Moving house is a nightmare. There is no easy way around it, especially if you’re on a budget. Even if you have removalists do all the packing, moving and unpacking there is still things you’ll have to do yourself.
We were lucky enough to have family to give us a hand. They traveled far and wide for the privilege of a work-out that rivals boot camp. Some of them even traveled from a far away place called Narooma. Hopefully we can return the favor sometime.
Because we were renting we also had to clean the house to meet inspection to get our bond back. We cleaned as we went and it was worth the effort to never have to go back to that place!
Starting about 8 weeks out from the move we took the opportunity to go through everything we owned and cull what we could. You can print off our Moving Checklist here. Click here for the Moving Checklist – Word Doc.
Here are some other hints and tricks for the self-movers:
Don’t move it
Give it away or sell it! Have a garage sale or do the modern day equivalent- Gumtree or ebay. We made a couple of hundred dollars by selling stuff we didn’t need anymore and that subsidised the truck rental.
You can buy boxes from all sorts of places but they’re usually $4 a box! We used over 50 boxes (various sizes) so it adds up fast. My advice is to collect freebies! We were both able to get boxes in great condition from work. We also got wine boxes from the local grog shop- these make moving any bottles easy. We were able to get smaller boxes from the local supermarket. Many larger supermarkets will set aside boxes for you if you call them in advance. Polystyrene boxes are great for breakables- try the local fruit shop for those.
Thinking outside the box
Try some alternatives. We ended up purchasing some large plastic crates for all of James’ tools and camping equipment. These were easy to carry and we didn’t have to unpack them. You can also get flexible plastic tubs for the same price as a cardboard box and they were great for carting around the cleaning supplies and things like towels.
While we’re thinking outside the box, do not underestimate the power of the vaccum storage bag. These are available just about everywhere (shop around if you can- prices vary significantly) and are perfect for storing blankets, throw rugs, cushions, bulky clothes and bedding. Best bit is they’re see-through so you don’t have to rip open a box to see what’s inside. You can put them straight in the linen cupboard and you won’t have to unpack them until you need them. Also, there is something super satisfying about the way it shrinks everything!
You can buy large mattress storage bags from storage places or moving suppliers, as well as good old ebay. These are large plastic bags that will stop the mattress from getting dirty when you put it in the truck. Well worth it. You can also get some for fabric lounges.
Sure, you can pack your clothes. Or, you can just leave them on a hanger and wrap them in a bin bag. Easy-peasy and they go straight in the new house wardrobe.
If you can, pull the drawers out of the chest of drawers and leave the clothes in them. Wrap some cling-wrap around it if think you’ll need it.
Do NOT use newspaper
Don’t use newspaper to wrap your valuables- it leaves black marks on things. Things that work well are butcher’s paper, paper napkins (we had a huge pack of those lying around) and paper plates. Yep, paper plates. Just sandwich them in between your real plates. I was also able to get second-hand bubble wrap from work.
Label your boxes with:
- a number so you can count how many boxes you have
- contents, be specific!
- room it needs to go in at the new house eg, study
Put the label on the side. If you put it on the top you won’t be able to read it when the boxes are stacked.
Go with the good quality stuff. You don’t have time for dodgy tape. A tape dispenser can be worthwhile too.
Go back to point one:
What’s your secret moving tip?