It is understandable that many people put off doing anything about moving house until right at the last minute. However, this seemingly massive task can be simplified with a little careful planning beforehand.
The key to a successful move is to start planning early. Break the tasks down into small 'digestible' pieces, by assigning them to a timeframe:
If it fits in your car, take it yourself. You can save a few dollars 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 weekends 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 for the moving day.
- Sketch a floorplan 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 spoiling during the move.
- Clean out the clutter. Perhaps hold a garage sale or donate items to charity.
- Start developing a list of all who will need to be told of your new address. As you receive mail, check the sender and see if they should be added to the list of people to inform. This will include friends, relatives, banks, any subscriptions or catalogues and etc.
Six weeks before the move
- Discuss the moving details with your mover, including costs and insurance cover. Collect as many packing boxes as the moving company is willing to provide.
- If you are moving yourself, start collecting boxes. Alternately you can 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 organising your move, but also as a record of your assets for insurance purposes.
- Arrange for the transfer of your children's school records to their new school.
- Send out furniture and/or drapes, etc. to be cleaned.
- Start notifying others of your forthcoming change of 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/change of address notice and photocopy it for dictribution?
- Fill in a form at the post office to have your mail redirected. You should elect to have your mail forwarded to your new address for at least two months following your move.
Four weeks before the move
- If you need to organise storage, do this now.
- Using your inventory list, start organising 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 specialise in the safe transport of pets.
- Arrange for final readings of your services, e.g. water, electricity, gas and telephone, to be performed just prior to your move. Also organise for these services to be connected in your new home prior to your arrival (if not already connected).
- 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 places should this be necessary. Alternatively, borrow two mobile phones if you don't have them.
- If you are going to need temporary accommodation near either address, make the necessary hotel bookings.
Three weeks before the move
- Gather together all the packing materials you will need. This will include:
- Packing Tape
- Bubble Wrap
- Styrofoam 'beads'
- Old Newspapers
- Utility Knife
- Packing String
- 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 sufficient funds to your banks in Thailand.
- Cancel all deliveries, e.g. newspapers, milk and etc.
- 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 Us the council where you are going to live to find out about garbage pick-up, local regulations and other pertinent information.
One week before the move
- Return all library books and rented videos. Also, don't forget to collect any dry-cleaning, shoe repairs or lay-bys.
- If necessary, arrange a babysitter for the day of the move.
- Arrange for new locks to be installed at the house you are moving in to.
- Defrost your refrigerator and freezer.
- Finalise all packing. Number each box and take notes on their contents. Also, keep items from different rooms in different boxes.
- Keep in mind that heavier items deserve smaller boxes.
- Mark any items that should be handled with care - attach 'Fragile' stickers to these.
- Pack bags of clothing and toiletries to take with you rather than send with the mover.
- Have the carpet steam cleaned (if applicable).
- 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, bandaids, 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 it's next inhabitants.
- 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 inhabitants.