The average person will move homes around 8 times in their life, and in the UK, 100,000 people are thought to move each month. While this number is down considerably from the 1980s – households moved every year back then, moving house 8 times from the age of 18 upwards during your adult life is still a lot.
There are many reasons why people need to move from renting to buying a home, needing a bigger property, relocating for work, empty nest syndrome, change of scenery or lifestyle or for an upgrade; the “why” doesn’t matter.
There is no denying that moving home is stressful; many Brits will attest to that, and the fact it is often cited as one of the most stressful life experiences tells you all you need to know about moving. But tackling a house move and staying on top of things is not only a skill in itself but something everyone can realistically achieve.
Here are some of the best tips for helping you manage a house move, regardless of your situation or family size, to help you stay on top of everything and ensure things are running as smoothly as possible.
Before you do anything, you need to sit down and write yourself a checklist of everything you need to do and make sure you have copies, and you can access them all the time, be it a physical copy or a digital one. Prioritise the list in order of the most important things to be done, and break some sections down into smaller chunks if required, e.g. the packing part.
Use colour coding and assign tasks to different people if you can, and ensure you have a way of collaborating with others who will be helping you to make sure things are ticked off on time. Have deadlines and ensure things are done before they must be so everything runs smoothly.
Get A Definite Date
If you are moving from a rented property or you are waiting for your keys after buying a property, you need to be 100% confident about the dates. When are you getting the keys? When does the first rent payment need to be made/mortgage payment once the ball is rolling? How quickly do you need to move, and are there any unforeseen circumstances that can affect this date? Do you need to move in one day, or do you have a few days to get out and settle into the new place?
This date gives you a goal or aim; without it, you will be in a moving limbo, waiting for confirmation.
This will only apply if you are renting; if you are buying a property or are in the chain, you won’t need to do this. Make sure you know your legal requirements as per your tenancy agreement, and give your landlord the required notice of your intention to leave on the date you will return the keys.
Once you have a confirmed move-in date, you can go ahead and contact your utility suppliers to arrange to have your account moved to your new address. You will need to give them as much notice as possible that you are moving to allow them to switch your account and get your services set up in the new place if required. This means calling your electricity, gas, water and broadband suppliers and anyone else whose services you currently use.
Not something many people consider an option, but it is an excellent way to organise yourself during your move, mainly if you are limited on time and space. Using self-storage facilities means you can pack up your belongings and move them to another location while you prepare for your move. This removes your need to navigate boxes in your home while organising everything. The earlier you start packing, the better, but this means you need to live with boxes all over the place, too. Moving them to self-storage gives you peace of mind that everything is sorted and safe, and you can continue focusing on the task at hand.
Plus, if you are pushed for time on move day, are carrying out renovations in the new home, or have a period of time between moves, you can easily store your items safely until you are ready to collect them.
Many companies have clauses allowing you to end your contract when you move home to enable you to access other companies for your new property if you wish. This is in case they cannot offer you the same package you have now in your new home, i.e. you are moving out of a regional area, and they no longer supply your new address.
Get a date booked for reconnection and ensure this is marked in the calendar and you know when shut off will be in your existing place so you don’t have to navigate moving with no electricity or running water, for example. If you leave it too late, you may also find you don’t have anything set up come the moving date, and you have to go a little while without using your utilities, especially if there are no existing connections, e.g. broadband.
Don’t forget to take final metre readings upon moving out and first readings before using anything connected at the new location. Take pictures if possible so you have proof to ensure all of your bills are correct, and you aren’t paying for others’ usage prior to or after your move.
Booking your moving company as early as possible means you can access more competitive prices and not worry about them cancelling due to overbooking or being unable to find a suitable company to help you out. You can hire a van and carry out the whole process yourself, book a van and drivers who will help you load up and transport your belongings from one place to another or have a full removal service where they pack everything up for you.
All these services come in at various price points and will consider the following: the time it will take to complete the move, the distance you are moving, how many staff members will be working the job and how big your property is. With this in mind, it’s imperative you obtain a few quotes for moving companies to allow you to gauge prices for different services and see what works for your budget. Leaving things to the last minute will result in you potentially not being able to find the right option for you or being left paying inflated prices due to the urgency of the booking.
Something everyone knows they need to do from time to time but don’t always get around to is decluttering. A house move is the perfect time to reassess exactly what you want and don’t want regarding everything you own. This is doubly important if you are downsizing or have accumulated a lot of stuff over the years, especially if you have kids.
Take it room by room or cupboard by cupboard and ask yourself if you really want it or if you have used it recently. Chances are you will be able to clear out many items and make packing easier for yourself. The last thing you want is to haul your unwanted junk from one place to the next and have one more thing to sort out post-move.
Create a list and work methodically as you pack. Once you have decided what you don’t want, get rid of it immediately so it isn’t cluttering up your home. Be it donating to charity shops, selling via local marketplaces, or taking out your local household recycling centre, deal with it there and then so you’re not failing over it as you continue to move, or it gets mistaken for the stuff you’re moving and ends up coming with you.
Walk Through Your New Home Before Moving
If you can, take some time to go through your new home before your belongings are in there and you know how to use them. It is a really simple thing to do that can often be overlooked. Get to grips with the boiler and thermostat, and learn how to turn the water off at the stopcock and where your gas and electricity metres are. Check out the fuse cupboard, play with appliances if they are coming with the property so you know how to use them and locate all the plug sockets to help you arrange your furniture appropriately. This will make things much easier when you move as you will know where everything is and how it works.
Do the same for people moving into the property you are vacating too. A list of things that will help them settle in easier or quirks of the house will be much appreciated so they can acclimate themselves faster and not be taken aback when things don’t work as expected.
Finally, tell people you are moving, where, and when. This is anyone you hold an account with at all, and who needs your contact details. These places include schools, doctors, dentists, banks, credit card companies, subscription services, DVLA, TV Licensing and more. Ensure you have updated your new details so you can be switched over and there is no loss of service or confusion.
Moving house is a big deal and requires you to be proactive on many different things, usually simultaneously. This comprehensive list can help ensure nothing is overlooked, and you are as prepared for your move as possible.
Post in collaboration