In August this year we made a big move. To a bigger, better space from our old apartment home. Something we’d been planning on but what we didn’t plan/were prepared for was doing it amidst a pandemic. However, we didn’t have an option since our lease was up and if we didn’t move then, we couldn’t for another year and we didn’t want that.
We had finalized the new place a month before we were ready to move and then planned the rest accordingly. So, in this post, I’ll be sharing with you guys some tips/ideas based on our own experience that you can make use of if you’re planning to move houses anytime soon or even things that you can do generally to make moving easier especially when you have kids around, e-learning, work, keeping your sanity in check, etc. to manage as well.
First things first, do your research and choose Packers & Movers who are in the same page as you. This helps a lot since they understand your expectations (what to do with which package, how to handle them, how you are going to move bigger furniture etc.) and there are lesser disappointments.
In addition, do discuss the safety precautions they’ll be taking and do not forget to inform them about limiting the number of people who’d be coming in to help. Although having 4-5 people might help get things done faster, limit the number to 3 at most (including the truck driver).
A week or 10 days before the move date, ask them to deliver some empty cartons to you so that you can start packing some of the stuff yourself. Especially clothes, kitchen utensils, crockery and such that you can pack as you like. This also ensures lesser hands touching things, especially now. I wasn’t ready to wash 4 wardrobes of clothes just because it was touched by outsiders while packing. So I decided to do this. It also helped keep the kids engaged because I pretended I was only going to pack things they chose and let them decide what they wanted and what they didn’t.
Another reason I chose to do this was because I didn’t want my crockery and other fragile home stuff like photo frames, decor stuff being damaged in transit. So I bubble wrapped or packed them in between layers of clothes to my satisfaction and I’m happy to report all but one coffee mug reached the new place safely.
To calm my anxious, overworking mind I also decided I will add old newspapers, torn/old clothes we had as the bottom and top most layers on all these cartons so that we could just discard them when we unpack and the rest of the items would still remain relatively safe.
We decided we’ll reserve one room to store all the filled cartons. So that was the first room we unpacked completely. We dismantled all the small furniture and fittings in the room and made as much space as possible to store these boxes. If you have spare room/guest room or storage space big enough, feel free to use that.
Saving a few kids’ all-time favorite toys and books, we packed the rest. I engaged them in doing this as well, even though it took much longer, just so they were occupied and also to get them excited about the move (which wasn’t actually needed because they knew they were moving closer to their friends and were already excited enough).
Another thing to remember is to pack essentials for the next few days (clothes, underwear, toiletries, towels, medicines, a few pans/pots and microwave safe dishes, cutlery etc.) in suitcases that you can carry yourselves.
On the day of the move, I made sure the kids were with me in a room that wasn’t where all the work was going on. I left sanitizer, anti-bacterial wipes, disposable masks & gloves, tissue boxes and water bottles right near the door for the guys working to use as needed. The guys who came in to work had their masks on at all times.
We all wore masks too and limited their movement to a single room. Don’t forget to keep iPads/tablets and phones charged or have the charger handy and also download games that work offline as you may not have internet connection if you’ve chosen to surrender that the same day.
All the other things that were being used until that morning – stuff like the refrigerator, washing machine, pots and pans in the kitchen which needed packing was put together in another room so that they were all packed and nothing was missed.
The bigger furniture pieces were dismantled and loaded by the packers themselves as we couldn’t do much else about them.
I stayed back with the kids in the old house while my husband went with the movers to the new place to unload everything.
Once everything was unloaded, furniture assembled and they left, the kids and I went there. We had requested them to leave all the cartons in one room and that we would unpack them ourselves.
First off, we wiped clean all the furniture and fittings with a disinfectant and sanitized them. I steam cleaned the mattress, couch, sofa bed, curtains and the likes. We left the cartons untouched for a day (more so because we were exhausted). But if you do need to open any of the cartons, do not forget to disinfect them before use.
In addition to this, I also disinfected every cabinet and wardrobe before unpacking and arranging things. It was a time-consuming, tiring, tedious process but at least gave me the satisfaction of being thorough and with two curious kids around who touch and feel everything, I didn’t want to take chances.
Packing the essentials in our suitcase helped a whole lot and as it took a few days to unpack and get things up and running. And with that, I’ll end this post. I hope this was helpful to those of you who are looking to make a move. Do drop in a comment if you have any questions that you think I may be able to help you with. Please also share this with friends/family who may find this useful. Thank you and tata!