9 Simple Steps To Avoid The ‘Moving House Meltdown’

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Life at the moment is in full swing – winding up all things ‘Canada’ while simultaneously engaging in conversations surrounding a new life in Santiago Chile. 
In less than 3months (all going to plan) life as we currently know it, will be looking and sounding rather different to today, and surprisingly I think I am ready for it.
Whenever we move house (8 homes in 11 years) I have this pre-moving ritual I do to remain focused and in a Zen type state, along with drinking copious amounts of green tea (doesn’t always work, but at least I try.)
Four out of the eight moves we added a new child to our family so my pre-moving ritual has had to evolve and adapt to accommodate all the extra kids and ‘stuff’ we acquired along the way.
Below I am offering up my 9 simple steps I use to make my house move a calm and peaceful event for all involved.  I share them in the hope someone somewhere might just avoid the ‘moving house meltdown’. 
  • Gathering up all my ‘top draw stuff’ from the kitchen, study & bedside tables into smaller Tupperware containers is paramount – this process reduces the stress of finding bits and bobs in numerous boxes at the other end.
  • And while we are on the topic of Tupperware, another thing I find extremely helpful for the unpacking side, is packing and stacking my Tupperware/plastics cupboard.  When I have gone to the trouble of stacking all my smaller containers into my bigger ones the results at the other end is by far a massive timesaver, not to mention this process reduces the number of packing boxes used. (cost saver)
  • I even pack my utensil drawers into a container for ease of placement in the new home.  I soon realised how much time and energy this saved after our second move when I found a soup ladle in with my office supplies and the BBQ tongs with my make-up and feminine products – go figure!
  • Next I take all my prints and paintings off the walls and put them altogether in one room – heaps quicker for wrapping and packing into boxes – this too assists with organising and arranging in the new home.
  • Same goes with all the photo frames around the house and in bedrooms. Helps eliminate finding them in a range of different boxes when unpacking – This also inspires me to rethink displaying the same photo’s in different areas of the house, when we start life in our new home.
  • Something I find very therapeutic is going through the children’s bedrooms and wardrobes. I force myself to reduce the clutter and unused clothing which allows me to create a donate pile or pass on to family and friends – If you are paying to have a removal company move your things, better to condense before the move as this will decrease the time and energy packing things you didn’t even need and most importantly reduce your overall removal costs.
  • While you are de-cluttering the kids room, stay on a role and hunt around the house for stuff/boxes you may have moved previously and haven’t touched or opened.  Now is the time to rid yourself of unwanted things.  Sell, donate, dump or pay it forward to a family in need.
  • For those of you who are a little on the OCD side (like moi) I take photos of inside my display cabinets and side boards and my bookshelves from the lounge and dining room – Having the photo’s is a great way to assist friends or family members that are helping with the unpacking.  Hand them off a photo and they can work faster with how you like your ‘stuff’ displayed.  This really cuts down on you having to micro manage the helpers in your home.
  • Another one for my OCD friends is having the bed linen and towels in arms reach on unpacking day.  I know it’s been well documented to have your ‘survival box’ packed for the day you arrive in your new home, (kettle, toaster, coffee, mugs, tea and sugar etc)….and that box is great and all, but for me it is all about knowing where the bed linen box is.  It is what I call the last on first off box.  On unpacking day you are not normally thinking about ‘bedtime’, but believe me when ‘bedtime’ rolls around (later for some than others) Having a well made bed with matching linen and all familiar pillows and soft toys turns a somewhat nightmarish event into a calm and peaceful occasion – especially when young children are involved.  A sense of familiar smells and bed linen can make all the difference to a relaxing night sleep (or flop into bed for some of us that can’t stop til it’s all done)
Overall I find spending a little time organising and arranging a few things on the packing end helps immensely when it comes to unpacking, finding, locating and arranging at the other end.
So off I head to start my pre-moving ritual for our 9th move in 14 years. I just need to put the kettle on and have me a green tea. Wish me luck!
Do you have any ‘pre-moving’ rituals you do when moving house, I would love to hear about them.

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