Reduce moving day drama

I mentioned before that I have moved many times over the years. I would like to think of myself as well-seasoned, but by no means an expert. I just aim to move from A to B with as few hiccups as possible. If I knew some of these tips beforehand, I would have avoided many meltdowns on moving day – which, by the way, people say is one of the most stressful life events.

Assembling new furniture before unpacking - not ideal!

Assembling new furniture before unpacking – not ideal!

Draft a plan

  • Draw a floor plan of your new place, as much as you can from memory.
  • Decide which furniture will go where, and which will not fit or work with the space.
  • Choose if you will hire movers, or if you will do it yourself. I have done both, and I highly recommend movers, as least for the big pieces. Smaller pieces can be moved via car yourself if needed.
  • Store all details on your phone – new address, postal code, movers contact information – so you don’t have to search through your inbox on the fly.

30 days prior

  • Sell furniture you need to say goodbye to. It is hard, I know, but if it doesn’t fit, it has to go.
  • Purge your clothes and shoes – this is the best time to downsize that wardrobe!
  • Source moving boxes for all kitchen items, books, picture frames and knick knacks. If you already have large tupperware bins, these are great as they can hold heavier items and will protect your breakables. If looking for cardboard boxes, choose sizes that are in-between the size of a wine case and a large blue recycling box – trust me, it is hard to carry anything larger!

One week prior

  • Pack everything that is on shelves into boxes, and then stack those boxes on top of the shelf to keep off the floor.
  • Pack extra shoes in rolling suitcases. Suitcases are the best vehicles for packing those heavy shoes because they take up so much room on their own.

Three days prior

  • Stop cooking and pack up all pots, pans, dishes and glassware. You’ll need to come to terms with ordering takeout for the next week. 
  • Set clothes aside that you will wear for the next four days, and then pack everything else.
  • Unhook cables for the TV and computer and place in labelled ziplock bags. Leave your modem plugged in until the day before, you will want your internet for those last minute furniture postings!

Day before

  • Pack an overnight bag with two days worth of clothes, toiletries and phone charger. You won’t want to open up boxes to find your pyjamas!  
  • Buy beer and/or wine – for AFTER moving is complete.
  • Set aside a ‘last minute kit’ and keep this box handy after everything is moved out, for last-minute nail removal and final cleaning. This includes a hammer, screwdrivers, wall putty, ziplock bags, paper towels, spray cleaner, and garbage bags.

Moving day

  • Try to move in the morning, and leave your afternoon to organize and slowly unpack.
  • Budget a few extra hours at your old place once everything is moved out, but before you need to give back the keys. This will save your sanity for that last minute cleaning.
  • At the new place, set up bed frame, mattress, and bedding first before unpacking anything. Kitchen supplies can wait, sleep cannot.
  • Crack open that beer and relax!


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