As you approach moving day there is so much to think about that there is bound to be something you’ve overlooked. One item you don’t want to neglect is the all important issue of food. On your first night in your new home (and, just as important, your first morning) will you be able to find the food you need to celebrate the start of your new life, and to keep your family’s spirits high through the transition?
Plan and Communicate
The best way not to find yourself in a flat panic on moving day is to plan ahead. Waiting to the last minute is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Start thinking early about what you are going to need immediately before and after the move, and plan what you are going to do with everything else.
If you are using long distance movers, keep lines of communication open with them, so you are clear about what time (and which day) they are going to arrive, and what they will do. It is a good idea to keep your estate agent up to speed on every aspect of your move, and they will often be able to give good advice. If you are in the Cardiff area you would get a lot of friendly support from Taylors in Mermaid Quay.
Who Is Packing?
If you can afford the extra money to use the removal firm’s packing service, things are really much easier for you. Providing you have chosen a firm with a good reputation (world of mouth is usually the best judge), they will do an expert job of storming through your kitchen and packing everything the day before the move. Their contract terms will not normally accept liability for breakages of things you pack yourself, unless you can prove negligence.
Even so, you will want to set aside the things you need for breakfast and supper on moving day, and breakfast the next day. In plenty of time go through your cupboards and set aside items for your ‘UNPACK THIS FIRST’ box – enough plates, bowls, mugs, glasses and cutlery for everyone; a couple of saucepans and a frying pan; kettle; salt and pepper; tea, coffee, milk; and whatever ingredients you need to cook a couple of meals. Don’t forget to include something to celebrate with. Put all this in and take the box with you in the car – you don’t want to have to search for this one.
Packing Your Own Stuff?
The ‘unpack this first’ box still needs to be ready, but in addition you will be planning all the rest of the packing. Starting to assemble and organize at an early stage is the secret for the day.
Sort through all your cupboards and set aside those things which really ought to go out. There will be foods that are past their use-by date, and things you know you will never eat anyway. Either throw them out or set them by for a splurge on your last couple of meals before you move. You will discover pans and appliances that you had forgotten about in the back of cupboards – if you haven’t used them in the last couple of years, now is the time to chuck them.
Even if the removal guys are doing the heavy lifting, you will still have to do a lot of shifting of boxes when you arrive, so make sure the boxes are small. Put only a couple of heavy pans in each box, and fill the space up with lighter items.
Protect the Vulnerable
If your budget stretches to rolls of packing paper or bubble wrap, it will make your life much easier. If you want to save the money or dislike the waste, you will find packaging materials among your clothes, towels and bedding. If you come across a pack of paper plates, these can be used to go between your china plates. Newspaper also does the job, but it is mucky.
Kitchen appliances need to be taken apart as much as possible and the fragile bits wrapped separately. If they have movable parts that can’t be removed, they can be secured in place using clingfilm.
Enjoy the Move
Moving days are among the most exciting and the most stressful of most people’s lives. At the end of that day, if you can sit in your own kitchen, and prepare and eat (in relative comfort) a plate of your favorite comfort food, the excitement may just outweigh the stress.
Isobel Quinn has moving house down to a fine art. Growing up as an army brat she had lived in 9 houses by the time she was 16, and she hasn’t had a settled home life as an adult either! She shares her tips and tricks to keep calm, and sane, on moving day.