My partner and I recently moved house all by ourselves. We moved from a smaller 2 storey townhouse to a larger one, though it’s more house-like really. Below are some of my tips for a stress-free moving experience. Of course, my advice is based on what I recently went through, and in Australia, but hopefully some of it can be translated elsewhere. Let’s get on with it…
First you’ll need boxes and lots of them. At least get a pack of 10 and see how you do from there. I’ve moved with all big boxes and with all smaller boxes (recommended for books). I prefer the smaller boxes as they’re easier to carry and can hold more specific items which will make unpacking easier.
Label each box with detail. If you have multiple storeys then indicate what floor they need to be on. We moved into a 2 storey house and drew up arrows and down arrows depending on what needed to go upstairs. The room is also labelled: bedroom, living room, etc. As well as what the specific items are contained within: books, pans, kitchen drawers, pantry items. This makes unloading and unpacking so much easier.
But don’t waste boxes on clothes and linen cupboard stuff. Buy a set of big strong garbage bags to dump all the drawers and cupboards things into. You can usually buy bags in different colours too so you can further organise with colour coding. Linens, Clean Clothes and Dirty Clothes could be in different coloured bags so you know what goes where (and what needs to be in the laundry ready for washing). Another tip is to leave your clothes on their hangers and drape a garbage bag around them so all you need to do is transport and put them into your new wardrobe. Here’s an example floating around Pinterest:
If you’re moving yourself, hiring a truck for the big essentials is really useful. Hiring for a day or two only cost us AUS$100-$200 for a truck big enough to hold our bed, couch, desks, bookcases, chairs, etc. Compared to professional movers it is a quarter of the cost. They usually come with an hydraulic lift making it so much easier to get things in and out. Be sure to ask for rope to secure beds and things inside the truck too. If you don’t have any spare, ask family members for old towels and blankets to protect items when moving and storing them.
Continuing with moving yourself. Get the big items done and out of the way. Including the night before! We had a 2 storey townhouse where most of the living space was upstairs so we spent the night before taking heavy items downstairs to the garage so we wouldn’t have to deal with it moving day.
Leave chairs and cleaning products to last as they fit easily in the car and you can have a rest while moving and cleaning without having to sit on the floor which face it, will be really really hard to get back up again haha.
Give yourselves at least a week to completely clear out the place when moving yourselves. Be prepared for multiple car trips and say goodbye to the diet as well. When you’re moving furniture all day burgers and hot dogs become the food of champions! Be kind to yourself, so a fair time period and diet will lead to less stress during a very uncomfortable time.
When all else fails, the biggest tip would be to hire professional movers and cleaners. All you need to do is pack everything up, break things down and let them do their job. Of course, this is the most expensive option but if you have never moved with multiple storeys, elevators, etc before then it would be a good investment. Plus, having the cleaner make sure your house is ready for final inspection or the new owners takes a lot of stress out the post-move period. After we moved house it took another week just to clean it properly.
Hopefully this post has been a little bit useful for your future moves? It’s really just based on what my partner and I did on our recent move which was only a 20 or so minute drive away from our old house. I’m afraid I’ve never moved to other cities or states before but I don’t think that is a very common experience in Australia. At least not where I live. I think the most important things to remember while moving house is to relax, be kind to yourself and be as super duper organised as you can! Happy moving!