Simple tips for a stress-free move

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

Moving house? Our practical packing and moving tips will make the process easier.

No matter how many times you move house, it’s always going to be stressful. There’s so much to do, so much to pack and, if you’re a mere mortal like the rest of us, you are going to run out of boxes (and/or packaging tape!) halfway through the process. Fortunately, there are ways to make things easier - all it takes is a bit of thinking outside the box (pun intended).

Getting started

Before you start packing you need to sort out what you WON’T be taking with you. Donate it, sell it, bin it – get rid of unnecessary items before you move.

Consider moving in the middle of the month if possible because it’s usually much cheaper to do so. Shop around for quotes but, and this is an enormous but, make sure the company you choose not only enjoys a good reputation, but is fully equipped to do the job properly. Don’t leave everything to the last minute. Start packing the moment you know you’re going to be changing addresses.

Packing tips

We’ve found some ingenious ‘packing hacks’ and can guarantee these will make both packing and unpacking a whole lot easier.

  • Newspaper may work a treat for wrapping crockery, but the ink tends to leave marks. Wrap glass items in clothing to avoid having to wash everything when you unpack. Put long stemmed glasses in socks for added protection.
  • Wrap knives and forks in cling wrap before placing in the box.
  • Put smaller, non-perishable foodstuffs like spice bottles into your saucepans and secure the lids of the pans with elastic bands.
  • Transport sharp knives in oven mitts.
  • Use black plastic bags to transport clothing. Rubbish bags also work a treat with hanging clothes. Group hangers together, place the bag over the clothing and secure the neck of the bag around the hook of the hangers.
  • Place your jewellery in egg cartons. This will prevent necklaces from tangling and keep smaller items such as earrings safe.
  • Pack plates vertically in a box to prevent breakages.
  • Cling wrap the openings on your toiletries to prevent leakages during the move.
  • Use rubber bands to secure the lids on items.
  • Pack all essentials into an overnight bag. This should include items such as medication, important documents (such as ID documents and passports), toiletries, a change of clothes, and things such as cell phones, iPads and/or laptops and their chargers.
  • Designate at least one box for essentials and mark it clearly. Things such as coffee, tea, sugar, a kettle and snacks need to be readily available once you reach your new home.
  • Don’t over-pack boxes and keep an eye on the weight, particularly when packing heavy items such as books. You may be thrilled that you’ve managed to fit 50 into one box, but the person doing the lifting won’t. And they won’t thank you when the bottom falls out of the box either!

Other tips for a seamless move include:

  • If possible clean the kitchen and bathrooms of your new home before you move in.
  • Defrost any fridges or freezers before the move.
  • Take photos of the back of your electronic devices in order to keep a record of which wire goes where.
  • Measure your furniture BEFORE the move to make sure it fits. Forewarned is forearmed and it will be a huge help to know if the door of the fridge is going to have to be removed in order to get it into the kitchen, or that the feet are going to have to be removed from the base set before you can get it through the bedroom door.
  • Unpack one room at a time. The kitchen is the heart of the home and should be dealt with first. Make the beds as soon as possible (you’ll need to put your feet up during the move) and organise the bathrooms. The rest can wait until you’ve managed to catch your breath.
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