Moving house doesn’t have to be stressful if you just remember a few simple rules.
When it comes to home life, the three biggest stresses all seem to start with R - Renovating, Rebuilding and Relocating.
Fortunately, all can be made a lot easier with one simple rule – plan ahead.
Just as you wouldn’t start a reno or rebuild without a complete plan of what will happen, when and who’s responsible, a relocation roadmap can help turn your house move into a relatively stress-free affair.
The Block Oslo’s powerhouse team Mitch and Mark proved the value of being organised throughout their build and when they moved house in Sydney recently, that helped once again.
Here are their 10 tips on how to take the stress out of moving house:
1. Make sure the utilities are ready for when you arrive at your new home.
There's nothing worse than getting to the new address to find the electricity off, so contact whoever you want as your supplier and make sure everything is good to go. Imagine getting there and the cocktail blender won't work!". Lights, gas, water and most importantly the internet are helpful from the moment you arrive too so make a checklist of everything you need and make sure they'll be ready for your arrival. That way you can sit back, order some food and even stream a movie if you get sick of unpacking.
Hot tip: Don’t forget to disconnect everything from the home you’re leaving – you don’t need two bills!
2. Take the opportunity to de-clutter.
Moving house is a fresh start, so take a look at what you've accumulated through the years and ask yourself if you really need it in this next chapter. We all pile up books, clothes, pots and pans we just don't use any more, so think about donating some so you don’t have to move them. But don't be too brutal, moving house doesn’t mean abandoning your past. Artworks, furniture, all those things that tell the story of who you are will make the new house your home so choose wisely!
3. Find the right mover.
In some areas, they get booked up so start early. Next decide if you will be doing the packing or if you want them to help you or if they’ll do the lot! You can ask friends for recommendations or easily find removalists via Hi-Pages, by posting you job on their website. Read the reviews, he adds, you want someone reliable, careful, and fast. Check on access for them at your place and the new place, because if you’re paying by the hour, any difficulty with access will cost you money! You may need to store some items so check if they can help with that too, but it will also impact the order in which they remove and pack your items (anything being stored will be at the back of the truck, so have to be packed first). Remember, with a good removalist, once they turn up they can be very fast taking things out, so you have to be organised.
Hot tip: Remember, if you’re moving to an apartment block there are often restrictions on moving times, so check with the apartment block and book it in!
4. Find returnable packing boxes and a lot of them.
The more you can put into boxes for someone else to carry and move, the better! You don’t want to be left with hundreds of things afterwards, and believe us, it’s easy to suddenly have heaps of things left to pack as the removalists are working around you! – Have you seen Mitch’s wardrobe!!
And don’t overestimate what you can take in your car. When we were moving into our first apartment we were going to flip, it was only a few blocks to move and we thought we’d save money by walking things across. We underestimated the amount and weight of our ‘stuff’ – and the delays at the lifts….and the stairs….it took soooooo long. Never again.
Hot tip: Think about the size of the boxes you need. Remember large boxes can become heavy quickly. Use these to pack lamps and larger items but mix it up with pillows and soft furnishings that will protect your items and reduce the weight of the box. You will need more of the small and medium sized boxes – they are easier to handle!
5. Pack with paranoia.
Bubble wrap is your friend, but clothes or blankets can be wrapped around plates or glassware too. Pack as if everything will be dropped or bumped just in case it is. When unpacking at your new home, the process is quick, and it’s easy for boxes to be knocked or dropped, or even have a heavy box put on top of a lighter one….. oh oh, crushed!
Also make sure you have enough packing paper and packing tape! You don’t want to run out. And a couple of packing tape dispensers, they make the job so much easier. If you have at least two (and they’re not expensive) you can really get through things, and you have a backup in case one goes missing!! (in a box!!)
Hot Tip: Make sure you securely tape up the bottom of boxes as they need to be strong enough to carry any weight packed in them. Once we had a friend help us, and she packed an antique dinner set Mitch had bought back from the USA. It was a beautiful 12 person setting, complete with all accessories…that was until the box it was packed in was lifted! She had decided not to use packing tape (at all) and just fold the box flaps over to secure the bottom… SMAAAASSHHHHH!
6. Label the boxes clearly.
Mark FRAGILE boxes in large lettering, on all sides. That way no one can miss it! For all your boxes, mark them up with:
Where they go in the new house (Bedroom, Living Room, Bathroom etc.) then label the new rooms if possible so you're not moving after the movers have moved you, and movers work fast, they will put them in the assigned room for you.
List on the box what’s in it, in as much detail as possible. This will help you find things. Make sure you write on the top AND the side of the box because if the box is on the bottom of a stack, you won’t be able to read the top….so use the side.
Mark which side is UP for boxes that contain liquids, foodstuffs, laundry items etc that night leak.
And once you’ve labelled each box, compile a master list with everything that's in them. That way if you're looking for something urgently, you can find it.
HOT TIP: Will it fit? For larger items you’re moving, ensure you’ve checked they will fit into your new home! Check if they fit through doors, in lifts, or up the stairs. We’ve missed that once or twice, and it can be a tough and scary job lifting a huge mirror up four flights of a narrow stairwell!
7. Keep one box for last.
Think about what you will need on your last few nights in your old home pack these in a separate box or suitcase that you keep with you. Once everything is removed from your home, it’s too late. Keep aside some toiletries, towels, clothing, utensils, phone charger. Think about how much time there is between the removalist taking your goods and delivering them to your new home. If its only hours, great, but if it's days, where you will stay and what do you need for that short time - do you need a blow-up bed etc. Also, if you’re moving late in the day, will the removalist make it to your new home in time to unload your stuff? We’ve had a situation where they were delayed and wouldn’t arrive until 6 pm, so refused to unload until the next day!
HOT TIP: Keep a separate box with essentials like bedding, pyjamas, toiletries, a few plates and wine glasses so no matter what on moving day, you can order takeaway and collapse into bed. Pack your vitals in there like the laptop, phone chargers, passports, paperwork etc and MOVE THAT ONE YOURSELF.
8. Move with the movers.
Load your own car with essentials (see above) and follow them to the new address if possible. You want to make sure everything gets where it is supposed to so directing trucks, then boxes is essential. Once they arrive, they will get on with the job fast, so you need to be there to direct traffic! It happens so fast.
HOT TIP: Move the pets separately. As much as you might miss them, having a cat or dog underfoot while the new front door is open for a stream of removalists, visitors and new neighbours is a sure way to see them wander off. If possible, let them stay with friends or at a kennel until you're in and the property is ready for them.
9. Photograph the essential wiring.
The back of the TV, the back of the IQ box, the modem etc. You want to be able to know what plugs in where so you can get up and running again fast. Also, tape the cords together with masking tape and write on it to identify what it belongs to! Throwing cords and cables in a box will be a recipe for disaster when you begin to set things up.
10. Unpack as soon as possible.
There's no need for a mad rush, but the sooner everything is in its new place, the boxes are returned and your house looks like a home, the faster you'll be comfortable and ready to start this fresh chapter of your life. Get the largest items in place like your beds, living room furniture etc, and then work out the priority for unpacking. We will assign each other rooms to unpack, starting with the kitchen and bathroom to make living easier, then clothing and so on.
HOT TIP: As you unpack, make sure you flatten the boxes to make storing them easier and make your workspace clearer - it just makes things a lot easier!
Many thanks to Mitch and Mark for sharing your incredible moving house tips!
Find out what Mitch and Mark are up to HERE
Take a look back at some of Mitch and Mark's renovated properties pre-Block HERE
Revisit Mitch and Mark's completed Oslo home HERE