Tips for a stress free move

PUBLISHED 15 AUG 2017   

Moving house may be listed as one of life’s most stressful events, but with a little planning and preparation, it doesn’t have to be quite as bad as people make out.


Tony Clarke, managing director of the Rawson Property Group, shares his top tips on minimising ‘moving stress’ for a smoother, happier and more positive experience all round.

1. Pre-planning



- DIY vs professional movers

The first step for any move is to decide whether to go DIY or use professional movers.

“Doing a DIY move isn’t always the best or most cost-effective option, particularly if you’re moving a fair distance, and will need to make several trips. Do yourself a favour and get a few quotes from movers recommended by friends, family or neighbours. You may be surprised at how affordable a helping hand on moving day can be,” says Clarke.

If you do decide to book movers, Clarke suggests locking down a date as early as possible, as the best teams are often booked up months in advance.

“Mid-week and mid-month moves can be cheaper, so it’s worth investigating potential discounts if your dates aren’t set in stone. You can also enquire about professional packing services if you prefer to have everything taken care of for you on the day,” he says.

- Notify friends, family and work

Even if your move doesn’t fall on a weekday, taking some time off work before and after “D-day” can be a great idea, according to Clarke.

“The less external pressure you have around your moving time, the better, so if you have the option to take time off from work, it can be a real lifesaver pre- and post-move,” he says.

Clarke also recommends letting friends and family know when moving day is so that they can help out with things like babysitting and pet-sitting, or just send over a nice hot meal at the end of a long day.

2. Packing

- Source supplies

Collecting moving boxes can be as easy as making a trip to your local grocery store and asking nicely, but you can also buy brand-new cardboard moving boxes or even rent reusable plastic crates from specialist suppliers and moving companies.

“Don’t forget to stock up on bubble wrap, newsprint paper and packaging tape, and keep a good stock of big plastic bags for things like clothing and bedding as well,” says Clarke.

- Start early

Clarke’s number one tip for packing is to start as early as possible with non-essential items.

“The easiest thing to do is to pack room by room, and label each box with the name of its destination in your new house,” says Clarke. “This lets your movers put the boxes in the rooms where they’ll be unpacked, and saves you having to lug them around yourself.”

“Don’t put yourself in a situation where you have to pack an entire house in a few days. Starting weeks or months in advance gives you time to sort through your possessions, throw out or donate unwanted items, and methodically wrap and box up the rest, bit by bit, without having to stress.”

- Keep track

Keeping track of what’s in which box and where it needs to go is one of the trickier parts of packing. Getting it right, however, can mean the difference between order and chaos in your new home.

“The easiest thing to do is to pack room by room, and label each box with the name of its destination in your new house,” says Clarke. “This lets your movers put the boxes in the rooms where they’ll be unpacked, and saves you having to lug them around yourself.”

Clarke suggests numbering each box as well, to make it easy to check that nothing gets left behind. Put your labels on the sides, not the tops of the boxes so you can still read them when they’re stacked in a pile.

“Having a list of each box number and its basic contents also helps if you need to find something specific in a rush,” says Clarke.

3. Moving

- Day-before dos and don’ts

If you do decide to book movers, Clarke suggests locking down a date as early as possible, as the best teams are often booked up months in advance.


“Do defrost your fridge and freezer and empty the drain pipes and dirt traps on your dishwasher, washing machine and dryer. Also pack a ‘go bag’ with essentials for moving day, and put valuables or very fragile breakables in your own car the night before your move, if possible,” says Clarke.

“Don’t water your pot plants, as this will make them heavier to carry and more likely to drip or stain other items, and don’t leave unpacked boxes for anything more than the absolute last-minute essentials on the morning of your move.”

- On-the-day essentials

Clarke says homeowners should set aside a few essentials for moving day, including a change of clothes, basic toiletries, headache tablets and plenty of snacks and drinks.

“It’s also useful having a dustpan and brush, a few black bags, and some extra boxes and tape on hand,” says Clarke.

“If you can, send your kids and pets to friends or family to keep them safe and out the way on moving day. If that’s not possible, make sure you have some books, toys or games accessible to keep them occupied while you handle the move.”