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Top 8 tips for moving home

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18 Jun 2013

Whether it’s down the road or across the country, moving home can be a daunting experience.

Keep all necessary items, such as marker pen or box tape in an allocated central area. This way veryone who is packing will know where to find anything related to the pack.

Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa says moving to a new home is something that most people have experienced at least once in their lifetime. For some, the move could have been easy with little or no problems, while for others it may have been enough to make them want to stay in their current home forever.

He notes the difference between the two kinds of experiences is preparation and gives tips on how to make moving a more organised and hassle-free experience...

1. Keep an inventory

Goslett says most moving companies require a list of items that need to be moved before they can provide a quote on their services, so homeowners need to compile an inventory of their possessions. This is so a moving company can determine the amount of space required for the move. It is helpful to make lists when packing boxes so that the homeowners know what is in each box. "Having a list with the number of boxes and contents of each box will make it far easier to determine whether items or boxes are missing,” he says.

The more specific a homeowner is with their inventory and box labels, the easier it will be to find certain items when unpacking. Using specific labels on boxes, such as winter jackets for example, is better than just labelling the box as clothes.

2. Allocate an area as a packing base

“To avoid frustration throughout the packing process, keep all necessary items such as a marker pen or box tape in an allocated central area,” Goslett says. This way everyone who is packing will know where to find anything related to the pack, such as any lists that have been made, scissors, labels and bubble-wrap.

3. Make sure there are enough supplies

Rather have too many supplies and boxes on hand than not enough, as it can delay the packing process. He says homeowners will need more boxes than they initially think. “Moving companies that sell boxes will normally take back any unused boxes and provide the homeowner with a refund, provided they are still in good condition." If a homeowner gets the boxes for free from a supermarket, it is simply a matter of taking the leftover boxes to a recycling bin.

Homeowners should phone the insurance company and check before the move what is covered by their homeowners’ insurance during the move and if they require any additional insurance from the mover.

Goslett notes that as a rule of thumb, homeowners should have at least 10 boxes set aside for last minute items that can only be packed on moving day, such as bedding, clothes and cleaning supplies. Other supplies will be the box tape and packing paper or bubble-wrap. He says homeowners should take care when wrapping items in printed newspaper as it could strain the item with ink.

4. Pack unnecessary items first

There is no use in keeping out items that are not used on a regular basis, so pack them ahead of time. Anything that is not essential up until the day of the move should be ready to go. Goslett says this gives the homeowner an indication as to how much more needs to be packed and it will save time.

5. Keep similar items together

Pack items that are used together in one box, such as an appliance and its detachable parts or book with bookends. If a piece of furniture needs to be dismantled, place all the screws, bolts or small parts into re-sealable plastic bags or envelope and tape the item to the corresponding item. Goslett says another option is to label each bag or envelope and place them all into one box along with accessories such as remote controls and extension cords.

6. Co-ordinate boxes by colour

Most moving companies require a list of items that need to be moved before they can provide a quote on their services, so homeowners need to compile an inventory of their possessions.

While the homeowner may know which box needs to go into which room, it is likely that the movers won’t. Goslett explains that this can be sorted by designating a colour to each room in the new home and marking each box or item with a sticker of the corresponding colour. By putting a matching sticker on the door post of each room, movers will know the destination of each item or box.

7. Personal and important items

Goslett advises homeowners to pack a bag for each family member with all of the personal items that they will want immediate access to when arriving at the new home, such as toothbrush or pyjamas. “It is also advisable to have a box or bag that contains all valuable items that can be kept with the homeowner at all times. This box should also include important documents such as birth certificates, banking records and identity documents."

8. Check your insurance

Goslett says it is a good idea to phone the insurance company and check before the move what is covered by your homeowners’ insurance during the move and if you require any additional insurance from the mover. Also find out what is required in case of loss, as some insurance companies may need receipts, appraisals or photos of valuable items. 

Although moving can be a stressful exercise, the right planning and organisation can make it bearable. Goslett says knowing that you are as organised as possible to make the move as smooth as possible can make it an exciting experience that everyone can look forward to.

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