It’s no secret that moving home is both mentally and physically taxing but a little preparation can make a huge difference to ensuring your move is as easy as possible. Packing and sorting all the paraphernalia that may be hiding away can be a daunting task. While you might be surprised by how much you have collected over the years, try not to spend too much time reminiscing and stay focused on the task in hand. The key to a smooth move is largely down to planning and preparation. Follow our step-by-step guide and you’ll soon be settled into your brand new home - and all the anxiety of moving will soon be a distant memory.
Start contacting removal companies as soon as you have an anticipated move in date and try to get a few written quotes so you can get the best deal. Whether you choose to hire a van and move your possessions yourself (this might be your preferred option if you don’t have a huge amount of furniture) or if you opt for a professional removal company - always ask for personal recommendations. You can search for a professional removal company by visiting The British Association of Removers (BAR) or The National Guild of Removers and Storers – both of which ensure its members conform to high professional standards and will provide support in case anything goes wrong.
There’s nothing like a good purge to clear the mind and make moving that much easier. With the move in date looming, sort through your kitchen drawers, wardrobes, garage and loft a month before you move. Don’t forget to donate or sell the things you don’t need – many charities will happily pick up the furniture if you’re giving it away for free.
If you find it hard to declutter, there are a number of handy techniques, which will help to highlight what you use on a regular basis. One idea is to empty the contents of your kitchen drawers or cupboards into a box in the garage. Then each time you realise you need an item you can just bring it back inside. Over time, you’ll soon discover what items are cluttering up valuable storage space. You can try the same tactic with clothes by turning all the hangars around the other way, then each time you wear an item simply hang it back normally.
Ask your local newsagent or supermarket if they have any boxes (preferably in various sizes) that you can take away for free. While it’s important to collect boxes and bubble wrap, don’t forget to utilise the containers you have already. To save time, keep your clothes in their drawers and if you don’t have any wardrobe boxes, you can try this simple trick of putting clothes into a dustbin bag, while they are still on the hangars.
You can also use suitcases for heavy items such as books and make sure you have other useful supplies such as strong tape, newspaper and old rags, which can come in handy for lining boxes and separating breakables.
The last thing you need on moving day is to be worrying about the safety of your children or pets. Moving can be a stressful and confusing time, so if possible try and coax the grandparents or your responsible friends to look after them so that they are in a secure environment; allowing you to concentrate solely on getting the job done without constant interruptions.
It’s one of those tasks that can easily be left until the last minute, so it’s always a good idea to do this in advance. Make sure you compile a list of those who need to be notified of your new address; this will include your bank, doctor, dentist, insurance providers, utilities companies, the DVLA, your children’s school, as well as your friends, family members and employer.
Check whether you require insurance cover from the day you exchange contracts and, if you do, whether your existing insurance provider can do this. You should also find out whether your current policy will cover your possessions during the move. If you are using a removal firm, they usually offer goods in transit insurance but always check to see if there are any limits on claims, and if there are certain stipulations, such as if the boxes have to be packed professionally for the insurance to be valid.
Try not to give into temptation by stocking up on your food shopping for another month and stick to just buying a few essentials. You’ll be glad you did come moving day. It’s surprising how creative you can be with some of the ingredients in your kitchen cupboards and with that in mind, don’t forget to use up most of the items in your fridge and freezer.
If you plan to take the fridge-freezer with you, then schedule some time to defrost it a day or two before. Assuming you’ve used most of the contents, you can now transfer any leftover food into a cool box ready to take to your new property. Next, switch off the power and open the doors, leaving enough towels around it to absorb the soon-to-be melting ice – the last thing you need is a flooded kitchen.
There are several handy hints for ensuring you pack smart. Here are some tips to help get you started:
Make sure everything is in boxes. Add all the essentials, such as toilet paper, soap and any cleaning agents that you will need as soon as you arrive into one box, and make sure it’s labelled so that you can locate these essentials easily. You’ll probably find that a cup of tea will be much needed by the time you arrive. A kettle, snacks, a mini first-aid kit and toolbox are also useful additions, which should all be in easy reach.
Guaranteed to save a lot of hassle and potential tantrums! Pack a bag or suitcase for each member of the family, including toiletries, clothes, a few toys (if needed), medication and bedding. Phone chargers are also very handy and if possible try to include enough clothing for a few days.
Don’t make the move more stressful than it needs to be. By now your packing should be completed, meaning your helpers, or the removal company, won’t be kept waiting on the day.
It might sound trivial but skipping the most important meal of the day will mean you are likely to get hungry sooner, while your energy levels will start to flag – a sure way to decrease your productivity!
Make sure you take meter readings and inform your energy supplier. It’s always wise to make a note of these somewhere safe, so you can dispute the bill if necessary.
While it might seem like a time saver to begin with, overloading boxes will only make them difficult to carry, and you don’t want to injure yourself or your helpers from moving heavy loads. Tell the moving company if there are any items that need to be handled with care and always store boxes together tightly, to avoid them moving around and breaking during transit.
Use the floorplan from the details provided by the estate agent, or if you're buying new build you can access this from the website or brochure, to plan where larger items will be placed. This will mean that your helpers can unload without you and try to put items together in a box that are the same by type or are from the same room. It can be a good idea to unpack the kitchen first but don’t expect to unpack everything on the first day.
Find your local takeaway outlets, track down the nearest pub or pack a surprise picnic to thank those friends or family members who have given up their valuable time to help.
Introduce yourself to any neighbours that you come across but remember that they live there as well. Try not to be up too late and be conscious of their homes when you’re unpacking and don’t block the road.
It sounds simple but remaining positive, even when things don’t quite go to plan, will not only help the day to go smoother – it will also benefit your family and helpers.
Bovis Homes can help with the moving home process with the choice of two dedicated schemes. Our Smooth Move service is designed to help you sell your old property as quickly as possible; we’ll deal with the estate agents on your behalf and will also pay the fees – saving you both time and money.
Another way to ensure a straightforward move is to opt for our Home Exchange Scheme. We’ll purchase your property at market value so you don’t have to worry about estate agent fees or those dreaded hold-ups in the property chain.