When you’re moving house there’s a lot to keep track of and it’s often cited as one of life’s most stressful milestones. Thankfully there are things you can do to reduce the stress levels.
Use your forthcoming move as a chance to review what you really still use and enjoy in your life and what you’ll realistically need and want in the next chapter. Paring things down at this stage will save you time and money because you won’t be paying removal services to pack up and transport unwanted stuff into your new home. Your future self will thank you for making life easier at the other end!
• Don’t get overwhelmed trying to tackle the entire house at once. Choose a room and focus on just one area at a time (e.g. the floor, countertop, cupboard, drawer).
• Allocate time to sort through things. Switch off and eliminate likely distractions. You didn’t amass all this stuff overnight so probably won’t be able to review it in one day either!
• Getting started is often the hardest part. Take little steps if giant leaps are unrealistic. But definitely start. Have a ‘sentimental box’ to put trickier items into for now so you can keep making progress until your decluttering muscles have ‘warmed up’
• Reward yourself for your achievements, both during and at the end of the process.
• Ask for professional help if it seems daunting or it becomes too emotional reviewing belongings with your friends and family. See www.findanorganiser.co.uk for a professional organiser in your area.
Consider the following aspects of your move to see what you can arrange in advance of moving day. This will help you better handle the inevitable hiccups that arise with such a big transition:
Measure your existing furniture
Ensure items will actually fit into the new space and let go of anything that’s too bulky or surplus to requirements. If you can get access to your new home in advance, take masking tape and a tape measure around and map out on the floors where the sofa, sideboards, beds and wardrobes etc might fit and try walking around the space to ensure your everyday routes aren’t impinged. If you can’t access the property, ask the sellers for floor plans and dimensions. You can do the same planning on graph paper but you’ll need a bit more imagination to check there’s enough space to walk comfortably between the proposed furniture. Before squirreling excess furniture into a lock-up, seriously consider the long-term cost of offsite storage versus buying a new sofa in future – one that suits your tastes and household requirements at that stage!
You’ll probably find it easier to keep track of the move by referencing the new layout personally eg Jessica’s bedroom, Guest room, Home Office etc rather than Bedroom 2, 3 & 4. But make it easy for the removal team to know where Jessica, your guests and the computer is destined to hang out by also labelling the door of each room in the new place on moving day with the same terminology as the cardboard packing boxes.
Understand what’s expected of you to disconnect your current utility supplies. Create a list of relevant account numbers and phone numbers or websites to submit final electric, gas and water meter readings on the move day. You should also take opening meter readings for the new property and submit these to that supplier. Some telephone, internet and TV services can be transferred to your new property. Contact the home moving team of each supplier 4-6 weeks beforehand to understand their processes and allow time to effect the switch.
Identify any perishable food, household plants and any family members and pets that cannot travel in the removal vans and work out how you’ll transport them safely on the day. Keep a bag or box with you on the day for essentials including moving paperwork, phone chargers and cables, critical medicines and some drinks and snacks. Keeping the kettle and tea/ coffee supplies and mugs handy will be well received by the removal team!
Stocktake what’s in the cupboards and freezer and create a meal plan to steadily dwindle down supplies ahead of the move day. Ideally you want to be able to defrost the freezer a few days prior to the move to avoid unnecessary leaks when you turn the power off and leave the house.
Finally, take a look at my handy checklist of who to contact about your new address, but you can also set up a Royal Mail forwarding service for 3, 6 or 12 months to catch any contacts that you’ve overlooked. This will prevent sensitive data landing in the wrong hands.
Here’s wishing you a smoother move.