Needing to move house, especially with a family in tow, demands strategy and insight. Over five years and three relocations, I’ve honed a method to transform moving from a chore into an opportunity. It’s not just about shifting your belongings; it’s a chance to reassess, reorganize, and rejuvenate your lifestyle.
Opting to pack ourselves was a conscious decision. It wasn’t just about saving costs; it was an opportunity to declutter and donate. This approach turned our moving process into a cleansing ritual. We dedicated our evenings and weekends to this task, systematically sifting through our belongings. The result? We donated a significant amount and saved considerably on moving expenses.
- Resist the temptation to collect miscellaneous boxes. Uniform-sized boxes, particularly banker boxes (no tape required) and medium-sized boxes with handles, are your best bet. They stack neatly and are easier to manage.
- We used plastic storage bags for clothes, bedding, pillows, and children’s toys. These bags offer flexibility and protection and can double as cushioning for fragile items in the moving container.
- Avoid generic labeling. Be specific about the contents, especially items you might need to access quickly. Color-coded labels can be a great organizational tool.
- Embrace the Marie Kondo philosophy – if it doesn’t spark joy, let it go. Packing is the perfect time to evaluate what truly matters. Be generous with your donations.
Organizing a Relocation Service
After a friend’s unfortunate experience with a moving scam, we decided against using a moving broker or a full-service moving company. Instead, we opted for a POD (Portable On Demand Storage) system, already familiar to us from a previous move.
Why Choose a POD?
- With a POD, you don’t need to drive a rental truck. You pack it, and it’s transported to your new location. This convenience allows you to travel to your new home stress-free.
- In our experience, using a POD was the most economical choice for cross-country moving. The flexibility of having up to a week to pack also ensures thoroughness and reduces the rush.
- The direct POD system minimizes the risk of scams. You have control over the packing, and there’s transparency in the process.
Challenges with PODs
Despite their benefits, PODs aren’t without challenges. Here are some key considerations:
- Your belongings might shift during transit. Pack strategically, anticipating a rough journey. Protect and secure your items, especially furniture.
- Certain items, like plants, expensive electronics, and anything susceptible to extreme temperatures, are better off transported in your car.
- Be prepared for a possible delay in the POD’s arrival. Pack essentials in your car to tide you over.
Moving Hacks & Tips
- Include a comfort box for your first night. Pack essentials like snacks, toiletries, and a few comfort items like a favorite candle or blanket.
- Keep important documents like passports and urgent bills in a separate, easily accessible box.
- Fill every space in your boxes. Use clothes, towels, or other soft items to fill gaps and provide cushioning.
- Bundle clothes on hangers and cover them with inside-out garbage bags. This saves time and keeps your clothes clean and organized.
- Choose boxes with handles in various sizes. They’re easier to carry and can accommodate different types of items.
- Mark boxes containing items you’ll need immediately. Think about bedding, towels, personal care items, and essential kitchen appliances.
- Remember, moving is a major undertaking. Acknowledge your hard work and the effort you’ve put into organizing and packing.
Here’s a checklist to ensure you don’t miss anything crucial:
- Arrange for the connection of utilities and services like internet and lawn care at your new home well in advance.
- Choose a date to discontinue services at your old home, coordinating with new occupants for a smooth handover.
- Update your address with the United States Postal Service and on all essential accounts – think Amazon, banks, and monthly bills.
- Plan to have groceries delivered to your new home on moving day for convenience.
- Don’t forget to update the mailing address for your monthly subscriptions.
Top-Rated Packaging Materials for Movers
The right packing materials can make a world of difference. Here’s what I found most useful:
- Ideal for most belongings, ensuring they’re not too heavy to lift.
- Perfect for books and paperwork. They’re sturdy and don’t require tape, making them a top choice for ease of use.
- Great for clothes, bedding, and seasonal decorations. They protect and easily fit into moving spaces.
- Opt for color-coded labels to keep track of what’s where.
- A safer alternative to traditional blades, ensuring a smooth and injury-free packing experience.
Advice on Relocating Overseas
When moving with children and pets, preparation is crucial. Here are some tips:
- Be ready to make last-minute decisions about what to take in your car. Prioritize essential items.
- Map out your trip, considering the space in your new home and your moving van. It’s better to avoid moving items that you’ll end up giving away.
- Embrace the opportunity to refresh your belongings. If it doesn’t fit or suit your new space, let it go.
- Plan for immediate needs at your new home, like air mattresses and cleaning supplies.
- Create a welcoming environment on arrival. Small touches can make a big difference.
Helpful Hints for Relocating with Kids and Pets
Moving can be especially challenging for children and pets. Here’s how to make it easier:
- Allow your children to express their feelings about the move. Validate their emotions and give them time to adjust.
- Involve children in decisions for their new rooms. It helps build excitement about the move.
- Dive into enjoyable activities upon arrival. It helps kids adapt to the new environment.
- Pack a box with familiar and comforting items for your kids and pets to ease their transition.
Our Top Recommended Moving Companies
Based in Cape Town, Western Cape, Cape Removals is known for its excellent service, receiving a top rating from customers. They offer a wide range of moving services, appreciated for their superb communication and a highly competent team. This makes them a great choice for those who value efficient and effective moving solutions.
Wise Move provides a unique platform where you can easily get quotes from top-rated moving companies across South Africa. This online platform simplifies the process of finding local movers, offering a convenient way to compare prices and services. They cater to long-distance moving needs, ensuring that you find a service that aligns with your specific requirements.
Santa Fe Relocation
For those looking for a comprehensive relocation service, Santa Fe Relocation offers a full spectrum of options. This global firm manages both corporate and personal moves to South Africa, including services like home search, school search, moving services, and even pet relocation. Their wide range of services makes them ideal for those who need extensive support during their move.
Book My Move
Book My Move prides itself on being one of the most reputable moving companies in South Africa, particularly around Johannesburg. Their wide reach across the country ensures that they can cater to a variety of moving needs, making them a trustworthy choice for those seeking dependable moving services in the region.
Low-Cost Movers with Fixed Prices
For those conscious of their budget, there are movers in South Africa offering full packing services at low costs with fixed prices. These services are inclusive of all charges, including fuel and VAT, ensuring transparency and no hidden fees. Such movers are skilled in packing items of all sizes, from small ornaments to large furniture, making them an ideal choice for those seeking an economical yet reliable moving solution.
Moving, especially with a family, is a multifaceted challenge that requires careful planning, strategic packing, and a lot of patience. By following these tips, you can transform a potentially stressful experience into an opportunity for growth and a fresh start. Remember, every move is a step towards a new adventure in your life. Cherish the journey and the memories you’re creating along the way.