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Moving is always a stressful time. Having your entire home uprooted and packed away in boxes is stressful enough, and worrying about safely moving and unpacking just adds to it all. Whether you’re moving across town or all the way to the Sunshine Coast in Australia, the stress is still the same. Here are a few tips to keep things in order and make your move much easier.


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1. Put together a list. It helps to have a notebook or a computer document you can use to record your items. Number every box and record everything you put in it, so if you need to find anything quickly, you know where it is. The more specific your list is, the easier it will be to locate everything later.

2. Keep a surplus of supplies. You’ll probably need more boxes than you think, even if you saved all the boxes you had when you moved into your current home. Chances are you’ve obtained more stuff since you moved in, and it will take more to move it out. Make sure you have markers for labelling, tape for sealing and plenty of cleaning supplies.

3. Get the right boxes. Office supply stores sell moving boxes that work for most of your stuff, but it’s easier to pack clothing away in special wardrobe boxes. Clothing, bedding and other large fabric items fit well in these kinds of boxes. If you need help estimating how many you need, trained removalists can often help.

If you’re using wardrobe boxes, it’s best to get organized early. Clothing you never use can be packed away first. Pack away anything out of season. Feel free to sort through for things you can donate instead of move, as it will lessen the load.

4. Take advantage of colours  Designate a colour for each room in your house — green for kitchen, red for bedroom, blue for bathroom and so forth. Mark each box with both the box number from step one and the colour you choose. That way you can easily decide which boxes are unpacked into which rooms without needing to consult your master list.

5. When your removalists are packing your truck, keep everything together. Make sure that all the blue boxes are in the same place, and all the red boxes are packed together, and so on. This makes sure that when it’s time to unpack, everything is kept together and your boxes don’t get mixed up into the wrong rooms.

6. Pack early and pack often. The more work you have done before moving day, the easier it will be to move out. Pack away your non-essentials first. If you start early enough, you also have an excellent opportunity to pare down your belongings. If you have items you never use or never unpacked since you moved in last time, you might consider donating or selling them before you pack them away.

7. Keep your cleaning supplies together. A survival kit of cleaning supplies will help you do last-second cleaning in the house you’re leaving, and it will help you clean up the new home you’re moving into before you unpack.

8. Take advantage of any luggage you own. Duffel bags, suitcases and garment bags are all decent ways to pack and store your clothing and items before you leave, and they’re much more recognizable when you need to find certain items quickly.

9. Keep your valuables safe. Anything that’s valuable and important to you, keep packed separately. This can include a prized collection, your set of silverware, family antiques, electronics and jewelry. If you can’t keep these valuables in a secure place in your car, hide them away in nondescript boxes. Never label a box “valuables” unless it’s a decoy and contains nothing of value at all. If possible, you might also want to get insurance on your valuables in the event of a loss.

10. Keep track of your important documents. Birth certificates, moving estimates, important contact numbers, closing papers and any other documents you need to safeguard should all be kept somewhere secure. Keep them in a briefcase on hand, or in a special box in your car. Never leave these documents with the movers or in the moving truck.

11. Use personal boxes for each person. Gather a few bright plastic totes and give one to each member of the household. These boxes are for anything they’ll want immediately upon moving in, whether it’s toiletries, electronics or bedding.

Keeping these tips in mind will help you keep your move as quick and painless as possible. Preparation and preemptive packing will save a lot of stress and hassle in the long run.