The Ultimate Moving Day Toolbox

The essentials you need to get those first jobs nailed

The big day is here. You’re finally moving into the property that has occupied most of your waking thoughts for months and sometimes years.

Consider yourself a master planner and reckon you’ve covered every eventuality? Good. If only we all had your confidence. But, sure as night follows day, there will be unforeseen circumstances at either end of the journey that will test your patience to its limits on a day where tensions are already running high.

That’s why the moving maestros at Smoove Move want to help you shrug off moving day mishaps, delivery disasters and upping-sticks upsets by arming yourself to face any eventuality.

When the movers leave, it’s going to be down to you and nobody else. But don’t worry, there’s a select group of tools and essentials you can take that make short work of those unexpected problems. Tick these off your list and make sure you’re ready to fix anything from minor electrical problems to leaking taps, at least until you can find a local professional to get things sorted.

Absolutely, definitely, positively the thing to put right at the top of your moving day toolkit. There are many tales of movers arriving at their new home only to find the outgoing occupants have taken all the light bulbs with them. If there’s a problem with the fuse box, you’ll need to locate it and chances are it will be in a cellar or dark recess. Plus, the water stopcock is usually located in a dark, hidden alcove. Make sure you have a working torch and replacement batteries, preferably a head torch so you can keep your hands free when carrying out fiddly tasks like finding trip switches on the fuse box, or climbing ladders to the loft.

Craft Knife
You know those boxes you so carefully sealed with metres of tape to keep your prized and possessions safe and sound on their arduous journey? They’re going to need opening. And to prevent broken nails and other injuries resulting from using completely the wrong implement (bread knife, nail scissors, claw hammer…) only one tool is right for the job; the trusty craft knife. They’re cheap enough to buy a few so everyone can help, and will get through even the toughest tape or cardboard in seconds. Even better, if you manage to blunt the blade a quick snap and you’re back in business, sharper than ever.

When cuts get complicated, put down your craft knife and pick up the scissors. Things like cable ties (that you’ve used to hold like…er…cable together) and packing tape that’s hard to access can be dealt with quickly and safely with a sharp pair of scissors. Partner with their slightly more technical cousin the wire cutter and there’s nothing stopping you.

Electric screwdriver
If you’re assembling furniture like beds or wardrobes, this is a must. For around £20, you can buy an electric screwdriver with Allen and hex key heads that will save you hours of hassle and also save your wrists from RSI. They’re essential to help with anything from assembling flat pack furniture to putting up curtain rails. Some can even be used for drilling to help with tasks such as hanging pictures. And don’t forget, a good night’s rest will be top of your list so if your bed’s been dismantled, this is what you’ll need to reconstruct it fast. Just don’t forget the charger.

Tape measure
The humble tape measure certainly goes the extra mile to help with many different jobs before, after and even during the move. It’s always better to find out a large or bulky item of furniture is too big to squeeze through that door or round that corner before it gets stuck. And guestimating just doesn’t measure up when a few millimetres can mean the difference between smooth transition and scratched paintwork.  

Not really a tool, but something you should always keep in your moving day toolbox. Take a selection of 3, 5 and 13 amp fuses for plugs in case any of your appliances have blown, or the ones that have been left need them. The last thing you want to be doing at 9pm in a new neighbourhood is running around looking for a place to buy fuses.

Bolts and fittings
Again, not technically tools but worth keeping in the same place. Keep specific screws, bolts and fittings (and instructions if you still have them) from anything you have dismantled. These can be put into sealed bags and clearly labelled for each piece of furniture. Put these bags in your toolbox, or attach them to dismantled furniture with tape.

Gaffer tape
Gaffer tape is an amazingly versatile item that can do everything from stopping leaks to keeping wing mirrors on your hire van. When it comes to quick fixes, it’s the boss of them all. Perhaps that’s why it’s called gaffer. It’s strong, durable and adhesive enough to temporarily bond virtually any surfaces together and the more you use, the stronger it gets. You don’t even need scissors to cut the stuff…your teeth will normally get things started and a quick rip is all it takes to finish the job. We love gaffer tape. Equally as much as we love its opposite number…

…the yin to gaffer tape’s yang. Whereas the grey sticky tape’s sole purpose is to prevent things moving, WD40 does the exact opposite by getting things shifting that are stuck fast. Think seized bolts, locks, window latches that may need some encouragement, particularly if your new des res has been standing empty for a while. It’s also brilliant at silencing squeaky hinges and even creaky beds and floorboards.   

Spirit level
Don’t trust your eye. The good old spirit level is your friend and argument-settler and essential for making sure your framed ‘home sweet home’ sampler hangs true on the wall. Haven’t got one? Fear not. Download a digital one from the App Store or Google Play and you’ll always be on the level.

Knife and fork
Finally, two implements you’ll be grateful are in your toolbox when the shifting’s done and you’re settling in for your first evening in your new home. Chances are your best cutlery will be buried somewhere in a box marked ‘kitchen’. Don’t leave it to chance. Pack some emergency cutlery and job’s a good one for that first well-earned takeaway.