An organized move

When you are about to move, you are faced with all your possessions and a definite time limit to shift these. Even the most organized person in the world, will be preoccupied for several days when moving. 

This means that having a few tips and tricks under your belt, will make the whole process of moving allot easier.

Here are some steps I suggest you follow (most likely in this order)

  1. Declutter
  2. Arrange a moving company
  3. Order boxes
  4. Gather supplies
  5. Learn how to pack
  6. Start packing
  7. Connect and disconnect the utilities, notify companies of your address changes
  8. Organize food and the days around the move

Declutter

A lot of people when moving, move a lot of junk from the old to the new house. Moving however, is a great opportunity to declutter. Why shift items that you no longer need or want? It is a major waste of time and money. Think about the boxes you pay for and / or the fee for the moving guys that will be carrying boxes of stuff which could be classified as junk. This page has a lot of information on it to help you declutter.

Arrange a moving company

If you are not sure when your moving day will be, still go ahead with this step and ask how busy they are. Compare fees, as a general rule, a slightly dearer company might respect your belongings a bit more. A counter argument is that if you pack well, most breakages are avoidable. When inquiring about the fees, also check if they provide the boxes for your move or if this will be an additional cost. Some providers offer boxes for rental or have buy back options. This reduces cost and clutter in the long run.

Other things you might want to check is how many days’ notice they need to book you in on your prefect moving day and time? When looking into the different relocation services in your area, see if you know any people who have recently moved. Ask for their experience with the companies they used.

Boxes

Did I mention declutter? Why? Because we need to make a guesstimate on the boxes required and you don’t want to move junk. Back to the boxes, it is quite easy to move house with only two different box sizes.

  • A large box for lighter things 
  • Book sized boxes for heavier and more precious things

Go through your house with a tally and count how many big and small boxes you will need. This is based on the volume of items you have in each room. This means that you will look through each cupboard and drawer and see when you would fill up either a big or a small box. 

An example is 3 or 4 shelves of linen can often fit into 1 large box. Whereas books on a bookshelf will fit into a smaller book box, these need to be kept small to contain the weight.

Make sure you tally all boxes for each room and then count the total boxes together for your whole house. When you have done your box check, also check for art works - they could go in separate art boxes.

Finally look at odd shaped items that won’t fit in boxes (you might need bubble wrap for this if it is very precious).

Order your total amount of boxes plus a few extra. You can buy (and resell) or rent boxes depending on your situation. 


Getting cheap boxes from the super market might work, but makes it hard for you in terms of efficiency as all boxes will be differently shaped and some won’t close properly. You can also not expect the cereal carton to hold your books very well as they are not designed to move items. Investing in good moving boxes tends to be worth it.

Side note: I have refrained from giving box estimates for house sizes or rooms. It is very hard to give average box requirements as some people have empty storage space in their house and others have each nook and cranny filled with items, or they might have an extensive collection of artifacts, both could create an overall difference of 20 boxes for the same size house.

Gather other supplies

You will want; 

  • A roller tape dispenser (a good quality one)
  • Paper for wrapping (generally 2 packets you’ll use it allot) 
  • Several black markers 
  • A knife to cut the boxes open
  • Zip lock bags for small items 
  • Bin bags

Optional is bubble wrap for art work and odd shaped items, it all depends on the value and volume of these items.

Gathering these items is a bit of effort and expense (although good moving companies or box hire services will be a one-stop-shop). It is however all worth it, as the whole packing process will be very much streamlined. 

If you want to ramp up your organizing even more get an apron or bum bag and keep most of the supplies around your waste. You will look and act pretty much a professional mover.

Learn how to pack well for your move

Generally speaking, it boils down to padding, padding and clever positioning of your items – don’t overload! Investing time in learning how to pack can save you time and effort (as well as prevent breakages).

Here are some YouTube video’s on packing:


Start packing

You can do the packing in two ways;

  1. Slow and steady overtime as you declutter. Start with books and infrequently used items and work your way through the house. This approach, will most likely take several weeks.
  2. You can pack super fast with several people (or several days straight if you are on your own). On average 3-4 people can pack up a house in 6-8 hours. Unpacking is about the same, so two days all up, for packing and unpacking (you’ll need to add the moving day which is often in between).

If you are lucky you can move in the morning and unpack that day but as a general rule allow for some additional time.

Other tasks

  • Get phone bills, electricity, gas etc. disconnected in the old house and connected in the new house. 
  • Rearrange your mail; notify as many people and organizations of your change of address.

Once you have arrived in your new place it is time to unpack and find homes for all you items. This is the time when you can really go wild with organizing your new place.

Finally – food for thought

In regards to food, get take away or get friends / relatives to cook you some food for several days straight. You cannot cook in the midst of a relocation; I suggest you don’t even try – acknowledging limitations is one of the important lessons when getting organized.

Once you are done with the move, stop, reflect and celebrate. You have gone through a lot of effort! 

Enjoy your clutter free new place, a space which you entered in an organized way!

Well done!

Side note: My company the Essence of Clarity offers services to help facilitate the moving process. If you life in the Wollongong / Illawarra area make sure to contact us in regards to this service.

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