Moving house is right up there as one of the most stressful things you’ll do in your life. And whilst there are some stressful encounters you can never prepare for, this is not one of them.
Planning and preparation will help your house move go as smoothly as possible and with some handy checklists it can be made even easier. It’s not just moving day itself that will need careful planning, there are a whole host of things to do before, during and after moving day.
We’ve broken things down into a few key areas to help you make a start.
You will need to decide which route you are going to take well in advance; full pack and removal service, removals only or man with a van. Each has their pros and cons and you will need to work out which is best for you. One thing is for sure, if you leave it until the last minute to decide, the choice of company and amount of availability will be reduced.
You don’t really want to move lots of things you don’t use, need or want. It’s very likely that every member of the household will have things stashed away that haven’t seen the light of day for years. Getting rid of these things early on, even as early as when you’re considering putting your property up for sale will not only make the move easier, but could save on removal costs too.
- Clear out each room of the house, one room at a time
- Clear out the loft
- Clear out the garage
- Don’t forget the garden shed
Make sure you do actually get rid of all those things you are not going to keep. Be firm and sell, donate, recycle or bin everything.
When moving house with children you will have leaving and starting schools to consider.
- Notify them of the date that will be your child’s last day of school well in advance
- Arrange for the return of any books or equipment before the last day of school unless they are absolutely essential for use on that last day
- Collect any artwork, projects or PE kit that your child has at school and needs to bring home before the last day of school
- If donating old school uniform back to school, try and donate as much as possible before the last day
- Make sure your child has a place registered well in advance of your moving day
- If possible try and buy any new school uniform before you move so your children have a smooth transition to their new school and don’t feel out of place on their first day
- Make sure that school uniform is packed so that it’s easily accessible at the other end. If necessary, put it in that box of essentials that will travel with you.
Try and pack as much as possible early on. Unless you’re paying a removal company to do the packing, it will take time. It will be less stressful if you can do it gradually and remember, if you’ve had a clear out beforehand, that will make things easier. If you’ve packed up boxes early and don’t want to have them sitting around the house getting in the way, you may want to consider putting them into self storage in the short term. Make an inventory that will stay with you. Even if it’s only the number of boxes and an overview of contents, when you get to the other end, you’ll be able to quickly tell if something is missing.
- Strong boxes
- Marker pens
- Packing materials (paper, bubble wrap, foam chips)
- Label boxes with their contents and the room they’re destined for (much easier at the other end).
- Don’t over pack boxes – you don’t want the bottoms to drop out or items to break as a result of being squashed. Fill them , but make sure you have an evenly balanced weight; heavy things at the bottom and then topped up with lighter items
- Don’t under pack boxes – you don’t want them getting crushed by heavier items placed on top. If necessary fill them out with packing materials to keep them sturdy
- Pack the items that will be essential at the other end of the move in a separate box to travel with you; kettle, tea, coffee, mugs, snacks for children and don’t forget phone chargers!
This is one area many people don’t give the consideration it needs. Just like us, a house move can stress pets out, especially if it involves a long journey.
- Speak to your local vet ahead of your move to discuss the best way to deal with it
- Make sure you keep a box of pet essentials to travel in the vehicle with you: water, pet food and treats, some toys and any items that may be needed if a clean up is required
- Know the details of your local vet at the other end of the move. If your pet falls ill in transit or soon after arriving at your destination you’ll need to consult them quickly.
- Make sure you have a plan for helping your pet settle into their new surroundings
You will need to make sure all your utility companies know the dates you are moving house in advance. Gas, Electricity, council, water, telephone and internet providers are the main ones. You will have lots to do on moving day but you will need to remember to
- Take meter readings on the day you leave to send to you utility companies. Tip – take a photograph of the meter with your phone. Pieces of paper can get lost and rushed handwriting misread. You’re less likely to lose you phone.
- Take meter readings as soon as possible when you arrive at your new property for your new utility companies.
Preparing your white goods
Fridges, freezers, washing machines and tumble dryers will all need disconnecting / unplumbing at least 24 hours before your moving day to ensure they are fully defrosted and drained of any fluids. The last thing you want is water from your washing machine hose or freezer soaking your packing boxes in transit.
Make sure you have a list of everyone that may need to be contacted in that ‘essentials’ box that travels with you. Utility companies, solicitors and vets may need to be contacted quickly.
Finally, if there is any delay between moving out of your old property and moving in to your new one, you may need to find a self storage provider. The location of your provider will depend on where you will be living between properties. If you’re not sure how much space you’ll need, talk to the facility manager they will be able to advise you. If you’re not sure how long you will need their services check how flexible their contracts are. At Space Centre Self Storage we don’t tie people in to long contracts and are flexible if people need to extend or even cut short their time with us – we understand that moving house doesn’t always go a smoothly as you’d like. Whilst most providers are flexible, not all are, so always check the rental terms.