Moving Tips

Are you frightened, annoyed or anxious at the prospect of a home move? This article will above all provide you tips, guidance and advice to make your move go as smoothly as possible. I shall attempt to break down the process of moving house into manageable chunks and then tell you how best to tackle each aspect of your move.

I have had to move my family 4 times to 3 different countries in the last 6 years, so while no expert, I have learnt some things the hard way and my experiences have convinced me that much of the heartache and frustration can be avoided.

Things you should do in advance of a move; my list:


  1. Decide and if necessary organize a moving firm or get some friends to help.
  2. Cancel you existing utilities
  3. Organize and plan your travel details
  4. Get boxes
  5. Pack the stuff you don’t use every day
  6. Take the chance to get rid of stuff you don’t want: put it on ebay, have a yard sale or give it to a worthy cause
  7. Tell people and companies you’re moving
  8. Use up all your food

Moving tips and advice summary video

My 2 1/2 min video that summarises this article about moving in

1. Do you need some help with your move?

The first thing to decide is do you need assistance in your move. I did not say a removal company straight up because it may not be necessary, sadly in most cases it will be appropriate to enlist the services of a company and this is both expensive and there is always the chance that you will find a bad company that damages your possessions and charges you far too much.

Why might you need assistance with you house move?

The following list will give you things to think about:

a.  You cannot do all the work your self, perhaps you’re disabled, have no time, or with children and work it is just not practical.

b.  It would take too long to.  If you live in a big house or have lots of stuff it is just not practical.

c.  You don’t want to.  Packing, humping, carrying and driving a big van is all not that much fun, if you don’t have to, why bother.


2. Cancel your existing utilities

This is my number 2 on your list of things to do because if you don’t do it in advance you can get stung with big fees. Where possible try and transfer your services and utilities to your new address, this almost always works out cheaper.

Here is a list of things to think about;

Electricity Company, Landline Telephone Company, Internet Service Provider, Mobile Phone company (if travelling overseas), Water company, Deliveries you may have, Cable / Satellite provider.

At the same time as cancelling them consider giving them your new address, and a what if, such as your house purchase falls through or your move is delayed by a day or so.

3. Organize the travel details for your move.

Doing this early is a great tip for moving home, it gives you a structure for your move and has the added advantage that it will save you money. Flights in particular are best booked well in advance.

Depending on how many people are in your family make sure you allow yourself some space with the move.  Where possible we try to stay locally 2 days each side of the move, it helps with our dog (finding a hotel booking for a dog is never easy) and makes it easier for the children to adjust. You are almost always not ready to live in your new house on day one of your move in  if you have a large family, so this takes the heat off the day. The cheapest option is to stay with friends or family 1 hours travel distance from your new home. This works out great if they are happy to look after your pet or children.

If you need to book a van or truck for your removal this will definitely work out cheaper if you get it in advance but be sure to check all the vehicle licensing considerations before committing.

4. Get Boxes

Most removal companies will provide you with complimentary boxes, if not ask. You can get boxes by simply by asking people, try craig’s list or freecycle or of course your neighbors if they have just moved! If this does not work try liquor stores or electronic stores. Before buying any you should consider renting some packing boxes.

It you find yourself moving regularly you should consider getting something sturdier or even purpose built if you have valuables that you treasure. You can easily make or have made, wooden crates for your valuable paintings for next to nothing.

You need to get your boxes early but be aware that even flat they take up a lot of space.

5. Pack possessions that you do not use every day.

If you start this early it will really ease the pain if you’re self packing. Take your winter or summer clothes for starters and then move to your yard and garage. Once you’re about 4 weeks out, if you have one available, turn a room into a packing room. This room will be where all the chaos resides keeping your house calm!


6. Take the chance to get rid of stuff you no longer need or use.

A great moving house tip is to ask yourself, will you ever use this again? - If the answer is maybe, then put it into cheap storage - if the answer is no then you can make someone else’s life better by giving it to charity. Many local charity organizations will come and pick up your heavier stuff free of charge. Alternatively you could sell your stuff on ebay, have a yard sale or just put it on free cycle to get rid of it. If you must dispose of stuff (and this is almost always inevitable) I find it best to sort it and then take it in large batches for recycling – paper, glass, broken electronics etc…

7. Tell everybody that needs to know that you're moving out or moving in.

I suggest you start by telling the really important organizations that you’re moving. Here is a list:

bank, savings account companies, credit cards companies, investment companies, mobile phone companies, insurance companies, the tax people, vehicle licensing organizations, pet registrations, schools (if not moving far).

Next comes your friends and family. There are many ways you can tell them that you have moved home. The old fashioned and really nice way is to print, or have printed, change of address cards, these could go in with Christmas cards to save money. A more modern way is a circular email, updated social network post (easy to find again) or a good old fashioned phone call.

8. Use up all your food before moving.

A month or so out from moving out you should plan to use all your food and drinks that won’t travel, empty your freezer and plan great meals with all those tins that you don’t want to end up carrying.


One approach

9. What to do on the day you move.

On the day you move it is relatively obvious, right. I have experimented with this most painful of days, one idea was to have such an outrageous hangover it just passed me by and I did not care, the moving company smashed up our stuff because I was in the kitchen feeling sorry for myself. Another idea was to send my whole family away and do it all myself, this was not stressful for the children and dog but I missed a lot of the detail and the company also made a lot of mistakes. For the day you move out tips and advice is as follows:

a.  Manage those helping:

Make friends with those who will help you, ensure you have a plan to feed them and provide them with stuff to drink. If it is a company, make sure you identify the boss, respect his status and make sure you both have the same expectations for what it required. You should have had a survey completed, this will give an indication of how many people are required. If this is not satisfactory or will not work, raise it with the boss and if necessary call the company for more assistance – they should be able to organize this on the same day.

If friends or family are helping don’t be afraid to manage a little, this is better than chaos and will result in your packing being completed in a quicker time and more efficient manner.

Remember most things are broken towards the end of the day when everybody is rushing to pack. For this reason you should manage time and work hard early to ensure you don’t have to rush.

b.  Get the order right:

Pack last what you need first and ensure that the sturdiest items go on the bottom and the more delicate items are packed securely on top.

c. Label boxes with where they are going:

If necessary draw a floor plan of your new home and make sure your boxes are labeled accordingly.

d. Make things work:

This is a bit like managing the whole situation. You should ensure children and pets are not making life difficult. If it is about to rain and lots of boxes are standing outside get them stowed on the truck. Overseeing things is probably a useful way to spend at least part of your time.


This article really only covers advice and tips for moving house on the day you move, this is a shame because the really fun part is setting up you new home. I hope that my list and experiences have been of some sort of assistance to you. If you have any thing to add, have a question or think I have got any thing wrong then please do not hesitate to make a comment below

Good luck with your move