Things to do before moving houses

By Tarun Singh.

Moving houses can be an arduous task to the extent of becoming a nightmare. Many a times I hear from my clients, “if only someone who had done it before could have been there by my side”. When I recently moved house, I realised many situations can easily be avoided, if only there is a checklist to refer to. So here I am, writing down my own learnings added to the experience of friends and family, so that when you find yourself in my shoes you can follow the Boy Scouts Motto: “Be Prepared”. 

PLAN EXTENSIVELY

When you plan, write it down and keep it simple. Account for the weather, traffic jams, emotional neighbours, and errant truck drivers, but also remember that you cannot prepare for everything.

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Pro tip: Throw a “moving away” party a day or so before you leave. This should help you clear out the fridge and near-empty wine bottles! As well as prepare you and the neighbours for the forthcoming ordeal.

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Think of yourself as a General with an army on the march. If your mother-in-law doesn’t think you are paranoid, you haven’t planned enough!

BREAK IT DOWN

Try and spread the entire process across multiple days instead of trying to accomplish everything in one day. For example, pack the living and dining areas on day one, pack bedrooms on day two and split the packing of the kitchen into two: non-essentials go into the boxes first (e.g. appliances you do not use every day); leave the essentials like the gas stove for packing at the very end.

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Pro tip: Break the task down to small events. Call them milestones. Imagine if your favourite restaurant served you a seven course meal all at once!? Same logic!

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CALL THE PROFESSIONALS

Attempting to “pack and move” by arranging the packaging and transport on your own is like trying to recreate the soufflé you had at the French restaurant. Call the professionals and be sure to call the “A-Team”. Any money you save in moving, will quickly go down the drain (sometimes, even tears!) in broken screens, spilt whisky or ripped teddy bears.

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Pro tip: Get insured for the expensive stuff. For all the planning and preparation, there is still the chance of breakage/spoilage. Rest assured with Marine (Transit) Insurance.

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STUFF YOU WON'T USE

Moving houses can be an emotionally moving time as well. This is especially true when long lost items are “rediscovered”. After you shed a tear reminiscing about your daughter’s first days after rediscovering her first blanket, be sure to donate or re-use old items like toys, books, stationery, woolen garments, etc.

There will be things that you do not use anymore, or those that you couldn’t be bothered to fix but would otherwise work well enough. Your maid, security guard, cook or driver would be glad to take home the room heater you upgraded from. All the stuff you donate (or “upcycle”), will save your moving costs now and real estate costs in the future.

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Pro-Tip: Purge your storage areas of anything you haven’t used over the last two years, at least a week before moving.

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Moving houses is not just about preparation. There is much more to be done during and right after. In my future blog posts, I will bring you things to remember on the day you move, and just before checking in to your new home. See you soon!




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Almost every Indian’s first choice of a second home is in London. More so today, with ample political and economic conditions adding to the emotional connect of many decades. Here’s answering some of the ‘whats’, ‘whys’ and ‘whens’.
Read more on Colliers India blog.

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