Moving has often been voted in one of the top five most stressful experiences. The obvious reasons for this are the total upheaval of your life, the uncertainty of the whole venture, and the concerns about moving your possessions from A to B without them being ruined. Once the movers are hired, or you’ve decided to ship your stuff yourself, it’s time to start putting your whole life into paper and boxes for the ride.
One of the first things to consider are the packing materials that you will need. This usually involves lots of newspaper, and boxes pinched from the office back room at work, plus enough cellotape to make you think five Christmases have come at once. Moving companies have noticed this need for better packing solutions, and have actually come up with self-pack materials to be delivered to your door. These kits range from professional, business (tailored for offices), and budget kits for those who’ve already assigned all their cash on a beach side apartment!
So, you can tailor your packing materials to whatever you move, for example, book cartons to separate books, a cardboard wardrobe carton with bar to hang your clothes in transit, and paper sofa or mattress covers, etc.
But the basic packing must-haves remain: – a dark marker pen, – plenty of bubble wrap, – plenty of gaffer tape, – various different sized boxes, – and a notepad to list what has gone in which box.
Packing should be started well in advance, and the evening before moving day you should endeavour to have everything packed bar what you’ll need for the move.
Often, moving companies only transport boxes if they meet specific standards, as this keeps the contract and the insurance in order. If the company feels items are improperly packed or susceptible to damage, they will need re-packing. Usually, it is obvious if a box won’t meet standards. If they are torn, won’t seal, soiled, or won’t close, or rattles when shaken, then unpack and try again.
Start methodically, working from room to room. Starting with the worst room, what wives call ‘the utility room’, or husbands like to call it ‘the tool shed’ or ‘hobby room’, and most others would think of as ‘the junk room’. This room is the hardest to pack as many items are oddly shaped, heavy, or require special care to ensure you don’t get pronged with a garden fork. Starting with tools, all the long-handled ones, such as rakes and shovels, should be gathered together and tied up securely, with the functional ends pointing the same way. Attachments should be detached from all power tools and packed in a separate box. If there are sharp edged tools, wrap them in old rags – ideally towels which are harder to pierce – and tape to secure. Hand tools can be left in their tool-box, padded out with newspaper. Heavy tools should occupy small cartons.
Garden furniture and toys should be cleaned before being dismantled and bundled together. Take care to store all screws and fittings in a labelled jar, so in case an emergency swing set session is demanded by a move-weary child, you can quickly put it together on your new lawn. Parasols should be dry before packing, wound tight and wrapped in a large plastic bag and taped shut.
Lawnmowers need to be drained of all fuel if they are petrol/gas powered, and cleaned. Likewise, barbecues need to be cleaned and all charcoal disposed of.
If there is a fuel tank on the BBQ, it cannot be transported and must be removed.
Moving on to the office, start by backing up your computer onto a CD or pen drive, in case the worse happens, and keep this on you. Remove ink cartridges from your printer, and invest in new ones at your destination, as they do not travel well. Tape down all flaps and pack into a box with bubble wrap. Dismantle all modular office furniture and keep parts of the same item of furniture together. To make it easier to put together again, as by now you would be guaranteed to have lost the instructions, or ripped them apart in frustration after trying to assemble it the first time round, put marked masking tape on the edges to indicate which bit goes where. Keep little bits together in a marked shoebox or jar.