Moving House Tips

I previously guest posted this over at Hannah’s blog last October, but now that moving is on the horizon for us again, I thought I would share some of my favourite tips here!

Moving house is something I feel like I have done A LOT in my late teens and early twenties.
· I moved 3 times in and out of University accommodation (Had to move EVERYTHING out every summer, and back every autumn)
· I moved in with a friend after Uni for a month whilst we planned our move to London.
· I moved home to my parents for a further month.
· I moved house 3 times whilst living in London (within 18 months)
· Finally, Him Indoors and I moved into our rented Nest 2 years ago.
That makes a monumental 9 moves in last 7 years. And we are planning to move again within a few months! Apparently I’m glutton for punishment.

So do I have any advice to give to those moving house?
I certainly do!

Get Take-Out Menus
If you are anything like me, the last two weeks before moving day will be spent eating the most random meals you can think of, as you try to empty your cupboards and freezer of food you don’t want to move.
You aren’t going to want to cook on your first (or even second night), so visit the local area if you can, scope out a few good eating places, whip a few menus and save yourself the bother.

The Important First Box
It is VITAL that you have a box that is packed last, and unpacked first. This box has become my holy grail of packing, and I refuse to let it out of my sight when we load the van. It actually travelled with me on my lap during our last move.
The contents of the box should include:

Tea Making Facilities (Kettle, Mugs, Tea, Sugar, Milk buy some en route if going long distances)
A pack of Biscuits
Washing Up Liquid
Tea Towel
A set of Cutlery each
Bedding – One complete set including sheets
Pyjamas or Super Comfy Clothes
Hand Soap
Hand Towel
Radio/Ipod & Ipod Dock/CD’s & CD Player
Phone Charger
Take Out Menus
First Aid Kit

**Also raphaele42 commented below reminding me to pop toilet roll in here! How was I so silly to forget loo roll?!)

The point of this box is to have everything to hand that you might want straight away. The first thing I want after unloading the van is a cup of tea and a biscuit. I’m happy to eat take-away food straight from the carton as long as I have cutlery, scissors are handy for undoing taped up boxes (as are keys). Soap and towel for bathroom breaks, and as for bedding…..

Make your bed FIRST
As soon as you finish unloading the van , put the kettle on and go make your bed. It may seem crazy, but trust me, when you are knackered and sore from humping boxes from room to room, the LAST thing you’ll want to do is make your bed. This is the best bit of advice Mama Pigeon ever gave me, and she’s on the money.

Get free help
Moving is blooming expensive. Rope in some free help by asking friends and family. It’s always helpful to have a couple of extra hands to lug boxes through the front door or to have someone look after the pets/children whilst you get in. Reward them with tea and biscuits and the promise of a home cooked meal once you are settled.

Make Lists
I find lists very calming. For me it means that my brain doesn’t have to think about the ‘thought niggle’ because I’ve put it somewhere else until I have a chance to deal with it.
As you pack, load, travel, unload and unpack, your brain will remember a gazillion things that you ‘have’ to do. Write it down, and when your free help asks ‘Anything I can do?’ refer to it – delegate & give yourself a break.

Moving house is seriously stressful. It is so easy to get tired and niggley. The last thing you want to do is fall out with the one you are moving in with. Remember how amazing it is going to be when you are all finished. Take time to stop, make another cup of tea, eat a biscuit and laugh at the sorry situation of the mess of boxes, bubble wrap and black plastic bags surrounding you. It’s the only way you’ll get through it sane.

Have you got any tips that you would like to share with future house movers? Whack ’em in the comments section!


19 responses to “Moving House Tips

  1. Every time I move house it seems to be to a different country so I’m constantly having to condense all my possessions down to one 24kg bag. My main tip with this would be: stop giving away your teapots.

  2. After moving 21 times in my life, I have been living in the same place for 4 full years. I really love the tip of the first box. You don’t want to be looking for you PJ at one in the morning when you’re all knackered of unpacking. I would add a torch with battery supplies, a can opener and toilet paper to your clever list.

  3. love this post. i have moved about 22 times,also to different countries in the last 10 years.and planning to move again (and again again),one thing i have always done wrong is:underestimate how much stuff i always like, yeah i will only need 20 boxes to pack up a one bedroom flat.hmm.yes, it more like 40 or 50.something to keep in mind!

  4. Im another who has moved about 25 times and two countries. When I came to the UK I had a packback and that was it!!!!!!
    Id suggest labelling your boxes with the room they are to go in, so anyone helping you wont have to keep asking where every single box goes.
    I love the idea about making your bed first. Clever Mamma Pidgeon. :o)

  5. These are some great tips! I’ve never moved, so this is super helpful for me!

  6. Great tips. Really like the way you have presented all these tips. Following these tips can make the house moving process very easy and hassle free.

  7. Hi,

    I really like the idea of the box of essentials. There are lots of opinions on what to put in that box, but the short version is: put in all the things that you know you will need the first day.

    I also like the idea of labeling each box (like bedroom, bathroom, etc) or even better, doing as you said in comments (get a list of what each box contains).

    One thing that I’ve seen used a lot is a moving checklist (something like the list you were talking about, but prepared by others so you can safely be sure you won’t forget anything!). It makes you get prepared early, and get all the essential things done with no worries.

  8. Wow, you really do move a lot and you’re still so excited about each move. I find myself smiling throughout the whole article, it’s really interesting and amusing too especially the items in the first box. You really did a great job on this one.

  9. I like the part with the “The Important First Box”. As I see, you’ve moved a lot of times, and I think that when I will have to move to my new home, I’ll definitely prepare special First Box. I really liked this idea. I’ve moved only one time till now and there was no First Box and now I understand that it is something very important. Thank you for the usefull ideas.

  10. I want to add something a friend of mine had told me. And it is to plan your move at least 3 months earlier. The main reason is beacuse you’ll have enough time to plan, organize and improve the whole process. My friend moved 3 or 4 times and this was one of the advices she gave me and I think it will be useful for all.

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