This is the first in a series of articles that we have prepared on moving house. Take a look at the bottom of this article for links to the rest of the articles in the series.
It is said that moving house is in the top five most stressful things in life. The only way to avoid making it even more stressful is to plan. This article therefore deals with the things you need to plan for weeks before the move itself happens.
Lists Are Your Friend!
At this stage you need to be making lists. Start as soon as possible and keep adding to it as you go. The lists will start quite top-level, but as you get nearer to the moving day you will create sub-lists from the main list. So initially you’ll start with something like this:
- Buy packing boxes
- Buy other packing supplies
- Buy cleaning products
- Buy emergency supplies
- Categorise belongings
- Inform friends and service/utility providers
- Arrange disconnect & Reconnect of services/utilities from old to new home
- Check weather forecast on day of move
- Prepare food and drink for moving day
- Check insurance
- Arrange temporary storage
- Inform buyer of your solicitor’s details (if applicable)
- Get solicitors details from seller (if applicable)
- Arrange van hire/moving company
- Arrange lots of friends/family to help (if applicable, i.e. no moving company)
- Arrange postal redirect to new property
The above covers all the major items you need to plan for, but as you approach moving day you’ll need to start getting into the specifics by creating a list for each item as follows:
Packing Boxes & Materials
Be sure to order more than you estimate – you ALWAYS need more boxes
- Boxes (various sizes including cardboard wardrobe boxes for hanging clothes)
- Packing Tape
- Packing Paper/Newspaper
- Scissors/Sharp knives
- Stickers – preferably different colours (you’ll find out why in a later article)
- Marker Pens
- Mattress Covers
There’s a basic amount of cleaning you need to do in your old home (especially if it’s rented in order to get your deposit) and you’ll be doing a lot of cleaning in your new home for sure – everyone does.
- Detergents/floor & bathroom cleaner
- Rubber gloves
Lightbulbs, Candles & Batteries
Worst case scenario, your electricity, gas or oil supply may be off/run out, so you’ll need at least light and heat.
- Lightbulbs – you wouldn’t believe how many people take them!
- Batteries (for torches)
- Electric/Gas Heaters
You’ll need to categorise all your belongings for efficiency. We don’t mean by room here, that comes later. Instead it’s something like this:
- Do Not Pack
These are things that go with you, such as passports, other important documents, jewellery, money, prized keepsakes, antiques etc. If it’s a long move then think about renting a storage unit as your possessions will be much safer there.
What are those key things that you’ll need straight away in your new home. Kitchen utensils, towels, clothes, toilet roll, soap, detergents, tissues, etc.
You know that stuff in the attic that you haven’t used for the last 5 years? You don’t need it so either dump it (if it’s in bad shape) or give it to charity.
Everything else you want to take with you.
Inform Friends And Service/Utility Providers
You need to prepare way ahead of time to be sure that everyone knows where you’ll be after a certain date.
- Friends & Family
- Telephone & Broadband Provider
- Satellite/Cable TV Company
- Insurance Companies (Home, Car, Life, etc.)
- Pension/Investment Companies
- Car Tax/Vehicle Licensing Office
- Mobile Phone Company
- Credit Card Company
- Membership Card Companies
- Tax Office
- TV License
- Online Registrations (Paypal, etc.)
- Electoral Register
Arrange Disconnect & Reconnect Service/Utility Providers
Your essential utilities such as electricity, gas, oil, telephone, broadband and water need to be disconnected from your old home and reconnected as appropriate in your new home. Planning ahead will avoid the stress of not having these connected and will also allow you to look for the best deals where certain providers change based on geography.
- Start gathering all your bills months in advance to be sure you don’t forget any.
- Review the options for utility providers for your new home. Do the same companies apply and are there better options?
- Contact all your old providers and inform them that you want the service disconnected from your moving date.
- Contact the new providers and let them know that you want services to commence from your move-in date. Some of these will be the same as in point 3 so you can tell them during the same conversation.
Check Weather Forecast
If you are doing a DIY move then knowing what the weather is going to be like is very important.
- Rainy Weather – Buy plastic ponchos for everyone (wet & cold helpers are miserable helpers)
- Cold Weather – Have lots of warm drinks/soup and food on-hand and somewhere warm to “recharge”
- Hot Weather – Have lots of cool drinks and ice on-hand
- Icy Conditions – Buy salt and grit and spread anywhere people will be walking. You don’t want someone tripping while carrying a heavy box
Prepare Food & Drink
You will need lots of snacks and food that can be eaten on-the-go and a selection of drinks. You could order in Pizza, but here are some ideas:
- Sandwiches (various fillings)
- Sausage Rolls
- Instant Soups
- Fizzy Drinks
There is the capacity for items to be damaged, lost or stolen during a move. Check your insurance policy to be sure you are adequately covered and consider increasing your cover (if only temporarily).
Arrange Temporary Storage
People think about storage centers as only required if you want to store items long-term or if you are moving a great geographic distance. In reality temporary storage can be a perfect way to reduce the stress of a move.
- Remember those valuables? A small unit could store all your valuables against damage, loss or theft on a hectic move day.
- That not-so-important stuff? Put it in storage for a short while until you have your new home in order and know where to put it.
- Your clothes. Don’t put them in a damp, cold garage or clutter up your home. Store them until you have time to move them into your cupboards
- OOOps! Your moving dates don’t match up? No Problem, store your belongings for a short period of time.
All-in-all, there are many reasons why temporary storage makes perfect sense.
The remaining items in the top-level list are fairly self-explanatory, so all that’s left to say is good luck with your planning and look out for the next article in this series.