A stress-free guide to moving house

Ned Browne

Moving home is the best of times; moving home is the worst of times. There’s nothing more exciting than moving home. But the sheer amount of work that is often involved can be daunting. Here’s our guide to make it as smooth as possible

Start early

If you’ve been living in the same place for a number of years, start packing up as soon as possible. As a rule of thumb, order twice as many packing boxes as you think you’ll need. 

You can buy moving kits online from, for example, packingboxes.co.uk—they provide marker pens and tape too. Label each box on the top and the side. Tape furniture fittings to the furniture—and make sure your tool box is accessible at all times.

 

Keep pile, charity shop pile and dump pile

One of the joys of moving is that cathartic feeling of having just undertaken a massive clear out. You discover prized possessions you’d long forgotten about, and you can offload those purchases you should never have bought in the first place.  

Now is the time to be ruthless. It’s a great opportunity to unburden yourself from the shackles of owning too much “stuff”. Charity shops are always happy to receive donations—try to choose them over landfill.

 

What about your washing machine?

You might find yourself with various surplus white goods. If you think that’s going to be the case, contact the people who are moving in—many will be happy to pay you to leave them put.  

If you have large items of furniture you don’t want, some charity shops will collect them for free.

 

Don’t forget the loft

Or the garage, the garden or the garden shed, for that matter. These can be messy jobs— don’t leave them to the last minute. 

Properties should be left completely empty because you can be charged for the removal of anything you leave.

 

The cost of moving

The biggest cost is usually the cost of transportation. Try to get a number of local quotes. Head to reallymoving.com to compare costs. They also allow you to get quotes from various solicitors and surveyors.

If it’s a small move, a man and van might be the most cost-effective option. Counter intuitively, a “man [or woman] and van” is often cheaper than hiring a van. That’s because you don’t have to be insured to drive the vehicle. If you want to drive yourself, get quotes from Travelsupermarket or sign up with Zipcar.

 

Things you need to know

Each property is unique, so here’s what you should ask the previous occupiers:

•    Who are the utility providers? (Don’t forget to check the readings too.)
•    If there’s a thermostat, where is it?
•    Who currently provides the phone line and broadband?
•    Where’s the stop cock for the water?
•    If it’s a leasehold property, who is the freehold contact?
•    If there’s a management company, what are their contact details?
•    Do they have instruction manuals for the appliances?

It’s also useful to know where the following were purchased: the kitchen units, and the bathroom and kitchen tiles. Then, if anything needs replacing in the future, you know where to get replacements.

 

When a house becomes a home

It takes time for a property to become a home—it’s the memories that make it such. If you don’t feel that connection straight away, give it time. And don’t forget to redirect your post —there nothing more like home than letters dropping through the letterbox.