If you choose to pack yourself when moving house, here are a few tips to help ensure the process runs smoothly:
* Start packing early. Things you know you won't need in the lead up to the move, can be packed well in advance. There's no need to leave these items until the last minute.
* When packing, clean out all items you don't need. If the item is no good then throw it out, if it is still in good condition then donate it to someone who could use it. It's senseless to pack items and move them to the new house and then decide that you don't need to keep them.
* If you have small children, it's a good idea to have them babysat while you are packing. You will accomplish a lot more in a shorter time span.
* Ensure the bottom of the box is securely taped.
* Pack heavy items in smaller boxes and lighter items in bigger boxes.
* Ensure boxes are not too heavy to easily handle. Keep to below 20kg.
* Use smaller boxes to pack crystal and glassware. Each item should be individually wrapped in plain paper, then placed in a box with a layer of squashed up newspaper at the bottom, along the sides and between layers. Place another layer of squashed up paper at the top of the box, for extra cushioning before sealing.
* Glasses should be packed standing upright.
* Pack dinner plates and bowls vertically rather than horizontally.
* Many movers offer portable wardrobe storage, which keeps clothes hanging and saves them becoming creased.
* With chest of drawers, remove breakable, loose and heavy items but clothing can stay.
* Remove light bulbs from lamps.
* Clearly label each box with what items it contains and what part of the house it pertains to.
* Mark if fragile and which way up the box is to go.
* Anything wrapped in newspaper is likely to require cleaning after unpacking due to transfer of ink. You are better off using un-printed paper or tissue paper.
* Pack on a room by room basis, keeping contents from separate rooms in separate boxes. This makes unpacking much easier.
* When packing books and paperwork, do not use large boxes as they are heavy to lift and the bottom can easily collapse.
* Pack a first night survival kit, just in case the movers are held up or there isn't time to unpack for the first night. Include items such as change of clothes, pyjamas, toiletries, some games to play or books to read, pen and paper, non-perishable foods, can opener, plastic plates, cutlery and cups, torch (with fresh batteries), matches, towels, sheets, blankets, pillows, tissues and toilet paper.
* Keep a tool kit handy, including a hammer, screwdrivers, nails and hooks.
* Be sure to check outside and make sure items such as the hose reel haven't been overlooked.
* If items are to be stored for a length of time, pack everything with mothballs or a similar product. Remove batteries from all items. Wrap silverware in non-acidic tissue paper to help reduce tarnishing.
Moving House - 6 Week Plan
6 WEEKS TO GO:
* Book your removalist or organize to hire a truck if doing it yourself.
* Before you move is the perfect time for a big clean out of the entire house. There is no point packing items to take with you, when you don't need them and won't use them again. Throw them out NOW!
* Have you made appropriate arrangements for children transferring schools?
* Draw up a floor plan of your new home and think about where all your furniture will go.
* Keep an eye on how much frozen food is in your freezer and eat as much as possible before moving day.
2 WEEKS TO GO:
* Organize connection of the telephone, electricity and gas to the new house.
* Have your removalist deliver packing cartons and materials. Have ample packing tape and paper for wrapping delicate items. Have ample marker pens so all boxes are appropriately labelled.
* Dispose of items you won't be taking with you, such as paint and chemicals.
* Have Australia Post hold your mail or redirect it to your new home.
* Notify all relevant people of your change of address.
* Begin to dismantle furniture that easily comes apart and isn't required between now and moving day.
1 WEEK TO GO:
* Ensure all DVDs and library books have been returned.
* Pick up any dry cleaning or items you have ordered or have on lay-by in the local area.
* Organize the electricity and gas meters to be read and for the telephone to be disconnected at the old house.
* Cancel or re-direct any home delivery services that you use.
1 DAY TO GO:
* Have a box for essential items you are likely to need tonight and over the next couple of days. Take that box in your car tomorrow so it will be with you as soon as you reach the new house.
* Defrost your refrigerator so it will be dry for tomorrow.
* Finish off all perishable food.
* Write a note for the new occupants, including your forwarding address and telephone number.
* If you will be cleaning your house once the furniture is removed, remember to leave out the vacuum cleaner and cleaning products.
* Before leaving the old house, double check the gardens, garage, shed and under the house to ensure nothing has been left behind.
* Turn off the power.
* Drain the water heater.
* Ensure the house is locked securely when you leave.
AT THE NEW HOUSE:
* Ensure someone is at the new house to let the removalist in and instruct them were items are to go. It is far better to have the furniture positioned correctly now, than for you to have to re-arrange it all once the removalist has left.
* Turn the power on.
* Turn the hot water system on.
* Ensure the telephone, gas and electricity have been connected.
* Ensure all relevant people have a key to the new house. You may elect to have the locks changed.
* When unpacking, have a bucket and sponges handy for wiping down surfaces.
* Don't begin randomly unpacking, instead, develop a plan as to who is responsible for what, and what items need to be unpacked first.
* Put everything away neatly and in it's new, permanent place.
* Enjoy your new home!
Keep in mind that there are items that removalists are not allowed to carry, so must not be packed. These include:
Lighters, aerosol cans or pressure packs, explosives or ammunition, chlorine or chemicals, opened bottled of alcohol or foodstuff, fuels, paints, turpentine, methylated spirits, pesticides and weed killer.