Wednesday 19 October 2016

Moving house - top tips for a stress-free experience

During my 30 odd years I have lived in a number of different houses and moved too many times to accurately remember the exact number of moves I’ve experienced.

Whilst moving house can be an exciting time where you delight in the thought of a new home to call your own, it can be overwhelming too. Moving can conjure up a range of emotions and it can be an overwhelming experience.

With so much to do when moving house and the emotions it can cause the experience can be a very stressful one. Having moved lots myself I can fully attest to the fact that moving house is a quite an upheaval and a stressful experience!

Moving house so many times has given me a wealth of knowledge about moving house and what can be done to help make the transition to a new home straightforward and stress-free (or at least keep the stress down).

The devil’s in the details
After initial viewings to decide if you want to rent/buy the property make the most of any additional viewings or contact with the agency to get all the details on practical matters such as where is the water stopcock, which days are bins/recycling collected on, where are the water, gas and electricity metres, etc. Making a list of all practical details that you are likely to need to know once you have moved in will help avoid panic once you have moved and don’t know something.

To avoid disappointment and costly mistakes on moving on the wrong date, make sure to double check moving dates and when you get the keys. It may seem obvious but double checking this finer detail could save you time and money - for example if renting it is best to check the moving in date just in case it differs to the date on the lease.

Once you have decided that you are looking or needing to move start de-cluttering even before finding your new home. By starting the process of getting rid of unwanted possessions sooner rather than later will mean that you have plenty of time to do it rather than having to do it in a short pace of time and you will be settling into a new home clutter-free.

Document box
Create a document box where you can store all important documents safely. Keep the box somewhere safe where you will not lose it and easily accessible. Having a document box will help avoid losing important documents during the house move and will help avoid panic-filled rooting through boxes and possessions for that vital bit of paperwork needed asap!

Once you have found your new home and contracts are exchanged/signed start packing. By giving yourself plenty of time to pack you will hopefully avoid last-minute packing which can be very stressful. Obviously there will be a few last-minute packing that needs to be done of items that are used daily, packing items that you use less frequently will mean you are one step ahead with the packing which will help with stress levels.

When packing it is worthwhile to pack smartly rather than panic pack and chuck anything and everything in boxes. Packing boxes smartly and having organised boxes according to rooms will help you move your possessions into your new home smoothly and make for a less stressful transition.

If you have the time it can be very helpful to not only mark boxes according to room but also according to how quickly you will need it - high priority boxes will contain items that you need to use on a daily basis whilst boxes with things such as photo albums, ornaments and sentimental items don’t need to be unpacked the moment you move in.

When you are dismantling furniture it can be handy to put any fixtures or fittings in a sandwich bag and sellotape it to a piece of the furniture. Doing this helps avoid the panic of being unable to find or remember where you packed screws or brackets from furniture when re-assembling furniture.

Check your list
Having a checklist will help keep you organised which is vital during the busy time of moving.

A moving house checklist (there are lots available on the internet that you can tailor to your needs) will help the process of moving house a smooth one and ensure you don’t forget the small details that can be easily overlooked during the upheaval.

Moving day survival kit
To help you get through the day create a moving day survival kit of essentials. Having a kit of essential items to hand such as toiletries, snacks, drinks, and phone chargers will help keep you and your moving helpers well-fed, hydrated and cared for.

Most of all I think it is important to be flexible and try not to panic at any unexpected issues that might arise. One last top tip which I have used a number of times now is to treat yourself to a takeaway at the end of the moving day as that last thing you will feel like doing is unpacking your kitchen boxes and cooking!

Do you have any tips on moving house without too much stress?

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