Packing up your belongings to relocate to a new abode is both exciting and daunting at the same time. Here's how you can simplify the process and take the hard work out of preparing to move.
Interior designer, Bronnie Masefau knows a thing or two about moving. She's relocated 14 times in 22 years, including a big move interstate with her husband, three kids and their pets. Here, she shares her relocation hacks for a simple, stress-free transition into your new home.
With two weeks to go: Redirect your mail
Head into your local post office and organise to have all of your mail redirected. "If you've been in a property for a long time, chances are you may forget to inform everyone you need to. Things like magazine subscriptions, your local doctor and your children's schools often get left behind," says Bronnie. "A mail redirect will give you peace of mind and acts as a safety net for all those companies you may forget to contact."
Electricity and gas
When it comes to the big things like electricity and gas, if you're renting you can get your agent to help. “There’s a box you can tick on your application form which gives permission for your agent to look after all of that,” explains Bronnie. However, if you're an owner looking to connect services yourself, there are a few extra steps. “Confirm if your new place has electricity, gas or both, and where the power board is located,” advises Bronnie. If it is in a tricky spot, or there’s a pet still living in the backyard, you may need to meet someone onsite or reschedule an appointment to connect your service.
Rally the troops
"Now is the time to put the call out to friends and family to assist with gathering as many boxes as possible," says Bronnie. Enlist the help of people who can help you to pack as well as transport the big, heavy items if you aren't bringing in the professionals. Remember, many hands make light work.
Bronnie suggests asking for a floorplan before you move, so you can think about where your furniture will go before you step into your new home. "The luxury of having this before you move means you can rearrange your space without expending any physical energy," she explains. "It's also a good opportunity to become aware of any access issues before moving day."
Clean up and clear out
Shoving everything into a box, thinking you'll sort and throw out old items when you arrive in your new home is nice in theory, but the reality is you'll be exhausted and unmotivated by the time your boxes reach their destination. Bronnie suggests making it a priority to clean out before you clear out. "Identify items that will not be making the next leg of the journey," she says, "You'll need three boxes: For rubbish, to donate and items to be given away to someone else." This means you'll be starting afresh - and might just save some time and money, transporting things intended for the bin.
With one week to go: Box it up
Gather as many boxes as you can and start to pack. It sounds straight-forward, but there ways to make this process even easier. "Label the contents - or better yet - with the floorplan in hand, mark the room the box will be heading to if you can," suggests Bronnie. This will help the removalists and your future-self wade through the sea of boxes.
A couple of days before: Take it all apart
"Dismantle bed frames, furniture and electrical items and place all of the bits and bobs for reassembly (including you drill and allen keys) in a tub," says Bronnie. "This tub is to travel in the car with you – guard it with your life!" Having all of these tools and essential pieces on hand will help you to feel calm as you start to rebuild the big furniture items in your new home.
The day before the move
Ease into your new surroundings and save yourself from rummaging through multiple boxes by packing a picnic tub with everything you’ll need for the first couple of days in your new abode. "The kettle (with lead) is a must, as well as cutlery, cups, tea towels, plates, sauces, salt and pepper," advises Bronnie. "Get each family member to pack their own suitcase of clothes - including school uniforms and work clothing - toiletries and homework. This makes the transition that little more seamless."
The exit clean
"Your greatest investment will be organising a company to manage the 'exit clean'," says Bronnie. "Even if your home is spotless, it's only when your property empties out that you notice a build-up of dirt or marks on the wall previously covered by furniture." Most cleaning companies will come back to the property up to three times to make sure it is up to standard with your real estate. Using the preferred cleaning supplier of your estate agency can also make life easier.
For more handy hints and home inspiration, see Bronnie’s new book, The Meaning of Home – A Place to Belong, available here.