So you’ve found a new home and the time has come to pack up your life and transport it to your new digs. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Pack an overnight bag
Put all your essentials in it. Face wash, toner, moisturiser, hairbrush, hair ties, clothes, wash rag, etc. You’ll probably be too tired after a day of packing and unpacking to look for all of these things in different places. Remember to put your various chargers (phone, laptop, iPod) in there too.

Use clear bins
Not for all your things. That would be far too expensive, and where would you put your unmentionables? Just pack the things you’ll need immediately when you get to your new place, such as toilet rolls, paper towels, cleaning products and black bags. They’ll make it easier for those things you need on hand quickly, and a break from the sea of brown boxes will be good for your sanity.

Unpack by room
This makes unpacking much more manageable. Deal with one room at a time. Also, when packing your boxes, remember to label them with which room they need to go into. Colour coding is also a great idea. Assign a colour for each room to save even more time. Pink for the bathroom, blue for the kitchen, and green for the living room. This way, you can just pop the boxes into the right rooms and pack them out later.

Take pictures
If you have lots of electronics, take pictures of where and how the wires belong so that you don’t get frustrated when trying to hook up your TV after a long day of moving. Also, if you’re renting, take pictures of your new home before you move in, especially any ugly spots like cracks in the wall or that scuff mark by the fridge so that when you move out, you have proof that you didn’t break or damage the place in any way so getting your deposit back shouldn’t be such a hassle.

Don’t drink the night before
Nothing’s worse than having to move heavy boxes, and deal with movers while hung-over.

Keep a set of bedding separate
And make your bed immediately. Once you’ve decided that you’re done for the day, you won’t feel like going to hunt around for a sheet and your pillows never mind make your actual bed.

Call in favours
If someone has a bakkie and trailer, or lots of friends with cars, get them to help you. Call in all your favours. Many hands make light work after all.

Get the best price
Get quotes from lots of different movers, but read the fine print and make sure they have insurance in case they break anything that belongs to you. They are not responsible, however, if you packed your own belongings poorly.

Sort everything
If you’ve borrowed anything from anyone, give it back to them – you don’t want to haul all that extra stuff. Also, this is a great time to sort through all your things and decide what you want to keep, throw away or donate.  If you have friends who are helping you move, let them get first pick of the things you no longer need/want, it’ll make them feel appreciated.

Defrost your freezer
Make sure you do this well before you have to move. You don’t want a wet sticky mess. Living off peanut butter sandwiches for 2 days isn’t as bad as cleaning up that horrible mess or dealing with that yucky smell. Also, don’t lay the fridge on its back. You might damage the coils and motor. Remember to let the fridge stand for a bit before plugging it in again so that the fluids inside can settle.

Pack smartly
If you have suitcases, use them to pack clothes, plates, etc. Pack fragile items in between items of clothing so they won’t get damaged in the move. Just make sure you tell whoever is helping you that there are plates in there too.

Think ahead
Change your address and shop for your last batch of groceries about 2 weeks before you move. We all know it sometimes takes ages for certain places to get your change of address right, and buying groceries that long before you move means you’ll probably finish the perishable items before you have to defrost your freezer.

Get a baby sitter
If you have little ones who aren’t big enough to pack a few of their own boxes and know to stay out of the way of the movers, then get a sitter. Preferably a family member, like an aunt or grandparent, that they’re comfortable around, or someone who looks after them often. We recommend this for children, but no one says you don’t have to get a sitter for your partner too.