8 tips for a stress-free moving day

A young couple celebrating moving to their new home with a glass of wine. Image: Getty Images
A young couple celebrating moving to their new home with a glass of wine. Image: Getty Images

Moving to a new home is exciting, but the thought of packing up your belongings can be overwhelming. It’s not surprising that moving house is viewed as one of life’s most stressful events. But by being organised, and focusing on one task at a time, you can make the move smooth and even enjoyable. 

Carl Coetzee, CEO of BetterBond, offers these eight tips below to make moving day a cinch.

1. Make a list

A to-do list not only helps you keep track of everything and makes it less likely you’ll forget something, but it also lets you tick off tasks as you complete them. This gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivates you to keep going, especially when you start getting tired of packing and organising. Also, label you boxes systematically so that you know what to unpack where in your new home. 

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2. Finish packing the day before

It sounds obvious, but don’t compromise on this one. “You will thank yourself when the movers arrive and you don’t have to rush around trying to get last-minute things sorted. Never under-estimate the small items as well,” says Coetzee. You may tell yourself that they will be easy to pop into a box just before the movers arrive, but these small tasks could end up wasting valuable time on moving day.

3. Get some sleep and don’t skip breakfast

Make sure that you get to bed at a decent time the night before and eat a good breakfast on moving day. Even if you have to go and buy something, make sure you provide your body with sufficient sustenance to go the distance. “Keep a few bottles of water handy for yourself and the movers. A hydrated moving team is a happy and efficient team,” says Coetzee.

4. Avoid wearing loose clothing

Loose-fitting clothes could get caught or snag and this might lead to injury, so rather wear something fitted. In terms of shoes, this is one of the times when the saying “Life’s too short to wear uncomfortable shoes” really rings true. Be kind to your feet – they have to carry you through a whole day of moving boxes and arranging furniture.

Make a note of final meter readings (for electricity or water) to make sure that you are billed correctly for your last payment and as proof in case there is a dispute with the new owners or tenants

5. Keep personal items safe

Every member of the household will have a few precious personal items. Set these aside in a safe and secure area, and make sure the movers know that they should not pack these. It could be anything from medication or phone chargers, to jewellery or family heirlooms that have lots of sentimental value. “It’s advisable to keep these items together in a box or bag that you take with you to your new home, in your own car,” says Coetzee.

6. Remember food, cleaning supplies and first-aid kit

These are the three things that home movers most often wish they had on hand. Moving days always take longer than anticipated, empty houses are dirtier than you expect, and small accidents and injuries occur in the blink of an eye, so make sure you are prepared for all three. “Keep these boxes separate from the rest of your items, or mark them clearly and ask the movers to pack them last, so that you can access them easily when they arrive at your new home.”

7. Arrange a safe place for your children and pets

Let younger children and pets spend the day with family or friends. If that’s not practically possible, make sure there’s a dedicated room where they can play safely, eat and nap. Arrange for someone to supervise them, if necessary. “When your pets arrive, give them a few hours to get accustomed to the smells of their new home. Bear in mind that it can take a cat at least two weeks to become comfortable in the new space. Maintain feeding routines as much as possible and keep your cats indoors for a few days until you are sure that they feel secure in their new home,” says Coetzee. 

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8. Walk through one last time

Even if you packed carefully and supervised closely, there could be things left behind. Once you depart, it’s often difficult to retrieve these items, so do a close inspection of each room before you go. Also check that everything is clean, neat and tidy for the new owners. Leave the place as you’d like to find it. 

Make sure hooks and nails in the walls have been removed, and any holes have been patched up. “It may be worth taking some photographs so that you have a record of the state of the property. Also, make a note of final meter readings (for electricity or water) to make sure that you are billed correctly for your last payment and as proof in case there is a dispute with the new owners or tenants,” adds Coetzee.

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