Guest post by Robin Underwood
Freelancers, creatives and small business owners living in London know how valuable and rare good real estate is. The housing and rental market in London is incredibly competitive. When the right house sale or rental comes on the market, moving quickly to snap it up before anyone else does is key.
But finding a new place to live isn’t the only stressful part of working and living in London.
Anyone who has ever moved house will know that packing is a huge time-consuming chore. Add the responsibilities of a freelance career on top of that, or running a small business, and it’s easy to see why packing is so often a problem.
Yet, it doesn’t have to be.
All movers need is the right system and a few handy hacks.
1. Pick A Moving Company Early On
Planning ahead doesn’t just apply to moving house, it applies to just about everything in life. But when there’s a move on the horizon, the time to act is now.
It’s a good idea to contact a few removal companies and ask them to quote for the move. Remember to be quite specific about the items that need transporting, as this affects costs.
Start off with the big pieces of furniture, as these will largely determine the size of the load or truck that the moving company uses. The company will need to know the old address as well as the new one so that they can determine the distance.
Once quotes are compared, book the preferred removal company and confirm the booking in writing. This way, the move is confirmed well in advance.
2. Declutter As Early As Possible
Decluttering a house before the move has two distinct advantages.
Firstly, it makes packing so much easier. Fewer things will need sorting, and there’s less that needs to go into boxes.
The second benefit is that it will generally cost less to move. The fewer boxes that go into the removal van, the lower the costs.
Of course, there is an additional benefit to decluttering. Giving away items to charities is a wonderful feeling. In every move, donate unused items to charity. This is a wonderful gesture of goodwill.
3. Organising Paperwork
Get the paperwork in order soon. Sign leases, pay bills, change accounts over to the new address.
Change the forwarding address for any mail that comes in, and activate an internet connection at the new address. The Internet is essential if you’re a freelancer, and getting stuck without a connection could cost a fortune in earnings.
Get all the paperwork in one place, and make sure it is safe. A good idea is to have a paperwork box that is quite strong and has a lock on it. Passports, marriage certificates, and any other paperwork must go into this box, and it makes the actual move easier and safer.
4. Make A List
It sounds obvious but make a list.
A checklist has the incredible superpower of seriously reducing the stress of a moving day. Move tasks from inside a busy mind and write them on paper, placing them in a logical order.
Going through moving day, tasks can be easily ticked off. This also allows friends and family to help, because they can easily see tasks without having to ask all the time.
5. Leave Clothes On Hangers
Packing clothes is often tedious and can result in piles of creed garments.
A great hack for packing clothing is to leave it on the hanger. It’s tempting to take all clothes off hangers, fold them neatly, pack them and boxes and move them across.
What typically happens is that clothing doesn’t stay neatly folded, and it ends up in a messy jumble. It also means that clothes must get rehung at the new address. Merely taking clothes on their hangers, placing them on the backseat of a car, or otherwise flat in a long box, is an excellent shortcut.
6. Colour Code
If possible, colour code items. These codes are also given to the movers. Boxes and furniture with a yellow sticker on them go into the bedroom. Green stickers go into the living room. Pink stickers into the kitchen, and so on.
Don’t forget fragile stickers for breakable items too. This alleviates the need to constantly monitor movers as everyone is on the same page.
7. Keep Things Together
When packing boxes, keep similar things together. It is so tempting to just empty cupboards and shelves in the nearest box.
The consequence of this is that each and every box becomes a mess to sort out on arrival. But keeping things together, whoever is unpacking can easily see what is in the box, and can quite simply unpack it into its new shelf or cupboard.
8. Keep Valuables Safe
It’s vital to remember to keep valuables safe. On moving day, it’s virtually impossible to keep track of everything, where everyone is, where every box is.
Valuable items make a soft and easy target on moving day. Make sure to place all valuables somewhere safe, and if needed, put a friend or family member in charge of that box. There is nothing worse than heartbreak after a moving day when something extremely valuable goes missing.
Movers and Shakers
Moving house isn’t a picnic, but it doesn’t have to be a party pooper either. With the right moving company, a few smart packing skills and a bit of organisation, any move can get executed smoothly.
In a way, the best approach to a move is to treat it like running a business. Leave nothing to chance and prepare well in advance for every eventuality.
These hacks will go a long way towards helping to make any move as simple and pain-free as possible. Plus, they’ll certainly help limit the cost of moving, which is ideal for anyone watching their pennies closely.