Moving to a new place is often a stressful experience and certainly everyone deserves a well-earned rest when the move is complete. Nothing can be more frustrating than thinking you can finally sit back and settle down, only to discover some items are damaged or missing.
However, with some careful planning and preparations, you can eliminate this source of stress and really put your feet up to enjoy your new home.
Draw up an Inventory. This is the most tedious part, but you’ll be grateful you did it. When packing your things into a box, make a list of the items inside each box. If you do not have time to list down all items, prioritise the ones that are important to you or will be needed at the new house. File these lists in a safe and accessible place. During the unpacking process, you can refer to the lists to check them off. This will be especially handy if your box contains a jumble of different things.
Number and label your boxes / storage. The labels need not be a detailed list of items (that’s what the inventory is for) but should reflect the general contents. For example: “Kitchen utensils and cutlery”. “Mum’s books”. Make a list of all your boxes. This will serve as a very important reference for you to check if any box has gone missing in the process of moving.
Pack items that belong in the same place / room together. You can unpack your boxes according to rooms later, which will make the process much easier. Furthermore, if your mover is kind enough to help you move items where you want them to be, you will be able to tell them very quickly just by looking at the labels on the boxes.
Label boxes with fragile items as such so that movers can handle it accordingly. Heavy items should be placed at the bottom below lighter, more fragile items. If it is not possible to discern the top / bottom of a box, “This way up” labels will help solve the problem.
Pad your fragile items with bubblewrap or cloth items such as clothing, curtains and towels. Using cloth items that you’re going to pack anyway helps to save space and time. Just make sure you are not subjecting your items to any form of damage. Don’t forget to inventorise them so you don’t spend hours fretting over “missing” clothing in your box of porcelain cups.
Pad empty spaces with filler items such as crushed paper, air packets and bubblewrap. Cloth items can once again come in handy. This is to prevent breakable items from rolling around spaces, bumping into other things and possibly breaking as a result.
Do not over-pack boxes with heavy items. The boxes may break. Consider placing heavy items, like books, in smaller boxes to avoid the risk of over-packing. It will make the moving process easier and more efficient for the movers.
Do not pack valuables like your money and jewellery. You should take care of these items yourself. If you have a safe box, empty it before handing it over to the mover.
Do not expect all movers to be able to dismantle and reassemble your bulky furniture. Some movers may offer pre mium services, but being movers, their main job is to move your things. Save everyone’s time by dismantling the item yourself, but before that, photograph the set-up so you have a visual reference when reassembling it.
Read contracts carefully and clarify all doubts before engaging a mover. Some companies may not have a clause for compensating for damaged items.
No time to unpack right away? Then you might want to pack a suitcase containing some essentials like toiletries and a few changes of clothes to last you for a few days so you don’t have to live like a hobo or spend on things you already have. The suitcase should also contain some first aid items as well as tools for unpacking like cutter and scissors.
Packing for a move is tedious and daunting, but it also presents a good opportunity to de-clutter and generate awareness of items you already possess. The end-result is a neat and organised house, which is liberating and rewarding. The challenge is of course, to maintain this sense of tidiness for as long as possible.
If you are looking to dispose your furniture, Town Council offers removal service (up to 3 items each time, per month) to all HDB households. Visit our website at www.btptc.org.sg for our terms and condition, and arrange for an appointment.
– This article first appeared in a lifestyle magazine.