1. Make some dinners in bulk and freeze them.
The first thing to go to shit when you’re moving house is your diet. You’ll be stressed, short on time and money, and with dwindling utensils as you pack away your kitchen. If you can, make a giant lasagne/stew/whatever you like and freeze it in portions. It’ll feel so much better than ordering yet another takeaway while you bubble wrap the stereo. You can pick up some ideas here.
2. Don’t pack up your fridge last.
Here is a tip that may seem obvious, but which I ignored the last time I moved. In a whirl of efficiency, I packed up all my dry goods, condiments and sauces with a week to go. That meant that I had to put up with some very dry and plain meals or risk opening up all the boxes to find the soy sauce.
3. Leave out clean sheets and towels.
Change your sheets before you start packing, and leave out another clean set for when you move in. When you’re exhausted and falling into bed, it’s such a treat to have clean linen – both when you’re packing in the old place, and unpacking in the new one.
4. Buy boxes online.
For many years, I refused to buy boxes for moving house. Why would I spend money on cardboard? Instead, I went to my local supermarket and asked for their empties. For my most recent move however, I bought 25 strong boxes on Amazon and it was a revelation: Sturdy boxes of varying sizes! Worth the money. See also: bubble wrap. I bought this set and it basically did the job (plus a few extra boxes closer to the moving date).
5. Stockpile newspapers.
You can still be thrifty though – bundles of freesheets are perfect for packing plates and glasses. Just watch for ink transfer.
7. Label the boxes.
And by “label” I mean write what’s in them (“crystal glasses” not “glass”) where they should go (“kitchen cupboards on the left hand side” not “kitchen”) and what way up they should be stored.
8. Get people to help you.
Everyone moves house. Help out a friend, and get them to repay the favour.
9. Have a schedule.
There’s no need to make this colour coded, but work back from your move-out date and figure out what you need to do. This will help you feel more on top of things. Packing always takes longer than you think it will. Leave yourself a bonus day. If you’re into bullet journalling, now is your time to shine.
10. Plan where you will store your boxes.
As someone who recently packed up a very tiny flat, you need to think about where all these filled boxes are going to go. Can you clear a space in your hall? Otherwise you will be cursing your possessions for a week.
11. Pack extra toilet roll for the new house.
Have a “Day 1” box, with toilet roll, teabags, kettle, a hand towel, a tea towel dish soap and hand soap. Add in some mugs too if you need – or pack some paper ones to drink out of.
12. Don’t over-fill boxes.
Remember, you’ll still need to lift them!
15. A month before you move, have a clear out.
Go through your wardrobe and throw out anything that doesn’t fit. Chuck those half-drunk bottles of limoncello and the towels you hate. Bring what you can to the charity shops, and bin the rest.
16. Pay for delivery.
Get new items delivered to the house rather than your office (for example). Yes, it is more expensive, but speaking as somebody who had to bring four huge parcels of boxes home on the train, sometimes the cost is worth it. Equally, if it’s an option for you, I can recommend hiring movers to shift boxes in their van, as opposed to hiring a car!
17. Do an online food shop and arrange for it to arrive on your first day.
Maybe you’re super-organised and don’t tend to move house with an empty fridge. In which case, well done. But that ain’t me. Do a favour for your future self and get some groceries in. Or sign up for a free trial with a meal delivery service!
18. Or figure out a local take-away in advance.
If you’re not up to cooking, then find your new pizza place, kick off your shoes, and enjoy your new home.