Give yourself time to say goodbye to your old home. If you’ve lived there a long time it will have played host to many happy occasions. You may want to take one last photograph out front before leaving.
It’s important to keep the kids away from the movers while boxes are being carried around. Even well-meaning children who try to help will almost certainly get underfoot. Assign them tasks like checking every cupboard for anything that’s been left behind or give them a picnic lunch in the yard to keep them busy.
Boxes with important documents, jewellery, passports, and other valuables should stay with you. Make it clear to the moving company that they don’t need to deal with these and label them as such. Writing ‘Extremely expensive things’ on a box is never a good idea, so call them ‘Items wanted on the journey’. If you’re flying on the way to your new home, keep valuables in your hand luggage rather than letting them go in the cargo hold. Suitcases do get lost and most airlines only offer very limited compensation for missing luggage.
Having all boxes labelled in advance will help at the other end of the journey. Movers will be able to place each box in the right room quickly and simply. Sticky labels or paper tags should be attached to every piece of furniture for the same reason. You’ll all be tired when you get to your new home and being able to find what you need easily will make a big difference.
Put together a box with all the things you’ll need on the first night and on the first morning- a change of clothes for each member of the family, soap and towels, blankets and pillows, toothbrushes, and a favorite toy for each of the kids. That way you’ll only have to open one box on the first evening.
When the packing process is finished, double check all the necessary details with the movers- new address, cell phone numbers, when they’re expected to arrive and when you expect to get there yourself. Get a contact number so you can call them if necessary.
There are other phone numbers you’ll need in your new home too. The first things to find are the number for local police in your new area and the location of the nearest hospital, just in case of emergencies. Thanks to the internet you can collect these and note them down before leaving your old home.
Download a few takeout menus from restaurants that deliver to your new place too. The first day will probably be taken up with unpacking, arranging and rearranging furniture to suit the new rooms, and generally settling in. Having the phone number of someone who’ll bring you a good lunch will make the day much easier.