It doesn’t matter whether it is across the road or the country, moving from one home to another can be a stressful experience. The fact is that most people will move at least once in their lives, and while it can be a relatively easy process for some, for the others the experience could be enough to scar them for life.

So what’s the difference between a smooth moving experience and a difficult one? One word – preparation.

Here are a few tips that you can use to make your move as organised and hassle-free as possible.

Keep a record

Most moving companies need an inventory of household items before they can provide a quote for their services, so you will need to compile a list of all your possessions. The inventory will help the movers determine the amount of space required for the move. 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 what they content will make it far easier to determine whether items or boxes are missing. The more specific you are, the easier it will be 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 kept at the packing station should include all lists, scissors, labels, bubble wrap and packing paper.

Rather more than less

Rather have too many supplies and boxes than not enough, as running out of these items will cause an unnecessary delay. You will require more boxes than you initially think. If the boxes were supplied by the moving company, it is normally possible to get a refund for any unused boxes - provided they are in good condition.  As a precautionary measure have approximately ten 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 in daily use or on a regular basis should be packed last, while other items can be packed and ready to go. Anything that is not essential up until the day of the move should be packed first - this will give you a good indication as to how much more needs to be done before d-day.

Keep similar or matching items together

If a household item is used in conjunction with something else, keep these items together to make it easier to unpack. For example, appliances should be packed together with their detachable parts. 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. 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 clearly marked so that it can be found easily.

Colour code boxes and items

While you may know which box goes to which room, the movers won’t.  An easy way to resolve this problem is by designating each room a certain colour and marking each box or item with a sticker of the corresponding colour.

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. It is also advisable to have a bag or box that contains all valuable items and important documents, which can be kept with you at all times.

Check your insurance

Before the move, phone your insurance company and check what is covered by your 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.  

While moving can be a rather daunting exercise, the right planning and organisation will 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.