Thorough preparation answer to hassle-free ‘moving times’

WHETHER it’s down the road or across the country, moving home can be a rather daunting experience, chief executive of a leading estate agency Adrian Goslett said.

“Moving to a new home is something that most people have experienced at least once in their lifetime. For some, the move could have been rather easy, with little or no problems, while for others it could have been enough to make them want to stay in their current home forever.”

Goslett said the difference between the two kinds of experiences was preparation. He shared some tips on how to make moving a more organised and hassle-free experience:

Keep an inventory According to Goslett, most moving companies will require a list of items that need to be moved before they can provide a quote on their services, so homeowners will need to compile an inventory of their possessions.

“This is so that a moving company can determine the amount of space required for the move.

“It is also helpful to make lists when packing boxes, so the homeowner knows exactly what is in each box. Having a list with the number of boxes and contents of each box will make it far easier to determine whether items or boxes are missing,” Goslett said.

He notes that the more specific a homeowner is with their inventory and box labels, the easier it will be to find certain items when unpacking. Using labels on boxes such as “winter jackets”, for example, is far better than just labelling the box as “clothes”.

Allocate a packing base”To avoid frustration throughout the packing process, keep all necessary items such as a marker pen or box tape in an allocated central area.

“This way everyone who is packing will know exactly where to find anything related to the pack, such as any lists that have been made, scissors, labels and bubble-wrap.”

Provide enough suppliesRather have too many supplies and boxes on hand than not enough, as this can delay the packing process.

“Moving companies that sell boxes, will normally take back any unused boxes and provide the homeowner with a refund, provided they are still in a good condition. If a homeowner gets the boxes for free from a supermarket, it is simply a matter of taking the leftover boxes to a recycling bin.”

Goslett said as a rule of thumb, homeowners should have approximately 10 boxes set aside for last-minute items that can only be packed on moving day, such as bedding, clothes and cleaning supplies. Other supplies that will be needed will be the box tape and packing paper or bubble-wrap. Homeowners should take care when wrapping items in printed newspaper as it could stain the item with ink.

Pack unnecessary items firstThere is no use in keeping out items that are not used on a regular basis, so these can be packed ahead of time and put out of the way.

“Anything that is not essential up until the day of the move should be packed and ready to go. There is no need to keep winter clothes out if the move is happening during the summer months, and duplicate items can be pared down to only the bare essentials.”

Pack items that are used together in one box, such as an appliance and its detachable parts or book with bookends. If a piece of furniture needs to be dismantled, place all the screws, bolts or small parts into re-sealable plastic bags or envelope and tape it to the corresponding item.

Coordinate boxes by colourWhile the homeowner may know which box needs to go into which room, it is likely that the movers won’t. An easy way to resolve this problem is by designating each room in the new home a certain colour and marking each box or item with a sticker of the corresponding colour. By putting a matching sticker on the door post of each room, movers will know the destination of each item or box.

Personal and important itemsGoslett advised homeowners to pack a bag for each family member with all of the personal items that they will want immediate access to when arriving at the new home.

“It is also advisable to have a box or bag that contains all valuable items that can be kept with the homeowner at all times. This box should also include important documents such as birth certificates, banking records and identity documents.”

Check your insuranceAccording to Goslett it is a good idea to phone the insurance company and check before the move what is covered by your homeowners’ insurance during the move and if you require any additional insurance from the mover.

Also find out what is required in case of loss, as some insurance companies may need receipts, appraisals or photos of valuable items, he said.

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