Moving house is right up there in the top few most stressful things you might do in your entire life. However, there are a few tried and tested tips you can employ to make the experience just that bit easier for yourself.
1. See it as an opportunity for decluttering
First of all, use moving house as an opportunity for a really good clear out. There is no point going through all the inconvenience of packing and moving items that you don’t currently use and are not likely to need again. You might even be able to sell some items, or donate good quality things to a local charity shop, thereby making a bit of cash for yourself or a good cause.
If you can afford a period of overlap between moving out of your old house and moving into the new one, this can reduce your stress enormously because you won’t need to move everything within one day. Obviously, this is only likely to be feasible if you are moving from rented accommodation into a purchased property, but is worth considering if you are able to.
Good organisation from the start is going to be the foundation to ensuring your move goes smoothly from beginning to end. It is also essential in minimising your stress levels throughout the moving process.
Firstly, approach your packing in a methodical manner. Make sure you start early and don’t procrastinate or leave it until the last minute. If you tackle the packing in bite-sized chunks, for example, just pack one box at a time and then walk away and do something else, this will make the task seem less onerous. Remember to pack a box (or boxes) of essential items that you are likely to need straight away in your new home. This might include a kettle, coffee, milk and biscuits (or a bottle of wine), plus items such as basic toiletries and bedding. This should help to make your first night straightforward and stress-free.
If you are planning any period of overlap between moving out of your old house and into your new one, make sure you get some insurance in place, especially if you will be leaving either property uninhabited for any length of time. As well as house and/or contents insurance, make sure any valuable or important belongings are covered by specialist insurance during the move. Your removal company should provide proof of insurance for items being moved by them, but do double-check. If you are moving particularly high-value items, you may need to arrange extra cover.
Remember to redirect your post. This will ensure you don’t miss any important letters and will afford you the opportunity to change your address with companies that might have slipped your mind.
3. Reducing the stress
Label your packing boxes clearly so you know what is in them. This may identify some boxes that you might safely be able to leave in the garage or the spare room until you feel up to unpacking them. And if they’re still there a year later, that might be your cue to sell or otherwise dispose of the contents.
If it is within your budget, employ a removal company to physically move all your belongings to your new home once you have everything packed up. This will ensure that all your belongings are handled professionally and are insured, but remember to hire expert movers for any special items such as grand pianos etc.
4. Have a backup plan and stay flexible
Even the best-laid plans can be scuppered by something entirely outside of your control. Perhaps you arrive at your new house to find the previous occupants still in the midst of moving out or maybe you wake up on moving day feeling ill? The key to overcoming all these bumps in the road is to remain aware that things could potentially not go to plan, to stay objective and to know that it is not the end of the world.
Have a backup plan in mind. Is there a friend or family member who could be on standby just in case you need additional help on the day? If things are delayed, is there somewhere nearby you can go and grab a coffee and a slice of cake? Whatever you choose to plan, getting upset and stressed will not help and will, in fact, be counterproductive, escalating the stress.
5. Be kind to yourself
It is so important to remember to take care of yourself throughout the moving process and beyond. Take time out to sit and have a cup of tea, go for a walk or to a yoga class…whatever it is that works for you and helps you decompress, do it! Moving house is stressful enough without depleting your emotional and physical reserves as well.