It’s final, your lease for the old place is up and you are moving to your new home. Over the years, you’ve accumulated graying stuffed toys, state-of-the-art kitchen gizmos, holiday souvenirs and not to mention the miscellaneous stuff in the store room that hasn’t been sorted out since your last move 15 years ago. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of packing there is to do. So it’s time to have a systematic plan. Assign yourself one month in which to plan, organize and pack.
One month before the move, you either rent a lorry and coax friends and relatives to help out, or hire a professional removal service. If you plan to throw everything out and take the minimal furniture, than the first option helps to save money. The professional approach is the way to go if you are one who always hoard stuff that you hope to find a use for someday. Using a professional mover can save time and energy. Start calling a few movers for an estimate. Make sure you choose a reputable, reliable company.
Start searching for right-sized boxes and wrapping materials. Used boxes are fine, get them from the office, the warehouse down the road or your friendly neighbourhood provision shop. Polystyrene boards (handy for protecting pictures) and bubble wrap are good to have on hand. You can purchase brand-new cartons from box manufacturers or movers. Specially designed wardrobe boxes are available from moving companies.
Start weeding out what you don’t want, old magazines, clothes, junk mail, Christmas cards. The rule of thumb is, if you haven’t used it in the last two years, trash it. Keep documents like passports, birth and education certificates, bank books, insurance records and important documents in a large manila envelope or plastic folder clearly marked ‘Important Documents’. As you are sorting out things, you can start organizing and categorizing them. Flat, easy-to-pack things such as CDs and cassettes can go in a small box, books in another.
Before you seal the cartons, ask yourself, can you get by without the item for the next three weeks? Of the answer is yes, box it. Label each box clearly and make a list of what’s inside on your notebook. When you’ve decided what you don’t want, set aside a weekend for a garage sale. Anything that’s not sold and in reasonable good condition can go to charity. Stop buying food that you can’t finish in the next two weeks.
In week two, start planning where you want the furniture to go. When you pack the stuff into the boxes, number and label them into which room you want it to go to. Mark the boxes ‘FRAGILE’ if there are breakables within and ‘THIS WAY UP’ with an arrow if it contains your TV, hi-fi or computer. Don’t forget to leave out from your packing enough changes of underwear, essentials like toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper and whatever else you will need to see you through the next two weeks.
Start calling friends and let them know your new address and phone number. Don’t forget to inform your bank of your new address. Ask a pet-loving friend to baby-sit your pet before the move. If there’s still a lot of food left in the fridge, give them away or throw a house-cooling party for the friends who are helping you move. Use disposable tableware so you do not waste time packing them again. Check that your new residence is ready and cleaned out.
The day before moving, finish last-minute packing. Put aside scissors or pen-knife for opening boxes. Try to get a good night’s rest, you’ll need it. On moving day, appoint someone reliable to remain at the old place to check that nothing has been missed out and that everything is in order. Get another to stand by at the new residence to direct the movers.