Caramel HQ packed up and moved last week, and Dave and I are happily settling into our new apartment. With Dave a relative newbie at moving, I realised I’m actually a pretty old-hand at this relocation lark. I’ve found lots of tricks to make the whole process smoother, so here’s my top moving house tips to stop you from going completely mad.
moving house tips: plan your meals
Moving house often means eating a weird combination of foods for dinner because you’re trying to empty the fridge or freezer. Do yourself a favour and plan out some quick and easy meals for both sides of the move, that involve minimal cooking equipment. Nobody wants to be cooking when you’re exhausted from packing or unpacking a million boxes. The microwave will be your best friend for this stage, and there are lots of great microwave recipes here, if you need some inspiration.
moving house tips: be organised with boxes
It’s tempting to just fling stuff into a box and be done with it, but resist the call of disorganisation. Buy yourself a tape gun for sealing up boxes as you pack. Mine is honestly one of the best things I’ve ever bought, as it makes packing so much easier and faster, especially if you’re doing it alone. Sealing a box with a tape gun is much easier solo than trying to hold it shut and stick it down with regular sellotape, trust me. With a Sharpie, label each packed box with what’s in it and which room it goes in. On moving day, this minimises “Where does this go?” questions, and makes it much easier to find what you want as you unpack. Save yourself from searching eight boxes of books and clothes, when you really just want to find the mugs so you can have a drink.
moving house tips: Pack a ‘need first’ box
Think about the things you’ll likely want straight away on moving in and pack them into a box, label it clearly and keep it separate. Don’t put this in the moving van, and instead take it to the new place yourself. This means you have immediate access to the important things without hunting for them.
What goes in the box is up to you, but mine has always included the kettle, some teabags and some mugs (so I can make a drink on arrival for myself and the removal people), phone chargers, a box cutter or scissors so I can get into the boxes easily, tools for any furniture that needs assembling, and toilet paper. If you have pets, their essentials should go in here too, and any supplies any kids might need immediately.
moving house tips: make your bed
Unpack systematically. You probably won’t get it all unpacked on the first day, so prioritise what you’ll need first. Tip from my Gran: get the kettle set up, and then make your bed. That way, if you unpack nothing else, you can have a comforting cuppa and have somewhere to sleep. Don’t leave the bed til the end, so you’re trying to find your pillows when you’re shattered and just want to go to bed.
Moving house tips: Book professionals
I know it can be expensive, but cough up for a removal company. Moving yourself is horrible and it takes ages. Movers are unbelievably fast, get way more into a van than you ever could and they’re practised at getting furniture round awkward corners and stairs. It makes the whole day much nicer. Read the reviews carefully, and pick a firm, not a man with van situation, to avoid disappointment. Local companies are much cheaper than national ones, and are just as good, if not better, as they rely a lot more on word of mouth for business.
moving house tips: declutter
I love a good clear-out and a house move is a great time to go through things and have a declutter. Don’t just pack everything automatically. As you pack, keep a bin bag next to the box you’re packing into, so you can chuck out as you go.
moving house tips: Update addresses
Updating addresses everywhere is a boring task, so start early. TV Licence and the council tax can be told in advance, but annoyingly lots of others, like your bank, require you to have already moved. Make a list of everyone you need to tell. Set up a redirect with the Post Office. This is expensive, but ensures your post isn’t going walkabouts.
What are your top tips for making moving house pain free?