Moving house can be overwhelming, but these 50 packing and moving tips will help make moving home easier, quicker and less frustrating.
In partnership with Muval
It’s not until you decide to move that you realise how much stuff you actually own…and how often you use it! The reality of having to pack it all up to move to your new house can be quite daunting. After our recent move I’ve put together my packing and moving tips to help make your moving process easier, save time and frustration.
Loads of Packing Tips for Moving House
The choice is up to you if you want to do the move to the new house yourself or book a removalist, either way you still need to pack everything up. I hired removalists as we had so much stuff and both my hubby and I have bad backs, it was too big of a job for either of us to consider.
My Moving Home Planner with 6 week countdown checklist
Wanting to create your next move as stress free as possible? Spending a little time planning now can save you a whole lot of hassles in the days leading up to move home, which is when you will be too busy to think about all the other little things involved in moving house.
This helpful moving planner will help you organise your move – with checklists for all elements of moving, pages to help you plan dates, room layouts and more, you’ll find everything you need to eliminate the overwhelm and be able to focus on being ready and stress free for the day you move house.
My Moving Home Planner with 6 week countdown checklist is available as an instant download, so you can start planning your moving process today!
Create a moving kit
1. Created a moving caddy – to have everything on hand so I wasn’t continually searching for it. If the kids used it they knew where to return it back to.
- Packing tape – for boxes
- Coloured paper – for labels
- Ruler – easily rip paper in half
- Sharpie – for labelling
- Stanley knife
Find A Good Moving Company
2. Book your removalist – try to book your removalist as soon as you know when you want to move. Booking in advance is crucial as many companies book up quite quickly and you may miss out on the date you want. This is particularly important if you’re looking to move interstate, or if you want to move during the moving busy season (September to December). Muval offers an online service that can help you with finding and booking a good moving company.
Local moves: if you’re moving locally (i.e. moving less than 100km), your move will be priced based on the number of hours it takes to load and unload the truck, and most companies will charge per half hour. Access difficulties like no parking near your property, many flights of stairs or internal elevators will add to the time it takes to complete your move. The good thing about half-hourly pricing is that there are many practical steps you can take to speed things up and keep your costs down – look out for these bonus cost saving tips later in this article!
One thing to look out for is that some older suburbs have narrow streets and can be difficult for a truck to access. You should discuss this in detail with your moving company well in advance, as you don’t want any nasty surprises on moving day.
Moving interstate: when moving interstate, the cost of your move will depend on how much space your belongings take up in the truck or container, and where you are moving to/from.
3. Gather boxes – your local storage shed and hardware store should stock moving boxes. I found boxes the cheapest from Bunnings. The benefit from purchasing from Bunnings is you can return the ones you don’t use.
4. Purchase used boxes – great money saving tip – look on gumtree or your local Facebook buy and sell groups to purchase used boxes.
5. Purge as you pack – take the opportunity while packing to purge items you no longer use. Sell, donate or throw these items away, don’t take items you no longer use to clutter up the new house. If you don’t have the opportunity to part with them before the move label the box to sell or donate so you don’t unpack it.
6. Colour code the boxes – colour coding boxes so it’s easy to identify which room they belong in.
I picked up some packs of A4 paper from Officeworks.
I created a template in Excel on the computer to colour code each room.
7. Label each box – when labelling boxes write which room it belongs to along with the contents on the top and side of the box. By labelling the sides you can easily identify what it in it when the boxes are stacked.
8. Rate each box – give each box a star or number based on the priority it needs to be unpacked. eg 3 stars for high, 1 star for low (can take a few weeks if it needs to).
9. Place boxes in correct room – get the removalists to put the boxes directly into the room labelled on the box, this will help make the unpacking process more manageable.
10. Don’t write valuables on the box – we want to trust those helping us move, but you never do know what can happen. If you have a box of valuables going with the removalists don’t broadcast it by writing it on the box, give it a codename eg. Nanna’s Linens.
11. Roll up jewellery – lay jewellery onto a bath towel, fold over each edge, the roll up towel to help prevent necklaces getting tangled.
12. Keep it light – don’t make boxes too heavy, it’s easy to fill them up but consider how much they will weigh, you don’t want the bottom to break away.
13. Where to start? – start packing in the kitchen, put heavy items at the bottom of a few boxes, then load those boxes with lighter items.
14. Wrap breakables – use clothes, tablecloths, tea towel and/or towels to wrap around breakables.
15. Wrap glasses – use socks to wrap around glasses.
16. Wrap artwork and/or large items – in doonas, quilts blankets etc.
17. Use pillows etc – use pillows, cushions and stuffed animals to pad things and keep them safe from breaking.
I put the kids lego amongst our cushions so they didn’t have to be dismantled them and transport them as a whole piece.
18. Prevent plates from breaking – if you have run out of paper try wrapping plates individually so they don’t break, place plastic plates in between .
I used the plastic plates that night for dinner as we really didn’t want to wash up we were so tired.
Idea found via frugal coupon living
19. Remember display placement – take photos of display cabinets so you know how to organise it at the new house.
20. Remember where cables go – take photos of how the electronics cables are connected to easily know how to reconnect them at the new house.
21. Don’t lose screws – when removing screws from items place them in a zip lock bag and tape it to the piece of furniture it corresponds to so you don’t lose it.
22. Keep boxes organised – use plastic grocery bags to keep the contents inside the boxes organised. ie. place items from the top of your bedside table drawer into bag 1, label bag top drawer. Items from 2nd drawer into bag 2, label. This will help you easily unpack and place back into the drawers. This is particularly handy for office drawers too.
23. Tape cables to electronics – to prevent the confusion of what cable belongs to which electronic, tape the cables or cords to the base of it. I say base in case the tape leaves sticky marks it’s not so worrisome on the bottom of it.
24. Fill nail holes – use white soap to fill nail holes in the wall.
25. Eat from your fridge and pantry – don’t do big grocery shops before your move, plan dinners based on food you have in your fridge and pantry, try to use them up before you move.
26. Don’t take clothes off their hangers – use a bin liner to wrap around clothes to easily transport. Wrapping them from the bottom will help prevent losing any clothes that might slip off the hangers.
27. Kids toy boxes – wrap small-medium size toy boxes in plastic bags or plastic wrap to save you unpacking the box into another box, wrap with plastic to help keep the items from falling out.
28. Think outside the box – don’t forget to pack items in baskets, hampers, suitcases.
29. Place heavy items in a suitcase – place books in suitcases they are easier to roll than lift.
30. Remove light bulbs – to prevent them from breaking during the move.
31. Toilet Paper Rolls to stop tangling – use toilet paper rolls to keep necklaces organised.
32. Finish it all before moving day – don’t leave any packing for the day of the move. Have everything ready the night before. I was really surprised that the removalist company managed to pack up our entire house in a matter of 1.5 hours. There was no time for me to anything more than to clean up behind them.
A FEW DAYS BEFORE THE MOVE
33. Grocery home delivery – place a grocery order to get delivered a few hours after you plan to arrive at the new house. For general items such as fresh bread and milk for breakfast the next morning. This is particularly useful if you have managed to eat most of your items in your pantry. We also ordered sausages and had sausage sandwiches for dinner on our first night.
34. Pack an overnight bag – get each family member to pack an overnight bag, with their toiletries, toothbrush, PJ’s, a change of clothes to easily have on hand on the night of the move. Save searching through boxes and everybody can have a comfortable nights sleep.
35. Sketch a plan – draw out an plan of where you want large furniture items placed in your new home. ie where you would like your lounge to be positioned. This is handy if you aren’t around somebody else can look at the plan and place the items in the correct place for you, saves your back later.
BEFORE MOVING IN
If you are lucky enough to get access to the home before you move in these few tips will make moving day a little bit easier:
36. My biggest tip is – before you move give your new house a good clean before moving all the boxes over. It’s so much easier to wipe over kitchen shelves and vacuum all the carpets while the house is empty. Despite the showers looking clean I gave them a good clean again.
37. Take photos of your new home – so you can take the time to look through them and be able to visualise where you want items placed before the move. This is also good for renters to have as a reference for their landlords to prevent unnecessary repair fees (as it may have been broken before moving in).
38. Organise pest control – get the pest control to spray the house the day before you moved in, then you dont have to worry about moving any furniture later.
39. Bathroom stocked – put toilet paper, hand soap, hand towel in each of the bathrooms.
40. Shower ready – put soap and bath towels for each person in the bathrooms, after a long day you will want a nice shower.
41. Take the cutlery drawer – Does the new house have a removable cutlery drawer?
Lift it out and bring to your current house so you can place the cutlery directly in it, much easier to transport and you can simply place it into the drawer at the new house. Wrap the cutlery tray in paper and tape up to prevent the cutlery falling out.
42. Check that lights work – have a few spare light bulbs on hand just in case. Strangely some people take them when moving (I wouldn’t recommend this).
THE DAY OF THE MOVE
43. Babysitter – if possible, organise to get somebody to look after the kids and pets.
44. Valuables – keep your most valuable items with you during the moving process ie. jewellery, passports etc.
45. Esky – have an esky and ice packs on hand to put in all the food from the fridge.
46. Clean fridge – take the opportunity to give the fridge a clean out while it’s empty.
47. Dust under fridge – be ready for a heap of dirt and dust that may need to be cleaned up from under the fridge. Make sure you have your dustpan on hand.
48. Get items from storage – Get the removalists to pick up items you have in storage, this is a huge back saver!
49. Bed assembly – Get the removalists to help you assemble any furniture like beds, it’s a job that you really don’t want to be doing late in the evening while everybody is exhausted and tired.
50. What to unpack first – determine which room you want to unpack first, so at the end of the day you can relax in a not so cluttered space.
MAKE AN ESSENTIALS BOX
51. Create an essentials box – an essentials box is a box of items you will need on the day of the move, consider items like
- clean bed linen for each bed
- toilet paper
- paper towel
- all purpose cleaner
- bin liners
- paper plates
- hand soap
- tools to help you assemble beds and other items
- medication, such as pain relief
- first aid kit, you may need a bandaid or two
- pet supplies
- kitchen sponge
- detergent for dishes
- corkscrew/bottle opener
Don’t make your first meal in the new house too difficult, sausage sandwiches were our go-to meal, or you could spoil yourself with takeaway.
I didn’t muck around when it came to unpacking, I had 95% of the house unpacked by Day 3. The key:
Colour coding- having the boxes colour coded I believed really saved us so much time and back ache by getting the removalists to drop them into the correct room.
Purging as I packed – I managed to purge before packing, selling most on Facebook buy and sell pages and donating to our local charity. Majority of what I had in boxes was items we used so there wasn’t anything in our boxes that wasn’t to be unpacked. I did however label a few boxes of items that shouldn’t be unpacked, like kids trophies as in the new house they only wanted to display a few not all 50+ of them. They are currently sitting tidily to the side in the garage.
Don’t be too organised – unpack the boxes and place into drawers and cupboard, but don’t be too worried about it being orderly and organised, once all the boxes are unpacked you can go back when you have time and neaten it up.
COST SAVING TIPS
- Try to ensure there’s space for the truck to park as close to your front door as possible.
- Downsize as much as possible prior to your move! Moving is a great opportunity to reduce clutter in your home.
- Disassemble any furniture beforehand.
- Move pot plants yourself if you have them – they can take up a lot of the removalist’s time as they are fiddley to move.
- Move as many boxes and items as you can downstairs / into your garage for easy loading.
- Ask the removalist to drop boxes and easy to carry items off into the garage at your new residence and move them inside yourself.
- If you’re moving interstate and are flexible on dates, keep an eye out for backloading opportunities where your belongings can ‘hitch hike’ on a truck that’s already travelling interstate.