Moving home tips to make the process a little less crazy

Plan Plan Plan

A couple of months before your move, start getting rid of anything you will not be taking. Sell it, give it away, or throw it away.

Have pre-printed stickers or paper instruction sheets for each box, indicating where it should be placed in the new home, and broadly what is in the box. There is no need to list everything, but it is nice to know where the kettle and teacups are on arrival. I know this is very English, but you will be pleased to find them fast.


  • Box 1: Kitchen (glasses and tea cups)
  • Box 2: Dinning room (photos and games)
  • Box 3: Master bedroom (clothes)

I find that these labels work really well for boxes: Avery No.L7165

In the weeks leading up to the move, ensure kitchen equipment, linen and gardening equipment have all been cleaned. This is especially important if you will be storing items or shipping.

Moving tips

  • Linen/clothes: Wash, dry and fold with some facecloths inserted between that have a few drops of eucalyptus and lemon oil on them. It is a good idea if you have sheet-sets to fold and place the sets into the matching pillowcases. This will make it easier when unpacking. 
  • Fridge: Turn off and clean following the Gyre and Gymble method. If shipping or storing, let the fridge dry totally (1 day) then place rolls of new toilet paper in the fridge door compartments. Fill the door with as many as you can fit in. These will absorb any left over moisture, and will help keep your fridge from filling with mildew. You can also sprinkle the toilet rolls with lemon and eucalyptus oil.
  • Post and pans: Clean these very well taking off all oil and stuck burnt bits. A quick way is to put all your cooking pots and pans and utensils thought the dishwasher on a long cycle. But be sure not to put cast iron in the dishwasher, as it will rust. 
  • Food: If you are shipping or storing, do not pack food. But if your are moving in one day it is ok to pack food as long as you leave behind any open liquid items that might spill. Everything else can be wrapped up and packed for a short trip. Plastic boxes are best for this job. Don'r forget to buy some UHT milk for your cup of tea the other end.
  • Garden equipment: Wash off all dirt, grass and leaves.
  • TV/stereo: Label everything very carefully. Match coloured dots to cables and equipment so reassembly is easy. Ensure all of the cords from the one item end up in the same box. Put any loose or small bits into zip lock bags and label. The more carefully this is done, the more time you will save at the other end. If you are doing this yourself, it should be done a couple of days in advance of the truck arriving.
  • Books: Use small boxes, someone will have to carry these. It is also a good idea to give them a dust before they go into the box. No point taking mess with you.
  • Paintings: Dust frames and clean any glass. Place strong cardboard on the front of the item and cover with bubble wrap. Label which room they should be placed in on arrival.
  • Important documents: Passport, ID, and legal documents relating to the move should be kept with you at all times. Have one box or suitcase that these can be stored in. Do this well before the move.

Once you have arrived at your new home it is a good idea to give it a quick once-over. Vacuum the carpets especially where furniture will be placed. Also check cupboards are clean before you put your things in.

We hope the person who left has either done this or has had a professional cleaner in before you arrive. Sadly this does not always happen. But don’t worry too much, this can be done properly once you have moved in, and have recovered from the ordeal.  

Then it is just back to the normal upkeep of your new home.