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Five ways to take the stress out of moving home

I’M NOT STRESSED, OK, SO STOP SHOUTING AT ME!

It’s supposed to be up there with marriage, divorce and bereavement but while moving house is never going to be easy, it doesn’t have to be all that stressful.

After all, quite often you are moving because you want to, or because it makes sense ­ for a job or a little one coming along say, or a relocation to a nicer, larger place in the country. Even if the reason isn’t quite so happy, like financial issues or divorce, there’s no need to make it harder for you. 

First time buyer pic - resized

Indeed, it is possible to make the process quite fun if you follow our five steps to making moving home more easy.

1. Give yourself time
It may be the case that you are in a chain and so to some extent the deadlines will be out of your control. But packing up your life is a step change and will definitely take more time than you think.

The first key to an easy house move is to look ahead and start by thinking about those things you will not need in the coming weeks and begin to pack them up early. Linen, for example, ornaments, spare crockery, garden tools and some items of furniture.

Storage is expensive, so don’t pack more than you can stash yourself in the garage or, if the weather is good, in the garden.

2. Make a plan
Without a plan you are looking for trouble. Another thing that’s for sure is that you’ll need more cardboard boxes than you think. Never turn down the opportunity for an empty box. They will be expensive ­ up to £4 each if you buy them from your removal company or a storage facility ­ so make friends with the staff in your local supermarkets as early as possible.

Start at the top and work room by room. Chuck out what you don’t need. Spare the really heavy or larger items for your removal firm. As you pack the boxes, number and clearly label them with the contents otherwise you will have a nightmare at the other end when faced with a mountain of unlabeled boxes. Work downwards, moving boxes downstairs as and when you can.

Remember to leave yourself a ‘travel box’ which will contain the things you will need first at the other end. This will contain your toiletries, a kettle, fresh towels and bedlinen, plus any medicines you might need and nightclothes.

Also don’t forget the contents of your freezer ­ these will stay frozen for several hours in a cool­box.

3. Get organised
Stick to your plan and make lists of organisations to get in touch with. Vitally important are the utilities (ensure you take and record meter readings before you leave), Council Tax and insurance. All of this you can do online, so set aside time to do it.

Make sure your finances are in order and you have enough cash to pay for items you may have forgotten ­ more packing tape is the most common, but also cleaners or cleaning products.

Have you left spare sets of keys anywhere, with neighbors for example? If you have, make sure you retrieve them.

4. Carefully select your removal firm
Choosing to do the move yourself can often be a false economy as the cost of van hire can easily be well into the hundreds of pounds and you are then adding other costs such as fuel and your time.

A good removal firm can take out a lot of the stress because of their expertise and their experience. There are abundant websites which can give you a selection of good ones. Make sure your prospective mover is a member of the British Association of Removers as they are covered by the insurances necessary to protect all your contents.

To get the keenest quotes, work out the spare footage of your house room by room ­ it will be on the estate agent’s information ­ and pass this on. Make sure to include outdoor furniture, garden tools and whatever you need from your garage or outbuildings.

Bear in mind that it may be cheaper to hire a removal firm from your destination rather than your locality, especially if you are moving from London.

5. Relax and have fun
Add into your plan time for regular breaks. As you move through rooms, especially if you have lived in the same house for many years, you will come across things you have not seen for a long time, like old photo albums, records or a piece of art that reminds you of a story.

Play some music and take the time to enjoy reminiscing about the objects you have found. As you do so, you will also be reminded of people you need to contact to inform them of your new location.

Finally, make sure you stay in touch with your mortgage and savings provider and with this, of course, the Family Building Society is there to help.

By Steve McDowell

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