It’s common to underestimate the stress and sheer work involved in moving home.
Even if you’re moving from a small apartment, there’s a lot to consider – from making sure everyone has your new address details to figuring out how best to move fragile items. If you’re in a family home with a decade or more of accumulated clutter, it’s guaranteed that moving will be a test of your character!
Nonetheless, there are things you can do to make the process easier. Here we cover six of the top tips for an easy move in South Africa.
1. Be ruthless! Clear out the clutter
The more you clear out of your home before a move, the less you’ll need to pack, transport and then unpack.
Also, moving is a wonderful opportunity to streamline. Once clutter makes your house a home, it tends to stay put – so prevent it from moving along with you.
2. Stick to some logical packing basics
Once you’ve reduced the size of the job by getting rid of clutter, you’ll have to face the packing. You can make the process much easier by sticking to some basic packing guidelines. For example, avoid the temptation to mix items from different rooms. Keeping all boxes room-specific will make it much easier to find items and to unpack on the other end.
Label all boxes with what they contain and the rooms where they should be taken on the other end. Also remember to use small containers for heavier items like books and plates, and bigger ones for lighter items. This can help prevent backache, as well as disasters like bottoms falling out of overly heavy boxes.
3. Get clever with existing containers
Empty and half-empty cardboard boxes strewn across rooms and in hallways add to the pandemonium of a move. One way to cut down on the chaos is to use existing items – ones you anyway need to move – to transport your things. For example:
- pack all towels for moving in your laundry bin
- use rubbish bins to pack items like bathroom cosmetics or medicine cabinet contents
- use existing suitcases, bags and baskets to pack everything from kitchenware to shoes (although apply the same rules as for boxes – keep containers room-specific and label them with their contents)
- keep clothes on their hangers and transport them wrapped up in a sleeping bag
- use pillowcases to pack neatly folded linen
- treat drawers like packing containers, filling them to capacity and adding appropriate padding.
4. Pack essentials separately
A great tip is to pack a bag like you would if you were going away for a weekend. Include the toiletries and clothes you need, as well as essentials like small children’s toys and basic medicines. Once you’ve moved the bag into your new home, you’ll be able to put your hand on whatever’s needed quickly and easily, despite all the unpacked boxes.
5. Schedule time off work
Because moving is hard work and can be stressful, schedule some time off work if you possibly can. Ideally, take some time both before and after the day of the move so you can pace yourself.
6. Use self-storage to cut the stress of moving
Last but not least, consider using self-storage to help simplify a move. Putting valuable or breakable items in short-term storage is an excellent way to keep them safe while movers focus on transporting your furniture, large appliances and boxes.
For instance, you can use self-storage to protect items like a flat-screen TV, exercise equipment, artwork, jewellery or even a valued collection of wines. Move day might also be easier if bulky items like bicycles, surfboards, heaters and fans are simply out of the way.
A final advantage of self-storage is that it can give you a much-needed opportunity to go easy on yourself during a stressful time.
For example, you don’t have to sell that living room suite, sort through every last item in that chock-a-block full garage or organise every last document in a stuffed cupboard before you move. Instead, you can use a self-storage unit to store these items until a move is over and you have the time and energy to give them your full attention.