Tips for surviving the big move

Published: 17/10/2022

Moving house is stressful…fact. They say moving house is definitely among the top five most stressful life events. And we would agree with that to some extent. But while some of these life events have no connected highs, we would argue that moving house does for many of us. For a considerable percentage of people that purchase or rent a new property, the move is a positive choice, made with good intentions and dreams of an exciting future. So while the process may be a headache, the result is often one of the biggest adrenaline rushes we could ask for…new beginnings, a fresh start…the list goes on.

So, let’s look at some tips for making a house move that little bit easier. Now, where shall we start? Find a quiet corner (free from children, pets and housework) and let’s run through some mood-lifting ways of keeping our heads out of the stress zone…

  1. Plan Early – now this may seem obvious, but unfortunately, many people leave things to the last minute, and that is where the stress begins. Write a checklist and work through it, ticking things off one at a time. The prospect of planning a move seems like a colossal task, but by dividing that task into many smaller tasks, each one becomes more manageable - and less daunting! Grab a load of boxes, tape, bubble wrap and labels and start packing early. Remember that the more you organise things at your end, the easier and smoother the process will be once you reach your new home. The phrase, ‘a stitch in time saves nine’, couldn’t be more accurate.
  2. Source Free Moving Boxes – most people don’t even give this a second thought, but moving boxes don’t have to cost you money. Do a shout-out on local groups, ask your friends, and check out the nearest recycling centre. It’s also worth looking at FreeBay sites as there is always someone giving away items that could save you on the packing costs. You might think a few boxes and a bit of tape won’t cost must, but it soon adds up. Think savvy and ask early – grab a bargain and put the money towards something else.
  3. Declutter As You Go – one of the reasons a move is so stressful is because once you get to your new home, you have no idea where you kept everything in your old one – where did you hide all the unwanted items that no one has looked at – or missed – for five or ten years? Who knows! But what it does mean is that you don’t need it. So, here’s a little tip. As you pack, sort things into three groups: items to take to the new house, items to sell (it’s always good to try and claw back some of those moving costs) and items to give away to friends or a charity shop. Then when you reach the other end, there is so much less to find a new place for – winning! Many local charities will also come and collect your unwanted items for free, so get researching, and you could save yourself so much time.
  4. Child And Pet Sitters – ok, let’s get real. Children and pets need attention and have 101 demands. That’s fine, and under normal circumstances, we get on with it, but during a big move, we need time and space, and it helps if our dependents can have their needs attended to elsewhere. Ask a family member, ask a friend, and cash in on those favours. Sometimes we need an afternoon to blast the packing. Other times such as the moving day, it just helps to have one less thing to focus on. If you are fortunate enough to have people around who can help and want to help, reach out. Trust us when we say you will get so much more done.
  5. Change Of Address – this is such an important one! Write a list of people and businesses you need to notify of your move. Once you get started, you will be surprised at how many will be on the list. Nothing is more frustrating than not receiving your post because you didn’t update the Royal Mail in time or going without internet for weeks because you forgot to schedule an appointment to install your new router. Can you imagine going without Wi-Fi? A thing of nightmares. 
  6. Parking Spot For The Moving Van – this is key! Can you imagine the van turning up on moving day, and there is nowhere for them to park? This is every home mover’s nightmare. In fact, it doesn’t bear thinking about. If you have a driveway, make sure it’s empty. If you have on-road parking, put out a temporary sign, or better still, have a word with your neighbours to prewarn them of the day’s plans. Communication is so important and just a little friendly chat to keep everyone in the loop goes a long way. It’s also an excellent opportunity to introduce yourself to your new neighbours at the other end. Knock on a few doors and say hi – it might be the start of some new friendships and well-deserved dinner party plans!

So that’s our top six tips for a smooth house move. We can’t predict every possible hiccup and complication, but we hope we have provided a few pointers we have picked up along the way.

A house move is a long and often stressful process, but we can try and reduce that stress by pre-empting things that can make our lives a tiny bit easier. Plan ahead, make lots of lists, take all the help offered, and try to use that adrenaline to focus on the next exciting chapter of your life. It’s about holding out for the calm after the storm; once things have settled, you can enjoy your new home and reap the rewards of your hard work.  
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