Moving home can be a very stressful, tiring and complex process reminiscent of military maneovers but we all do it at least once if not multiple times in our lives. With some careful planning and handy hacks, the process can be made much easier to bear and here we aim to give you some top tips to make moving into your new home as easy and stress free as possible. Possibly the most important thing to do is start planning your move from the day you know it is going to happen. The more time you have to prepare the smoother it will go for you.
Book your Van/Removal firm
No matter how well prepared you are or how well you have packed all your belongings, if you don't have a van or a removal firm arranged then you are going nowhere.
If you’re using a removal firm ring them up as soon as you can and get them in to quote. Typically they will want to see your home so they can assess the size of the job. Make sure you get quotes from several firms as they can be significantly different. Arranging this as early as possible is very important as in peak times they can be booked up months in advance!
If you feel up to it, then an alternative is to hire a large van like a Luton with a tail lift and do the move yourself. Make sure that you have plenty of help though, as moving that sofa and other large items of furniture alone is quite a feat! Phone around some van hire companies and get quotes early. You will need a full driving licence to hire a vehicle and there are slightly different rules when driving a van. For example on a single carriage way, rather than the usual national speed limit of 60 mph in a van it is 50 mph. Anyone with a full UK Driving Licence can drive a vehicle up to 3.5 tonne, over this weight you will need to check your licence as you may not (depending on your age) be able to drive a larger vehicle. You can check your licence on the HMRC website. Also when hiring a van, make sure you understand their insurance rules as often they will not hire out to people with too many penalty points on their driving licence and there might be age restrictions or surcharges for younger drivers.
Make a list
When it comes to moving a list makes a lot of sense in terms of helping you plan your move. A list will help you understand what you need to do and perhaps more importantly, help you with your timings. Really moving has a great checklist which you could use as a template for this.
As time goes by we all end up accumulating possessions that we struggle to throw away or simply forget about as they are tucked away in a forgotten cupboard, the loft or garage. Moving is a perfect time to declutter. When you think about it, there is no point lugging around unwanted possessions to simply put them back in the loft. Why not gain some extra money at the same time as there might be someone out there who is looking for exactly what you don’t want. Local car boot sales, Facebook marketplace, eBay or Gumtree are all very good places to sell your unwanted items. Simplifystuff has a great guide to help guide you through this.
If you’re not using a removal firm or you haven’t paid for a packing service, you will need to pack up your belongings. First things first, buy or secure your boxes, bubble wrap and packing tape. Don’t skimp on the quality of the tape as the last thing you want is the bottom dropping out of a box when you’re moving it. Also when you are buying boxes try and envisage the size and get a mixture of sizes. Make sure that the boxes aren’t too small to be of any use or too big so that you can’t lift them when they are full. Start packing the rooms you use least and then use these rooms as storage rooms. Make sure you mark each box with the room and a summary of the contents so it is easier to locate items after you complete your move.
Packing for a move can be hard work, it doesn’t have to be, here are a few simple packing hacks to help you out:
· Take photos of the back of any electrical items like TVs, DVD players, Games Consoles and Satellite or Cable boxes, so you know how to re-wire it all when you are in your new home
· When dismantling items, put nuts, bolts, washers and screwws into a strong plastc bag and tape it to the under side of the item. That way you will know excatly what bits go with each item
· Use sheets, towels, blankets or duvet covers to protect fragile items
· Use disposable plates between your real plates, this is a quick and easy way to protect them as you pack them away
· Pack liquids in resealable plastic bags or unscrew the lid and place some clingfilm over the top before re-screwing on the lid. This will help prevent spills
· Take clothes on hangers in bunches of 5 – 10, secure the hangers together with elastic bands and put into a large, strong bin bag to protect the clothes with the hooks at the open end of the bag. Tie off the top of the bag around the hooks of the hangers. This is much simpler and faster way of transporting the contents of your wardrobe than taking clothes off hangers, packing them and then putting them back on the hangers when you reach your destination
· Put your socks in your shoes when you pack them to help them keep their shape.
Let people know
One thing that tends to be overlooked when moving is to let family, friends and important organisations know you are moving. Again it is good to make a detailed list of who you need tell about your new address, these can include:
· Insurance companies – car/home/pet/mobile phone/health/life
· DVLA - Driving licence/car log book
· Banks/credit cards/ store cards
· Council tax
· Utilities – gas/water/electricity/landline and mobile phone/cable/broadband
· Electoral roll
· TV licence
Remember to notify these oraganisations several weeks ahead of time as it can take time for new services to be connected.
Finally don’t forget to set up a mail re-direct to catch anything you might have missed.
Moving can be a really hard process but with some sensible and careful planning it can be made a lot easier. The best advice is quite simply to plan, plan and plan some more and start everything sooner rather than later.