Is moving house one of the most stressful things you can do? Well, the jury’s out on that one. Some reports say yes, it’s more stressful than relationship breakdowns or job moves. Others say no, compared to life threatening illness or war, it doesn’t even factor. I guess it depends on the questions asked. One thing is for sure, whether it’s top of the list or just one of those things that has to happen at some point, when moving house there will be some level of stress encountered.
When moving house, there are so many things to consider before you’ve even sealed the deal on a new property. What are the local schools like? What are the local health services like? How long will my commute to work be? Is there good public transport? Are there good childcare facilities close by? Gyms, sports clubs – the list goes on.
Once you’ve got all that covered, found a property and got past the stress of actually signing on the dotted line the actual move comes next. There are more decisions to be made! The key to taking the stress out of the move is to prepare. There are some things that will need to be decided and arranged well before your moving date and other things that will have to wait until the day of the move. Make yourself checklists and keep an eye on what needs to be done next.
Things that take time to sort and would normally be finalised 6 – 8 weeks before moving house
If you’re moving in or out of rented accommodation you’ll need to confirm your moving dates with the landlord(s) well in advance. It’s likely that there will have to be an inventory check and inspection too.
This is something else that needs to be done well in advance. Your children can’t just disappear from one school and appear at another the following week. You will need to arrange enrolment, transfers of any records and make sure you’ve got any new school uniform requirements sorted before you move.
Make yourself a list of all the people you will need to contact regarding your move and keep it handy. Solicitors, landlords, schools and utility companies will all need to be contacted during this time. It’s useful to keep a check of the date and details of the conversations you have relating to the move.
You will have a few decisions to make here. Do you go with a removals firm and if so which removals package do you take? Will you hire a man with a van or do it yourself? Each have their pros and cons and you’ll need to weigh them up. Be sure to allow plenty of time to get quotes and confirm availability.
The closer you get to your moving date the more detailed things need to get. About a month before your move you should be confirming your arrangements with your removal company and arranging for access, parking etc. at both properties. Consider whether any parking permits will be needed.
Now we’re at 2 – 4 weeks before your move, it’s time to start packing things up (if you haven’t started already).
It’s always worth clearing out things that you definitely won’t need at your new property. If something has been stored in the loft or garage for years and never been used, do you really need to take it with you? Sell it, donate it or take it to the rubbish tip – it will be less to unpack. If you’re downsizing and have things that you want to keep but can’t fit them in your new property, now is the time to work out the size of the self storage unit you need.
It’s time to start. If you’re using a removals firm but are packing things yourself, you may have been provided with packing boxes. If not, it’s time to go and get some. Be methodical and go through the house packing things you know you aren’t going need. Make sure you pack your boxes properly; label them, don’t overfill them and wrap fragile items carefully. Separate a box or two of essential things that you’ll need on moving day to travel with you (kettle, cups, plates coffee, keys, etc.).
Child and pet care
If your move is a short hop across town it may be practical to arrange for a friend locally to take care of your children and pets on moving day. If it’s a long distance move, get in touch with your vet to discuss what’s best for your pet. When it comes to the children, you may have to deal with all sorts of emotions, upset, excitement and boredom will all form part of a long distance move – be prepared! Make sure they have things to do while travelling.
You’re almost there. It’s the day before your move and time to say your goodbyes to your neighbours.
Unplug and unplumb
You will need to unplug and defrost fridges and freezers 24 hours before you move. In addition you may need to disconnect tumble dryers and washing machines. Make sure you drain any hoses well – the last thing you want is excess water damaging your goods while in transit.
Go around the house checking that everything is packed. Make sure the ‘essentials’ boxes are put to one side so they don’t go with the removals van. If children are starting new schools within a day or two, it’s advisable to have their new school uniforms in those boxes of essentials in case there’s no time to unpack fully. In addition, you may want to pack an overnight bag for everyone with a change of clothes and toiletries for when you arrive at your new property. Make sure you plug your mobile phones in to charge fully! Have a plan for the morning.
Make sure you’re up and about in plenty of time and ready for the removals van. Throw those last few things into a box or bag and take your final meter readings for your utility companies. Remember to unplug your phone charger and pack the ‘essentials’ into your car along with any drinks and snacks for the journey. Leave the keys as arranged with the solicitors or new owners. It’s time to move on to your new home!
When you arrive at your new home, take time for that cup of tea and don’t try and unpack everything all at once. Unpack and make up what you need for that evening, then take some time to relax, unwind and have that celebratory meal!
Have you got any advice you’d like to add to the list?