Moving house can be a very stressful experience. There’s the packing, the bubble wrapping, and all of those nervous phone calls waiting to see if the contracts have been signed. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions! What makes it more stressful however, is if you are not prepared.
Good planning and preparation can help eliminate anxiety and can even allow you to enjoy the excitement of moving home. Sadly, there are some things you just can’t know until you’ve done them – afterall, there is no moving house simulator to practise on first! So with that in mind, here is a checklist of things we know from experience will help you stay organised and avoid last minute panics:
Organise the logistics
Whether you’re hiring a van and doing the move yourself, or hiring in the professionals, being organised in absolutely key to avoiding moving day stress. Have as much packed, wrapped and labelled in advance as possible. Enlist as much help from friends and family as you can and be sure to buy plenty of boxes and packing tape; there is nothing more stress-inducing than realising you don’t have anywhere near enough boxes late at night when the shops are closed, the night before a move.
Hire in services before you move
Discover the options for broadband, television, phone and utilities service providers before you move and book in connection as early as possible.
If you have choices, ask around for recommendations. It is possible that the company that offered great service in your old residence does not have the best infrastructure in your new area. It can also be the case that the company you currently have your mobile phone contract with, do not have very good coverage in your new location in which case you may need to swap contracts or order a signal boost box from your provider. Either way, if it requires someone to come out to your property, then make sure you have a date for your internet, telephone and TV connection as there can sometimes be long waiting lists and you don’t want to be left unconnected and unable to work, communicate or keep up with your favourite TV show!
Unsubscribe from local services
You will need to unsubscribe from supplies and subscriptions and find out how to sign up for the new ones in your new locality. Luckily, in an afternoon of calls, you can pretty much have everything sorted. Write a list of everything you need to unsubscribe from, have all your details to hand and work your way through the list. Then relax.
From bank papers, passports, deeds, family books, medical records, means of payment, documentation of vehicles, invoices, diplomas and professional or domestic certificates; Collect together every bit of paperwork that you do not wish to lose sight of during the move and put them altogether in one folder. Then keep this folder with you at all times during the move – or hand it to someone you trust for safe keeping. Whatever you do, do not put them in a moving box that could potentially go missing or get lost. Even if nothing does happen to them, not knowing where they are is another reason to feel stressed, so take the cause of the stress away now.
Do not you leave anything behind
Sounds like Moving Houses 101, right? I mean, who plans to leave anything behind? Well, that’s the point; no-one plans to leave anything behind but you’d be amazed by how many people forget about *that* cupboard, *that* box in the attic, or *that* secret hiding place and only remember it when it’s too late to go back in.
Go through every room, every cupboard, every cubby hole, nook and cranny before you leave and check that you’re not leaving anything behind as an unintended moving-in present for the new tenants.
Choose the time of your move well
Know the times to avoid. Plan your move time around morning rush hours, school runs, and workday ends. You do not want to end up stuck in traffic and potentially having to pay your removal firm another day’s fees, or worse, unable to pick up your new home keys because the agent has closed up and gone home by the time you get there. Survey the quickest and safest routes to get your new home and take note of the best time to move.
Get rid of everything you no longer like or do not want. It does not make any sense to take unnecessary junk. The space it occupies in the truck is money you could be saving for a start. Start by emptying storage spaces you have at home, for example, everything you keep under the bed or in secondary cabinets. If you haven’t used it in the past year and it isn’t valuable, then ask yourself if you should really be taking it with you?
If you want to be super organised and have a sparklingly clean home to move into, hire a cleaning agency to prepare your house before you get there. That way you won’t be having to clean the insides of cupboards before putting everything away.
As early as possible, start packing everything you do not need in the interim. Packing the first boxes well in advance will help relax you and make you feel like everything is under control. Try to keep the boxes small. If they are very large, do not fill them completely or combine heavy things with light things such as clothes or cushions. If not, they will be too heavy to lift.
Dismantle the first furniture
If the van is large, there will be furniture that you may not need to disassemble, such as dressers or tables. But those items that can be taken apart, should be.
Very important: Save the parts and assembly instructions for each item of furniture in ziplock bags and then tape them to the item, or at the very least, place them in the same box or bag. You will really appreciate your organisation on this when you are having to quickly build beds in the new house and you have all the correct screws to hand.
Separate the basics
Set aside what you will need that last week before the move: clothes, toiletries and basic kitchen utensils. The rest should be packed up and labelled. The more you have packed, the more organised you will feel.
Make new acquisitions
Each house has its own unique quirks and style, and as a consequence, you will surely need some new things to fit the new place. Reserving a little money for these items can help you enjoy the move a little more!
As for the day itself, stay calm, keep all the phone numbers of the relevant people you may need to contact in your phone, and enlist as much help as possible. Even those people who can’t help lifting boxes and furniture can keep you supplied with refreshing cups of tea, so keep the kettle handy!