Moving home is hard… meticulous planning is involved, it’s a logistical nightmare. If you have kids, it can be one of the most stressful things that you could ever embark on. Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally worth it. Especially if you’re buying a house (we are working on that!) and you get the dream home you’ve always wanted. But even still, moving on generally means moving up. That doesn’t always take away from the stress of the few days’ transition period from one home to the next.
We moved into our current home just over a year ago and we (rather awkwardly) decided to move between Christmas and New Year. Whilst that sounds like sheer madness it actually worked in our favour. All of our family was off work and free to help, the roads were much clearer than normal. All in all, a good move. However, that’s not exactly normal or practical for the vast majority of people, so I’ve come up with some more general tips to keep in mind for when you next decide to up sticks and move.
Ring your mates
If you have a fixed date or weekend to move, get on the phone to your friends and family and ask for their help. As long as you’re not moving too far (then you’ll need the professionals!), most will eagerly offer their services. If you’re lucky (like we are) then one of them may even have a van that you can borrow for the bigger items! If not then there will be a bunch of cars at your disposal on the day.
Don’t be afraid to ask lots and lots of people for help. It might seem a little bit cheeky, but it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than a moving van! Of course, it goes without saying that if your friends ask you for help, do your best to make yourself available for them too. Together as a team, you can muck in and get it done way quicker and easier than you think!
Ask shops and supermarkets for boxes
Don’t pay for boxes for your stuff. Supermarkets have tonnes and tonnes of them that they will normally be able to give you for free. Just go in there and ask a member of staff and they’ll no doubt give you all the cardboard you could want. We have a relative who works in a fast-food chain that specialises in sandwiches (pretty sure you can figure out which) and she gave us so many. They’re only going in the recycling, so there’s no reason they won’t give you any if you ask!
Split the effort into two teams; Removals and Unpacking.
When we moved, the boys did the heavy lifting and the ladies stayed at the new place. We shifted things to the rooms they were going to live in and unpacked as much as possible. It meant that the boys could make the trips between the houses pretty quickly and the new place never got too overwhelmingly cluttered with boxes. It’s a simple way to make the absolute most of your resources.
De-clutter BEFORE the move. Be as harsh as you can.
We did not do this before we moved, but next time we definitely will. Anything from your old home that you’ve been meaning to bin or sell, do it BEFORE you move. You normally have at least two or three weeks to get yourself in order before moving day. The less you have to cart from one house to the next, the better. Facebook selling groups are a revelation for this kind of thing. Just snap photographs of your items on your phone and bang it on the Marketplace. It means you get rid of your items, get a bit of cash and someone else picks them up. So it’s a lot of post-work tip trips, but since you’re moving it’s the perfect time to start over. Also a good excuse for an IKEA trip to replace the stuff that’s grown a bit tired.
Unpack the kettle, the tea, the coffee and make sure there’s milk and sugar handy.
Your friends are working themselves ragged to get you moved. The number one rule in keeping everyone happy and moving is to make sure you can brew up at any time. If you have more than one kettle (we do not) then keep one at both properties. Stock up on some paper cups so they can just be recycled.
Of course it’s a stressful time, but there are some things you can do to make things run smoothly. If you’re buying a house, you should definitely conduct your research into the home you’re buying to ensure it’s “the one”. You can get help and guidance with this through both your Estate Agents and your Solicitors. Nationwide firms such as Slater & Gordon Lawyers provide a service that includes searches on your chosen property to make sure you aren’t surprised by any nasty skeletons in its closets once you’re moved in! It’s really important that you’re happy with the professionals involved in the process.
Rest assured though that after the initial insanity of a house move, the feeling of being in your new home and being able to make it everything you ever wanted, is certainly worth all of the stress.
Do you have any other top tips for moving home? Let me know in the comments – you never know when your dream house might appear!
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