How to Move House (Minus the Stress!)
At Oak Furniture Solutions, we know how stressful moving house can be. It will always be a disruptive experience, but it doesn't have to be as stressful as you imagine. The key is to be organised and prepare as much in advance as you can.
Don't become overwhelmed by the task ahead, simply make a list, or several if you need to, which will help break it down into manageable chunks. For example, make a list of utility suppliers you need to contact. Check how much notice you need to give them and cancel all standing orders you no longer need.
In the few months leading up to the big move try to clean as you go, then when it comes to the main event, cleaning will be minimal. Get rid of clutter which is a long-winded process at the best of times. We'd advise starting this as soon as you can, even before you've had an offer accepted, just to save yourself some intensive clearing out at the last minute.
Get rid of things you haven't touched for at least a year and if you're downsizing, then you can always auction off larger items such as furniture. Now is the time to order new furniture too, so that by the time you come to move it will be ready. Get excited about decorating a new space; why not choose your furniture based on the theme or style you envisage in your new dream home? You can always opt for self assembly pieces, excellent if you're worried about the dimensions of your new place.
Once everything is firmed up and you have a potential exchange date, then it's time to focus on the nitty gritty of the move. If you're planning to do the removals yourself, then make sure you hire the right sort of van, that will be able to fit everything, gain access to both properties and that you feel comfortable driving. Bear in mind you can save yourself a lot of money by booking them for use during the week, rather than a weekend.
If you feel safer hiring a professional removal company, then make sure they're a member of BAR, the British Association of Removers. Get three quotes before choosing the company you like the sound of and don't always automatically opt for the cheapest one. Let them know how many rooms worth of items they'll be moving and approximately how many boxes this will amount to.
Always read the small print and make sure you know how their insurance policy works and what it covers. It may well not cover boxes you've packed yourself for example. Key information to check includes how long the company has been trading for, can they supply references, how will your items be packed and how is their security for overnight storage for example.
House move checklist
So you're in the thick of sorting out moving boxes and need to create a list. There's a multitude of helpful checklists on-line, such as BBC Homes, Moveme.com and professional moving companies such as Britannia Bradshaw.
In a nutshell we think these are the top ten points you shouldn't miss off your list.
- Make sure you prepare anyone who is helping you; warn them about access issues.
- When packing fragile items, think about weight distribution, wrapping them carefully.
- Give boxes comprehensive labels, colour-coded if necessary. Opt for lots of medium rather than large boxes, which can be bulky to manoeuvre.
- Ensure children and pets avoid the stress of the move as much as possible, so perhaps get a friend or family member to take care of them for the day.
- When redirecting your post, don't drown under a load of paperwork. Simply log in to iammoving.com which allows you to change your address details and notify over 1500 organisations in one go.
- Prepare a fact file for the new owners and ask one to be prepared for you if possible. This is where you can put all appliance manuals and service leaflets. Recycling schedules, local doctor information and anything you think could be helpful can go in the fact file.
- Visit the area you're moving to, before you move, so you can get a feel for it and look forward to being a resident.
- Get a good conveyancing solicitor - the last thing you need are unnecessary legal delays.
- Keep all important documents such as passport, birth certificate, insurance documents and so on in one bag which you have with you on the day.
- Pack a bag of essentials which will last you for a few days, with toiletries, clothes and essential food supplies such as milk and teabags.
Moving house tips
Be aware that there is always the luxury option of asking the removal company to handle everything from removal to paper work of the move. This company, abels.co.uk, will provide services such as cleaning, dismantling and reassembling furniture as well as disposing of unwanted clutter.
Experienced and well established companies will also have specialist knowledge, such as how to handle international moves and house removals in all seasons. Britannia Bradshaw provide some tips for moving through the winter.
They advise to ensure that all removal vehicles have easy access to both properties, with snow cleared away if necessary. Ensure the removal company has floor coverings to protect floors and carpeting. Put heating on in your new abode and try to get curtains up as soon as possible to keep the cold out.
Before moving make sure you protect your furniture as well as you can, or be aware of how the removal company plan to wrap your furniture. You'll need the right supplies to wrap your furniture properly, including sofa and mattress covers, packing tape and bubble wrap, furniture blankets and cardboard sheets.
Ensure that you've cleared belongings out of the furniture before you start packing and disassembling it. Remove table and sofa legs, take out the extension leaves from tables and put all hardware such as screws in separate, labelled bags which can be taped to the packaging.
Ensure you wrap table legs and bed rails well and cover glass table tops with cardboard sheets and bubble wrap. Cover mattresses, sofas and chairs in special plastic covers.
If you're starting to worry about how your triple wardrobe will fit up the new narrow staircase of your next property, it might be the time to invest in some practical self assembly or partial assembled furniture.
Once your furniture is all wrapped, lastly check the removal van has covered your furniture with furniture blankets to ensure pieces are protected as much as possible. Your move should now be productive, industrious and efficient with stress levels kept as low as possible.