My Top Ten Tips for a Magical Move

6 days and approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes until we say, “Goodbye Sandton”, and “Hello Somerset East”.

Somerset. East.

Are we excited? Yes! Are we ready? Not so much.

So how does one ready oneself for a move of this scale? You make a list. Or several lists for that matter. Luckily I am a lover of lists and a keen organiser of things. I am a self-proclaimed list nerd who loves compiling and especially checking off lists. My lists have lists! So if you ever find yourself facing a move of this scale – or even just a good old ‘next suburb over’ type move – and you have no idea where to start then you’ve come to the right place! I have compiled a couple of lists (of course) with tips and tricks for a stress free move:


First you need to create a plan of attack. Create a basic timeline by starting at the end of your journey (moving day) and work your way backwards, highlighting all the major tasks you’ll need to complete to get to the first bullet point. For example:

  • 27 Jan: Moving day
  • 26 Jan: Packing deadline
  • 25 Jan: Take Liquorice and Bubblegum to the vet for checkups
  • 23 Jan: Final goodbyes to friends and family
  • 13 Jan: Start packing
  • 8 Jan: Book moving van and stopover accommodation
  • 11 Dec: Get comparative moving quotes
  • 4 Dec: Find accommodation in Somerset East

Once you have an overview of the important dates you can start slotting in subtasks for each task, i.e. buying packing materials, planning a farewell, arranging collection of keys etc.

My Top Ten Packing Tips

Here are my top ten tips for a magical move:

  1. Invest in good quality packing materials. It’s better to spend a bit of money on sturdy boxes, strong wrapping paper and decent packing tape than having to fork out more money to replace broken and damaged items. We bought our packing goodies from Boxman. They sell Home Mover Kits for 2 and 3 bedroom homes – and they’ll deliver if you order online!
  2. Clear out the clutter. This will seriously help to reduce your load. Weight = money, so the less weight you have to move, the less money you’ll be spending (basic Unicornomics). Get rid of any unwanted or unused items – sell, regift, or give to your local church or to a charity.
  3. Start packing at least two weeks before your move. Take it one room at a time and pack your everyday items – like your kettle, crockery and cutlery – last.
  4. Fill your boxes to capacity by packing as much as you can into each box – less room to manoeuvre means less damage. If necessary, use newspaper or bubble wrap to fill empty spaces and make sure the top of the box doesn’t cave in (or bulge) when closed.
  5. Pack your dishes vertically (like records) to prevent it from cracking and breaking. And here’s a nifty trick: Slip paper plates in-between your real plates. You’ll only need one pack, and bonus: You can use the paper plates in your new home to save yourself from having to do dishes on the first night! 😉
  6. Pack heavy items, like books, in small boxes and lighter items in larger boxes – this will keep the weight of each box at a manageable level.
  7. Colour code boxes instead of just labelling them – it’s easier (and much more fun!) to sort boxes by colour. For example, use yellow stickers for the main bedroom, blue stickers for the study, etc. You can use stickers, tape or markers to colour code your boxes.
  8. Place your pillows, linen and sofa cushions in large garbage bags instead of boxes to use as extra padding between heavy items.
  9. Pack an ‘open first’ box with items you know you’ll need straight away when you arrive at your new home, like a kettle and cups, snacks, utensils, toiletries, toilet paper, towels and some cleaning supplies. Ask the van foreman to load this box last so it can be offloaded first – alternatively if there’s space, take this box with you in your car. Think of it as a ‘welcome home’ care package.
  10. Last but not least, protect your memories! If it’s irreplaceable, take it with you in your car.

Moving Cheat Sheet

A few tricks we learnt along the way..

  • Shop around. Always get comparative quotes. And don’t be shy to let moving companies know what your best offer is – more often than not they will drop their prices in order to retain your business.
  • If you’re relocating, get an estimated time of arrival from the moving company. Our new hometown is a 9 hour drive away however the truck will only get there a day later, so we will need to stop over along the way (we found the most adorable self-catering cottage in Clarens, which technically isn’t ‘on the way’ but it’s gorgeous and it’s Clarens so what’s another hour on the road between lovers..? 😉 – I’ll post about it soon!).
  • Once you’ve taken down your framed photos or art at your old place, fill the holes by scrubbing a plain white bar of soap across the holes until they magically disappear!
  • Moving mid-month and mid-week is generally cheaper than moving at the beginning and at the end of the month or week. Ask moving companies about their special ‘out of season’ rates.
  • If you live in a complex, ask your body corporate about truck access. Our complex for example only allows access to 2,5 ton trucks, so we had to organise a shuttle service to shuttle our furniture from our apartment to the street. If we didn’t ask about this we wouldn’t have known and there would have been real unicorn tears on the day. REAL ONES.

There you go! Unicorn Moving 101. Easy as glitter pie.

I’ll let you know how it all went from the other side – my next hello will be from Somerset East!

K bye.


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