Moving house whether it be from rental to rental or to your first home is exciting. As they say, change is as good as a holiday. The same person who said that however, probably forgot the whole actual moving part, which to put it eloquently... sucks!
Packing all your life into boxes, loading up the vans like a game of Tetris, driving to the new destination and then doing all of that in reverse is stressful and hard work.
There are ways to make this easier or smoother at least. Call the professionals, job done, article finished! Just joking - who can afford professionals when you have just bought a house. So with that in mind, the following are the essentials of moving:
- Plan everything. Never been a fan of lists? Guess what... they will be your new best friend. You have a lot to keep track of. First thing first, contact all your service providers - electricity, phone and, most importantly, internet provider - and get them set up at the new house. You will also need to advise when you need the services finished at the old house. Nothing worse than moving into a house without power to turn the lights on, while generously paying the power for whomever is living in your old house.
- Change your postal address everywhere. That whole list thing I mentioned... you need it now. Write down every organisation that has and needs your postal address and update them a couple of weeks before you leave. While not all mail may be sent to the new address, it will at least save months of "return to sender". Australia Post even has a mail redirect option to protect against stragglers on the mail front.
- Book a van and book friends. You will need help. If your friends are as easy as mine, put on a couple of cartoons of beer and the sweet smell of hops shall have them jumping at the call. Keep in mind though - they are there to help, not be your cheap labour. Be appreciative.
- Packing. You have all the above booked and ready. Now you need to pack. Most important item when packing, besides the boxes, is the black marker. It is essential - label every single box with room and rough idea of contents, and when you unload make sure they go to the room written on the box. Some people even colour code and pre-plan. I am not nearly that organised, but good on you if you are.
- Time to have a purge. I know... decluttering. I shudder at the word. I can justify eveythting I own, even down to the 6 year old iPad with the smashed screen that no longer holds a charge (okay... even I can't justify that one). However, when moving and having to pack and then unpack, even I would consider saying goodbye to these things. It is at this point where you should spend some money on your move and rent a skip bin. It is amazing what those things can hold, and the satisfaction of dumping a whole lot of stuff you no longer need to pack is huge. Alternatively, if it's stuff that still works, or things like clothes, give it to Good Sammy's or the Salvo's and find a little light in the tedium that is moving.
- "One night stand box" - Sounds a little inappropriate but stay with me. This box is going to contain everything you need for that first night at the new home. Treat this box like you are packing for a one night camping trip. It needs candles (in case someone didn’t make a list and hook up power), toiletries for the night, PJ's (if you wear them, I ain't judging), change of clothes for following day, phone chargers and any other things that you can't survive without. No one wants to be box diving at midnight.
There we go... basic moving 101, now complete!