It doesn’t matter whether it is across the road or across the country, moving from one home to another can be a stressful experience, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. He adds that most people will move to a new home at some stage in their lives. “While moving will be a relatively easy process for some people, with few or no issues, for the others the experience could be enough for them never to want to move again,” says Goslett.
He notes that the difference between a smooth moving experience and a difficult one is normally preparation. Goslett provides a few tips that people can use to make their move as organised and hassle-free as possible.
Keep a record
The majority of moving company will require an inventory of household items before they will be able to provide a quote for their services, so homeowners will need to compile a list of all their possessions. According to Goslett moving companies require an inventory of goods in order for them to determine the amount of space required for the move. He adds that making lists while packing is also a great way to keep track of what is in each box. “Having a list with the number of boxes and contents of each box will make it far easier to determine whether items or boxes are missing,” says Goslett. “The more specific a homeowner is with their inventory and box labels, the easier it will be for them to find certain items when unpacking. For example using labels on boxes such as winter jackets is better than just labelling the box as clothes.”
Assign an area in the home for packing
Having all the necessary items such as a marker pen and box tape in a central allocated area will make the packing process easier and will alleviate the frustration of constantly looking for these items. Everyone in the home who is helping pack will know to find anything related to the pack at the allocated packing station. Items to be keep at the packing station should include all lists, scissors, labels, bubble wrap and packing paper. Goslett says that homeowners should take care when wrapping items in printed newspaper as it could strain the item with ink.
Rather more than less
It is better to have too many supplies and boxes than not enough, as running out of these items will cause a delay in the packing process. “Generally homeowners require more boxes than they initially think. If the boxes have been supplied to the homeowner by their moving company, they will normally be able to get a refund for any unused boxes provided they are in a good condition. If a homeowner gets the boxes for free from a supermarket, it is simply a matter of taking the leftover boxes to a recycling bin or passing them onto a friend who may be moving in the near future,” says Goslett.
As a precautionary measure homeowners should have approximately 10 boxes set aside for last minute items that can only be packed on moving day, such as bedding, clothes and cleaning supplies.
Prioritise the packing order
Items that are used daily or on a regular basis should be packed last, while other items can be packed away and ready to go. Anything that is not essential up until the day of the move should be packed first. This will give the homeowner a good indication as to how much more needs to be packed and less will be left to do as moving day draws closer. “There is no need to keep winter clothes out if the move is happening during the summer months, and duplicate items can be pared down to only the bare essentials,” says Goslett.
Keep similar or matching items together
If a household item is used in conjunction with something else, it is best to keep all of these items together to make it easier to unpack. For example appliances should be packed together with their detachable parts or books together with book ends. Place all screws, bolts or small parts into a re-sealable plastic bag or envelope and tape it to the piece of furniture or corresponding appliance they come from. Goslett says that another effective method is to label each bag or envelope and place them all into one box along with accessories such as remote controls, extension cords and Allen keys. Ensure that this box is marked clearly so that it can be easily found.
Colour code boxes and items
While the homeowner may know which box goes to which room, the movers won’t. An easy way to resolve this problem is by designating each room in the new home a certain colour and marking each box or item with a sticker of the corresponding colour. For example, all bedroom items will be marked in blue and kitchen items in red. By putting a matching sticker on the door post of each room, movers will know the destination of each item or box.
Personal and important items
Each member of the family should pack a bag containing all the personal items that they will want immediate access to when arriving at the new home, such as cell phone, toothbrush or pyjamas. According to Goslett it is also advisable to have a bag or box that contains all valuable items and important documents, which can be kept with the homeowner at all times.
Check your insurance
Goslett says that before the move the homeowner should phone their insurance company and check what is covered by their homeowners’ insurance during the move and if any additional insurance it required from the mover. “Also find out what is required in the instance that items are lost or stolen, as some insurance companies may need receipts, appraisals or photos of valuable items,” advises Goslett.
He notes that while moving can be a rather daunting exercise, with the right planning and organisation with make it a far less stressful endeavour. “If everything is organised and ready to go, then the process can be an exciting experience that everyone can look forward to,” Goslett concludes.