Moving house… it sounds exciting, right? I mean, getting those new keys and those fresh digs, planning where to put your furniture and doing a spot of home decorating. Sure, that comes after the hard part. But, before you get there…. OH MY LAWD the bitter laughs and tears! Really, how could I have been so naive?
What could possibly go wrong?
Yes, there’s an actual art to packing properly and using those moving boxes to your best advantage. Perhaps, a ‘masterclass for learning how to move house’ should be a thing! Don’t worry, a request for your credit card digits and a portion of your soul is not happening. I come in peace and to spread the word of the ‘moving house gospel’.
Did you know that there is a whole system for packing fragile items? If you don’t abide by this, you can easily end up with Jenga, but in real life and with real consequences! The price for failure is not only losing some of your prized possessions but a great deal of your sanity in the process. What can be worse than opening up a box after your move to find everything inside shattered into a million pieces? Yes, I am talking about my antique-cat-figurine collection here (over half a dozen cherished little porcelain feline shaped masterpieces gone in one kerfuffle).
The divine art of packing properly
To save yourself all the heartbreak of moving disasters you can actually hire professional packing services. These ‘packing angels’ are well-schooled in the ‘divine art of packing fragile things properly’. However, there’s a way to do it yourself, provided you can follow some basic rules:
- Always leave space in the box when you pack. That is, don’t overpack to the brim. Air will act as your best form of cushioning. While bubble wrap is always hoot-and-a-half (in my opinion it’s the best thing about moving house) it won’t protect your most loved items from bearing the brunt of crushing loads and being hauled all over the place in a big truck.
- Get hold of a variety of moving boxes. Different sizes boxes are suitable for different items. For example, you would never put chunky, clunky items in a large box. There are ‘book and wine storage cartons’ for a reason. You should always pack heavy items at the bottom of your box with lighter items towards the top.
- Utilise what you have to work with. This means taking advantage of pillows and other similar cushiony items (and not in the way your dog might). Balance out a box by adding a blanket, and while you are at it you might as well wrap your stuff in it. Make sure if you have fragile items contained within, that you get a nice big permanent marker and label that on every corner of the box. Basically, if in doubt: don’t be afraid to overdo it!
Other things to keep in mind
Unfortunately, packing is just the tip-of-the-iceberg when it comes to things to pay attention to when moving house. I don’t want to scare you with all the gory details, but one thing I did learn is to really pay attention to checking online reviews of bond cleaners and to stay on the premises if you can whilst they do their job (you can’t always go trusting any old peeps).
Also, you might want to make sure your furniture is easily disassembled: this saves you having to hacksaw a perfectly good bed into several pieces (in my case a beautiful 4-poster). Plan ahead as much as possible and think about the worst-case-scenario. Because if there is a time for the universe to kick you in the Kahunas you bet it will do it right in the middle of moving all your stuff and when you are already feeling super exhausted!
Oh, and another thing: put a can opener in your pocket. There’s nothing like reaching for that trusty can of soup when you are absolutely ravenous, just to try to smash it against a rock gorilla-style. It happens.
It does get better
You know how people say ‘it gets better’. Well, yeah it does… eventually. I hope you have enjoyed this little ballad in the key of ‘what I wish I’d known about moving out for the first time.’ I guess the point is: you have the opportunity to profit from my experience. My final advice? Line-up a MASSIVE carton of celebratory beverages for when you are finally settled in. You will have deserved it!