Moving house is up there with the most stressful things you can do in life. It’s obvious why, the thought of having to pack up everything in your home is a momentous task. Every cupboard, every pile, even the dumping grounds you don’t really like to think about; the garage, the loft, the forgotten space under every bed. It all needs sorting. There’s no magic way of making it stress free but there are ways to make it less stressful. Here are our tips for how to make moving house less stressful!
Lists are your friends. Write a list of rooms you need to tackle before the move and what you need to do in them. Write a list of things that need to be done the day before. Write a list of things that you need to do on the day; in fact, write two; one for moving out of this house and one for moving in to the next. Write a list of things to have in your essentials boxes (the ones that you’re going to keep with you as much as possible); this should be things like drinks, snacks, kids toys etc etc. It might feel like a lot but seeing it broken down will help you understand what’s left to do and how to plan your time.
Start ‘The Big Sort’ Early
Moving homes is one of the times when it pays to be organised in advance. I’m talking to people like me… the ones who start with good intentions and then leave it to the last minute. Right now, you need to be your most organised self. Once your moving plans start to progress you’re going to want to start sorting your home. Think of it as an ultimate spring clean. If you struggle with things like this then I strongly recommend you follow a process such as The Organised Mum Method whereby you start in one corner of the room and work your way around it. Create three piles; keep, chuck and charity. Don’t let yourself put things into a pile to ‘sort later’ (future you will thank you for this). Once the room’s sorted, if you can then begin to box things up. If you can’t or your move is still iffy, move on to the next room. You might not be packed but you’ve done the hard bit, the sorting!
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Know Your Limitations
Whilst it’s all well and good planning to move yourselves but you need to be realistic. Do you have the time to do it? Do you have enough people to help you? Do you have the resources; hired a removal van, gotten yourself access to boxes and packing materials? Are you going to be juggling kids at the same time? One of the easiest ways to remove the stress of moving is to use removal companies. Sure, they add an additional expense to the move but they’ll come in, pack up your belongings, load them into the removal van and put them into the right rooms in your new home. They’re fully insured making it far less terrifying than trusting a friend to lift and move any priceless family heirlooms and they’re usually far faster than you could be. Places where removal companies come into their own? Anywhere with tricky access or any time that you want to move something hefty. Take that from someone who’s had to move a piano, multiple times.
Lose The Kids
Obviously this only applies if you have kids. But if you do, and you can get rid of them for moving day then do it. Whether it’s popping them into nursery, booking a childminder for the day, begging a favour from a friend or sending them off to grandparents, this is a time when it’s easiest to have your kids out of the way unless they’re of an age where they can get stuck in and help. If you’ve got small children, and no-one that can help you look after them, I suggest dividing and conquering. Allocate one of you to be in charge of them and the other to do the nitty gritty of the move. Pack a bag for them that’s full of snacks, toys, games and anything else they may need to entertain them. Find a safe space where you can keep an eye without them hurting themselves and work around them. If you can, take them out of the way to somewhere where they can burn energy off so that they’re likely to be a bit easier to handle!
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Give everyone involved a job to do so that you all know exactly what you’re up to that day. Whether it’s being the first out to the new house and writing down the utility readings or being the one in charge of the tea making facilities, everyone can have a role regardless of how little it may sound. With both of our moves, the houses were fairly dirty once you removed the furniture. So we split into movers and cleaners – working together to get stuff packed up and out before the ‘cleaning team’ hit the room to give it a quick blitz. Once done, we moved to the new house and again, broke into our groups. It’s far easier to give a new room a clean before the boxes go in so make that a priority. It’s a little job that will make life feel that bit easier. Make it clear who’s in charge of deciding what goes where; this is my favourite job (spot the bossy one!), after all every move needs a foreman!
Any moving day can feel like it’s non-stop action, but there might be some points where there is a little downtime. As much as you want to get off your feet and relax for just a few minutes, it’s important not to break your momentum. If there’s anything you’ve been putting off because it didn’t seem too significant, try to get that done, even if it’s as simple as checking in with the removals company or making sure the back door is locked. If you have a list of everything, check-in with that to make sure there’s always something for you to do.
Thanks for reading some of my favourite tips for making moving house as stress free as possible. We moved into our forever home a couple of years ago and have been working on it since. If you’d like to hear more about it, you can read the back story here!
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