You may be crossing the days off the calendar until you finally get the keys. Paint palettes and carpet cuts become your new friends, and you can’t help but scroll through interior inspirations while watching the telly. You’re so close to putting to bed the part of your life that is filled with searching for the right home, cleaning for viewings, arranging the school pick up to slot in with the convenience of a potential buyer. But before you know it, a new challenge begins.
One of the biggest downfalls people encounter when they move is that they don’t leave themselves enough time to pack properly. The weeks count down and boxes remain empty, until that last minute panic. Late nights are suddenly spent by throwing all of your belongings around in no real order until the day arrives when it comes to unpack and you find that the kitchenware is littered between linen.
But there is an easier way.
Here are five tips on how to pack properly for your move:
You may think that packing is easy in theory, and perhaps it is. But one way around the dramas that begin to unfold is by planning ahead. When your house sells and a date is agreed, book your movers. This will help to avoid any clashes in your busy lives and make sure that when you move, so do your belongings. You don’t however, want to leave it until this stage to start planning. As soon as you know you’re serious about making the move, and your property is listed, start to plan out your approach to packing. Don’t forget - you also need to get your hands on packing materials, so planning ahead will mean you have more time to source cheap, environmentally friendly packing options!
2. Work backwards
It’s no use packing up all your crockery on day one to discover the next night that you’re going to have to eat straight from the saucepan for the next few weeks. This is why planning is essential, because you should work backwards in terms of priority. Starting early is useful so that you don’t feel like you’re spending every spare minute on the task, so begin with those decorative china plates that you don’t use, or the books that you’re not going to read for a while. Leave the important saucepans, the kids' favourite toys, and work clothes until the very end as you’re likely to continue using these on a daily basis.
3. A little goes a long way
Rather than spending five hours a night packing in the week running up to your big move, spend 20 or 30 minutes a day, or just a few hours a week from when you put your house on the market. Packing the unimportant items will save you more time when things start to get more stressful as the days disappear. But remember; don’t leave a room with a tower of boxes blocking that beautiful mantelpiece if you have a viewing! Keep your progress in tidy piles, preferably in garages or cupboards for when you have potential buyers visiting.
4. Be ruthless
A common mistake people make when moving is that they pack everything with the idea that it will be easier to sort when you unpack it at the other end. Truth is, it makes much more sense to sort through your belongings before you pack it all away, especially if you are running out of time! Work through room by room, and make four piles; donate, sell, keep and throw away. Sorting through your things beforehand can help you make a few quid too; anything that’s got value you can sell. Items that are in good condition, but a little too worn or old to sell - donate to charity. And finally, anything that is beyond donating - either throw it out or recycle (consider the environment!). You’ll be left with the important things in your life that will have value at your new home. Being ruthless is the only way to sift through quickly, so remember, if it’s not been used or worn in six months, or has no use anymore, maybe it’s time to move it on.
5. Keep it tidy
Packing can be hectic. It’s not just packing for a week in the sun, you will be packing up your whole lives. On top of going about your normal life, and trying to do a thousand other tasks; coming home to boxes and bubble wrapped floors can be a nuisance. When you’re packing, try to keep an order. Rather than having multiple boxes half-filled, try to fill a box or two at a time, label them with its contents, and store them neatly to the side. This will help avoid having chaos in every room, and make it easier when it comes to the big day.