Moving house can be one of the most stressful periods in your life. However, with a bit of forward planning, moving day needn’t be a nightmare! Here are a few simple tips to help you plan for your big move.
1. Start to pack well in advance, focussing on your least used items first. Get hold of plenty of sturdy boxes (try your local supermarket or a nearby shop or warehouse). It’s worth investing in a large roll or two of bubble wrap for those fragile items.
2. Write on the front of the boxes rather than on the top, so you can see the labels when they are stacked. Note the content of the boxes and the room they need to go into. Keep fragile items together and make sure nothing is stacked on top of them.
3. If you’re planning on moving everything yourself, hire a van which is one size larger than you think you will need – you probably have more belongings than you thought! Recruit friends and family to help you with the lifting and carrying, especially if you have a family to look after at the same time.
4. If you’re going with a local removal firm, ask around for a recommendation, as the level and quality of service can vary greatly.
5. Take apart any furniture which can be dismantled and tape the components together securely to help prevent damage during transit.
6. Moving can be stressful for your pets too, so keep them out of the way on moving day until you’re ready to go. Shut them in a bedroom away from the noise and upheaval. Transport them in a suitable pet carrier, with regular breaks if you’re travelling long distance. When you arrive at your new home, keep them shut in a spare bedroom until everything has been moved in, then let them explore in their own time. It can take a few days or even weeks for cats and dogs to get used to their new environment.
7. Take a final meter reading before you leave, and inform your utility companies. Do the same when you move into your new home.
8. Unpack one room at a time, focussing on the most important rooms first – bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. Clean surfaces as you go; cleaning is a great way to make a house start to feel like home.
9. Once you are settled in, make sure you have cancelled any direct debits and standing orders relating to your old home (rent, council tax etc.) to avoid unnecessary hassle later on. Moving house is a great opportunity to shop around for the best deals on TV, internet, telephone, utilities and insurance, so get online and compare!
10. Make a list of companies you need to inform of your change of address. This can include TV licences, insurance companies, credit and store cards, your bank, the DVLA and anyone you make regular payments to. And don’t forget to send your change of address cards to friends and family!