Planning your move

The key to a smooth move is to think about all the aspects well in advance of having to actually do them. There may well be the odd on the day disaster, but a well-managed plan will help keep everything in check and help you keep your cool if something does go wrong.

Arrange your move date as far ahead as possible. The more time you have, the easier it will be to actually get everything done in time. Another good reason for having everything prepared in advance is because if you have to postpone your move for some reason it can be costly and rescheduling everything at the last minute will not be easy.

Take the opportunity to save a huge amount of money by hunting around for better deals and cancelling anything you don’t want. Moving house is also a good time to turn over a new leaf. The more organised you are, the quicker you can start afresh after your move.

You shouldn’t move everything you own. It not only costs more money, it takes extra time. Make things easier by eliminating unnecessary items. No matter what it is – that big jar of pennies, the rowing machine you stopped using, the toys your kids have outgrown. Don’t move it if you don’t use it!

So how does it all go? Well, ideally you will have at least a month to your move date. Here’s a typical plan.

Planning your move


Since this is the busiest room in the house, it is usually left until last. That can lead to hazardous packing, so start with all those things you rarely use – special china, the Christmas platter, that big coffee pot. Get them out of the way early and you’ll cut down on the size of the job later. Get together all your dishtowels and pot holders; use them for extra padding. Pack plates standing on their edges- never flat. “Nest” bowls, cups and glasses inside each other after wrapping. Be sure to fill any empty spaces with appropriate packing material.

Think twice before you move any opened food containers. With spices and grains, first consider their age. If you’ve had them for a year or more, don’t take them. If you must take opened containers, tape them shut securely and enclose in plastic bags before packing. Appliances should be clean, dry and disconnected for moving day. This means defrosting and airing freezers and refrigerators, and contacting the gas company to disconnect any gas appliances. Internal motors must also be secured.

Your removal crew can prepare your washing machine for moving, and then reconnect it. If you come upon appliance operating instructions while packing, tape them to the inside of the appliance. Otherwise, they could easily be misplaced.


Lounge and dining rooms

Delicate crystal, china and bric-a-brac need extra protection. Consider boxing some things up before putting in packing containers. If you seal napkins and tablecloths in plastic bags, you can use them for additional padding. Make sure everything is snug and mark the boxes FRAGILE.

If you have fine silver, avoid discoloration by making sure it is clean, and don’t wrap using rubber bands. If you have a case for it, fill in all the empty spaces with soft cloth or tissue, seal shut with wrapping paper and tape and then wrap in towelling. Otherwise, wrap each piece in soft cloth or special silver paper before packing. This will protect it from tarnish and scratches.

Mirrors and framed pictures need to be packed in cardboard that you can obtain from your mover. Lamps should be taken apart, bulbs removed, and the shade wrapped carefully and boxed. Use the right size box and DON’T USE NEWSPAPER for packing. Use as little paper as possible to avoid denting.

Dried flower arrangements should get the same treatment as lampshades, and make sure to label the boxes with THIS END UP. Electronic equipment should be moved in original packing cartons when available. Secure all parts prior to packing. If you are moving in the summer, the heat can damage certain items. Candles, CDs, records, tapes and floppy disks are all at risk. Consider taking them yourself, or shipping in a way that will reduce transit time.



Clothing can either be folded and packed or hung in wardrobe cartons (these will be available on the day). Try to keep out-of-season or special occasion clothes together. When unpacking, you’ll be able to leave those for last. Dresser drawers may be packed with lightweight clothing, but be sure to remove any liquids or breakables first.

For conventional beds, strip beds completely, but leave them assembled. They will be dismantled by the moving crews and reassembled at your new home. If you have a waterbed, empty it the day before the move. For canopy or “four poster” beds there may be an additional charge for dismantling and assembling. Toiletries that are flammable or aerosol cannot be moved in the van, so you should throw them out or take them with you.

Anything missing?

If you’d like some assistance on how to prepare the moving of items in any other part of your home, just ask.