Moving house is one of the most stressful life events. The actual move itself usually comes immediately after weeks or months of tension caused by dealing with buyers, estate agents, solicitors and so on. Then there is the enormous psychological pressure of finally selling your property, securing your new one and the large amount of money that is at stake.
If you have an emotional attachment to the place you are selling it can also add to the stress of moving and on top of all that you have to take care of the logistical exercise that is physically moving to a new home.
All this stress is a real shame, because moving house can also be an exciting time and the beginning of a new era in your life. So, how can you make things a little easier for yourself and your family?
Here are SellingUp‘s 15 practical tips to help you take the edge off your moving house stress.
- Get a head start. There’s plenty you can do way ahead of the move, like de-cluttering, taking unwanted possessions to the tip or a charity shop, and doing all those annoying little DIY jobs that need doing pre-sale.
- Leave plenty of time to pack and get ready – and more than you think necessary. Just consider all that stuff in the kitchen cupboards, under the bed and on the book shelves – it really adds up and it’s not going to pack itself.
- Book your removal service well ahead of time. You don’t want to be phoning around in desperation with the big day looming and end up paying over the odds for a man with a van.
- Get boxes. Lots of boxes. There’s not much downside to having more than you need – but you won’t want to find you’ve run out as the deadline looms and you’re frantically packing things you forgot you even owned into wafer thin black bin bags.
- Buy plenty of bubble wrap to take care of glass and other fragile items. You don’t want the added stress of finding things have arrived in pieces. It seems like a hassle to use bubble wrap but it’s a lot more trouble sweeping up and disposing of thousands of shards of broken glass and china.
- Get some help with the packing done. Lots of removal firms will offer a packing service. It will cost more, but it can be worth outsourcing that particular time-consuming stress as you will be busy enough with other things.
- Hire a cleaner to make the house presentable for the new owner once the boxes are out – you’ve got enough to do already without making sure the oven is sparkling, the fridge is spotless and the skirting boards are shiny.
- Consider self storage if you’re downsizing, while you figure out what to do with the extra possessions. Again, you don’t have to wait until you have a new house to arrange this.
- Measure large furniture to make sure it can all fit in the new place. You may love your three metre long sofa, but if you can’t fit it through the door of your new home, your going to have to say goodbye, and you don’t want to be finding out on the day of the move. You might even want to plan the new layout with scale drawings, in case there’s anything you need to leave behind.
- Redirect your mail at the Post Office. You will need to tell people your address has changed, but it takes a while and you’ll inevitably forget someone – plus you won’t want to keep calling back at your old property to see what’s turned up for you in the meantime.
- Organise a short let through an estate agent that specialises in rentals of less than six months. Or if you only need it for a few weeks, try finding accommodation on Airbnb until your new place is ready to move into, so you’re not camping out without heating or facilities.
- Arrange parking in advance for your removal van outside both new and old properties if you need to.– possibly with the council if they are in controlled parking zones. Having easy access from the front doors to the van is going make the whole process go a lot quicker and easier.
- Check with the new owner what time they want to pick up keys on moving day. There’s no point rushing to vacate if they are not turning up until the next day, but equally you don’t want them hanging around while you frantically try to get finished.
- Take your meter readings on the last day, and on the first day in your new house, so there’s no confusion when the bills arrive. You don’t want the added stress of feeling you might be paying the wrong amount.
- Have something to look forward to. If you’ve followed the tips on SellingUp – like using an online estate agency – you’ll probably have saved a lot of money. Earmark some of it for a holiday. You should find that having a sunny beach on the horizon will help you to handle the immediate stress of your move.