When it comes to the moving (one of the most physically and emotionally stressful events in our lives), preparation is critical to success. A job that seems overwhelming and daunting becomes manageable with the right tools at hand. This is certainly the case with moving house.
Don't make the mistake many people do of scrambling at the last minute to hire a moving company, pull friends together, scour the retail community for boxes and wind up losing or breaking something because you didn't have your act together.
Consider instead taking the time to gather the right tools and supplies to get the job done properly. You'll save yourself time, money, and a little sanity in the long run.
Our best tips for finding the tools of the moving trade:
1. A moving company is your number one tool. We've all moved ourselves at one point or another and recall the exhaustion at the end of the day when all we want to do is find the box where the toothbrush is packed. Save yourself time and money – yes money – and hire professionals. Oftentimes we underestimate the costs of moving on our own: the rush that can result in breakage, injury, or loss of items; the refreshments and dinner for friendly helpers; the time this job carves out of your day!
2. Boxes. You can choose to rent plastic boxes, purchase specialty moving boxes, or collect from local stores. Whatever you do, consider what box will best suit your needs. We strongly suggest investing in quality moving boxes that are made to house your specialty items, including: wardrobe boxes for clothes; dish packs for china and picture frames; and various size boxes to carry appropriate sizes and weights of your packed items. Most boxes these days are environmentally friendly in that they can be re-used again and again. If you move often, getting professional moving boxes that can be easily stored and re-used makes the most sense.
3. Packing materials. Next to knowing how to pack your fragile items properly, knowing what packing materials to have on hand is very important. You want packing paper for wrapping breakable items. Do not use newspaper as the ink will necessitate further washing of your items. You want bubble wrap for protecting your fragile pieces. You want styrofoam pieces for providing extra padding in boxes that contain treasured items. Scotch tape for securing wrapped items is another necessity, as is a tape gun with tape for closing up moving boxes. Finally, you'll need some quality, thick-tipped black felt pens for labelling boxes. All of these items are available by recommendation from your mover, or at a local moving supplies shop.
4. Furniture pads and straps. These are a necessity for protecting your valuable furniture pieces. In a moving van, items can move around easily and should be properly wrapped and secured with straps. If you are moving on your own, search your community listings for places where these items can be rented. If you are hiring a moving company, they should be able to provide these, as well as shrink-wrap, and do all the work for you!
5. Dolly. A dolly will make lighter work of your job. Again, a moving company can take care of the moving for you, but if you venture out on your own, please take the time to have this essential tool for moving heavy furniture.
6. Support. A great support system of family and friends is an essential tool to any successful move. They can help pack, unpack, and organize, making the entire moving transition a better one. You can give your kids a special assignment to unpack and set up their rooms or let your mother-in-law put your dishes where she thinks they should go. Scandalized? Don't be. We're in the moving business. Trust us. You'll need the help (and you can always make small changes later!).