When it comes to moving home, I’ve taken the proverbial biscuit. In the last 6 years, I’ve not only moved countries and continents but counties, cities and villages too!
It all started in 2012 when I crossed the Atlantic (in an aeroplane..!) to move to England. I came with a couple of suitcases and packing and moving house did not prove to be too hard because I was able to leave most of my stuff at my parents’ house (lucky for some I guess). So far so good at that point.
My first home in this wonderful island was Cambridge. To be frank, I sometimes wonder why I even ended up leaving Cambridge, but that’s another story! My James was working in Cambridge and we moved into a small one bedroom house in Bourn, a small village in South Cambridgeshire.
The area was gorgeous and I still pine for it on occasion! Having moved from a pretty big city in the States, living in the green countryside was like a fairytale. We had the best of both worlds because we were only 20 minutes from Cambridge itself, which is a beautiful city that I have so many great memories of and still often visit.
In late 2013 we moved just down the road to Cambourne, as we needed more space, and without even really realising it, I had by that stage already started accumulating quite a few extra possessions I needed to take with us, plus of course all of James’ stuff i.e. all of his football memorabilia!
Whether you’re moving close by or far away, you still need to get all your stuff out of the house in an orderly fashion, and well, this first in-UK move wasn’t too orderly at all. We basically moved stuff over the course of 3 days in a very ad-hoc manner doing way more car trips than necessary.
For the entire time that we lived in Cambourne I never thought we’d move again, at least not for a good few years, but in 2015 a job offer that was too good to turn down came knocking and we found ourselves planning a move to Preston, Lancashire. This time I had a moving plan to execute and execute it I did.
There are probably hundreds of articles out there containing packing tips, so I’ll give you my personal top 3.
1) Don’t just de-clutter, organise the clutter!
Of course, I agree with everyone who says you need to declutter before you start to pack, but what do you with all the clutter when it’s piled up in your back garden or garage?
My advice is to divide your de-cluttering into 3 set of boxes (note: important to keep these 3 sets of boxes in different physical spaces). I call them: 1. Take to recycling 2. Donate; and 3. Skip (this is basically anything that doesn’t fall under 1 or 2.
2) Start with the rooms you least need to use pre-moving date
Pack as much as you can from one room before you move to the next room and first pack stuff from the rooms you use least on a daily basis i.e. not the kitchen or bathroom!
This will help you stay organised and it will be easier later to tell the movers (or your man with a van or anyone else helping you move) which box goes where. Plus, when you unpack in your new home, you’ll be doing the same exercise in reverse, which will make life easier.
3) Pack a box of essentials
It always happens. I get to my new home and I’m absolutely exhausted. I just want to hook up my TV, make my bed, even if I have to temporarily put the mattress on the carpet so I can watch TV (!) and eat a good takeaway meal. Basically, I need get a bit of R & R in before starting the exciting job of unpacking and making my new house MY HOME.
But… I can’t remember where I’ve packed the cutlery, the towels, my pyjamas, my toothbrush! I spend half an hour trawling through different boxes getting what I need together and opening boxes I’d rather have put to the back of my mind until tomorrow.
The answer is to pack a box of essential items you’ll need as soon as you get to your new house. And make sure you pack that box last and open it first!
Moving house and packing don’t really have to be that hard. Of course, it’s going to be stressful, but organisation and planning are key to making it as easy as it possibly can be.