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A group of University students are moving into a shared flat. They are surrounded by boxes. One student is in a manual wheelchair.

Moving Day. It's not quite travelling, not quite a day out. Mospeople find moving stressful. Usually, the change coincides with a big life event. Like leaving home for the first time, going away to study, moving for work, or settling into a long-term relationship. Moving day can go as smooth as possible with a few "travel-ish"and "day-out"tips. Add a positive can-do attitude and hope for good weather.

Rather than a how-to-pack, here we focus on the big day.Whether you have professionals or are moving independentlythese tipscan help youshift to your new space.Pack these articles in your vehicle.Have themwherever you will spend the night.

Before the move, arrange a connection or billing of essential services—gas, water, electricity, internet and telephone. The last 3 are very important if you have a personal alarm or vital equipment. Update or contact mail redirection and support or education services. Have new supports in place if you are moving to a new area. 

Social stories can help children prepare before, during, and after the move.

Decide if you need support workers on hand or stand by. If you end up exhausted, they can be a great help. It might be to start the unpack, or even to make beds ready for you to collapse in at the end of the day.

Let's start with tips from travel. 

Overnight bag

Grab your overnight bag or suitcase. Pack it with changes of clothes, underwear, sleepwear, medication and toiletries. Add a towel, washer and hand towel. In packing your toiletries, add your toothpaste, brush, shampoo, conditioner and wash. If needed - shaving cream, razor, makeup or other toiletries, add them too. Remember to include toilet paper and hand soap as well so you can find them fast. Include anything essential for an overnighter, even if you are moving straight in. If a box goes missing, you have the immediate items on hand. 

Add clean bed linen and pillow, ready for a goonights rest. 

Add a first aid kitremembering to include hand sanitiser and face masks. You never know when you might need a band-aid or antiseptic cream.

And add day-out practicalities.

Pack a picnic 

If kitchen goods are still packed away, having a picnic set will make it easy. Add the kettle, a full thermos of hot water if the move is a fair distance, extra tea, coffee or milo and don't forget cereal or breakfast for the next day. Use an esky and ice bricks to keep milk and fridge essentials cool. Pack a sandwich lunch, snacks and easy dinner. Or, pre-plan to eat out (takeaway if you're likely to get a bit weary) or have a friend make and deliver a meal to you. If you are eating at home, plan an easy go-to meal that uses hardly any preparation equipment. Avoid sorting through boxes to find utensils or a pan. 

A picnic-style cheese board platter is always a winner in our house on moving day, happily eaten on a picnic rug with our hands, no plates or cutlery needed. Still fun if there is no lounge furniture or table in place. If you like, put on your favourite songs and make it memorable. Add a kitchen sponge, detergent and tea towel to the picnic set and hopefully, you can find a volunteer to wash up. 

And the general reminders.

Essentials and the practical 

These are the things you need quickly don't want to lose in the chaos. Like, charging cords. The best storage option I've seen is to put the phone storage cords in a spare sunglasses case and pop in your handbag or car glovebox. Tape loose cords to their appliances so they don't get mixed up. 

Garbage bag liners, toolkits, and a general-purpose cleaner and rag can all be useful. 

This article originally appeared in the January - February 2021 Newsletter.

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