My House Move & Five Tips For Moving HouseMonday, April 11, 2016
(fyi my move looked nothing like this cute scene. It was more like my boyfriend drowning in flat pack furniture and me running around like a headless chicken, shouting with messy hair and a bright red face).
Back when I was at university I moved house quite a lot, and as stressful as that was it was nothing compared to moving house as a fully fledged adult. When you own all of your own furniture and appliances, have pets and years worth of accumulated possessions moving house really is hard work! I did it recently and now I'm at the other end and fully settled in I wanted to share a few of my tips and my experience of moving house this time around. Me and my boyfriend moved together to a new city which also added a few of it's own challenges into the mix, but if you're planning on moving soon here are some things to consider!
Start as Early as Possible
I appreciate this isn't always possible especially when you're renting, I know it wasn't for us! Although we'd been looking for a while, when we finally found a house we liked they wanted us in there as quickly as possible and so everything was a bit of a mad rush. But if you have a moving date that's well in advance it's so worth starting everything as early as possible. Packing up non-essential items, phoning around to make sure everywhere has your new address and the date you'll be moving in. These kinds of things will always take longer than you anticipate, especially when you're having to make phone calls and send emails and then chase things up a few days later. Luckily lots of places have change of address forms online now, but you always get one or two that like to be difficult and want letters sending off instead. Or even worse, insist they need you to phone up and then make you sit on hold for half an hour. Annoying! Get quotes for things like van drivers/ van hire/ removal companies (depending on what type of service you're after) this can be quite pricey so don't let it be a cost that catches you out. Plus they tend to get booked up quickly too so make sure they're available on your moving day.
Pack an 'Essentials Kit'
Before you start packing things away, I highly advise putting a little essentials kit together. I used a small hand luggage sized suitcase for this and found that it was the perfect size. Useful things to include are kitchen essentials including a tea towel, washing up liquid and cloths, a couple of plates, mugs and pieces of cutlery- the kinds of things you'll need be able to eat and drink on the day of moving and that evening. Bathroom essentials including a bath towel and a toiletries bag and additional items like a mobile phone charger, bin bags and basic tools like a screwdriver and tape measure. A change of clothes, pyjamas and a makeup bag will also come in handy. I also had all of my ID and paperwork in here as well which you'll need if you're signing a tenancy etc. Have a think about the kind of things that you're going to need to have on hand over the move, it saves having to re-open and dig through boxes to find things you need immediately. With everything else going on when you're moving, having these kinds of things where you need them saves a huge amount of stress. Have this all ready to go ahead of time and keep it with you, and make sure it doesn't get loaded onto the van with all of your other boxes.
Get Organised and Pack Well
Packing is boring, and it's so tempting to shove everything into boxes with no thought just to get it out of the way. But if you do this step properly, you'll thank yourself later on. If you make sure all clothes, bedding, pets bedding, soft furnishings etc are washed and neatly folded into boxes it means you wont have to do a load of washing when you get to your new place. Make sure fragile items are properly wrapped, and consider taking all valuables/ electrical equipment yourself instead on putting them on the moving van. Make sure there's nothing that could leak or cause a hazard (ie sharp objects poking out of boxes) and use packing as an opportunity to declutter. Only pack and bring with you things you actually need and use, and create piles to be thrown away or sent to charity. Unpacking is already stressful and time consuming as it is, making sure everything is clean and organised before boxing it up saves no end of hassle when you come to get organised and unpack all of your stuff.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time To Clean
I pride myself on being a clean person, I keep my stuff tidy and organised and for the most part actually enjoy cleaning. But cleaning our old empty house after all of our stuff was removed still took ages, way longer than I imagined it would. Before handing your keys back you'll need to make sure things like floors, windows and windowsills are cleaned, inside and on top of kitchen cupboards, any appliances that came with the house. Bathrooms, the kitchen and the gardens/ outside space. You'll need to dismantle any light fittings you have up, remove blinds, hanging baskets, plant pots etc. These are things I hadn't really given much thought to, it was only once everything else was removed I could see how much was still left to do, so is something to be aware of! Don't forget to fill in any holes in the walls from where things were hung up, and any scuffs and scrapes in the paintwork from moving furniture. It's the little jobs always seem to take the longest.
Consider Your Pets
Having someone to look after your pets while you pack and move is the ideal solution, we didn't have this luxury when we moved and it was a bit stressful having the dogs messing about and jumping in the way when we were trying to get things done. Always consider your pets safety, on moving day when the door is going to be open for a lot of the day make sure they're secured in a room and there's nothing in there that could be dangerous including dismantled furniture or heavy boxes that could fall. You'll need to work out how you'll be getting them to the new property too, we had a 45 minute trip down the motorway to consider and since both dogs are not great in the car we had to purchase a couple of things to make it as safe as possible. Our biggest dog travels in the boot so we bought a metal boot guard to stop him from trying to jump over the back seats, and our smaller dog was in the back seat strapped in with a harness and a proper doggy seat belt. This was possibly the most stressful car journey we've ever done, but luckily we all made it safely to the new house.
Have you ever moved house? What advice would you give to someone moving?