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Your best tips for moving house/packing/moving day please?

67 replies

womblingalong · 18/08/2012 18:21

We are moving house in 13 days (eek! - just writing that down is scary!) and I am working for 6 of those days. I am knee deep in boxes and black bin liners of things for the tip/charity shop, and not sure I will be done in time without a nervous breakdown.

Any advice for getting things done and not losing the plot would be most gratefully received!

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RubberDuck · 18/08/2012 18:22

Beg borrow or steal the money, but pay for packers - they're worth EVERY PENNY Grin

womblingalong · 18/08/2012 20:33

Thanks Rubberduck, we have them booked with packing as an option, but as I've lived in my house for 16 years, and we did it with a van and friends last time, I am not sure what packers actually do?

Do they pack up all the contents of the house, like plants and contents of cupboards and drawers and everything, I know I sound clueless, that's because
I am!

Thanks Confused

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BikeMedalsRunningMedals · 18/08/2012 20:43

Pack an overnight bag for everyone and put them somewhere separate where they can be easily found. Car boot/local friend etc.

Have a separate and easily accessible box of kettle, tea and coffee, milk, sugar etc; phone chargers; house paperwork; contact numbers for utility suppliers and your a/c details with them; phone chargers; yellow pages; vase (some one will inevitably send you flowers); snacks; sellotape, big inky pen and scissors. And take away leaflets if you have them for where you are going.

Pets in kennels/cattery etc if possible.

Ask the removals company what their service includes.

Be utterly ruthless with what you throw out.

womblingalong · 18/08/2012 21:24

Thanks bikes, love the olympic name btw! Obviously phone chargers important then!

Good advice. Had though of emergency rations and overnight bags, although as I am going back to our old town a couple of days after the move for a week, I am packing bags for a week for the kids and me, plus a special school uniform box, for dh to get them off to new school.

Have added stress of no school place for DS yet, DD has one, but not going to find out about DS until 4th Sept.

Trying to be ruthless, but running out of time.

What do removals companies do first furniture or boxes?

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PukeCatcher · 18/08/2012 21:28

Make up your beds as soon as you get in your new house then you don't have to face it later.
Hire a skip if possible to get rid of any junk.
You will get there, but It's horrible isn't it, you think its never going to end!
We moved 4 months ago with a 3 month old I have not unpacked several boxes

NickNacks · 18/08/2012 21:31

Order a food shop to be delivered on your first morning there. You'll have enough to be getting on with without that as well.

dizzyday07 · 18/08/2012 21:39

I am in the same situation as you except we don't have a definate date just a provisional of 31st Aug!

I too am trying to pack what we are not using, plus charity shop or Ebay or Freecycle stuff I really don't want to take.

DH keeps "offering" to help but he would just grap random stuff and shove them together in a box so I'd have no idea of where anything is at the other end - so I am really my own worst enemy

ChuggaChuggaChooChoo · 18/08/2012 21:47

Definitely get the movers to do the packing. DEFINITELY. It doesn't cost very much extra, and they are way faster because they don't get sidetracked or have a little reminiscence every time they pull an item out of the back of a cupboard.

PigeonPie · 18/08/2012 21:52

I'll reiterate getting the movers to pack - it was worth EVERY penny when we moved. They will be able to pack your whole house in at the most two days when it will take you so much time to do it yourself, time you don't have.

Definitely worth every penny.

JaquelineHyde · 18/08/2012 21:58

Number the bedrooms and the boxes accordingly and then when you get to the house stick a sheet of white paper on each door with it's corresponding number. Then the removal men can just look at the number on the box and stick it in the right bedroom.

This will prevent the continuous 'where do you want this box love?' questions!

RubberDuck · 18/08/2012 22:12

Yep, the packers sweep in on the day (or the day before) and do it all for you, every single last bit. Okay, so you need to pack your overnight bag and the box with the kettle and WE NEED THIS THE SECOND WE MOVE IN stuff (like loo rolls) but that's it.

It's so much less stress, it really is. I'd never ever ever move myself ever again without packers.

RubberDuck · 18/08/2012 22:13

Incidentally, our removers only insured for breakages if we used their packing service, too. So although it didn't cost much more, we had better insurance coverage if something went wrong in with the deal.

YeahBuddy · 18/08/2012 22:20

Glad I came across this thread, I will be moving in about 6 weeks. BUT I'm on the most basic of budgets and can't afford a removal company - my dad is hiring a van. I'm finding the whole prospect soooo daunting and I haven't even got a date to move in yet!

womblingalong · 18/08/2012 23:32

Dizzy, we are moving on the 30th and it is daunting. I have a system though, which means DH can help without causing me a coronary.

I have indexed each box labelled A, B, C etc, and location and contents are listed in a notebook for each box. Each box has the room it is to go in written on so the removers know where it goes. I also then know where everything is. I am already up to Box CX!

Good luck with the move!

YeahBuddy, we moved like that last time, my system worked really well that time. Also, since you have lots more time than we do, try and do a couple of boxes a night. When I was able to do this last time it really helped.

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womblingalong · 18/08/2012 23:37

Food shop is good idea nick. Not even sure where the nearest supermarket is!

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Helenagrace · 19/08/2012 01:02

I'm probably moving too. DH has a second interview for a job 280 miles away in 10 days time. If he gets it we will need to find a house to rent, pack / liaise with the packers and unpack by mid-September. I'll have to find at least one school place, possibly two (might home school one DC) in a town I've only ever visited once - eleven years ago on a four night short break.

Good job I am a ruthless packer and declutterer like a challenge Hmm

ChuggaChuggaChooChoo · 19/08/2012 07:51

Don't trust your movers with the "we need this the second we move in" box. We had a last-minute box with things like the kettle and loo-paper. We labled it "KETTLE - KEEP ACCESSIBLE" and various other signs and alerted the movers that we needed this box somewhere we coul easily find it - all of which was ignored. We found it 2 weeks later, at the very back and bottom of a stack of 20 boxes of less-important stuff.

In future, this box is coming with us in the car.

womblingalong · 19/08/2012 10:57

Where can I get newspaper from?

Thanks for the brilliant advice btw. Just talked to DH, who has been arranging the removals, and discussed your advice, and he's agreed to use the packeing service, it's only a bit extra, and by writing out our mega list of things to do over breakfast, he has worked out for himself, we don't have enough time, hurrah!!!!!!!

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womblingalong · 19/08/2012 10:59

Helenagrace, that sounds hard, are you working too?

Wish I was a ruthless packer and declutterer, just am really not loving this at all.

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MrsJREwing · 19/08/2012 11:04

I labelled the boxes and provided a map they still have me where does this go love.

TheGirlOnTheLanding · 19/08/2012 11:18

More an unpacking tip than packing, but if you can spare the space in your new place, I'd recommend designating one room for the boxes. All the boxes with urgent essentials we'd marked to go in kitchen, bedroom, etc but the bulk was non urgent stuff (like books, ornaments, photo albums etc etc.) so we put all those in the spare room. We knew there was no way we'd unpack everything the day we arrived (especially as the new place needed a damn good clean first) so having the seemingly endless pile of boxes out of sight behind a closed door really reduced my stress levels - it meant a few rooms were habitable straight away and we could unpack a box or two from the pile every night when we got home from work rather than living in total chaos till they were all unpacked. Made it much less daunting.

Helenagrace · 19/08/2012 13:02

wombling I run DH's company which will be sold / wound down plus two companies of my own. I may or may not continue those when I move. I keep wondering if it would be easier to go back to being an employee. If DH was in a role with more regular hours I might be tempted to go back to hospital management. I had to leave because I couldn't do on calls with two small children and DH working away.

This will be DD's 7th house and she's only turning 11 next month so we're seasoned movers. We once lived in four houses in one year.

I've found that the key is to write on the boxes exactly where it is going to go so I don't just write "kitchen food" on the box I would write "kitchen tinned food larder cupboard second on left". I take pictures of the house we're moving to so I know how many cupboards I've got.

I'd second the food shop and making the beds up as soon as you can ideas. Packers are essential IMO. Oh and cull what's in the garage / shed / loft so you don't move crap you moved last time. We culled the contents of the shed yesterday. I'm a ruthless declutterer and we still had a car load for the tip. We don't even know if we're moving yet but it was good to do it anyway.


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womblingalong · 19/08/2012 15:37

Wow, I thought I was organised with my indexed catalogue of contents and labelled boxes ---- you bring the organisation and planning to a whole new level Helena, on top of 3 jobs and 2 DC's!

I have had 10 mins in the house we are moving too with crying child, so no proper memory of how many cupboards or anything, unfortunately.

We did the 2 sheds last week and the attics yesterday and today. DH has just gone to the Charity shop and tip with it all.

Still loads of stuff though!

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womblingalong · 19/08/2012 15:39

Thegirl, we are doing that with the dining room, so we have a tip there, and the rest of the house ok. We have a huge futility room in the new place so kitchen boxes can go there until I can face them too!

I am now categorising boxes in detail a la Helena - thanks!

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YeahBuddy · 19/08/2012 20:18

Oooh loving these tips, I am amazing ly sad at list making and organising. Just got to work out my own system and I'm good to go. I've also did a major ruthless de-clutter just before my twins were born so there shouldn't be too much to chuck/charity.
Good idea about putting all the unnecessary boxes in another room. I'm going from a two bed flat to a three bed house so I shouldn't in theory have that much to pack/unpack.

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