Getting a New Apartment (II): Tips on How to Pack and to Move

Dear Alice,

Today I would like to continue our series concerning the tips and hints concerning getting a new apartment. After I somehow reveal to you the hidden secrets of mastering the perfect recipe for choosing a new apartment in Getting a New Apartment (I): Tips on How to Choose It, I would now like to continue our journey and to talk to you about the next steps required when getting a new apartment, and that is packing and physically moving to the new place.

Okay so we all know that feeling of excitement we all sense when something wonderful happens to us or when we have simply done something extremely good: having our birthday celebrated, enjoying a wonderful sunrise or sunset, helping someone in need, or in this case getting a new apartment. We have chosen the place, we decided to take it, so now that the construction is finalized (if it is a newly constructed place), or that the place is free, we are prepared for moving to the new place. So we must start packing.

Oh packing, I do have some flashbacks memories remembering some of those times when I had to pack: packing for going to the university, packing for going in holidays, packing for going on a business trip, etc. Yes packing is quite a regular visitor in my life. But still all of this packing does not compare itself with the packing that you have to do when moving to a new apartment. So here is my list of things to do when packing and moving to a new apartment:

  1. Start to pack at least 3-4 weeks in advance. This is a reasonable amount of time that would allow you to pack quite efficiently and without a lot of stress. Even if you are working or you have a busy schedule, starting to pack at least 3-4 weeks before the actual moving date will allow you to pack gradually, like maybe 3-4 hours per day in the evening after arriving at home. Also ask for any help if possible, either from your partner or your friends, this will accelerate the process.
  2. Get rid of all those things you do not use anymore in a balanced way. This one is quite tricky. When moving to a new apartment, you will have a lot of costs, so reusing anything you can is very important and helpful. So you should definitely do it! Still you have to reflect on what you really want to keep: objects or things that make no use anymore or that are simply damaged should not be brought in your new place. It is a waste. You should recycle the things you do not use anymore or that are damaged. Some better use will be thus found for them.
  3. Collect as many cartoons boxes and wrapping papers for glass objects as you can. You can collect cartoon boxes either from your friends or from the supermarkets in your area for free, or you can invest in buying your own cartoon boxes. They will be a good investment, plus Ikea has some really good cartoon boxes that are not very expensive, but they are definitely very resistant. For the wrapping papers I would suggest that you simply buy some 3-4 kg of such papers, if you have a lot of glasses and china (as in our case). It is important to pack all your glass objects safely, it is cheaper to invest in wrapping paper than to have to replace all of your destroyed glass things.
  4. Use trolleys and bags for packing your clothes. This one is quite practical, you can reuse the trolleys and the bags, plus you anyway have to transport them in the new apartment.  Still make sure to not store any liquids or food in the trolleys or in the bags, the chances to destroy them this way are quite high, I would say.
  5. Pack all the things in cartoons boxes based on categories. This will help you to find the things once you are in the new apartment and you are looking for certain things. It is definitely much easier to relocate your things this way. Trust me, I know. I am not sure how many times I was looking for certain things I could not find in those boxed, a small label would definitely help a lot.
  6. Pack all the food, and any eating products in bags. It is safer, and it is easier to transport them this way. Also you should transport all the food and the eating products at the end of your moving process, once the new refrigerator is up and running and once you have a storeroom at hand. This will ensure that you will not alternate any of the food.
  7. Mark the boxes by specifying at least: their content, and their location in the new apartment. This will come in handy when moving to the new apartment. This way the boxes will be placed according to the location noted on the boxes.
  8. Number the boxes so as to keep track of your things. This is common sense, so as to make sure that none of the boxes gets lost.
  9. If you need a place for storing the packed items until the apartment is finished, then rent a storage container. This comes in handy if you have to store the packed items in a dedicated place until the apartment is finished. There are a lot of companies who are renting storage containers nowadays, so do contact one of these companies in your area and make use of their services. From my own experience, this worked really well in Graz, we used such a company for storing some items in a storage container. The price is not high and the services are very good.
  10. When moving, ask for as much help as you need: your friends, your family, and any relatives that find the time to help you. Yes this is very helpful. The whole moving process will take some time as it is normal I would say. Still if you have enough people supporting you, this will not only make the process faster and shorter, but it will also make the process more fun and enjoyable.
  11. Do not forget to make a redirection of your post from your old address to your new address for at least 3-4 months.
  12. Change your main residence to the new location.
  13. Change the new address and communicate this to your bank, employer, health insurance company, client cards, etc.

I hope these suggestions will come in handy when you will have to move to a new place. So happy packing!
Sincerely yours,