Avoiding moving day madness

20 March 2017 | By

What a hectic weekend – finally moved to the new house and I consider it a success!

We made it to our new house with all our things, no significant breakages, nobody killed anyone else in the madness, and we’re finally able to call this place home! Here are the top 5 things we managed to get right amongst the craziness:

1. Rent/borrow appropriate transport

We don’t really have a lot of furniture, because we were just borrowing most of it while living with the in-laws. For that reason we hired a Kennards 3 tonne truck thinking there’d be loads of extra space. Wow did we underestimate how much we had though! Unfortunately didn’t get to snap a photo of how it looked inside (I wasn’t doing any of the carrying there so was staying clear out of the way), but from afar I could see we somehow managed to fill it quite substantially.

It’s much better to hire something bigger than what you think you need, just in case. Had we only gotten a smaller moving truck, we probably would’ve had to hire another one the following weekend (splitting up the move we wanted to do in one go) or stress over stacking things in a probably unsafe way!

The other thing to keep in mind when hiring transport is the moving will almost always take longer than anticipated… While I had originally hoped to only hire the truck for a day (which required return to be by 1pm), we were still at the new house unloading things up until at least 6pm! Luckily had already set it for a 2 day hire (even though it cost more) so we weren’t super stressed about needing to return it earlier.

Life With Isabelle | Avoiding moving day madness - hire appropriate transportImage source

2. Collect free cardboard boxes from early on

Sure, you can buy cardboard packing boxes for $4+ per box. But why spend that when you can get them for free! Places like Bunnings have plenty of boxes available to take (if you arrive early enough in the morning otherwise they go fairly quickly) or your local supermarket/homewares store probably have spare ones lying around too. Also, the sooner you start collecting the boxes, the sooner you can hopefully start packing.

Life With Isabelle | Avoiding moving day madness - collect cardboard boxes in advance

3. Organise the connection of essential services before the day

It’s very likely that you’ll want running water (anyone want to use the bathroom, wash your hands or do some cleaning?) and electricity (quick, connect the fridge!), so organise in advance that these services and utilities will be available. Even more so when evening hits and you’d rather not be moving things around by candlelight!

Life With Isabelle | Avoiding moving day madness - organise essential services before the day

4. Pack a separate “essentials” bag or box

There’s going to be a variety of things you’ll want frequent and easy access to throughout the day. By keeping these separate, you’ll always know where they are and can have the peace of mind they won’t get accidentally lost in other boxes or left behind!

Some of the things I included in mine were:

  • Keys
  • Phone
  • Phone charger
  • Drink bottle
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Spare garbage bags
  • Paper towels roll
  • Mortein can
  • Stanley knife, scissors, tape and permanent markers (for the last minute packing/labelling!)

Life With Isabelle | Avoiding moving day madness - prepare a separate essentials box

5. Get all the help available

If you’ve got family or friends available and willing to help you with the big move, take up the offer! Particularly if you’re not moving too many really large pieces of furniture or delicate items into awkward spaces, you can definitely get by without having to hire removalists.

But make sure you treat all the movers/helpers with drinks and food! It’s tiring work and particularly if friends or family are taking the time out to help you for free, the least you can do is keep them energised and hydrated. Even if you’ve hired professional removalists, definitely offer them a cool drink because it’s not easy work lugging around all your furniture and boxes of who-knows-what. You owe them big-time!

Life With Isabelle | Avoiding moving day madness - feed your family and friends!

My #1 DO NOT DO… leave the majority of the packing for the last minute

Unless you’re suddenly being evicted or are given a particularly short window of notice before having to leave your current residence, chances are you have at least 2 or more weeks before the planned moving date. Want some moving day chaos? Get started with packing at any time during this period, but leave most things for the night before, or even better, the day itself! Direct from personal experience, I (unintentionally) tried and tested this, and as I should’ve expected it definitely added some unwanted craziness to moving day!

Anyone else have dos or don’ts for moving day? Horror tales or success stories? Tell me about them in the comments below!

Isabelle xx

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  1. We recently moved into a house. And guess what, we did not have so much to pack. It only took us 3 hours, and we didn’t. The only thing that I didn’t like was unpacking. It took time trying to figure out where to have what and so on. I’m not done with the unpacking. I only made sure that kitchen and my closet was ready for use that evening, else I would have spent so much time looking for cooking stuff or what clothes and shoes to wear.

    Enjoy your new place.


  2. My husband and I chose to stay in the home we live in and co-own with my parents and I’m sort of happy I won’t have to go through moving craziness. Although now we’re going to go through reno craziness lol.

  3. Just can’t wake up that morning and decide it is time to pack which I know some people who have done that and it drives me nuts. Plan way ahead and start packing. Pizza is a must for moving day.

  4. this was such a good post would of come in handy a couple months ago, I will def come back to this when I move again next yea.

  5. I always wonder how moving feels. I haven’t tried it yet. But I am sure movers get tied up. Don’t forget to forward your mail too! Better yet, have the your address changed on the merchants’ end if you have subscriptions!

  6. These are great suggestions, and a much needed reminder since I will probably be moving soon. Another suggestion I would add to your essentials box is cleaning items. Sometimes you need to clean the new space before you start moving things in, and it’s nice to be able to find those items right away. I would recommend lots of cleaning rags, some general cleaning concentrate, and a broom, mop, and vacuum easily accessible.

  7. These are such great tips! I’ve moved A LOT in the last 12 years (think at least 1 new apartment every year and major moves every 2-3 yrs). I swear, I’m always just stashing as many boxes as I can in the closets for the inevitable next move. LOL

  8. Oh i am so glad your move is over. After moving to many countries, I totally get what you mean. Pack a separate “essentials” bag or box is really crucial..I will remember this very useful tips.

  9. I actually filmed a VIDEO about moving in with my husband a month ago – moving with him was “easy” because he is so down to earth and calm about everything. Gosh, I love that man. I also hired a moving company that legit did EVERYTHING so that made everything easier too!

  10. I’ve never had to move home but I can imagine it is one of the most stressful things you can do!! Seems like you’ve got all the boxes ticked though and planning definitely helped!

  11. These are wonderful tips. Packing and unpacking can be very exhausting exercise. But if planned well, we can sail through them smoothly

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