You’re moving house!! The stressful process of securing a buyer and finding your new property is over. But there is still one more obstacle, the move itself, one of the most stressful events you are likely to face in life. But with adequate preparation you can minimise the stress factor and enjoy a fairly easy transition to your new home.
We have compiled a guide to help you prepare prior to and on your moving day.
Who to tell
So your due to move, first things first, who do you tell? Apart from your friends and family make sure you contact your utilities and entertainment supplier as turning up to a new property or even leaving your old property without doing so can come back to haunt you.
Make sure the relevant companies are aware for any insurance cover you have whether its home, car, life and so on. Tell your bank or building society so they know where they can reach you and most importantly the DVLA. It is a requirement by law that your license has the correct address and not only can it prevent you from hiring a car but it can also land you in hot water with the Old Bill.
On the horizon
With your moving day on the horizon there are a number of other things that need to be organised in advance.
Probably the biggest cog in the moving machine is a good removals company. With the cost of moving house already mounting up it can be tempting to cut costs around the edges, this said you are trusting someone to put your life in a van and move it for you so perhaps skimping on a removal firm isn’t the place to make up the shortfall.
Often the best way to find a good removal firm is through word of mouth and good references so ask around and see what you can find.
That’s right, days plural. Something to think about is if it’s possible to move from your old house on one day and into your new house on another.
There are a couple of reasons for this:
• If you are moving particularly far away then you probably won’t even have the hours in the day to manage it all in one go.
• It leaves time to get your new house ready, particularly if you’ve bought a ‘project house’. A day or two to get it up to living standards can be handy and saves you feeling like your squatting in a derelict property. Even if your house is ready to go but you want to redecorate, the process of painting is much, much easier with a bare house. It also prevents any unwanted paint spillage on your furniture.
• If you are elderly, have young kids or simply can’t face the whole process in the space of a day then taking it a few steps at a time can save you from wearing yourself out.
Those that are moving closer to family should consider this more so as staying with mum or dad for a night or two is cheaper than paying for a hotel. Another tip to keep the process as short and sweet as possible is choosing the right day to move. If possible avoid the beginning and end of the working week, traffic volumes are far greater on Monday and Friday in comparison to the rest of the week. Not only can it result in a prolonged process but you don’t want to arrive at your new house minus the removal van that’s still stuck in traffic or via versa.
1 week to go
With your moving day close enough to reach out and touch it’s time to get things moving, excuse the pun.
Packing for your move
Packing everything you own and have accumulated over the years can seem like a daunting task but there are a few things that can be done to help you get through it.
• Don’t leave your packing to the last minute, start it gradually so that the night before you move you only have the essentials left in your old house.
• Start one room at a time and work your way through the house, bedrooms are a good starting point as you can all start to converge on one room. Kids love a sleep over so a night or two sleeping with everyone in the living room won’t hurt them
• Moving house is the perfect time to get rid of any clutter. Be ruthless and chuck anything that isn’t needed at your new house. It will save you time and space and prevent you from filling your new house with tat
• But if an endless amount of cardboard boxes and sticky tape is too much for you to face you could always hire a professional. This is an important consideration when moving house as it can take a lot of the stress and weight off of your shoulders. A number of insurance policies fail to cover your property in transit if you have chosen to pack it yourself, so using a professional service can also prevent any expensive loses if your things are damaged during the moving process.
A few days before your move
Start to think about some of the logistical issues involved in moving.
If you are planning on putting some of your things in to storage keep them separate so you can easily differentiate and the movers take the right things to the right place.
Make sure that the removal firm can gain access to your house and if this needs to be arranged now is the time to do it. This also applies with your new home, make sure you can easily access the property and there is ample room for the removals truck to park.
Does your furniture fit into your new home? Seems like a silly thing to ask but turning up and finding your sofa won’t fit through the door is the last thing you need. If you aren’t sure then leaving the item in question in storage until you can make alternative arrangements to get it into your new house.
Similarly if you have pets you could consider leaving them with a loved one for a few days or making arrangements to pay to have them housed. Another small cost but if your pet is particularly lively it can make the day run smoother, it also give you a chance to sort out your new house before settling them in to their new surroundings.
The day before your move
With one more sleep until you move house prepare for any eventuality. Preparing a bag of essentials can be a smart move as you never know what could happen, at least if you are prepared it won’t matter.
This should include things like:
• A change of clothes and something warm and water proof
• Fully charge your phone and make sure you have all the relevant numbers i.e. your estate agent, the previous owners of your new house, family and so on. Pack your phone charger so you can charge your phone if it does die.
• Where are you collecting your new keys from and where are you leaving your old ones?
• If you have switched utility suppliers it shouldn’t be an issue but just encase pack some spare light bulbs, fuses, a few handy tools, candles and matches and most importantly some loo roll
Is there any last minute washing you need to do? It might be a day or two before your washing machine is up and running so making sure you have enough clean socks and pants to see you through.
Pre prepare some food and drink for the day, it’s one less thing to worry about and you might not necessarily have the time to stop for lunch. Think ahead to dinner, keep a box of plates, cups and cutlery to hand as well as a working knife to open it with. Depending on the importance you place on the cuppa, the kettle can be extremely important, so keep this in the same box as the cutlery, or even in the car with the kids.
Get a good night’s sleep!
On the day of your move
One sure fire way of adding to an already stressful day is adding bored, tired, agitated children to the mix. Not only this but little ones running around while people are moving heavy objects can be a recipe for disaster. Keep them entertained and out of the way, giving them something to eat and sticking their favourite film on is an easy way of keeping them contained to one room.
If they are old enough to do so safely, get them to chip in. Even if they only pack their room up, giving them some responsibility is another good method of keeping them out of your hair for the day.
Make sure the removal firm are aware of what you want and how you want it to be done. You are paying them so don’t let them dictate to you, although they are the experts so listening to them is beneficial for a more harmonious move.
Stripping the bed is one of the last things you’ll do and keeping the bedding to hand is sensible. Even if you are without a bed for your first night in your new home you can still have a relatively comfortable sleep.
Think you’re all done? Do a final lap. Take a minute to catch your breath, walk around and make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. Ironically with the importance placed on time during the moving process, the most common item forgotten when moving is the clock.
Your new home
As with moving out, when moving in walk the removal team around the house and let them know what you want and where you want it. If you have labelled everything appropriately then this should be easy for them.
Take an immediate meter ready so as to avoid paying for any usage carried over from the old owner. Then do another lap and check everything is working, water, heating, electric and so on. Something else to consider is security, not only is the house safe and can be locked but is there a pre-existing security system, if so do you have the code?
As tempting as it can be to try and unpack everything as soon as you arrive, it is better to get some rest and start a fresh in the morning. Unpack in stages and unpack a few essentials like toiletries, bedding and the TV once you’re in.
Order some take away and relax, you’re in and the hardest part is over. Set a realistic time frame to get everything unpacked by, usually around three or four days depending on work commitments. Take some time to explore what local amenities are on offer, either by taking a walk, drive or checking online.
Remember just because you have moved, doesn’t mean you can’t contact your estate agent for information, they or the previous owners are the best people to answer any questions.
It’s over, you’ve made it and all you have to do now is sit back and enjoy your new home.
Preparing items for travel
Empty and defrost the fridge freezer, especially if you are putting it into storage for a little while.
The removal firm will be storing everything you own in the same van so it is important to consider what to pack and where. You don’t want to pack your outdoor furniture right next to your best antique furniture or good rug, even more so during the winter months, so it could be beneficial to store any outside items in the garage for a night to give them a chance to dry out.
Seal all packets, bottles, jars and boxes with tape to prevent spillage. Arriving at your new home to find the ketchup has leaked over everything is not ideal and cleaning up the mess adds to an already long day. This is also important to consider when transporting things like plants and packaging them appropriately avoids soil being spilt all over the place.
Label everything clearly, this is often overlooked but having everything labelled clearly and correctly will make things substantially easier on the other side. Your removals team can then bring everything to the right place and prevents you doing so yourself once they have left.