Moving house can be stressful, whether you’re simply changing rental properties or moving into a new home you own. There is always a lot to do, on a schedule, and it can get overwhelming unless you’re very organised. In this article we’ll look at some smart things to do before you move house to help reduce the stress levels and make sure everything runs smoothly.
Make a “To Do” List
The very first thing to do is make an actual list of things “to do”. Yes, a to do list.
Now this list doesn’t have to be set in stone like the Ten Commandments. The list will change and evolve over time. If you have a fair amount of time before the move, then start this list as early as possible.
As time goes by you’ll naturally think of more stuff that has to be done and taken care of. You’ll mark things off as you do them, and add things to the list as you think of them. It'll be your ultimate checklist.
The great thing about to do lists is they keep your organised and focused. Most importantly, they make sure you don’t forget anything.
You can also organise your task list into sections of importance. What absolutely has to be done and when, and other tasks that can maybe be put off for a while if needed.
Without an evolving to do list you’re really just running around blind with no clear direction. It’s the first and most essential facet of successfully moving house with a minimum of stress and fuss. A good to do list could also save you money along the way, as you are less likely to make any mistakes leading up to and during the move.
Get Rid of All the Clutter
Whether you’re downsizing your home or not, I’d advise doing this task as early as you can too. Get your to do list going and put this one at the top, or near the top, of your list.
There’s something very therapeutic about decluttering your life and getting rid of a lot of old and unwanted stuff. It’s one of the real positives of moving. It feels like a fresh, clean start, where life has been simplified and renewed.
We all accumulate stuff when we’ve been living in the one place for a decent length of time. You don’t have to be a hoarder to have loads of unused possessions, or tired furniture that really screams out to be replaced.
One of the advantages of doing this early – apart from helping you to feel more organised and in control – is that when it comes time to pack, you won’t be wasting valuable time near the move date trying to sort it all out then.
If you get it done early, all you’ll have left in your home when it’s time to pack is the stuff you really want to keep and nothing else.
Anything you don’t want that’s still of value you could try to sell online, give to people you know, or donate to a charity store.
Also, recycle anything you can, and what’s left will no doubt be going into the trash. Hopefully, most of it can be reused in some other way by somebody else.
You could even hold a garage sale a week or two before the move date and make a little extra cash. Anything that doesn’t sell, just give it away.
Formulate a Budget
This budget will likely change a little as you go, but it’s a good idea to have a reasonably accurate idea of just how much the overall move is going to cost you.
Creating a budget is a bit like the step above, except it’s a list of definite and possible expenses.
Write down anything you can think of related to the move that’ll cost money, as well as the price.
Having some sort of budget will help you avoid any nasty surprises, as well as keep you financially organised so you have the money on hand when you need it.
Start Packing Early
If you’re not changing houses for another month, then obviously you won’t do all your packing now, but you can get started now.
If you really look around you’ll discover numerous items you are keeping that rarely get used or are just ornamental. These can be packed early on so you don’t have as much to do on the hectic lead up to moving day.
You might be surprised just how many things you can get neatly packed away and ready well in advance. The less you have to do on moving day, the better.
Another good point is this: Clean each item before you pack it. That way, when it gets unpacked in the new place, everything is already nice and clean.
Clearly Mark Your Boxes
While on the subject of box packing, always clearing label each box you pack, on the top and at least two of the sides. If it’s stuff from the kitchen, you might write “kitchen” on it.
Chances are some of the boxes will be an eclectic mix of items; especially those you packed early on. I find the most efficient way of keeping track of what’s in each box is to number them, then make a list for each box number. On the list, briefly note each item you pack into the box.
This doesn’t take long to do. Just do it as you go. The great thing about this tactic is it makes it super easy to find something that’s already been packed away if you need to.
It’s all about being organised for efficiency and the least amount of headaches.
Don’t Forget To Inform Utility Companies of Your Move Date
You can’t do this until you have a firm date of when you want to switch things over for your electricity, phone, internet and so on, but once you do know, inform these respective companies early so everything is ready to go when you do make the move.
After all, you don’t want to end up at your new house and discover the power is not yet on, or wait a week for cable or broadband to be connected.
It’s yet another thing that can be done early to save you extra stress close to the big move.
Change Addresses and Forward Mail
Many addresses for bank accounts, accounts you have online and other stuff can often be done on the internet.
It might even be a good idea to start making a small to do list just for address changes, so you don’t forget any.
But just in case you do, it might be a good idea to set up a month or two worth of mail forwarding to the new address, just in case you overlooked something. If any forwarded mail comes in, you’ll know what was missed and what addresses still need changing. If you get none during that period, you can cancel mail forwarding as you’ve obviously got everything covered.
Move What You Can Yourself
Most people will likely hire removalists on the day, or at least rent a truck and have people lend a hand with the move.
Either way, even if you only have a car, there are some things you can move yourself without relying on the removalists to do it.
This can be particularly important for smaller, fragile items that you don’t fancy packing in a box, or putting in the hands of the professionals. Even TVs and stereo equipment, musical instruments, glass panels for a computer desk etc., can easily and safely be transported to the new house in the family car.
You could even cart some of the smaller boxes too.
Most removalists charge by time, so the less time they spend moving your possessions and furniture, the cheaper it’ll be for you. Leave the big, heavy stuff up to them.
If you are planning on using a professional removal service, then choose one that charges fair prices and comes recommended by independent sources. There are always a few cowboy removalists out there who really don’t care, and you don’t want those guys.
What About Your Pets?
Moving is a stressful and confusing day for your family pets, even if the move is just across to the other side of town. There is a lot going on during moving day, and you don’t want your dog or cat disappearing during the chaos.
If the move is local, you could have someone go ahead with the pets to the new home early and stay there with them. Or, perhaps your pets could stay at a neighbour’s house for a few hours until the move is complete.
Either way, you want to think about your pets and what you’ll do with them on the day ahead of time. They don’t know what’s going on, and they could even think you’re leaving them. Give them regular reassurance and somewhere safe to be on the day of the move.
Thanks for reading and I hope you found some helpful tips here.
If I was to single just one tip out as being the most important, it would be creating a “to do” list. That’s the one thing that can, and will, ensure everything else runs smoothly and that nothing has been overlooked.
Just keep adding to the list as you think of things. That’s why it’s important to start the list early, as you won’t think of everything right away.
Good luck with your move.