Moving house is always going to be stressful, no matter how organised and prepared you are. Believe me, I know – I’ve moved house six times in the past five years! I like to think that each time it has been smoother, but it hasn’t. This time round, I thought we were doing brilliantly – the playroom was full of neatly stacked and labelled boxes, the van was organised….yet on the morning we still ended up running around like headless chickens. The next day, after moving 130 miles away, we realised we had left our vacuum cleaner in the lounge of the old house. That was useful.
There are ways you can make it slightly easier on yourselves. I can’t guarantee that it will make it stress-free, but hopefully take a little bit of the pressure off.
- Get rid of the stuff you don’t want. Moving house is the perfect opportunity to declutter and get rid of stuff you no longer need or use. When we moved this time, we took more than 14 black sacks of outgrown clothes and toys to the charity shop. Not only did it mean we weren’t taking it all with us just to store somewhere else, it felt good doing our bit and donating to charity.
- Before you pack it all up, write out a list of all the places you will need to phone or contact to change your address, all the phone numbers and all of the account details. Put anything you need to send off – such as the log book for your car – in a safe place so you can sort it out pretty much straight away. Remember, you can get fined or sanctioned for failing to report changes of address, so this is something you want to do as soon as possible.
- Pack a box with the essentials in – kettle, tea, coffee, mugs, plates, teaspoons, loo roll, soap etc. That way, when you get there you can have a drink and go to the loo without having to unt stuff down. Make sure that you put it in the car or in an accessible place in the moving truck. We packed a ‘moving day’ box, but it was picked up and stuck with everything else in the lorry. We had to wait ages for it to appear, which wasn’t very welcome after a three-hour drive!
- We hired a truck and my dad did the driving, with my brothers helping us. If you can, though, I would suggest hiring a professional removal-services company, such as The Man and Van. They know exactly what they are doing and it takes the pressure off you.
- Start packing as early as you can. We knew that we were going to be moving about six weeks before we picked the keys up. Obviously, there are lots of things that you can’t pack until the last week or so, but we went through the house room by room and started to pack up things that we knew we wouldn’t use – out of season clothes, Christmas decorations etc. We aimed to do a small amount of packing every single day.
- We were genuinely surprised how expensive packing boxes can be. Whilst we did end up buying some, most of our boxes came from our local shop, who were happy to save us the boxes crisps and things come in, which saved us a lot of money.
If you’re moving house soon – good luck!
*Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/aehdeschain