It’s that time again… I’m moving house on Monday! It has been just under a year since I’ve had to pack up all my things and haul them across a city. I may have more clothes, a few more pieces of furniture and some extra dust clinging to everything but, things are relatively unchanged. In a few days, I will be moving into a second floor apartment in a house with my brilliant roommate from second year. The apartment is so lovely with giant windows and even some old wooden flooring. It’s a bit pricey but, that’s what you get living in a big city like Toronto. We snagged a deal though, all things considered.
In the past few years of moving around every 8 to 12 months, I’ve learned a few things about packing and moving house. For you and for me, here are some tips:
- Try to take anything that doesn’t fit nicely into a box to your new place beforehand. This will make your big move-in day much easier because you won’t be fiddling around with the guitar or skateboard that didn’t need to be boxed.
- Always have a large garbage bag sitting in a main area for you to throw out anything that you don’t need or want. Trust me, this will be just as important as making sure you have everything you own. You will inevitably find garbage around the house.
- Make sure you leave enough time to fill in any holes in the walls from screws or to repaint if necessary. This is especially important for renters because you need to leave the place just as you received it.
- Clearly label every single box you fill. Each box should have the room it belongs in and what is contained inside. i.e. Michelle’s bdrm, DVDs.
- Always have plenty of packing tape, scissors and Sharpies on hand. If people are helping you pack, you’ll need more than one set of scissors and markers, etc.
- Get door stoppers if you can. They will make your life a hundred times easier when you’re carrying boxes in and out.
- Set aside your outfits for the next few days and pack the rest away. You know what you need and don’t need in the next three days.
- Try to do as much of your laundry as possible before your move. It’s so much nicer to have clean clothes that you can immediately put away when unpacking rather than dirty clothes.
- Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off. You most likely won’t be taking them off as you go in and out of your new place anyway but, just in case you want to, at least it will be easy. (Avoid shoes like Converse that have laces so you don’t have to put down the box to get out of them).
- On the topic of shoes, if you still have the shoe boxes, awesome! Shoes are pretty light so stacking the boxes and carrying more than in and out of your places will be easy. Otherwise, toss them all in a durable garbage bag.
- For clothing that is on a hanger, put them in a large garbage bag with the hanger heads sticking out the open end. Tie the garbage bag around the hanger heads. Throw them in the back of your vehicle and presto! You get to your new place and rip off the garbage bags with no need to re-hang it all.
- For clothing in a chest of drawers, throw them all in garbage bags. Clothes are malleable and so are garbage bags. You’ll be able to squish them in empty corners and crevices of your vehicle. If you’re a stickler for keeping everything folded, use suitcases. They roll and have easy-carry handles. Also, don’t forget that more clothes will fit in your suitcase if it is all rolled!
- Kitchens are the worst nightmare. If you’re stacking plates, use disposable plates in between them to prevent breakage. Newspapers or flyers work perfectly well for glassware. If your cutlery is in a tray, use packing tape over the entire tray like a lid. That way you won’t have to unpack it all and put it back in it’s tray. If you have anything special that you’re worried about breaking, stick it in between some of your rolled clothing.
- If you have anything in drawer sets on wheels or won’t be too heavy or cumbersome to lift while still holding their contents, take your packing tape and tape the drawers shut. No need to pack it all up if it’s already in a movable container.
- Any furniture that can be disassembled should be done the night before. Make sure you keep all the bolts and screws in a Ziploc baggie that is clearly labelled. You might also want to put the instruction manual in the baggie, too. (This includes beds. You can suffer for one night sleeping on your mattress on the floor).
- Reminder: internet, phone and cable companies require 30 days notice for cancellation. If you’re renting and you pay your own hydro or other expenses, ensure that your landlord stops redirecting the company to your bank accounts after your lease is up.
So there you go! Most of these things will already be on the internet but, it’s useful nonetheless. As I’m moving out on Monday and my lease isn’t up until Thursday, I’ve got some time to move everything out then come back to do my final clean-up. I’m pretty excited to be moving but, I also know Monday is going to be hectic beyond belief. We’re moving my roommate, myself and my sister out all in one day so there will be a lot of traveling and running up and down stairs. To anyone else who is moving in the next few weeks, happy moving!
One final note: if you are recruiting friends or even family to help you move, make sure you treat them to dinner later. Nobody likes someone who asks for help without giving something back, even if it’s just pizza and beer.