Welcome, today I will write about moving local.

For those able to afford it, professional packers are the answer, but most of us have to do the job ourselves.

But a world of caution here.  Some insurance companies will not pay a claim unless you use professional packers.

No firm right or wrong way to pack.

But after around 15 moves in my lifetime, I think I have a few tips that may help.

Packing well is quite an art and it usually starts well before moving day. So, naturally the first things to pack would be items you will not need from now till you move in. As many as possible from all members of the family. Store these in the house, somewhere out of the way where you won’t keep tripping over them.


Before you start, make sure you have enough; bags, boxes or lockable plastic bins for what you intend to pack that day.

It could be wise to pack all breakable items first.  This will eliminate any chance of them being knocked over, while everyone is trying to move and pack the furniture and other items.

For breakable items, have brown sticky packing tape, scissors, bubble wrap, and a permanent black marker pen on hand.  Rather than stand all day, take a chair and bring the items that you will pack to one side of you, and the lockable plastic container on the other.   If you have a lot on similar size items cutting the bubble wrap before you start into several pieces will also save time.  Make sure you put the tape, marker pen and scissors in the same place every time, so you don’t spend half the day searching for something you just put down!

Once the container is full, mark on the top what it holds.

For non-breakable items use those bright coloured striped bags from the $2 shop.  They are strong, and with carry handles easy to transport, but remember not to put too much weight in the largest bags or they will be too heavy for most to carry.

Be careful not to pack things you need too early.

Packing all the dinner plates 3 days before you shift is not a smart move, unless takeaways are on the menu.

After packing everything that will not be needed until you move into your new home, put them in a spare corner of the house so you don’t keep tripping over them.

Give children their own rubbish bag  and send them packing into their room to throw away all their broken toys, torn books, jigsaws with half the pieces missing, cars with only 3 wheels. All the games with only half of what is needed, all the snack wrappers that have accumulated in their room, Why! They should be able to easily fill the bag.


Never pack good items into these, as too many times they are mistaken for rubbish and thrown out.

In theory, it would be great to do one room at a time. Totally pack it, but in reality, this cannot be done, and the last 2 days are probably the busiest.

Waking at the crack of dawn on moving day, after grabbing a hot drink and toast you need to pack a bag with all the items you will need to keep yourself sane for the epic task of moving to your new home and unpacking.

This bag will include tea, coffee, sugar, cups for all, teaspoon, 2 containers of long- life milk, the kettle,  snacks, and anything else you want to throw in.  Tie a bright-coloured ribbon to the handles of this bag so it can easily be identified when your goods arrive at their destination.

Pack another with all the family’s toilet gear including a couple of towels and toilet rolls, and in case you need it, some cleaning gear and cloths.   Tie another coloured ribbon on this.

Make your own decision how you are going to pack medications, over-the-counter cough syrups and all lotions and potions that have accumulated in your vanity draws and cupboard.

Now we need a third bag.  This will hold all PJs needed the first night,  and clothes for tomorrow for all.   Again, a different coloured ribbon for this as well. These 3 bags should see you though the first day and dressed for the second.

A tip here to save washing.  When throwing away unwanted clothes, everyone should keep just one set to wear on moving day.

Once you have moved all unwanted clothing worn on moving day,  can now be thrown out that night, and you have already organised your second day’s clothing in the third bag.

During the packing process there will be moments of tears anger and frustration so be prepared to face this when it happens.

You have vowed to be ruthless and not take anything you don’t want any more, but what if that includes something that someone else loves?  Where possible relent, but not too often, you need those rubbish bags filled with things you meant to throw away years ago, but be fair and if you go to throw something away knowing it is someone else’s treasure, even if it is the old stuffed toy with virtually no stuffing left, or just a sea shell they bought back from the beach, close your eyes and put it in the packing bag.

When packing all boxes, bags or plastic containers devise a system you can follow as to what each contains holds so you are not endlessly emptying one after another to find something.  They should be marked as to what they hold.    Either write it on cardboard and tie or stick it on the bag, box or container, or number each one and keep a notes book with numbers corresponding to the items in it, such as #4.  Joshua’s clothing,   #6 Tim’s toys, and so on.

Paying a carrier or trying to do it yourself.

This again depends on finances.  Obviously, the longer the trip, the more it will cost as a lot of carriers charge by the hour.

But whether you can do it yourself depends on several things.  How much have you got to move, is there a lot of heavy furniture and if so is there enough strapping males, (and females) to help, have your friends and family help with the smaller items, can you get enough transport big enough to take the furniture, how far is the move, can you start and move things over before settlement day if the house is empty?

Remember here again check with your new house insurance company to find out if you will be insured should anything happen until you move into the property.  You may not be insured if the house is unoccupied, so that may be a risk you might have to take or not.

A couple of years ago, I read an article of a lady who had shocking problems with her house insurance.

She was moving into an empty house.  Either she or the previous owners had left the power on at the stove. She piled 3 boxes on the top of the stove and drove back to collect more boxes. While she was away, the house caught on fire.   When she put one of the boxes down on the stovetop,  it switched on the element. Her insurance company claimed, the house was unoccupied as she had not actually yet moved in. They would not pay out, it took many months to reach a settlement so just be careful.

With your 3 bags of necessities marked  (perhaps with a one piece of bright red, yellow or blue ribbon tied on).  You should now be able to easily find the tea and coffee, plus everyone’s nightwear, clean clothes for tomorrow and toilet gear. Of course, the bright coloured large plastic bags holding the bed linen.

Dinner on moving day and even the day after would be easier from the local take away. There is usually a dairy close by, where you could pick up a few groceries. Just while you get settled in, first couple of days.

Under no circumstances, though, allow children to start opening bag after bag looking for something.  They tend to pile everything on the floor while looking for their favourite toy or tee shirt.  Give them the bag with their name on and send them into their new bedroom to put everything away.  Even younger children can do this.

One of the most time-wasting mistakes is letting too many people attempt to help.  They mean well but hinder.  All day, whether it’s packing or unpacking.  You get bombarded with  “what bag does this go in”  “where does this go” “where will I put this”, “who’s is this”. And on and on it goes, all the  questions that interrupt you time after time. Till you are ready to scream “just leave it, I’ll do it”.  Which sometimes is just what the younger helpers want to hear!

If it’s takeaways on the menu for the second, third or even fourth night, so be it.  You have been on the go for weeks, with the packing and unpacking. So, no one better suggests you drop everything, and now cook dinner!

Hope you have enjoyed reading our ‘TIPS AND TRICKS ON MOVING LOCAL’ and found it helpful.  It is written by the Referral company,  TopNotch Agents NZ and remember, we are here to answer any questions regarding any article written, or answer questions when you are ready to sell your property. All our referral services are free. Our phone number is 0800 355 655.   Till next time,  take care.