Moving into a new house is said to be one of the top five most stressful life events, alongside divorce, bereavement, major illness and the loss of a job. Like those other life events, moving house represents a massive transition in your life, and losing or letting go of something that was once central to your wellbeing - in this case, your home.
Moving house also involves an awful lot of stress in the form of getting organised, planning ahead and facing unplanned hiccups along the way. Our stress-free moving house guide is designed to help you cope with this sort of stress and give you a feeling of being more in control during the moving process.
1. Moving home without stress
Early preparation is the key to moving into a new house without being overcome by stress. We’ve created a moving house checklist
that breaks down what needs to be done in the 8 weeks prior to moving home. Have a read through the whole checklist and then very firmly remind yourself that you have weeks and weeks to get all of that done.
Our moving checklist will help you to remember all of the practical things that need to be done - who you need to inform, and when you need to book the removal van etc. You’ll need to make your own list, though, of what exactly you’ll need to take.
Work room-by-room and list the big furniture and estimate how many cardboard boxes you’ll fill with the smaller items.
When you’re moving house storage can be a real issue because your new home will have a totally different layout to your old house and things will need reorganising. So, whilst itemising your belongings, look for things that you no longer use or want to keep, bundle them together to be given away, sold or recycled. The less you pack, the lower the cost of the removal will be, and the less you’ll need to find space for in your new home.
2. Gather your packaging essentials
Once you know what sort of packing materials and how many boxes you’ll need, gather your boxes, tape and other packaging materials (and your scissors!) so that when you’re ready to pack up you’ll be able to crack on with it.
There are lots of places to buy or sourcefree cardboard boxes
or you can make use of the ones provided by your removals company. If you’d like to reduce the carbon footprint of your move, consider sourcing environmentally friendly packaging materials.
3. Build in periods of rest
Moving house can become all-consuming and drain all your energy. If you’re also having to balance work and childcare, all of your spare time could be taken up with planning and organising. Make sure that at least once a week you schedule a day ‘off’ - don’t do anything to do with moving home, and just do something you enjoy, preferably away from home. If you can’t manage a whole day off, aim for one evening where you’re not at home surrounded by reminders of what needs to be done - go to the cinema, or for a meal, or just for a drink with friends.
4. Moving house storage options
There might be quite a few items that you’re not sure will fit in your new home, or that you’re not ready to part with because they ‘might come in handy one day’. Don’t throw or give away anything that you might later regret - remember that you could store those excess belongings in a self storage unit for a few days, weeks or months. If you decide to do that, check out the cost of renting a van locally for a few hours: if there are very large items, at Safestore we have several stores with free trolleys you can use, and a free forklift service if you need help.
Moving your excess belongings into storage
a week or so before the big moving day will free up space in your home and make it much easier for you to move into your new house.
5. Prepare a suitcase each of essentials
Every member of your family will have certain clothes and other belongings that they won’t really feel ‘at home’ without. Obviously you’ll need a change of clothes to hand so you don’t have to unpack everything all at once, but having items such as certain toys for the children, your favourite bubble bath or your current book for your first night in your new home will help you feel more settled.
This is aside from the box of essentials that will include things like crockery and utensils, the kettle, teabags, milk and biscuits for when you arrive - moving home is thirsty work!
6. Prepare to be lazy
Give yourself permission to be lazy for a few days after the move. As long as you have the essentials unpacked, with at least a bed each in place and a settee to sit upon, everything else can be unpacked at your own pace. Don’t feel the need to cook - takeaways, beans on toast and sandwiches will be fine for a few days!
7. Prepare for the unexpected
There are a lot of things about moving house that will be outside your sphere of control. You cannot do anything about, say, the people further up the chain not getting their money through in time. Things can and do go wrong. The key to remaining stress free about this is to have a Plan B in place for major, possible eventualities.
What will you do, for example, if you can’t move into your new house for a few days because there’s a problem with your purchase, but your buyers are ready to move in on time? Do you risk the chain collapsing and losing your sale, or do you put your contents into a self storage unit for a few days and stay with friends or family? What would happen if you can’t get the keys until the afternoon but the removal van is booked for the morning? Check the terms and conditions of your removals company to find out what would happen and decide if that’s acceptable.
Hope for the best but plan for the worst and you’ll feel more confident that you can tackle whatever may come your way. Your Plan B might involve spending more money, but it will make you feel reassured that you’ll know what to do if the worst should happen and you won’t be panicking on the day.
8. Look to the future
Hopefully this stress-free moving house guide and our moving checklist will help you to get through the next few weeks whilst remaining calm and feeling in control. There are many positives to moving house - your new home can be a fresh canvas and you’ll soon make it feel like home. You’ll meet new friends and your children will settle in their new schools, and this can be the start of a new chapter in your life.