I have recently moved out of my mom’s house and into a flat with my boyfriend. I discovered a few things that made our moving life 100x easier than what I had expected it to be.
To give you a brief idea on our move – we moved 5km away from my mom’s house – so not a very far move. There was no need for a moving company since this was the first time we were going to stay somewhere where things were not a given and where things were not provided to us. For instance, we had no couch to move from A to B because we were buying our first one. We had no washing machine because, again, we were buying our first one. For everything that we were buying for the first time, we had the company deliver to the flat within the same week that we had moved in. All we really had to move to the new place was clothing, a bed, 2 pedestals, and my vanity, and a few items here and there like washing baskets, dustbins, cutlery and crockery. But everything that we were taking with us fit into a few car trips and one bakkie (for those of you that are new to this word, it is the South African slang word for a pick-up truck).
Here are a few things that I learnt from this move. Some of these things I actually did, and some of them I really wished that I had done. Either way, I am enjoying our new flat and hopefully there are tons more posts to come about it.
- Pack an overnight bag: Pack a bag with all your essentials in it. The best way to think of what you need in this bag is to think as if your were going on holiday for a few days and won’t have access to anything that you would usually have lying around the house. Remember that everything you have is going into boxes and once they are packed, it is extremely difficult to get to it. By doing this you save yourself the NEED to open boxes immediately and helps you to prioritise the boxes that need to be opened.
- Labelling is very important, even if this seems tedious: Label them on the outside with the room that they need to go to. This helps keep the boxes organised and easier to open and prioritise especially if you have friends helping you move your boxes. You might remember which boxes are meant to go to which room but your friends (or whoever is helping you move) will have no idea what each box contains. While packing your box, write down what you put into the box and place the piece of paper into the box ust before you close it up. That way, when you open it up in your new home you can decide whether or not you need to unpack that box now or later.
- Number your boxes: Figure out your own prioritising method. Do you like to number things 1 – 10 or just to paste a big red star on the top of the boxes that ware important and that you want to tackle first. Either way, prioritise your boxes and that way you know which ones you NEED to open first. This usually helps those of us that need to get back to work the following day but also need to make sure that the toiletries are packed out for the shower – however this should actually be in your overnight bag – or the cutlery and crockery have been put away so that there is at least something to eat off of.
- Close your boxes with different coloured Sellotape: Buy a coloured sellotape for every room in your house and pick which colour you are going to use for which room. Pick a colour for each room, e.g. Blue for the bathroom, and green for the bedroom, and maybe pink for the kitchen. If the box is intended for the bathroom then seal it with blue tape. This method works best when you mark each room with the colour sellotape that is intended for it. For example, print a label on an A4 page with the word bathroom on it in the same blue as the shade of the sellotape that is used to seal the box and stick it above the door so that whoever is helping you move knows where the blue box is supposed to be put down.
- Spring clean the day before: As a working person I know that it can be very difficult just to take off time to go and clean your new place. But if you can, try and go to your new place the day before the move and do a spring clean. It’s way easier to clean all the nooks and crannies when there is nothing in the house, rather than when there are stacks of boxes towering over you blocking every angle you try to move in.
- Utilise your packing space, and budget: Pack your clothing in amongst your fragile things. I know that bubble wrap does not cost a lot of money but when moving out the house, any cent you can save is always a bonus. The way to use your clothing is to use your shirts amongst your plates and your socks inside your glasses. You can also use your clothing to fill air space inside the boxes – plates are round and a box is square so there are always empty spaces so you do the maths.
- Take photos of the back of your electronics: If your are like me and are not very tech savvy with anything other than your cellphone and laptop then this is a MUST. This way you will be able to see how those hundreds and thousands of cables were connected in the back of your TV, subwoofer and playstation (of course this had to come along as I have a boyfriend that can hardly get through a day without playing FIFA).
- Avoid loosing your rental deposit: If you are renting like we are, then it doesn’t hurt to take pictures of your house before you move your things in – best done when you are spring cleaning. By doing such a small thing you can ensure you get your deposit back – as long as you don’t break anything because you now have the pictures to prove that you did so.
- Get the paper work done early: Start changing your address on paper early on. 2 weeks before moving in is always a good time to start changing all your documentation that require an address.
- You need to unfreeze your fridge and freezer in advance: Defrost your fridge at least 1 day before the move. Your fridge needs time to warm up and defrost so turning it off the day of your move is not always a great idea. To avoid having any left over food that will go bad before moving, avoid buying groceries at least 2 weeks before your move. Rather try and eat everything is your house – this also makes packing up the kitchen slightly easier.
Good luck with moving, and hopefully a few of my tips will make your experience a little bit easier.