As you may or may not know, I moved back in with my parents last month after half a year of living in a flat with my boyfriend. My boyfriend and I both moved in with my family in order to save for a mortgage as, living in the flat with extortionate rent rates, council tax and bills, we were unable to put anything into savings.
While our move wasn’t a complete train wreck, I have definitely learnt from our mistakes! My experiences might not be applicable to everyone but I thought I would share my top tips for moving.
- When you decide to move, make a note of all mail that comes to your home. Make a list of where your mail comes from – your dentist, your optician, MOT reminders, even your Boots Advantage card and Tesco Clubcard. We sign up for so many different benefits and have such a vast amount of mail come through our letterbox throughout the year that it is inevitable to forget to change your address for at least one company. By making a note of all mail that you get as soon as possible, you’re more likely to change all addresses.
- When you have a date in mind, contact all relevant people and change addresses. It is important that when you have an address and a moving date in mind, you change all addresses, contact relevant people (such as your utility companies) and – if necessary – book a van!
- Start saving/buying supplies. Think of what you are going to need for the move and start gathering supplies. This generally means boxes (which you can either buy or ask a store to save some for you), Sellotape, a marker pen and newspaper or bubble-wrap. We didn’t get boxes until quite late which meant we couldn’t start packing early and also there was a little bit of stress about whether we would have enough boxes.
- Conversely, stop buying food unless necessary. Moving is a great time to have a clear out of your cupboards. A few weeks before you are due to move, stop buying food frivolously and begin to eat what you have in your cupboards, fridge and freezer.
- Make a list of what to do. This is something that I really wish we had done instead of leaving it all to the last minute! List everything that needs packing, how it needs packing and other tasks that need completing. For example, one of the first things we did was pack my bookshelf and one of the tasks we needed to do was take the bookshelf down. In terms of ‘how it needs packing’, this is more to do with a) wrapping crockery and other breakables and b) whether you’re putting items into storage. My boyfriend and I have put most of our crockery and kitchen items into storage (since we are sharing a kitchen with my parents so don’t need pots and pans) and we have put other non-essential items into temporary storage at his mum’s house until we move into our permanent room when my sister moves out.
- Plan when to do everything. I would advise you to start packing about two weeks before your moving date, depending on how much you have to move. My boyfriend and I packed almost everything the night before we were due to move, which was nowhere near enough time, meaning we were very stressed and were unsure whether we were actually going to get everything done in time. If I could turn back the clock, I would start packing the non-essential items (books, DVDs, some clothes, some kitchen items) about two weeks in advance, doing a little bit each evening to spread the amount of work.
- Have a clear-out while packing. I love going through all of my items every now and again and donating everything that I don’t want/is no longer necessary to charity. Since you’re already going through your items to pack boxes, make sure you only pack what you want to keep and donate everything else to charity.
- Put all packed boxes together in one place. My boyfriend and I were guilty of not doing this. We packed up the lounge in dribs and drabs and left the boxes half-packed in the living room. Our living room was tiny so having boxes everywhere made the place look even smaller, made the room an obstacle course and made it seem as though we hadn’t done anything. As soon as we moved these to the spare room, we could really see what we had left to pack.
- Begin cleaning but don’t pack your cleaning supplies away too soon! When you start packing, try to clean each room as you go along. Wash windows, wipe down walls and vacuum to ensure you have minimal cleaning to do on moving day. It is worth packing your cleaning supplies but keeping them to one side so you can easily place your hands on them on moving day to top up any troublesome areas.
- Try and make sure all clothes are washed, ironed and put away (packed) before moving. My boyfriend and I ended up moving a box of clothes labeled “to iron”, along with a full washing basket and another half-filled box of clothes that were just floating around our flat. When we moved, I did five loads of washing, half of which probably didn’t need washing but were put into the washing basket as they hadn’t already been packed.
- Move boxes as soon as possible. This is more applicable to those who are moving in with parents or friends or a house they already own. I moved a few boxes of books a couple of days before the big moving day. Ideally, I would have moved more items over the course of a few days to make the move day easier, but even moving six boxes eased the pressure on the main day.
- Pack a suitcase. This one is especially applicable to my boyfriend and I, who didn’t move straight into our permanent room. We moved out on September 13th and are still living in a temporary room, waiting for my sister to move out, so we are effectively living out of boxes. It would have been so much easier to basically pack a few weeks’ worth of clothes and toiletries so we could live out of one suitcase instead of wearing the same clothes for weeks because we are unable to unpack our clothes.
- Keep some spare boxes aside. This one is important for two reasons. 1) Packing your fridge and freezer. For obvious reasons, this can’t be done until the day you move so you need to make sure you have boxes aside for this purpose. 2) To pack the things you use most often. I use my laptop and iPad everyday so didn’t want to pack them until the night before/day of the move. I made a box of items that I knew I would need before I had the chance to unpack every box, so ensured these were all together in one box. Or two. And a few cotton bags. What, I have a lot of stuff!
- Buy some fans/paper cups/sweets. On moving day, we had only one glass available to share between the five of us who were moving boxes. I would definitely recommend buying some paper/plastic cups to use, along with some sweets and snacks to maintain energy levels and maybe some portable, personal fans if it is going to be very warm.
- Layer your clothes! I wore leggings, Ugg boots, a shirt and a large wooly jumper on moving day. The idea behind this was that if it was cold, I could wear the jumper and if it was hot or I got too warm, I could just wear the leggings and shirt. I would definitely recommend wearing something comfortable and easy to move in, though, whatever you decide to wear.
- Sleep! The evening before the move, you want to make sure that you get an early night so you can get plenty of sleep and be well rested for the big day. Having a lot of energy for moving is definitely needed, especially if you have a lot to move!
They are my top tips for moving. I am not an expert and some of my tips won’t apply to everyone, however I thought I would share the lessons I have learnt with all of you. What are your top tips for moving?
– Taisie ♥