We all own too much ‘stuff’…
They say that moving house is as stressful are getting divorced. Well, that might be a bit extreme. Yes, it is hard work, but is it relay that stressful ? Maybe. Perhaps it has been the cause of a divorce to two. We have moved 4 times in Amsterdam over the years and every time was different, but no one died and no one got divorced !
The one redeeming and cathartic part of a house move is clearing a lot of clutter from your life. It feels terrible to pack something that you know you have not used for years and will probably never use again. Why even move it ? Those old black shoes you have not worn for at least 4 years. Old games the kids will never use again. Your partner’s dresses she never wears….ok, to not raise stress levels, she can make that selection. If you move in April time you can sell it all on King’s Day. If not, put it on Facebook or give it away to charity. Either way, who wants to unpack stuff you don’t need. That is also the number 1 tip in out list.
When we moved we used the services of Fa PM De Wit. It went as smooth as a Swiss clock. I got to know Jan the owner. I think us expats move house a lot, so I thought I’d ask Jan what his top 10 tips are for moving house in the best possible and least stressful way.
1.0 Start early.
You will always think you have loads of time once the move date has been set. “Oh we have weeks, let’s start nearer the date…”
You wait too long to get the boxes delivered. You cannot find packing paper or bubble wrap. Well, nothing is as stressful as you still filling boxes as the teams are loading up all the furniture. We see it all the time. We advise people to get ready sooner rather than later. Most do listen, but some don’t. It also means you will make a better selection of what you do and don’t want to keep.
2. Create an inventory.
This simple process will allow you to plan better. You will also have a better overview of what you want to keep. The earlier you do this the better. It will focus your mind early on in the planning stage.
3. Have a diagram plan of the new place.
Prepare and print several copies of a layout plan of your new home. You will need several copies, as on the busy day of the move, you do not want to be looking everywhere for a single piece of paper. You can number each room and then the boxes intended to go in that room can have the same number. Sounds obvious, but believe me, it helps everyone. You can do the same for furniture.
Most people have a lot of ‘stuff’ – you know, books, DVDs, pictures, plates, shoes, sports gear, clothes, etc. So a move usually involves a lot of boxes. As we as number they room the box needs to go to, take a few seconds after closing the box to write what is inside the box. It will make your life so much easier for the unpacking process. Especially if you need to quickly find a child’s favourite teddy bear or those wine glasses to celebrate the first night in your new place. Maybe think of getting colour labels printed. This is useful if some of your belongings are going into storage as often happens.
Any good moving company will send over a member of their team early on in the process. This person will be able to look around and estimate the cost of the move with greater accuracy. This is also and important moment to look at what will and will not fit through the doors and windows. Many those IKEA cupboards will need dismantling. Maybe you have a piano. The mover needs to know this. If you have a mover that does not visit you, perhaps you will have surprises down the line.
6. Have a couple of ‘Special Boxes’
These are the boxes that matter. One might be all the preparation for your first night in your new home. It might contain pyjamas, fresh bed sheets, toiletries, phone chargers, coffee maker or anything practical that you will need in the next 48 hours. It means you will not have to go fishing in loads of different boxes straight away. Again, that will relieve some stress. Another special box will contain all your really important things: essential paperwork, valuables, TV remote controls, passports, financial documents, computer back up drives, irreplaceable photos. You will be relieved to have all these important things in one place.
7. Have one of those plastic Ikea bags for one item only.
As movers, one thing we hear a lot is that a client lost loads of time unpacking as they were looking for cables that we rolled up in different boxes. One of our favourite tips is that client put all the cables in one IKEA bag. Then when you unpack, you can easily find the corresponding cables in one place. If you label them too, that will save more time.
8. Take photos.
Not just for nostalgia’s sake. A photo of a child’s storage system will come in useful when you later have to reassemble it. Maybe your wifi router needs another cable ? A photo of how it used to be wired will help you to know that. Maybe your children will want all their artwork back as it was before so they can feel more at home in the new place. These details matter.
9. Have you done all the paperwork and admin ?
In your new home, you will definitely be needing hot water and electricity. And wifi, that has to be ready ! And the Gemeente, do they know you have moved ? Have you updated the bank ? Magazine subscriptions ? Your Amazon delivery address ? Do you need to change dentist and doctors ? So many things to consider. The earlier you start that process, the less stress you will have.
10. Use us to pack.
If the thought of moving is driving you crazy, let us take away that pain for you. We will come in with boxes and packing materials and whizz around and pack everything for you. Even less stress!
You like to move it, move it.
So there are some top tips provided by a removals expert for moving all your belongings. In reality, they are the only people in the world who actually like moving stuff from one house to another all the time. For most of us it is the stressful part of the process. We don’t look forward to it. The packing part and the moving part. There is always a general relief once all the boxes arrive at destination….glass of wine time ! If you have got the labels right, you will be able to find the wine glasses quickly too !
This article was written with the help of Fa PM de Wit
Thank you for all the great tips !
Phone number : 020 686 7440