Hi! Koko here.
We’re family of 3, and recently moved from 9-year-lived apartment to a single house!!!!
There are many things that I learned from this moving event… both good and bad experience, I’d like to show with you.
If you are moving not too far, have kids, and trying to do move only with yourselves and friends – you may want to read this article!
1.Buy enough Moving Boxes
It’s hard to know how many boxes you’ll need, right!?
I want to give an example… for us, a family of 3, we bought 64 boxes. We lived in about 100 sqm = 1000sqf apartment, and moved to a 140sqm = 1500sqf house.
We didn’t really use the last 8 boxes for actual moving, but ended up using them all for moving …’whatever the leftover stuff”. I guess boxes are always nice to have, than too little that you have to go buy more and more.
We owned a lot. We even carry our son’s baby clothes and such, (just in case for the 2nd one!!) so it could have gone down if we didn’t have to pack baby clothes / toys.
This is just an idea, to show you how many boxes we bought.
2.Plan and Pack REALLY ahead
You know this right?
Start planning 2-3 months before the moving day. You can never have enough time for moving, there are always something you need to do, you forget to do, unexpected things do will occur!
First, start from decluttering
Then you can start selling things you don’t need anymore or Donate.
3. Get as much help as possible.
You can’t have too little help for moving. Ask for a help – as much as possible !
Before, ask friends to help packing.
After, ask friends to clean. And of course, don’t forget to treat them lunch / drinks later to show your appreciation.
It’s not that I have so many friends (ha!) but I succeeded to gather 17 friends on a moving day. It was nice because some of my friends brought his girlfriend…. boyfriend…. sisters …. to help. So it was a great surprise!
If many show up, the moving will go faster and they can go home earlier. All good.
4. Give 2+ weeks for cleaning focus time
I have a scary statement : Cleaning can is a never ending work!!!!!!
If you plan to spend X amount of time cleaning, I say, give 10 times more than that. I wish I was joking but I’m not….
We had spent more than 60 hours between me, my husband, and a friend and we barely made it. Don’t expect that you can “just” clean the house and leave, if you want your deposit money back..!
5. Make “LIFE Essential” boxes
Collect important “Life Stuff” in a box. What I mean, is tools that you need to eat / sleep / bath. Minimum tools that you need to spend the 1st night and next few days until you start unpacking.
It came from my experience…
our 1st day at a new house. We wanted to eat some toasted bread but we couldn’t eat that because we packed a toaster in one of kitchen boxes.
I wish I had collected “Life essential tools” into one box and place it where visible at new house.
In my Life Essential box, I’ve packed a rice cooker, plates, towels, beddings, toilet papers, toiletries and fresh clothes.
That way I can have at least, the 1st day without a stress of looking and searching!
6. Group “Important” boxes
This advice a little bit overlaps with #4, but yes, do collect “important stuff”. They don’t have to be Life Essential Tools, but such as passport … paper documents … important stuff that you can take out right away, if you need it.
7. Tape Nails / Screws to where they belong to
During the process of moving, everything is simply chaotic.
Sometimes you have to make a quick decision. Or Response to unexpected incidents.
My husbands and friends were taking some tables apart. They ask me to keep nails together. I wasn’t thinking because of chaos….so the first table I just collect nails into a small plastic bag, tossed it “somewhere”. I thought I had put in this box … when I opened, the bag wasn’t there.
The 2nd table I quickly thought it’d be smart to attach a bag onto table leg.
I recommend this method, you will never lose nails and know exactly where to go!
8. Don’t be stingy with boxes – buy good ones
I’m usually the stingy one. I was a bit surprised that my husband bought 64 of these duct tape free boxes, because they are sort of pricy. But I was wrong and I have learnt. Invest in good quality, Duct-Tape free boxes!
Were we so happy with them!
- You save time. Because you don’t need to cute tape, put tape…. you save time. It’s huge when you have limited time for moving, and if you have to pack 60 boxes.
- Open and Close as much as you want. During the process of packing, there will be some occasions that you want to open the boxes again and reorganize. These banker boxes makes is easy-doable!
- You save money. I mean…those boxes are not cheaply made. Meaning the boxes hardly break.
9. Prepare lunch in well advance
If you are getting friends help to move, definitely treat some nice lunch for them.
Be sure you will have some utensils, plates, napkins.
You may want to contact a food place a few days before, check to see if it’s possible to order large amount of food (if you have a big group of friends coming to help).
The last thing you want, is you call the food place but they are closed or sold out.
It’s not fun working physically when you are hungry!
10. Hire a babysitter for the moving day
If you have small kids, it’s the best that they stay away from the moving day.
If kids are around …. it can be dangerous, time consuming, your moving won’t go as fast as you wish.
Hire someone you can trust to watch your kids. Yes, we love our kids – but sometimes, things go much better without them 😉
11. Books in Bags
This method was an easy solution…so I’d like to share!
Books: Pack in several bags other than boxes.
Books are heavy…they can break the box if you pack them full, even if you buy high quality ones. Also it’s going to be too heavy / tough to carry them – and whoever is going to carry, not gonna be happy.
So pack them into backpacks, tote bags..they are easy to carry and not crazy heavy.
If you have a lot of books, pack in bags and other boxes – spread them out!
12. Pre-move if you can
If you have time and access to a new home, start moving some stuff already.
I asked my friend with a truck to make a few trips. I recommend you to move first :
- Kids outdoor tools first – such as bike, tricycle, scooter, sand tools
- Important and fragile, expensive stuff that you don’t want to give any scratches on the moving day
- Important documents
- Life-Essential Box
- Winter jackets – I just took them with hangers. They take a lot of space and don’t want to ‘waste’ boxes just for those.
I hope your moving will be successful!