Having rented 10 houses over the last 15 years, I consider myself somewhat experienced in the art of packing and moving.

Next week, I will move into my 11th home (hopefully, the final move for a long time – it’ll be the first house that my husband and I have bought and owned.)

As I’m totally focused on packing and cleaning at the moment, I thought it’d be fun to write a post drawing on my experiences to help others preparing to move.

So here are my top tips:

Six weeks to go!  Preparation is key:

To avoid chaos and late nights by leaving everything to the last minute, there’s work you can do in advance to make the move smooth.  I recommend doing the following tasks around six weeks before your moving date.

Take Inventory:

Take inventory of the food in your kitchen.  Create a meal plan and start eating the contents of your cupboards, fridge and freezer.  This will help you to use up what you have already and discourage you from buying new tins and packets that’ll add to your packing load.  While you’re taking inventory, throw away anything that’s out-of-date!

Deep Clean & Declutter:

I’d also advise you start deep cleaning the house six weeks before you move (you’ll thank me for this later).  Declutter drawers, clean behind cupboards and start organising paperwork.

Source Boxes & Start Packing:

I’ve found it increasingly difficult to source free boxes from supermarkets and shops, so that last few times we’ve moved I’ve purchased a pack from Amazon.  I really recommend doing this.

I also like using plastic storage boxes with lids, so I will purchase a few extras before moving if needed (you can usually find them in supermarkets and home goods stores).  Those large blue IKEA bags come in handy too.

In addition, I’ll get a couple of vacuum compression bags, they are wonderful for storing spare quilts, clothing and coats.

As you begin to gather bags and boxes, start packing away items that you can live without for a month or two (think summer clothes if it’s currently winter, sports and hobby gear etc).

Two weeks to go:

With around two weeks until your moving day, grab a duster and begin your final deep clean.  Start at the top of each room and work your way down.  Dust ceilings for cobwebs, clean the dust from light fittings and wipe the tops of cupboards.

Wash and dry any removable covers and cushions from your furniture, then pack them away until you move, so they’re fresh for the new house.

Use a “Magic Eraser” to remove scuff marks from walls and paintwork.  Washing up liquid and hot water will remove fingerprints from light switches and doors, while a good degreaser will clean the filters in cooker hoods and extractor fans.

I’d also recommend packing your clothing away into a suitcase (just save yourself a week’s worth of outfits and wash a load halfway through the two weeks).

One week to go:

As your moving day nears, carry on with your final clean.  Work room-by-room, cleaning and packing using the “clockwise” technique:

You always want to start from your door and work your way around the room in a clockwise manner, so you’ll start at the door and you’ll finish at the door.  And that way, you know that everything is done.

Melissa Maker, Clean My Space

I always work on a room-by-room basis and then “seal off” rooms that are finished, where possible (e.g. basement, spare room).  If this isn’t possible, aim to “seal off” sections of your home instead (e.g. one half of the kitchen, cupboard under the stairs).  Work methodically, until every room is done.

The night before the move:

The night before the delivery van comes, move as much as possible (boxes, bags, white goods, etc) to one room downstairs.  Remember to whip the hoover around to pick up any dust, as needed (you might not have time in the morning).

If the delivery men are coming early, dismantle bed frames and putting them downstairs with the rest of your packing (sleep on your mattress on the floor for one night).

Move any mattresses downstairs as soon as you wake up and you’re done!  Happy moving day!