IT can be a bitter-sweet experience. But a little planning and careful packing can substantially reduce the stress involved in the process of moving home. Keep in mind that you can physically move in a day(you hope), but that mentally, it takes a while to disconnect from your old routine, and get used to a new habitat… Also keep in mind that you will not be able to unpack all your cartons at once, so have the stuff you need for a few days at hand in easily-accessible containers.
When the time comes, make sure you’re totally focused. Keep your mobile phone, charger, money and keys in a bag you wear on your body, and don’t put it down right through moving day.
Be Prepared For The Packers
Remove your drapes, and get your laundry and ironing done and ready to move.
Have your heater, water filter or air conditioner disconnected in advance.
If possible, pack all your crockery and kitchen stuff yourself. Setting it all up again – and fast – will be much simpler.
When the packers arrive, keep track of what they’re throwing inside each carton. Make sure they go about each room, and each drawer in a coordinated manner so you know that six cartons came from your second bedroom or kitchen. Try and label each carton as specifically as possible.
If any furniture has to be dismantled, have the packers mark the pieces A, B, C or D, so that it can be put back together just as easily.
Finally, number your labelled cartons and supervise their loading. Then oversee where they need to be unloaded.
Caution the movers against scraping the walls as they bring in the heavy furniture…
Making Your Own Moves
Keep your car topped up with fuel; there will be a lot of to-ing and fro-ing on D Day.
If you have pets, think of how and when you are going to move them. Pack their foods and toys in advance so that you don’t get frantic settling them in once you shift.
Take your potted plants by car a day ahead of the actual move.
If you’re shifting your phone, try and do the paperwork in advance, and then carry the phone with you to your new place.
Work out what you’re going to do with your valuables. The most sensible thing is to move most of the stuff to the locker a week prior to the move. Make a separate bag with light jewellery, watches, cameras and crystal that you can hand carry into the new house. Or you could leave it with a trusted friend or relative for a few days till you settle in.
Have your old home pest controlled a week before you leave, so your stuff will arrive pest-free in your new home.
For When You Arrive
At least a week before you’re due to shift, confirm that your new home is in liveable condition. Ensure too, that you will be safe when you move in. Check that there are latches and locks on all doors and windows; that there are garden lights that can be put on after dark, and about fencing, walls and the proximity of neighbours.
Prepare small cartons and pack essentials such as bath items, bed linen, and kitchen stuff. Also remember to pack a suitcase for the entire family like you’re going on vacation. This must include everything that you will need immediately you step into the new house – toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, soap, towels, razor and blades, some clothes, nightwear, a shawl and a ‘razai’, a torch, mosquito repellent, some batteries, old newspaper, matchbox, candles, dusters, some recent magazines and an alarm clock.
Pack yourself a large tuck bag – your fave savouries, snacks for the children, a large carton of mango juice, and some bottled water. Also put in some packaged milk, or a little box which has creamer, sugar and tea bags, and a sachet of coffee.
Seeing those cartons around for the first few days does get to you, and you will want to quickly get stuff put away, but take it easy – it usually takes a week to get settled in. Work the unpacking of the cartons on priority – the kitchen stuff will be needed first, and of course, clothes will need to be put into wardrobes ASAP, so that the two of you can go to work, and the kids to school. But otherwise, go slow, and don’t fret too much. Enjoy lying about in your new house… And yes, spread the ‘razai’ out on your terrace or balcony for the pets; they’ll adjust better to the new place!
IF you have elderly family members or small kids, moving takes on a whole new dimension. Keep in mind that older people will find it especially hard to reconcile themselves to change, and kids will also find it difficult to settle into a new abode.
Perhaps you could have them stay with other family or close friends during the actual days of moving, and then bring them home to a fairly-settled atmosphere. Kids especially, will appreciate having familiar possessions – like their beds and toys – around them in the new place, so make sure they can find these easily.