The Ultimate Guide To A Hassle-Free Move
Moving house is one of the toughest personal projects anyone will have to deal with as an adult. Sure, you may have fallen head over heels in love with the place you’re moving to, but actually getting your whole family and everything you own from A to B is a sure-fire recipe for a massive stress-fest! Like any big project, making it all go smoothly is largely down to your planning. If you’ve got a date, but not much of a schedule, here’s a complete guide to planning out your move. Follow the advice we’ve catalogued here, and you’ll take a huge amount of hassle out of the overall process.
Two Months Before the Move
If you’ve got less than two months before moving day, and you haven’t done any preparation whatsoever, don’t worry! There really isn’t much you should be doing so far in advance. Having said that, the sooner you start taking action with your move, the smoother the whole process will wind up being. One thing you should start doing straight away is getting rid of any unused or unneeded things in the house. The less stuff you have to move, the faster and cheaper moving day will ultimately be. Go through absolutely everything in the house, looking at each item and asking yourself whether you’ve used it in the past year. If the answer to this is “no”, then either throw them out, sell them, or use a service like Freecycle to donate them.
Six Weeks Before the Move
You’ve still got a lot of time to work with, but this is where the pressure’s going to get a little heavier. You should confirm the actual moving day around six weeks prior, choosing a mid-week move if it’s possible. Getting the time of the week right will mean you won’t have to pay as much for van hire and similar services. If, like most people, you’re planning to use a home removals company, start obtaining quotes around this time as well. You’d be surprised at how much difference there is in price between two companies performing more or less the same job, or how much the time of year can affect the quote you receive. It’s also a good idea to get in touch with your bank, utility companies, phone and internet services and so on, and advise them of when you’ll be moving. This can usually be left a little closer to the big day, but the sooner you do it, the less chance you’ll have of a big, stressful complication. Finally, if you’re renting the place where you’re currently staying, remember to give your notice to your landlord.
Four Weeks Before the Move
This is the point where you need to roll up your sleeves and start doing some practical work towards making your move happen. Start sourcing some sturdy boxes and packing materials for fragile items. While you’ll be able to get this out of the way sooner by buying all your materials from one outlet, this is a sure-fire way to waste your money! Supermarkets will be able to give you some free boxes, and you can usually use screwed-up newspaper in place of things like bubble wrap. You should also try to make a start on actually packing around this time as well. Start off by clearing out your garage, shed and attic. This is where a lot of junk accumulates over the years, and getting it out of the way now will save you from a lot of hassle further down the line. This is also where all the most awkward items go to hide, like the lawnmower, Christmas tree, and so on. As long as you’re not going to need these between now and the big day, they can start going into boxes. This goes for a lot of things like books, DVDs, and various pieces of décor.
Two Weeks Before the Move
Now it’s getting exciting! When you’re coming up on two weeks before the move, scour the house for anything that you’ve borrowed from your friends and neighbours over the years, and return them promptly. No, you don’t get to hold onto things you’ve been borrowing for so long that you’re sure the original owner won’t notice if you held onto it! You don’t want to get a text a few months later and have to tell your ex-neighbour that their hedge trimmer is on the other side of the country! Two weeks from moving is also a pretty good marker to get your mail redirected. Prices start at around $28, and you don’t want to be missing any Christmas cards or important letters. Like many people, you might require child or pet care on the big day, so start making plans for this too. You don’t want to have an excited Rottweiler or a crying baby in the moving van along with all the other stress factors you’ll be dealing with! You should also start to work through the food in your freezer, and avoid buying anything more that needs freezing.
Next, start packing everything that’s still out. Always start with the items that you use the least first, and keep this is a “misc.” box. This will ensure you’re not scrambling to find toiletries and phone chargers on your first day in the new place, and will give you a go-to place when you’re gradually working through the unpacking process. Another good tip is using the largest boxes you have to pack the lightest items. That way, none of the boxes you have to move will wind up being too heavy to carry. After the misc. box, start packing things up room by room, and labelling the boxes with the room they’re ultimately headed to. It’s also a good idea to list the contents if you have the time. While most removal companies are trustworthy and professional, there are still thieves who use these businesses as a front. Contents lists will help to prevent this.
Four Days Before the Move
You’re almost there now! Four days prior to the move, you should polish off your planning by working out the best possible route from A to B. Moving companies will generally know this themselves, but if you’re hiring a van and doing it all yourself, you don’t want to run into any low bridges or weight restrictions. You should also start work on packing up everything that’s left in the kitchen. Pack your dishes away in towels rather than newspaper, and make sure that any of the liquids you’re planning to take with you are in tough containers with well-sealed lids. You should also pack a moving day survival kit, containing a change of clothes for everyone, some toiletries, some cash, important phone numbers on a piece of paper and a torch. This close to the big day, it’s also a good idea to talk to your neighbours and remind them that you’re moving. This may seem a little fussy, but it’s important to make sure your moving van isn’t going to be boxed in by anyone when you’re trying to get underway.
The Day Before the Move
If you’ve followed our guide, there really isn’t much you’ll need to get sorted out on the day before the move. However, there are certain little details that you need to make 110% sure you’ve covered before you go to bed. Pack and label a box of snacks, make sure you have the keys to the new place and know where they are, and ensure that your phone is fully charged, and that you have a portable battery on hand just in case things go wrong and the whole move ends up getting stretched out.
The Big Day
Well, here we are. On moving day, set your alarm so that you have plenty of time to get everything ready before the movers or your first helper arrives. You’ll only pile on more stress if you’re rushing around the home trying to get things ready, with other people standing around without a job to do. Assign someone (whoever has the best high score on Tetris) to pack the van, while everyone else focuses on moving boxes from the house to the street. Write down your contact details that the new occupants might need, and leave them somewhere immediately visible. It may also be a good idea to take some pictures of the gas and electricity metres as they are when you leave. Obviously, you don’t want to be charged for utilities that you aren’t actually using. Before you hop in the van or wherever you’re riding yourself, take a final sweep around every room in the house making sure you haven’t left anything there. Finally, with all the bustling around, put some music on. This isn’t going to be a miracle cure to the stress you’ll be feeling, but provided you’re not a death-metal fan, it will be one more thing that will help keep everyone relaxed.