Moving can be fun or painful, depending on what you're moving for and how quickly that you have to move. With lots of practice (I've moved more times than I'd like to admit!), I've become quite good at moving. I've done lots of small suburban city moves, as well as a couple of bigger inter-state move. My next move will likely be international.
The key to an easy move is the following :
1 - Plan in advance as far as you can.
If you even have an inkling you're going to move anywhere, start packing! Set a date to move six months out from your move (if you can), so you have oodles of time to enjoy the process. Set a budget for your move.
2 - Sort & redistribute early.
If there are any clothes/shoes/household items/furniture/old magazines/old technology that no longer brings you joy anymore, redistribute it.
Weekends and Public Holidays are great days for sorting through, and then within a few days of sorting out piles of stuff, redistribute those things to charities/friends/eBay/Gumtree/Facebook buy swap sell/marketplaces to get rid of it. The sooner you get rid of unwanted goods, the easier it will make the whole move (plus it will be cheaper).
3 - Pack.
Pack up the things that you know you want to keep but don't use on an everyday basis. As you pack, label the boxes. Go into as little or as much detail as you like. However, you'll find by putting details of what's on the boxes, the easier it will be when you want to find things easily after you move.
3 a - Label and number boxes/suitcases.
By numbering boxes, it makes it far easier to get a quote from a removalist (refer to next step). Note fragile on any precious objects. To maximise how compact you can make your boxes, use towels and linen and clothes you don't use much to keep your fragile goods intact.
Whilst you are packing and numbering your boxes, compile what you have and what it is worth (dollar value) into a spreadsheet (Google doc), so when your removal company asks you about what you have and what it is worth, you have a clear and easy list to give them. It also means that your insurance quote for your precious goods will be more accurate and will cost you less. This is why packing early saves you both time and money.
3 b - Allow for extra time for packing/sorting and redistributing
It always takes longer than you think, so allow for extra time. Clearing out old stuff can also be emotional. It's great to let go of things you don't need, so you can move onto the next phase in your life.
4 - Get quotes from removalists.
If you intend on using a removalist, get quotes a couple of months out before you intend to move. This will give you enough time to evaluate which companies best suit your needs.
In Melbourne, I used Man with a Van. They were excellent for smaller moves from suburb to suburb.
For interstate removals, I've used Grace Removals and was very impressed. I was concerned about some precious things and they were experts at getting it moved without damage.
5 - Confirm date for move
A couple of months before finalising your move date, sort out your accommodation, flights and anything else you may require at your next destination. Ensure that this is all sorted so that you can remain focused on finalising the last few things before you move (it always take longer than you think).
6 - Enjoy your move
Please comment below with your best moving experience.