There are two things commonly known to be the most stressful event in your life: getting married and moving house. There is no way around it - moving home just isn’t fun! So what can you do to make it easier and less stressful?
Procrastination can be your worst enemy when moving. Be prepared, plan and organise in advance. Do not leave packing until a few days before the move but start to get your things together well before moving day so that everything is ready to go.
Moving home will be tiring both emotionally and physically. Have early nights and eat and drink healthily when preparing for the big day to ensure you do not become worn out too quickly when carrying boxes back and forth.
Getting rid of clutter in your old home will make you feel better and more organised and will ensure you do not transport unnecessary items with you. Be ruthless when clearing out your possessions and discard anything that hasn’t been used or worn for more than a year.
Planning and organisation
Preparation is the key to a successful move and you should begin with a list of tasks you need to do. Consider dividing this into a weekly schedule to make the list more manageable and to prevent you overlooking important issues. Create a ‘move file’ to help you keep track of important information related to your move and to store medical, dental, vet and school information, birth certificates, insurance policies and other important document.
Organise your boxes by labelling them appropriately. This will reduce frustration and timewasting on the day of the move. A popular choice is to label each box with its room name, marking certain boxes as ‘fragile’ where appropriate. Alternatively you could colour code each box to a room so that boxes are more easily identifiable.
Moving is a lengthy process and removal companies are not always a popular choice. Ask friends and family if they can spare a couple of hours to help instead – with everybody involved, the move should be completed in next to no time as the old adage ‘many hands make light work’ reminds us. You should also consider using reputable companies, such as
, when obtaining vital packing supplies.
Children and pets
Try encouraging your children to participate actively in the move, regardless of their age. Ease your child's fears by asking for their help in packing their belongings, taking them to their new home in advance and allowing them to have a choice in decorating their new room.
Pets can often pick up on the stress of moving house too, so make sure you spare a thought for any animals you have. Take some of their toys or bedding over to the new property before moving in so that their scent is already in the new home and make sure you transport them safely on moving day.
If you have the time you could do your packing in stages, starting with the items you will not need during the time your house is on the market. Pack and store anything that is usually stored in the loft. As the move date approaches pack anything you won’t need in the next month, then in the next week.
are a great option for those preparing to begin this stage and come with ready assembled boxes which save you time and money. Removal boxes come in a large range of shapes and sizes and use light weight materials for easy carrying but are still robust enough to store your items securely. To safely transport you wardrobes, you can even find specially made wardrobe boxes which protect your clothes against dirt and dust while on the road.
Remember not to overfill large boxes because this will make them too heavy to move. Instead pack heavy items in smaller boxes as they will be easier to lift and move without breaking. One helpful tip for packing is to consider household items which have a useful dual purpose. For example, pillows, blankets and duvet covers can all be used to wrap fragile items.
Have an essentials box
This box should ideally contain various key items, such as:
• Toilet paper
• Cleaning products
• Black bags
• Light bulbs
• Kettle, cups, tea and coffee
• Cold drinks
It is important to make sure that the essentials box is loaded last as you will want this first in your new home. Consider packing an overnight bag for your first night too. It will save you searching around in boxes for the things you need.
The actual day of the move
When the big day finally arrives, make sure you follow these steps for a stress free transition:
• Keep important documents on you during the move.
• Put some music on: it will put you in a positive mood and is likely to increase energy levels.
• Do not try to unpack everything on the day of your move. Concentrate on the most important areas (kitchen and bathroom) instead.
• Keep children occupied: have colouring books or toys available to keep them busy. Alternatively, arrange childcare so that they don’t have to be involved in the stress on the day.
• If you have a pet, choose a room to isolate it in with food, water and bedding. Place a notice on the door to remind everyone to keep the door shut.
• Don’t cook a meal that evening but consider a takeaway instead. This will give you a chance to unwind after a long day.
• Don’t stay up late to get it all done: have an early night to ensure you are refreshed and ready to start again the next day.
Despite all these tips, thing can still go wrong. Be flexible and deal with any problems calmly. Keep a detailed task list and cross off completed jobs as you go along. Remembering that creating your perfect home takes time and you are going to be living out of
for awhile. Give yourself time to settle in and remember: ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’.