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They say moving to a new house is one of the most stressful events you will experience during your lifetime. Finding your dream home may be a happy occasion but the move itself is a disruption of your routine and it’s the disruption that causes stress. Organisation is key when it comes to minimising anxiety; if you can start packing as soon as you have a moving date there will be less pressure on your family during the final stages of the move. Packing your items carefully is also important to avoid breakages and damage during transit so you do not want to rush this. The list of things to do before moving day can seem overwhelming so we’ve pulled together some top tips on how to make moving to a new house easier and less stressful for you and your family.
Hiring a removal company is an absolute must. Although you could argue you would save more money by doing it yourself, why create more work during this already stressful time? It's good to shop around, read reviews and even better if you can get a company recommendation from a friend or family member. When you decide to book, be sure to inform them of the requirements you have and organise with them a pre-move visit to your property. This means when they arrive on moving day the movers are fully prepared and understand your expectations. You should also check with your insurance company that your contents insurance will cover any damage or breakages during the move.
You are going to need boxes… and lots of them! Good quality boxes are essential when moving to a new house and there is a plethora of different ones out there to choose from. If you’re able to estimate how many you think you will need this can prevent being left with a whole heap of extra boxes after the move. Double check with the company you’re purchasing them from if they can be returned if unused. It is also a good idea to get a range of different sized boxes as the items you are packing are going to vary in size and weight.
Other packing materials you will need to ensure your belongings are packed safely include:
Packing often takes much longer than you think so once the moving date is confirmed, get started. You should start with the items or rooms you use the least such as the spare bedroom, attic or garage. Try sticking to packing one room at a time so your belongings don’t get mixed up and make it easier for the movers. Don’t overfill your boxes or make them too heavy – pack heavier items in smaller boxes to prevent this from happening. Once the boxes are packed, find a dry space to keep them and be careful not to stack them too high.
Although moving to a new house is stressful, it is also a great opportunity to declutter your belongings. There’s no point in moving items you don’t need or don’t use so be brutal. If you haven’t used it in two years, get rid of it. You will be grateful you did once it comes to unpacking in your new home.
Ideas for shifting your unwanted items include:
Labelling your boxes will make the process easier for the movers and for you when unpacking at the other end. Clearly write on each box what items are inside and which room they have come from or are going into at the new house. You could even use a colour coding system so you can easily identify which room the box is for. Be sure to mark if there are any fragile items inside to ensure the movers take extra care with your delicate possessions.
This is one for the super-organised. Creating an inventory helps you keep an eye on all your belongings to make sure nothing is lost. Although it can be time consuming it is a great way to stay absolutely on top of things throughout the move. Dividing the inventory into the different rooms in the house means items can be checked off at either end. Your removal company can also create an inventory for you if they have been hired to pack your belongings so this is an option worth considering.
The unpacking process can be stressful when it comes to setting up your television and other electronic items. It can be difficult to remember which cable goes where so taking a photograph of the wires at the back before you pack allows you to keep track of what’s what. This should make the process a less stressful and ensures no one misses their favourite TV show! You can also take photos of any wall displays, ornament placement or shelving setups in your current home that you are fond of and wish to recreate in your new home.
If you’re moving to somewhere you are not familiar with, visit the local neighbourhood and have a walk around to get to know the area. This can make the transition to your new house a little less overwhelming and you can begin to feel at home in your new town. You may even get to meet some of your new neighbours before you move in. Visiting the area will also allow you to find the closest shops so you will know where to go to stock up on necessities during your first few busy days in your new home.
You will need to notify friends and family of your change of address, particularly if Christmas or a birthday is coming up and they will be sending cards. You can divert any mail going to your old address with the Royal Mail for a small fee. It is advisable to keep this in place for around six to 12 months after moving.
Other companies or organisations which you will need to inform include:
For moving day, you should pack the things you are going to need first in your new home in a clear plastic tub; this will be your moving house survival box. This can include items which will help with unpacking including a box cutter, paper towels, bin bags, cutlery, the kettle and some cups and mugs as well as tea, coffee, milk and sugar. Prepare an overnight bag for everyone in the family, and make sure that there is enough toilet paper and toiletries for everyone. These items will keep you going until everything is unpacked in your new home.
Whether you have just purchased your dream home or you are moving to a new rental property, moving to a new house is exciting and is the start of a new chapter for you and your family. However, the process can be very stressful if you don’t plan and stay organised throughout the move. If you can afford to hire professionals to transport your belongings, and perhaps even help with the packing, this will take a lot of pressure off you. If not, packing as early as possible and keeping your items organised will help make the process go as smoothly as possible. You will forget about any stress once the move is over and you are settled into your lovely new home!