Moving house can mean freedom, more room for the kids, new challenges or simply a chance to clear your head and start again.
Whether upsizing, downsizing, moving for work, schools or just been kicked out, the moving experience will be arrive quicker than you think.
Usually its one of fun and excitement however, can be equally one of dread. Upping for whatever reason means change. And humans are not partial to change.
Regardless, when the time comes the key to making it the smoothest transition possible is how you manage the process, all and sundry.
Working effectively, efficiently and with a positive attitude will reduces stress, and may allow you to enjoy the day.
How about that!
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
Its been said gazillions of times. And moving house is no exception.
I’ve composed a check list that’s benefitted me and others for many moves over many years.
My folks weren’t exactly nomadic but still moved about 5 times before I actually left home at 19 so had a good idea of everything entailed within a house move, physically, emotionally and logistically.
Not too long ago I helped a number of friends move; there were 3 moves in the 3 months.
Despite the best intentions and sketchy pre-planning I found myself scratching my head on numerous occasions.
Basic things, like organizing a van, or PACKING STUFF AND BEING READY TO MOVE ON THE DAY…grrrrr…or setting up mail redirection were shockingly and alarmingly missed from the ‘obvious’ do list.
I understand some people are, by nature, lastminute.com but when you are tasked with something as significant as moving, it really has to be a priority and executed well.
And its not just homes I’ve moved. We had to move the workshop twice so uprooting, making an inventory and decluttering is all part of the game.
The 7 simple pointers below should allow you to accomplish this mission using the inspiration, ergo the very best of Lord Vader’s discernible qualities: Calmness, effective leadership (forget any form of motivational carrot in this particular exercise), totally focused and not forgetting, being one hell of a pilot.
For one day, and one day only, put aside any slackness or procrastination and embrace the management traits of the dark father. You will complete the mission of moving with minimal fuss and without mucking about. Just look at that moon he supervised. Thats no moon….
After alls done & dusted you can become old Anakin Skywalker, patting your pals on the back, swig a few ales and tell tales of fun & laughter round the old campfire.
#1 Pick your dream team
Assembling a team for any activity takes a certain level of planning.
Moving home should be no different.
Your team selection may be limited but follow the rules below and all will go swimmingly.
Think Jim Phelps leafing through his book of elite specialists only to realize Barney’s called in sick and Willy’s been double booked somewhere in Mexico.
- Organise the team. They are your troops. Ensure they follow your lead and keep communicating.
- Remember, you are the one moving so people must be given direction.
- Allocate tasks to the crew. Pair them off. Specify jobs for the teams.
- Keep them motivated and importantly, well nourished.
- NO ALCOHOL. For obvious reasons and definitely not when driving around.
- Make sure everyone knows exactly where they need to be. Provide all the details – new address, parking situation at new house, the best route, potential road closures, etc,
- Get all the information prepared and passed on well in advance. And don’t assume your team will have prepared any of this. Take the lead and ensure you’ve got all the necessary details to share. (I know we live in a digital world but digital things die in crucial times of need). Make the operation tight and be efficient.
Communication is key.
#2 Time Management
Be military about this operation.
It has to be executed without faffing about. Create a schedule and stick to it.
Do a dummy run at the times you’ll be moving in the weeks leading up to the move.
Work out the efficiencies and have a proposed start-to-finish plan.
- You may have hired or borrowed a van or truck so maximize its use.
- Again, check for potential travel disruption, events, marathons, protests and what not – this may be on your route. Are there alternative routes?
- Does everyone have a sat nav or maps on their phone?
- Make sure your convoy can use the roads with minimal resistance.
- Ensure parking near your new home is accessible especially if using multiple cars to carry stuff.
- Check if parking permits are required.
Nothing worse than carrying full load then having to walk miles carrying heavy boxes, bags, bed frames, etc.
Your name will be cursed for failing to check this.
#3 Tools for the day
Flapping about, hunting for drills, allen keys, screwdrivers, spanners, etc is far from productive especially when people are waiting to load up and head out.
Actually, not having everything dismantled and ready to go is indeed, far worse and worthy of an unconditional slating.
Alleviate this potential swear fest by having the appropriate tools at your disposal, preferably fully charged and ready to work.
Read this useful tools checklist to avoid vases, books, car keys, boxes and other expletives being hurled across the room, and your name being mud, once again.
#4 Prepare Prepare Prepare
You’ve done the following haven’t you.
- contacted the relevant utility companies, banks, stores, doctors, your office, schools, family, etc with your new address.
- Told your neighbors, (both ends if possible) that there’ll be vehicles coming to pack/drop stuff off. Keep em sweet.
- Cancelled or rearranged appointments for that day/weekend.
- Ensured you’ve set up a redirection service for your mail.
- Booked the necessary time of work.
- Got standby’s – you never know who’ll bail out last minute.
- Keep your cell phone on hand and charged. The same for the team.
- Provide disposable gloves, bin bags, anti-bac wipes, marker pens, scotch tape, etc. You’ll need them.
- Have some cash on you. You may need to top up a parking meter or run to the local store. Not uncommon to lose your wallet in the move. Its been done, believe me (…looks around sheepishly)
DISMANTLE YOUR STUFF AND BE READY TO LOAD – I cannot overstate this enough.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve rocked up to houses only to find all their contents in the same place it was 6 months ago. I’m not kidding, I’ve been to a friends on moving day to find absolutely nothing boxed, bagged or anything, and then, to my gob-smacked horror, found everyone WATCHING TV as if nothing was happening that day. Good Grief!
You are moving so be moving.
Box it, Bag it. Label it. Prepare!
#5 Don’t forget The Kids
If you can, have someone look after the kids for the day.
Some of the older ones can be helpful and likely have better idea for finding things but on the whole its safer if the young ones are not around.
Surrounded by large, bulky items, people whizzing around with trolleys, bags, boxes, tools, etc is dangerous.
They can get lost in the mayhem or worse injured. Unless you have limited options and cannot remove them from the madness try and find someone who can dedicate themselves to keeping them amused and out of harms way. Or take it in turns to keep them occupied and safe.
#6 Be Ruthless
If you haven’t played that table foosball game, used that twice-tried-then-relegated-to-the-basement juicer nor worn your ‘favorite’ top for the last 2-3 years, get rid.
Give it away, chuck it away, donate it but DO NOT pack it. This stuff does not want to be facing the same fate in your new house.
Use this opportunity to clear out.
Travel light, clear your mind and let someone else enjoy your rubbish.
#7 Stay Focused
Listen, you can review the day with a few drinks and a couple of pizzas when all is said & done so keep socializing to a minimum whilst in the midst of moving.
Momentum is important. Conserve your strength and keep moving, quite literally. Accidents and incidents happen when the ball is dropped.
You are the go-to person. Stay focused, stay cool and listen, even if you’ve heard it all before and is utter nonsense.
Entertain suggestions but be decisive.
#8 Appreciation for a job well done!
Those who give up their time should be praised and rewarded for their hard work, dedication, patience with you and of course, friendship.
Keep the team motivated.
Remind them how grateful you are and promise this exercise will not happen again for a long, long time…!