Moving to a new home can be one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. There is so much to take into consideration and plan for, the journey to your new home, the time required, the cost involved and the effect the move will have on your family and pet(s).
It can seem overwhelming and we often forget the biggest obstacle to moving home, difficult to move items. Without proper planning, the difficulty of moving certain items has a tendency to hide deep in our minds until the last possible moment (moving day usually).
There are several factors which increase the difficulty of moving your belongings and must be included when planning your move, these are:
- Survivability – Living things such as plants and pets often require additional consideration to ensure they survive the move.
- Fragility – Fragile items such as glassware, electronics and crockery should be packed and labelled correctly.
- Heavy/oddly shaped items – plan the order of the removal of furniture and heavy appliances in advance, taking into consideration narrow doorways, stairs, tight corners and any other obstacles which may hinder the removal process.
- Special requirements – some items, such as pistols and rifles, require a permit to own and must be registered. Any paperwork or permissions that are required should be completed well in advance of your moving date.
With this guide and one of our moving checklists, you can plan properly and make your moving day as stress-free as possible.
Plants are notorious for being difficult to move due to how fragile and sensitive to changes in temperature they are, but with adequate preparation, you can increase the odds of your plants surviving the move.
For house and potted plants,
- Repot in plastic plant pots to reduce the weight,
- Remove any dead leaves and make sure there are no pests lingering on the plant,
- Water your plants lightly on the morning of your move and let the soil dry out during the day,
- Pack them in individual cardboard boxes or place dividers between plants if packing several in one box. It is advisable to fill the box with packing peanuts or another lightweight packing material to stop the plants moving around while travelling,
- Make holes in the boxes so your plants can breathe,
- Unpack your plants as soon as you arrive at your new property and place them in an area with an abundance of natural light.
- If you brought the heavier terracotta pots with you, wait for at least 2 weeks before replanting them from the plastic pots.
For garden plants,
- Plants which have grown and established themselves outdoors are even more fragile and are not likely to survive being moved.
- If there are plants from your garden you would like to bring with you, make a cutting a few weeks before your move and allow the cutting to grow in a plastic plant pot.
- Keep in mind that most removal companies will not transport plants, so double check with your chosen company in advance or be prepared to transport your plants yourself.
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Our little furry, scaly or feathered friends are just as affected by moving home as we are. Cats and dogs, in particular, can experience high levels of stress and confusion when it comes to moving to a new home.
Cats and dogs
Cats and dogs are very sensitive to changes in their environments and do not have the luxury of knowing that you will be with them at the new property. Try to keep them at the old property for as long as possible on moving day so that they are not left alone in an unfamiliar place for long periods of time.
Also, keep in mind that they don’t understand what is happening and may be frightened or nervous so be kind, patient and understanding towards them.
Fish are extremely delicate and do not survive home moves in most cases, which is why many guides recommend gifting your fish and fish tank to someone nearby.
However, if you are careful you can take your little underwater friends with you. The first thing you should do is prepare an appropriate container for the fish, put some of the water from the fish tank in the container with the fish so that the specific bacteria colony is maintained.
If you have live plants in the tank, place the plants in a container with some of the water from the tank. After this, you can drain the tank and carefully store the water filter and any decorations.
As mentioned before, fish are very delicate so be prepared for a few fish casualties when you arrive at your new home.
For terrariums containing reptiles, insects or amphibians the method of preparing them is essentially the same as with aquariums. The main difference is that you need to make sure that containers holding the creatures are secure and there is no possibility of escape. If a fish escapes its container it can’t really cause any trouble, but if your snake or tarantula escapes it could cause quite an uproar.
Your feathery buddy is quite easy to move compared to other pets as it can stay in its own cage, make sure to line the bottom of the cage with newspaper, plenty of seeds and some juicy fruit (since the water bottle will be removed), secure the cage door with some cable ties and then cover the cage with a lightweight cloth.
Do you remember trying to get your sofa into your home? The frustration and arguments about the best way to get it through the doorway?
Well imagine that but the other way around. It doesn’t have to be that way though, prior to your moving date plan how you are going to remove large or heavy objects by measuring door frames, hallways, corners and staircases.
If you are going to hire a professional removal service, make them aware of large items and any obstacles such as narrow door frames, tight corners or staircases.
If any of your furniture can be dismantled it is best to do so, just make sure you keep all fittings and screws in a sealed bag and attach it to the relevant piece of furniture. If your furniture cannot be dismantled, empty all drawers and cabinets to reduce the weight and plan the route through your home for the removal.
The difficulty in moving kitchen appliances such as a washing machine, dishwasher, fridge-freezer, comes from the weight more than the shape. When preparing for your move make sure all of your large appliances are emptied of their contents, don’t forget to either remove the internal shelves and drawers or secure them in place with strong tape, and are drained of all water.
If you use a professional removal service they will ensure that your appliances are secure in the van so that they don’t slide around and get damaged. If you will move everything yourself, buy some bungee cords or rope so that you can secure them.
Pianos are heavy and the internals are easily damaged while being moved, the best course of action when moving a piano is to hire a company which has experience or specialises in piano removals.
But if you must move it yourself, you will need a trolley, strong straps and a van with a tail lift. Once it is loaded into the van you must make sure that there is no chance of the piano moving during the journey to the new property, with the weight of a piano it will damage anything it collides with in the back of a van.
We all own fragile items and, of course, want to bring them with us when moving house but there is not much point in bringing them if they arrive broken into several pieces. Take extra care when packing fragile items and clearly label all boxes that are holding delicate items.
Bubble-wrap. Bubble-wrap will be your best friend when packing glassware and china as it will protect your belongings from all but the most violent movements. If you don’t have enough in your budget to buy rolls of bubble-wrap then you can use newspaper, if you are using newspaper there is no such thing as using too much.
Regardless of what packing material you use, first wrap each item individually and then fill in the empty spaces in the box with more material so that the contents are not constantly knocking against one another.
Artwork and art collections are generally amongst the most valuable items during a home move, again bubble-wrap is your best friend.
First tape cardboard to the front and back of the frame to protect the glass and the backboard, following this wrap the entire thing in bubble wrap and place in a large box with an obscene amount of packing material. When it comes to highly valuable items it is better to be safe than sorry.
If you still have the original packaging with the polystyrene supports, it is best to the original – there is a reason manufacturer’s package their products this way. But if you threw away the original packaging, wrap your electronics in..can you guess?..bubble-wrap!
Find a suitable cardboard box and fill in the empty spaces around your equipment with more packing material to ensure your expensive electronics arrive in one piece.
If you have a home gym or a large collection of tools, these should be packed in sturdy boxes or crates as the used boxes from your local supermarket will likely fall apart as soon as you try to lift them. Sturdy removal crates can usually be rented from removal and storage companies on a daily basis.
When preparing to pack your gym equipment, read the instruction manual carefully and dismantle each item according to the directions. Try to spread the weight evenly across all of the boxes or crates so that you, or your removal team, don’t have to attempt lifting a 200+ Kg box of weights.
Just like with gym equipment, the weight of hand and power tools quickly adds up. Try to spread the weight evenly and make sure to drain any fuel from tools which are not powered by electricity.
Ownership of some items requires specific permits, such as firearms and ammunition, and must be registered with the relevant authorities. It is vital that all paperwork and permissions are arranged well in advance of your move to ensure that you are not breaking the law.
In most cases, pistols and rifles have hard cases designed for secure storage and transport if you have such cases be sure to use them and follow all guidelines given by the authorities in regards to transporting firearms and ammunition. Most removal companies will not transport dangerous items so be prepared to transport them yourself or make an alternative arrangement.
So there we have it, 13 of the most challenging items to move to a new property and advice on how to make moving them easier. As with most things in life, you can reduce the stress associated with moving house by having a good plan in place and preparing adequately.
Don’t forget to check out our downloadable packing and moving checklists to help you with the planning, and you can always contact us for a quote to have the Fantastic Removals team perform the move on your behalf!
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