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How to save time and be organised when moving house

There’s a lot involved with moving house – especially if you have kids. Not only do you need to think about the logistics, you also need to make sure your family is ready for the big change.

But while moving can be both emotionally and physically draining, there are ways to make the experience easier. Some careful planning is key to this, you can save time and turn moving house into a fun, new adventure.

So – where do you start?

Cover the basics

Getting organised does not have to be a lengthy, drawn-out process, filled with colour-coded schedules and novella-long to-do lists.

One of the best ways to stay organised when moving house is to get on top of the little things first. While you might have a meticulous day-by-day plan, sometimes it’s the smaller details that can trip you up.

Before moving, visit your new place and check if you need to replace any missing light bulbs, add soap and a hand towel to the bathroom and consider doing a quick clean of areas that will be hard to reach once you’ve moved your furniture. This will save you time from doing unnecessary runs to the corner store on moving day. After all, after a big move, you don’t want to be scrambling around for bars of soap or reading a book by candlelight!

Another practical tip is to do a final walk around of your old home. Go through cupboards, open up drawers and check that you haven’t left anything behind. When you’re dealing with mountains of boxes, it’s easy to miss the old postcard that’s fallen behind the fridge or your kid’s macaroni creation tucked away in the back corner of a room. Aside from sentimental bits and pieces, you might also discover you almost forgot a much-needed cord or power connector.

And to make the day even smoother, think about packing everything you will need for the first night in a clear box. Put in clean linen, a change of clothes, toiletries and maybe even some basic cooking supplies. Having all this grouped together––and clearly visible––will save you the stress and time of rummaging through boxes.

Get on top of your utilities and services

Once you’ve covered the basics, the next step is to sort out your utilities and services. To make sure everything is in order before you move contact your gas, electricity, telephone and internet companies a few weeks in advance. This way, your new home will be connected and ready to go the moment you step inside.

Moving home is also the perfect time to switch service providers. Rather than just update your details with your current provider, it’s useful to consider what else is on the market. For instance, if you’re moving to a new area, you might find there are better deals with different companies. Spend some time researching the various deals and packages. Maybe you can bundle your bills? Or upgrade to a better plan? Investing time now in getting the best deal is likely to pay off in the future.

But perhaps the best way to save time and be organised when moving house is to make sure you have a reliable Internet connection. On occasion, there can be considerable downtime while your broadband is reconnected, so solutions like Optus Home Wireless Broadband are great because they run off a SIM via the mobile network. This will help you manage any last-minute moving details while everything is being moved over. You can plan repairs while making a bank transfer, update your address while shopping on eBay for a new closet, and unpack the kids’ room listening to Spotify.

Be nifty with your packing

When all your pre-move preparations are done, take some time to think about your packing system. Packing, arguably, is what will make or break your move. Pack well and the move is a breeze, pack not so well and you’re still looking for your kid’s favourite toy three weeks later. By getting a bit creative with how you pack, you can save yourself huge amounts of time (and probably a tantrum or two).

Take your wardrobe for instance. When moving one of the most time-consuming tasks is packing and unpacking your clothes. To get around this, keep your clothes on their coat hangers and put them in a garbage bag. Make sure all the coat hangers are facing the same way and try to put as many items in the one bag so there’s no loose space. This trick will save you the hassle of putting each item back individually and the inevitable war with tangled coat hangers.

You can also save time by wrapping fragile goods in towels and old shirts. This will cut back on the amount of bubble wrap you need and will mean you’re packing two things at once.

When it comes to boxes, the golden rule is to not use boxes or bags that are too large. A “heavy” sticker is not going to make it any easier to lift a 30-kilogram box! Having medium-sized boxes will also remove the temptation to over pack and cram unrelated items together. Colour coding your boxes is also helpful as is cutting handles in the sides. While it’s likely removalists will be in charge of most of the heavy lifting, shifting boxes from room to room will be easier if you have something to grip.

Separate important documents and moving supplies

As you are packing, one last thing to keep in mind is how you are going to organise your documents and moving supplies.

To ensure important legal documents are not lost in the jumble of boxes, set aside a clearly-marked box to hold the kid’s birth certificates, passports, tax receipts, vaccination schedules and school awards. You might want to use an accordion-style filing system can protect the paperwork from getting bent or damaged, and to be extra careful, it’s a good idea to take over the box yourself.

Once that’s done, create a separate box for moving supplies. Add a few pairs of scissors, masking tape, permanent markers, sandwich bags to hold for miscellaneous bits and pieces (screws, nails), measuring tape, bubble wrap, glad wrap, etc. Keeping all these things together should minimise the number of times you have to yell, “has anyone seen the scissors?” This is also a good way for you to check you have everything you need and save you time on last-minute shopping trips.

Some crucial final tips

Getting organised is about more than just sorting boxes and contracts. If you’re committed to making this your most organised move ever, consider these final variables:

  1. The kids: If you decide against (or can’t find) a babysitter on moving day, try to turn the experience into a game. Print off job badges like ‘Cupboard Inspector’ or ‘Pet Controller’ to make them feel involved. Also ask the moving company to take the kids’ toys last so they are the first off.
  1. The new home: If you are moving into a rental property, make sure you take photos of the empty space before you move in. This could come in handy with any future complaints. It’s also useful to take measurements so you know everything will fit.
  1. Time: Early starts aren’t just for farmers – you’ll get more done, more efficiently. If you start early you’ll have enough time to organise charity drop offs, sell valuables and even enlist more helpers for the move.

By taking on this advice and planning ahead of time, you might just find your next move is your easiest, fastest and most convenient yet.