13 May 2024

Mastering the art of a stress free move: The Preparations

3 min read

Moving into a new home marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in many people’s lives. The practical preparations of moving, however, can fill many with dread and fear just thinking about where to start.  

APDO member, Julia Jamieson works with clients who are moving home for all sorts of reasons and over the next two weeks she will be providing invaluable tips and insights to ease this transition.

In part 1, Julia specifically addresses the pre-move preparations that are essential for helping to make move day go more smoothly. Her top 5 tips will help you get ready for the adventure ahead. Let's get started! 

Step 1. Declutter and Downsize
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Start by decluttering your space. Decide what to keep, donate, or discard. Downsizing before the move not only reduces the volume of items to transport but also ensures you're only bringing what truly matters to your new home.

Step 2. Organize and Label Boxes

Invest in quality moving boxes and packing materials.

Top Tip: Reach out to local Facebook groups for materials from someone who has recently moved. People are often keen to pass these on for free as soon as they have unpacked. Using medium-sized boxes and being mindful of the weight of items before closing the box will make sure they aren’t too heavy to carry. 

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Label each box clearly with its contents and the room it belongs to. For example: kitchen, master bedroom, office etc. This makes it much easier for the removals team to be able to get the right boxes to the right place, making unpacking a breeze. Don’t forget to mark FRAGILE on boxes that should be handled with care.

When packing up a house, I like to add an inventory sheet to the top of each box which clearly marks the contents. This means that if you are looking for a particular item, you will easily be able to identify which box it is in.

Step 3. Hire Professional Movers or Do It Yourself?

Research and book professional moving services well in advance if you plan to use them. Get quotes from multiple companies to find the best fit for your needs and budget. If you're considering a DIY move, ensure you have access to a suitable vehicle and enough helping hands.

Step 4. Notify Important Parties

Inform relevant parties about your upcoming move, including the post office, utility companies etc., and provide your new address where necessary. Using a tracking system, such as a spreadsheet, will help to keep all the information together, allowing you to easily identify anyone outstanding to notify.  You can also set up mail forwarding to ensure you receive important mail at your new address. 

Don’t forget: Take note of all final meter readings for utility companies to be able to calculate your final bill. Taking a picture can be very effective as it will have the date attached to the photo’s metadata.

Step 5. Prepare an Essentials Box

Pack a separate box with essential items you'll need for the first day and night in your new home. This should include medications, toiletries, kitchen supplies, cleaning products, devices, chargers etc. This box will save you from rummaging through numerous boxes on your first day in your new home.

Moving with children or pets? Don’t forget their essential items as well, especially a little bag of tricks to keep them occupied. Even better, arrange childcare/pet care for the day if you can. 

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I always advise clients to pack a case with enough clothes, bedding, and towels for the first few days. This will allow you to easily set up the important spaces first without having to unpack several boxes. 

Important documents and sentimental or valuable items should be kept separate. Pack these items together into one box and take this box in the car with you to ensure the safekeeping of your most important items. 

By taking these steps to prepare for the move, you'll not only streamline the moving process but also set the stage for a more organised and stress-free transition to your new home. 

Join Julia again in two weeks' time for Part 2: Key essentials for a smooth moving day.

If you would like to find a local professional organiser to support you with a stress-free move, check out our Find an Organiser directory. 

Julia at Orka Living is a Professional Organiser and Declutterer based in South Lanarkshire. She helps busy families simplify their lives through decluttering, organising and improving their productivity. Julia- is passionate about helping families make the most of change and helping them to start their next chapter in a new home on the best foot.