Moving Into a New Home
It is understandable that many people do not want to think about moving house until the time to move looms near. However, this seemingly massive operation can be simplified by dedicating some time to planning your move.
The key to successful moving is to start planning early. Break your tasks into “bite-size” fragments by assigning them to these schedules:
- Eight weeks before the move
- Six weeks before the move
- Four weeks before the move
- Three weeks before the move
- Two weeks before the move
- One week before the move
- Moving day
If it fits in your car, take it yourself. You can save a few rands by packing and moving small personal items yourself.
Eight weeks before the move:
- Decide whether you will use a professional mover or move everything yourself.
- Set the date for your move. Consider timing your move to coincide with “off-peak” moving periods. Generally Mondays, Fridays and first and last days of each month are the busiest times for professional movers and truck rental.
- If using a mover, obtain estimates from at least three professional moving companies, as well as recommendations from friends before making your selection. If moving yourself, obtain estimates for the hire of removal trucks, etc. Make a booking to hire your selected vehicle/s for the moving day/s.
- Sketch a floor plan of your new home. Photocopy this plan and then draft onto it the layout for your furniture. Will everything fit? Perhaps some furniture may need to be sold or given away.
- Start using up food from your freezer to save it from spoiling during the move.
- Clean out clutter. Perhaps hold a garage sale or donate items to charity.
- Start developing a list of all the people who will need to learn of your new address. As mail is received, check that the sender is on your list of people to inform. This will include friends, relatives, banks, any subscriptions or catalogs, etc.
Six weeks before the move:
- Discuss the moving details with your mover, including all costs and insurance cover. When you are completely satisfied with the details, book the mover for the day of the move. Also collect as many packing boxes as the moving company is willing to provide.
- If you are moving yourself, start collecting boxes. You could gather used boxes from supermarkets or friends but make sure these can withstand the rigours of moving.Alternatively, buy or hire sturdy moving boxes from professional moving companies.
- Develop an inventory of all your possessions. This will come in handy not only for organizing your move but also as a record of your assets for insurance purpose.
- Arrange for the transfer of your children’s school records to their new school.
- Send out furniture or drapes to be cleaned.
- Start notifying others of your forthcoming change in address. This is especially important for any businesses you may deal with as it can often take time to update your address on their systems. Why not produce a moving notice and photocopy this for distribution?
- Fill in a form at the post office to have your mail redirected. You should elect to have your mail forwarded to this new address for at least two months following your move.
Four weeks before the move:
- If you need to organize storage, do this now.
- Using your inventory list, start organizing how you will pack your possessions. How many boxes will you need? Which items should be packed last and unpacked first?
- If you have pets, consider how these will be moved. Perhaps ask your vet to recommend companies who specialize in the safe transport of pets.
- Arrange for final readings of your services, e.g. gas, water and electricity, to be performed just prior to your move. Also organize for these services to be connected in your new home prior to your arrival.
- Make sure that your telephone is connected at both your new and old addresses during the move. This will allow for communication between the two placed should this be necessary. Alternatively, borrow two mobile phones if you don’t already have them.
- If you are going to need temporary accommodation, make the necessary hotel/motel bookings.
Three weeks before the move:
Gather together all the packing materials you will need. This includes:
- Packing tape / bubble wrap
- Styrofoam “beads”
- Old newspapers
- Utility knife
- Packing string
- Rope, labels, marker pens
- Hand truck and/or dolly
- Plenty of boxes
Start packing the items that you will not need over the next few weeks, e.g. extra linen or spare crockery.
Be aware that items you pack yourself are unlikely to be insured for breakage. Therefore, it is a good idea to leave the packing of fragile items, such as glass and china, to the professionals.
Two weeks before the move:
- Transfer all your bank accounts to new branch locations.
- Cancel all deliveries, e.g. newspapers, milk.
- Check on the arrangements for the new telephone service and other connections.
- Consider storing jewellery and valuables, including certain legal documents, at your bank during the move. Alternatively, set these aside to carry with you on the day of the move.
- Ensure your possessions will be fully insured during the move. If not, arrange for extra insurance cover.
- Contact the council where you are going to reside to find out about garbage pick-up, local regulations and other information.
One week before the move:
- Return all library books and rented dvd’s. Also, don’t forget to collect any dry-cleaning, shoes from the repairer etc.
- If necessary, arrange a babysitter for the day of the move.
- Tidy up the garden and outside area.
- Arrange for new locks to be installed on the house you are moving into.
- Defrost your refrigerator and freezer.
- Finalise all packing. Number each box and take notes on their contents. Also, keep items from different rooms in separate boxes.
- Keep in mind that heavier items deserve smaller boxes.
- Mark any items that should be handled with care.
- Pack bags of clothing and toiletries to take with you rather than send with the mover.
- Have the carpet steam cleaned.
- Also put together a box of items which could be useful for the day of the move. This might include such items as scissors, a utility knife, paper plates and towels, toilet paper, drinks, cups, soap, plasters, headache tablets, tea towels, rubbish bags and small toys for children.
- Remove all remaining food from your refrigerator and freezer.
- Clean out cupboards, sweep the floors and ensure the house is tidy for its next inhabitant.
- Double check rooms, cupboards, drawers, shelves, outdoor areas and the garage to make sure you’ve taken everything.
- Turn off all services, including the mains switch and taps.
- Lock all windows and doors securely.
- Leave the old house keys with the real estate agent for collection by the new inhabitant.
- Check to see if all the services are on and appliances are working in your new home.
- Check of each box as it comes off the truck.
- Register for voting in the new electorate.
- Visit your new post office to see whether they are holding any mail for you.