Date Published 19 July 2019
So, you've just found your dream home. What next? Chances are you've only a matter of weeks until you have to move your worldly belongings from A to B.
It's a huge task, but with careful planning it doesn't have to make you want to tear your hair out.
Here are our top tips for a stress-free move.
1. Start NOW
As soon as you know you are moving, start planning by writing down what you need to do and when and make a start on what you can ahead of time.
If this sounds ambitious, just try not to leave it more than three to four weeks before the big day.
2. Don't compromise on removals
There are different options here depending on your budget and the scale of your move. For larger households, as a general rule, look for British Association of Removers (BAR) registered movers or tried and tested recommendations from friends.
Get at least three quotes and go with the one you feel is best suited to your move, rather than the cheapest.
If you only have a small load and just want a man and van, ask around for recommendations to avoid cowboys. Check on insurance just in case anything goes wrong or is broken in transit.
3. Start packing early
Many people fall into the trap of putting off packing as they can't face starting such a mammoth task. Break it down into achievable parts and it will seem a lot less daunting.
Alternatively, pay extra and get the removals company to do it all for you. They can sweep the entire contents of a house into boxes in a matter of hours and make it look like light work.
4. Ikea bags are a mover's best friend
Well, maybe not BEST friend, but they're pretty good for any odds and sods that don't really need to go in a box. Zipped laundry bags are good for moving linens, clothes and coats, shoes and other non-breakables.
5. Label your boxes
It sounds obvious but so many people forget. Put the labels on more than one side so you can see what's what when they are piled high.
If you're really organised, make an inventory of what is in each box, especially if some items are going into storage.
6. Check your furniture will fit through doors
It sounds obvious but misjudging the size of entrances and turning room is a classic moving day problem.
Flat pack furniture you built yourself is often the biggest cause of grief. If it needs to come apart again, find out by taking measurements and give yourself plenty time to do it.
Check also if feet and arms on big sofas are removable.
Let the removals company know if you need a window removed or take a door off its hinges, and check they are insured to do it.
7. Create a 'room plan' for your new home
Draw up a sketch of where furniture will be placed in each room. You can always move it again but it saves time deliberating on the day and keeps the removals company happier.
8. Keep wires organised
If you have a multitude of wires going into one device, use sticky coloured labels or number each part to match one end to the other.
9. Pack an 'essentials' box
Pack the kettle, tea, coffee and milk last, so you can unpack it first. Also, keep a mental note of where your bed-clothes and duvet are (see next tip).
Keep remote controls, phones, mobile phone chargers and any other essential items you are likely to lose in the same ‘bits box' so you know for sure where they are.
Keep real valuables and important papers separately somewhere safe.
10. Make your bed as soon as possible
You'll appreciate it at the end of the day when you don't have to do that 'one more thing' before you can sleep.