If you’re moving home you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed with just how much you’ve got to think about. There’s the legal side – conveyancing, solicitors, locality searches and such like. There’s the money side – getting your mortgage and finances in order. Then there’s the practicalities of how to actually move your stuff.
For the first two there’s quite a bit of help around. The solicitors will take care of the conveyancing process and a financial advisor or your bank will help take care of the second.
For the third the bulk of the “moving-your-stuff” bit can be entrusted into the care of a removals company, or – especially if you’re on a budget – you might might want to take a more do-it-yourself approach. Either way, here are our top ten tips for the physical side of moving home…
Moving day will be chaos if you don’t take some time beforehand to plan. It pays to stop and think about what’s going to happen and even start some preparation. We suggest a minimum of two weeks before your expected moving date.
1 – Have a thorough clear out
Whether you’re paying a removals company to transport your stuff, or hiring a van or lorry to do it yourself, having clear out can save you money. Getting rid of anything you won’t want in your new home means less to move. So have a clear out – and – knowing the property you are going to be moving in to ask the all important questions: Will I use this? Will it fit in with the new property? And if the answer is no to both consider selling it or recycling.
2 – Make a packing list
Some might call it an inventory, but once you’ve got the clear out done it’s helpful to list everything you’re going to be moving from A to B. If you’re clever with spreadsheets you can do it room by room and it’s worth having columns to indicate various things: are they essential items that you’ll need to unpack at the other end, are they fragile or especially heavy etc.
3 – Check Insurance Cover
If you’ve got contents insurance cover, check with your insurance company to see if your belongings are insured whilst the move is taking place. That way, if the bottom drops out of the box containing your carefully wrapped Ming vase whilst you were making your way down the stairs you won’t lose out.
4 – Consider the packaging you’ll need
Once you’ve got your list you can look at what you are going to need to transport it. That’s likely to be cardboard boxes, plenty of bubble wrap for the fragile items, tape and – importantly – a decent marker pen to label everything.
If you need to buy it all in, then you might find our packaging service particularly helpful.
5 – Pack Sensibly
Packing sensibly means not putting too many heavy things in one box, and not filling boxes to the brim. We’re not sure if Big Z (has the world’s strongest man) has a day job. Get this wrong and you’ll probably need him to lift it. Make sure you wrap fragile items with enough padding to protect them from being bumped – and never stack anything on top of them – or you might find that during transit one of Britain’s ubiquitous potholes could see them crushed.
If you got nerdy with the spreadsheet you could even buy lots of coloured tape and colour code your items depending on your criteria.
6 – Last things first, first things last
You’ll also need to pack your for ‘order of appearance’ at the other end. You’ll almost certainly want to ensure that clothes, essentials for cooking, washing and sleeping are first out of the removals van. Kitchenware, bathroom toiletries and beds (unless you’re prepared to sleep on the floor) need to be accessible so they can be unpacked from the get-go.
7 – Keep essentials separate
There are some things that you’ll need to keep separate. Passports, bank and insurance documents along with other important paperwork. You might choose to box them up and put in your car, or you might choose to keep them somewhere else during the duration of your move – Dad’s garage, your Mum’s loft, Auntie Mabel’s summer house. Just make sure they are secure.
8 – Get a staging post
If a Dad’s garage or Mum’s loft isn’t available, then a storage unit with us could be the perfect temporary option. Rent one for a week either side of your move date and you’ll have the perfect safe haven of space. It’s ideal if your move date is less than 100% certain (and whose is?). You can access it as much as you like (24hr access is available in Wandsworth and Southwark) – so it’s hugely convenient too.
Plus – you can extend your stay if things don’t quite go to plan, or if getting settled in takes longer than you expected.
9 – Be ready for hiccups
Moving house rarely goes like clockwork. Last minute spanners in the works such as searches being late or someone else in the chain being held up are all quite normal. Ensure you have a back-up plan in the event that you’ve moved out of one property, but can’t yet move into the next. That might be staying with relatives or friends – or even the Premier Inn. And if you’ve got yourself a self storage staging post, you’ll still be able to access your important belongings.
10 – Don’t try and unpack quickly
Once you’ve moved, don’t expect to unpack everything in 1 day. Take your time, get the essentials sorted and do a bit at a time. It can take month or two to get your new place exactly how you want it.