Keep on, keep on moving...

moved house this past Monday. It was my 21st move in the past ten years. Yep, that's right, 21. Count 'em and weep. I have. 

You'd think every move would get a bit easier, but it doesn't. Thankfully, this one went ok, and I am very, very happy to be firmly ensconced with my love in our new home [vomit]. While the moving part is still hard, I've adapted my strategy over the past decade to include some handy tips and tricks for making it run as smoothly as possible. You've probably heard most of these before, but in case you haven't... 

1. Be ruthless. 
Before you pack anything, really consider whether it should go with you at all. Is it functional? Does it still work? Will you use it? No, will you actually use it? Will it fit in your new home, physically and with the decor? Is it worth packing it, carrying it to the van, moving it, carrying it out of the van, unpacking it, probably washing it, and finding a new place for it to live? Really? Really really?? Ok, you can keep it. In it goes. 

2. Clothes 
This is a well-publicised one but I'm going to say it anyway. Leave 'em on the hangers. Tie a bin bag around them. And, here's the crucial bit - tie an elastic band or hair elastic around the hanger tops. Otherwise a few will fall down into the bag and fishing them out will be a pain. Leave what you can in drawers, and anything else goes in bin bags folded. There's no point wasting valuable box space on clothes, and it helps pad your van/car in the spaces where boxes don't fit. Plus it makes unpacking a breeze. 

3. Bedding. 
Again, bin bags are your friends. Put your duvet in a bin bag, ditto your pillows. Lots of people advocate putting clean bed linen in a dresser or in the top of a box so it's to hand but I say sling it in the bin bag that contains your duvet. That bag will be easily recognisable as it's big and squishy, and you won't lose your bed linen as it won't get separated from your duvet. And you're not going to bed without that, are you? 

4. Breakables. 
I'm going to be controversial here. Plenty of people will tell you to make sure you don't mix your boxes - only putting kitchen stuff with kitchen stuff, and living room stuff with living room stuff. I call bullshit. As long as you're only mixing on a floor-by-floor basis (so only stuff from the same floor of your new place goes in a box together), it's not exactly a hardship to walk between rooms when unpacking. My nightmare is a box full of kitchen breakables (glass against glass, anyone?), or a box full of books (waaaay too heavy to lift) and I'm too cheap to fork out for reams of bubble wrap to protect everything. So I do this: I space my breakables (vases, glassware, the obligatory bottle of champagne for when you get to the new place) with books. Lightens up the book box and protects your breakables. Badabing, badaboom. 

5. Mattress. 
Put a fitted sheet on each side. Preferably an old one you can chuck when you reach your destination. Genius. 

6. Don't pay a removal man. 
Yup, another controversial one. Ok, if you're moving an entire 4-bedroom house, and have kids, then I would probably advocate paying whatever money necessary to get someone else to do the hard work for you. But, if like us, you're a couple with a few bits of furniture and a willing friend, hire a van. The last time I moved with removal guys it cost almost £500 by the time we'd paid the hourly rate, their charge for boxes, VAT and all the other associated costs. This time? It cost us £39.95 van rental, and extra £9 for the collision damage waiver (yeah, we didn't need it but I get paranoid about those sorts of things), £6 fuel and some dinner for our willing helper. 

7. Take the next day off work. 
I failed here, and that's why we still haven't finished unpacking... 

I'm sure I've forgotten a tonne of other tactics I employ... What are your favourite tips for moving? 

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