Moving is listed as one of the most stressful life events – after losing a loved one or your job. It involves many tasks and details, from finding a new home to a moving company, a new school for your children and doctors for the family, informing many parties of the change of address, etc.
And there’s the packing and unpacking that is not only physically demanding, even if you outsource it, but also emotionally draining as you worry about your belongings being misplaced or damaged, especially if they’re going to stay in storage for a while.
I’ve helped many families in Singapore organise their moves and I’ve consolidated a list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to packing, including valuable tips from my clients and followers, that I’m happy to share with you below. I hope they’ll give you some peace of mind if a move is on the table for you.
- Make plenty of lists – so you stay in control:
- What belongs to your current home and what to leave behind such as appliance manuals, aircon remotes, keys, etc.
- What you will need till the last minute in your current home
- What you will need for immediate use in your future home
- What will be air-shipped
- What you will hand carry e.g., important documents, jewellery, computers (or hard discs), etc.
- What will go into storage
- What you are planning to sell, donate or give away
- What you are OK to leave behind if space runs out in your shipment (make sure that is loaded last)
- If you can afford the space, have a dedicated room with different areas for each of the above categories. Lock the room and/or put a label on the door clearly stating, “NOT TO PACK”. Alternatively, clearly label each item with stickers of various colours depending on their category – to avoid things being mixed up and being packed when they shouldn’t
- If you already know where you will live, pack for the “unpack” i.e., based on the room the items will live in your future home and pack accordingly – to save time when unpacking
- Use cushions, blankets and towels to protect items from moving around – to prevent damage
- Use standing wardrobe hanger box for your hanging clothes – to save time and creases
- Remove batteries from toys, remotes etc. – to avoid the risk of leakage
- Pack clothes and bedlinen in vacuum bags – to prevent moist and save volume
- Add plenty of desiccant moisture absorption packs in boxes containing clothing, bedlinen, soft toys and leather (shoes and bags) – to prevent damage due to dampness
- Fill your (designer) handbags with acid-free tissue paper or clothes, put them inside their dustbag or wrapped them in clothes, towels or bedlinen – to protect their shape
- Use ziplock bags for:
- Lego sets – to avoid the risk of losing a critical part
- Toiletries, make-up (in particular nail polish and nail polish remover) and medicine coming in a liquid form, should you really need to keep them – in case of leakage
- Screws and hardware when disassembling furniture and stick it to the corresponding piece of furniture – to avoid the risk of losing a critical part
- Label each box on its 4 sides, indicating which room the box will go to and whether the box should be opened in priority – to save time when unpacking
- Don’t pack items that you longer need, use, or love, and that won’t find a home in your new home, including electrical appliances that have a different voltage than in your destination country – to save time and reduce moving fees
- Don’t mix things from different rooms in the same box – to save time and frustration when unpacking
- Don’t put precious items such as wedding photo albums on top of the box, or put something light and thick like a pillow or cushion on top of it – to make sure they don’t get damaged when opening the box
- Don’t pack items that come in a liquid form, especially if they have already been opened – to prevent the risk of leakage
- Don’t pack candles – they can melt
- Don’t pack valuables (important documents, vital records, jewellery, computers (or hard discs) but keep them in your carry-on luggage – in case they get lost or stolen
What else would you add to this list? Please comment below.
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