of the tv.
Group hangers together with an elastic band and cover with bin bags or dry cleaning plastic bags. It makes loading them into wardrobe boxes easier and quicker.
Moving house is definitely something that's easier if professionals are doing it for you. It's money well spent!
I made a public appeal for cardboard boxes. We moved six months ago. I packed as much as I could possibly into large boxes supplied by our church and the moving company. I also made sure to check insurance in case.
My partner helped me. We also had to tell the doctors and therapists of our new address. Anything that I didn’t want or need was given to friends, family members or neighbors or sold online.
Keep a eye on the property market. Phone numbers or email addresses are good to have. Prepare yourself well. Things like medication and chargers were packed in my handbag. I also labelled the boxes using numbers. We moved on a weekend.
Can the children assist you or not? My stepdaughter helped me by clearing her room and labelling boxes. She is five years old. We sold things we didn’t want like a old fashioned grandfather clock and my reading lamp.
My absolute best tip is tidy and sort out your drawers. When the van arrives, take the drawers out, put the chest on the van. Put the drawers back in, reverse the process at the other end.
ask around youll be surprised how many people have or know someone who can help with a van or bigger carss
number each new room in the house.bedroom 1 bedroom 2.and then pack boxes with the numbers on it.then you know where its going
have a move in box. kettle,a few plates.knife fork spoon cereals bread.then order in the first night or two.
pack a suitcase as if your going on holiday.easy access to clothes.toiletries etc close to hand.
pack a cleaning box.sprays.wipes.bleach.scrubbers rubber gloves.again easy move in access.
get the beds set up first
have you checked things are moved across like wifi or sky plan.it can take weeks to forward the plan and address
do you have dc.get them to help.unpack their own rooms.
You want your helpers to move any item once and only once.
So decide in advance where you want large pieces of furniture to go, and draw a plan of each room and blutac it to the door.
Then when you're busy sorting stuff in the kitchen, they don't need to call you to ask where you want it.
Equally important, identify a space in each room where no furniture will be sited, and put a couple of sheets of newspaper down. Then tell movers to put boxes on the paper.
I discovered that one the hard way-- I had to move the wardrobe to the right position on my own after I'd unpacked all the boxes that were in the way
Give each room a number eg kitchen 1, living room 2. When you arrive stick the numbers in the doors.
Number the boxes, so the first kitchen box is 101, second 102, third 103 etc. Keep a notebook with a list of what is in each box eg 101 - plates, 102 - pan, 103 - bakeware.
Do a major de-clutter, if you have time then think about where in the new house each item will go so you don't have a ton of surplus stuff that doesn't fit in the new house. Pack up your absolutely favourite breakables in a squillion tonnes of bubble wrap then hand the rest over to a removal company. Totally worth the cost, as it's stressful enough already and you can concentrate on cleaning, unless you can stump up for a deep clean with an agency as well. Take a couple of favourite plants at least from the garden. Then pack as though you are going on holiday self catering for a week. Keep one room completely clear in the new house so that you can shut the doors on the mess when you need to relax.
Pack the kettle, mugs and tea bags in a separate box and keep it with you.
Also when putting stuff into a van remember the first things in come out last. So pack your bedding etc last so it's out first. Then you can make up your bed etc while others are unpacking the rest and have everything ready to collapse when you're done (and drunk your cup of tea)!
Lots of great advice here but definitely second the one where you pack a suitcase with pyjamas, towels, essentials (toothbrushes etc) and also a set of clothes each for the next day. You don't want to be rootling around in lots of different places for all these items. Have them together so you can all get dressed and ready to go. Also good to have kettle/cups/tea/coffee at hand if (like me) you can't function without a brew
Also make sure you know exactly where the all the pillows and bedding are. Moving house can go on and on when suddenly you realise it really is bedtime and you will be tired and ready for bed - no use if the bedding is packed "somewhere" or, in a box buried behind a lot of other boxes somewhere awkward to reach
Keep enough cutlery and dishes. DH had to eat his breakfast yoghurt with a knife. De-clutter and bin as much as you can, be ruthless. Take drawers out and wrap them in clingfiln then you can just put them back in unit the next day. Have a box that is just essentials for first few days, bedding, crockery, cutlery, kettle, pans etc so you can get everything easily. Packs case with a few days toiletries, medication and toiletries.
I moved a week ago. It was my most disorganized move ever. Moved countless times. Major difference was that this time my DH was involved.
My top tips are to do what I used to do with more successful moves.
- tidy before packing - a place for everything and everything in its place
- pack yourself (the packers/movers we hired were shit despite being recommended. I think my friend got the A team and we got the B team.
- hire movers or a man with a van. You direct operations but don’t do the moving labour
- pack early
- pack a picnic basket of supplies for moving day
- don’t bother trying to move frozen food. Either eat it or throw it or give it away, it is not worth the hassle. Even if you are on,y moving five minutes down the road.
- put cling film over cutlery trays etc to hold things in place.
- empty the contents of a drawer into a plastic bag, then put it in a box or suitcase
- books go in the smallest available box. Ignore the idiots that say they can handle it.
- label the boxes. Your system, not the movers. You need to have the destination room AND the contents on there
- pack paintings and ornaments and decorative items first. Unpack them last. Not having things cluttering up the space makes it easier to both pack and unpack
- use bin bags when possible. Buy a colour that you don’t normally use for rubbish so you don’t get confused and make sure everyone in the house is aware
- use uniform size boxes. This is important! So much easier to move and stack if the boxes are all the same size. Yes, you may end up using a few more boxes but I swear it makes life easier!
Make up the beds as soon as they are in the bedrooms.
Nothing worse than starting to wrestle with sheets and duvets at midnight when you're knackered
Put toilet paper, soap, lightbulbs, a torch, phone chargers and the TV remote control in the box of essential items already mentioned. Also pack a suitcase for the first night, with clothes, toiletries and medications. Keep these, and anything else you will need on the day, in your car.
Pack books in supermarket bag-for-life bags.
Make up the beds first. When you are fit for nothing else, you can at least have a rest. Everything else will wait until tomorrow.
Ikea bags are your friends.
DH always complains that we forget them and need to buy new ones at Ikea. I have told him to stop complaining and we will need more for our next move.
Pack a room at a time, label up boxes with destination room, I only bothered a little with contents where I didn't think obvious. Movers will supply wardrobe boxes which mean clothes come straight out again, amazing things.
If you have overlap and are not taking old fridge freezer you can leave that overnight and come back to get the contents, this was great for us this time.
If you're using moved, they are always busiest on a Friday as so many completions. We got 10% discount for moving on a Thurs. Others offered NHS discounts, so with asking if any discount might be available. We self packed this time and it was ok, took a day for a big three bed house.
We did send some stuff to storage beforehand which allowed us to get uncluttered photos and encouraged a declutter. This was picked up as soon as we were able to get the new keys and have a clean round.
Start packing non essential items as soon as house goes up for sale, get rid of anything you don't use and probably won't in the new property, I used a local freecycle website and offloaded masses of stuff.
As soon as you enter the new house, make up the bed or beds as a priority, the last thing you want after a stressful day and feeling absolutely knackered is to then have to make up your bed when you just want to pass out on it. It was the single best thing I did when I moved four years ago.
Wine boxes are the perfect size for books, are neatly stackable and keep the weight down.
If you have books, use sturdy shopping bags rather than boxes - if you know the smaller Sainsburys orange ones with the elephant on the side and something like "I'm small but strong". They are easier to lift and move than boxes of books, any thing larger is too heavy if you are doing it yourself.
HVe a sort out and throw and charity shop anything you don’t need no need moving stuff you need to get rid of.
I have loads of books so I will put all my shopping bags into use for them I think or small boxes. Might need to stock up on the shopping bags I think.
I will be tackling my daughters room today with her to see if we can thin her things out a bit and start boxing up a few bits she rarely uses.
Pack your essentials and vital docs (medicines, passports, insurance, driving licence, estate agents docs, solicitor docs etc etc) in a box.
Make a cleaning kit. Include bin bags, toilet roll, cleaning spray, cloths and bleach, batteries and light bulbs.
Label both of these boxes with a sign saying PLEASE DO NOT PACK THIS BOX!!!
I have done my own packing for several moves and the only breakage I have ever had was the one time I used the removal men to pack - never again. You need plenty of paper (newspaper is free) to wrap all breakables and plenty of padding on the bottom of boxes and between the breakables to cushion them in the event of rough handling.
Make sure the day before your move that you have packed everything not needed for that night and the following morning because the more organised you are the quicker the removal men can get you moved. Put the kettle, mugs, milk, tea, coffee, sugar and biscuits in one box, together with packed lunch/snacks to keep you going throughout the day and put that box in your car so it is the first thing you unpack. I second the marking the boxes by room so you can direct the removal men to put the boxes in the right rooms - saves you a job.
When you are in your new home, the first thing to do is always put up & make up the beds, especially the kids' beds. When you are ready to drop later that evening & can do no more, the last thing you will feel like doing is sorting your beds, so do that job first.
Make sure you sort redirection of post. Good luck Op.
* removal company to pack your stuff for you - if you can afford it. It was worth every penny.
* a cleaning company to come & clean your place as soon as the 1st room is cleared-again, worth every penny.
* a cleaning company to clean your new place once the sellers have moved out. Nothing worse than having to clean someone else's filth!!
If you've got some precious, fragile things that can be stored elsewhere, I'd do that. It took a lot of stress out of the main move for me as i was worried about certain things being broken. Have a big clear out now and be ruthless so you're not moving crap. We had packers and they left clothes in drawers which saved some needless packing/unpacking!
Buy a couple of the huge builders’ rubbish bags, they’re about £6. Put clothes still on hangars in them. You can drag them downstairs/into can. Don’t drag on concrete, you’ll put holes in them. Easy to carry between 2 if you haven’t overloaded them. All bedding can go in there too.
I echo packing all the essentials now, don’t wait til the last minute. Great time to have a clearout, too. Do bags for chucking, charity etc.
I have moved house 24 times in my 40 odd years OP..what works for me is to start in one room ...pack away anything that is not essential then clean as you go...so for example under my kitchen sink where I keep all the pans and cookware...I would pack the everything but maybe 3 pans,then i would whilst the cupboard is emptyish clean the inside of the shelves and put my 3 pans back...everything else is boxed and labelled kitchen...by doing that on moving day there is minimal cleaning to be done which saves loads of time...same with linen and bathroom cupboards...do we really need 25 towels...err no pack em and leave out 4 ..vac pack bags are great for this ..can we manage with 1 set of bedding out and pack the spares ?yep cos we can sling it in the wash and reuse..it does save loads of time and the amount of stuff you can suck in those bags is fabulous! again wipe out the cupboard as you go ,,no need to do it again....I am not going to wear my summer stuff in this weather so pack em..job done! Also if you can weed out anything that is never going to fit again dump it its daft lugging it with you!!! Kids toys ugh...anything like mine they wont part with anything...keep out what they love then pack the rest by the time they move they will have forgotten what they had and toys will be like new toys once again to them! Pack books and dvds now too ...you can manage without them for a bit...anything you can do now saves so much stress on the moving day! Happy New Home!
Best tip I ever had was 'start with the loft/attic then do the garage'. Oh and dont leave the kitchen til the last minute as everyone forgets how many cake tins and saucepans etc that they actually have!
If you haven't got a helpful mother in law and her friend (like I was lucky enough to have) to clean each room as it was emptied, have a deep clean about a month before you leave then just keep on top of it every week thereafter. Its much easier than trying to clean yourself whilst packing and organising kids and making tea and coffee for the movers. And they like lots and lots of drinks. Biscuits not so much as mine all went to mcdonalds on the way to start the job
Movers will suppply boxes. Try to get your internet sorted early, take your contract with you, if you are not moving far you may be able to take your landline phone number with you, or take over one at new place. Keep important documents and valuables with you, don't empty drawers just cover and stack them, they can move as they are.
Get the bed made up first, then when you've had enough you can just get in it, leave some unpacking for another day
Have a good clear out first. And hire someone to do it for you.
Avoid moving on a Friday. If anything goes wrong (buying), you will struggle to contact estate agents, solicitors, banks, loan companies etc, If renting same applies, but to a lesser extent. Keep all relevant documents handy.
Photograph utility meters as soon as you arrive and leave.
If you can check the barrel on the lock, buy a replacement, or fit a door chain.
Put small stuff in small boxes which fit into larger ones. For example if you put cutlery and the like (drawer by drawer) into a shoebox each, then pack that into a larger box it's better manageable. Smaller items have a habit of getting lost, too, so that risk is diminished in a small box.
Know where your furniture goes so you don't have to move it again. If you have bookshelves, get them unloaded first and put in place. You can then unpack your books quick and easy and get rid of the stack of boxes. (Says she who moved close to 5,000 books last time.)
Essentials in overnight bags, enough to go for a day or two (or three). A plate each, a mug each, etc in a box and keep it with your overnight bag, put it in your car (if you have one) away from the rest of the moving stuff.
Use (spare) pillows and chair cushions to bolster boxes with awkward/breakable stuff - the pillows/cushions are bulky and take up a lot of space, this way they've got a useful purpose.
And definitely declutter and don't move what you do not need. The local charity shop can always handle stuff, be it clothes or knick-knacks.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.