Moving house is among the top five most stressful situations that life holds. So how can we make the idea of relocating a journey to look forward to, not dread?
Why is moving house considered a life event so terrible that it makes this list?
Anyone who’s packed up and moved to an entirely new home knows that, more often than not, things don’t always run smoothly.
Moving house can be a stressful feat, particularly if you’re feeling disorganised. Picture: Getty
Whether your furniture is damaged in the process, boxes of precious trinkets end up lost, or you suffer an injury while packing (lift with your knees, not your back!), there’s a whole host of things that can go wrong in a move.
We can’t promise that a read of this guide will mean you’ll never encounter a stressful blip in the moving process again, but making things as easy as possible for yourself during every stage can absolutely help.
Here, Jo Carmichael, professional organiser and founder of All Sorted Out, shares her top tips for unpacking post move.
How to start packing up your home
Before embarking on any move, Jo recommends first taking some steps to ensure you’re in good stead to begin the packing process.
After all, a little bit of admin pre-pack will ensure a smooth unpack on the other side.
Here are Jo’s top three tips for packing up your home:
1. Take pictures of set-ups
“Before packing, I like to take photos of how shelves or desks were set up so it can be quickly recreated in the next home.”
2. Declutter before packing
“Every household accumulates so much unnecessary stuff these days. Before packing anything into a box, go through cupboards first and decide what to keep, donate or toss.”
3. Pack room by room and label all boxes
“Write the general category for each room and what’s contained on the tape of the box. This will help you choose where to start when it comes time to unpack.”
Expert tip: Number your boxes and create a list in your phone of all items contained within each numbered box.
A Sharpie will be your best friend throughout a move. Picture: Getty
Put together a moving survival kit
Jo recommends constructing a moving kit of essentials to assist you during the days after a move.
“If you’re selling and settling on the current home – make sure to keep legal, banking, real estate, insurance documents and house keys handy.”
From there, Jo says it’s a matter of packing practical items that you may need.
“Toilet paper, paper towel, garbage bags, device chargers, snack foods, medications, tea and coffee, a bottle opener, a change of clothes, and a bag of apples are all items you should keep close by,” she says.
If you’ve got kids, keep some form of entertainment close by. Picture: Getty
Jo always likes to include a few extra touches for comfort, too, to make the move a little bit less stressful.
“A candle can help to make the place smell like home, and a charged iPad or the kids’ favourite soft toys will help them feel settled.
“Lastly, a packet of wet wipes for cleaning up spills or wiping over messy shelves before unpacking is always handy, too.”
Expert tip: Keep your survival kit in a recognisable basket or carry bag so it’s not mixed with the packing boxes. Jo recommends keeping it on the kitchen bench.
Keep the car and house keys in a distinctive place as people often misplace these little necessities in times of stress. Picture: Getty
How to start unpacking after the move
It can be a daunting thought: Deciding where to begin the unpacking process. But Jo says a good place to begin is the kitchen.
“If you brought food from your fridge or freezer with you in an esky, get this unpacked and chilling first up.
“Then it’s a matter of moving from room to room based on your needs in the home.”
Expert tip: “If you have a family member feeling a bit out of sorts because they don’t like moving house, try to unpack their room first. If they’re feeling settled, things will flow easier.”