Making it livible

Packing up and moving is not something most people look forward to but most of us have to do it at least once in our lifetimes. So I figured I’d share some of the things we did [and a few more we wish we did].

Firstly: use your time wisely and don’t wait till the last minute to move. Having time on your side makes everything seem less chaotic. Obviously this time we got ‘Clause 17’-ed so time was NOT on our side.

If we had had the time, we could have figured out where we were moving too and even which things would go where or at least which things we didn’t really want anymore.

If at all possible, get rid of the things you no longer want or think you won’t need in your new house. Think of moving as a good excuse to clean out your closet.

If you can create a mental or even physical picture of what you want your new home to look like, you can pack things in such a way that you unpack easily. Basically you can start by giving each room in your new house a letter or colour and then label every box or piece of equipment with that colour and a number so that you can track all of your things. The numbering system is also handy in the event of a box getting separated, since you won’t waist hours looking through all those boxes only to discover that what you’re looking for was actually in the box someone forgot to unload from the front seat of your car. Plus, if you have the time you can compile an inventory list of the items in each box allowing for easy access if needed.

Another advantage of the colour/letter system is the offloading. When you are moving as many items as we were you could get to the point where 15 people are offloading at any given time and if you have to stand there and direct each person and item individually to the correct location, it could take ages. With the colour system, they can go on without your guidance. Having everything you plan to put in that room already in the room, makes unpacking seem less daunting.

Staring at a few hundred boxes and way too many pieces of furniture doesn’t exactly scream: this will be fun! If you use the principle of divide and concur by taking one room at a time, at least you feel like you are making progress.

If you don’t know which rooms you want things to go into ahead of time, you can still use the same system except you label them by the rooms they were in in the old house.

Something useful but always possible is to pack up the entire house without moving any furniture or boxes out until it have been completely packed. The reason this is useful has to do with those little things in each room that are usually over looked or disregarded until you end up with 12 boxes of random things that you forgot to pack. It works out to about a box per room and usually includes things like your toothbrushes and the kettle and a few ornaments or your sunglasses and laptop and if you add these things together it could amount to a whole pick-up full of stuff. Stuff you could have found space for in your boxes if only you hadn’t already loaded them.

Oh and try to move your glass and mirrors either first or last, because anything in between is just asking for trouble. This is also when those curtains and blankets you found really hard to pack will come in handy. Once you get to your new house be sure to hang up your paintings, photos and mirrors as soon as you arrive because it is the human equivalent of marking out our territory and allows us to feel at home. Besides, if they are on the walls it means they are out of your way and at least you can say you completed one thing already.

If you are planning on living in the new house the same day you arrive, make one box of essentials. By essentials I do not just mean a spear set of clothes, I also mean silly things like toilet paper and soap along with a kettle and things to make coffee just the way you like it in your custom made mug. Keeping your own pillow handy will also help ensure that your first night is a good night. Keep these essentials with you on the front seat just to make sure it doesn’t accidently end up at the bottom of a random stack of boxes.

Once you have the furniture in each room arrange in a liveable manner and you can sit down with a cup of tea, it’s like the end is within reach. The house of chaos will finally start feeling like home and not an extreme challenge you just don’t have the energy to concur.

I know most of this seems obvious but sometimes under the pressure of moving you can’t always think ahead or you try to cut corners in the beginning not realising how much time it will cost you in the long run. Moving is a crazy business and I am seriously considering having only inflatable furniture in the future…

Till later,

AM

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