Advantages you can move on to a bigger, better, quieter house!
Disadvantages it is very very stressful and lots of hard work
They sure got it right when they said that moving house is in the top 5 of most stressful things in life! I am not just talking about the selling/buying of a house, but all the packing and unpacking that goes with it! Having moved 20 plus times in my relatively short life, I feel fairly well qualified to give some advice on packing and moving house.The time frames given here are not set in stone, the earlier you can start then the better….
Two months before you move Sort through all your wardrobes/cupboards/sheds/loft and remove anything that hasn’t seen the light of day in 6 months. Sort these things into piles, those to be thrown away, those to be kept and those that you can recycle by selling or donating to charity. Label the boxes/bags so you don’t get mixed up. DO IT – your next day off or weekend take the rubbish to the dump, and the recyclable to the charity shop – don’t leave them hanging around the house – get rid of it.
If you have a firm moving date, organize your removal people/van. It is cheaper if you hire a van yourself and round up a couple of friends and family to help out, however if you use a removal firm check they have up to date and adequate insurance. We had a disastrous move once, when the removal men dropped our grandfather clock down the stairs – we only then found out that they had no insurance! There are some companies that will pack all your belongings for you and you don’t have to do a thing. I don’t like this idea but they do generally have excellent insurance – so any breakage’s can be claimed for. Ensure you have suitable insurance for any expensive goods being moved. If you go for a reputable company they will provide you with boxes/cartons to pack your belongings into – you can never have enough! As we are not moving far, we have opted for the cheaper alternative of hiring a van which is costing us £30 for the day.
One month before moving
If you are not using a removal firm, start collecting boxes, tea chests, and cartons – you can never have too many! It is always worth asking friends and family if they have any boxes – my father has kept all his from moving nine years ago, they are ‘proper’ removal company boxes too, so they are very strong. Most supermarkets will let you take boxes home with you, find out when they have deliveries though, as the boxes are often flattened the same day. If you are moving to the other end of the country or to a new town make sure the removal company has a good map, give them another one on the day just to make sure. If you have a mobile phone, make sure they have this number and you have theirs to make sure you can stay in touch with them.
Start to pack items that you don’t use every day – clothes that are not going to be worn, ornaments, pictures and the like. Label all the boxes, what’s in them and which room they are to go in, in the new house. It is very easy to forget what and where you have packed items! Don’t do what we did and pack all the videos and CD’s we have been listening to the same 3 CDs for 3 months now!
Two weeks before moving
Decide what to do with any children and or pets on moving day and make arrangements. If you have a dog it might be an idea to ask a friend to look after it for the day, all the fuss will most likely upset the dog, and s/he will be underfoot getting trodden on. I think the best course of action with children, especially toddlers, is to have them out of the way, until you reach your destination. Do let them say goodbye to their old house though.
Contact the gas/electricity/telephone companies and inform them of your moving date. They will require that you telephone them on the day of your move to give them final readings of your meters. Inform them of your destination address and ensure that the facilities there are sorted out. The house we are moving to has been empty for 6 months, if this is your situation, make sure you send the readings into the utility companies to ensure you have service when you move in.
One week before you move. If you are moving a good distance away it is a good idea to write to your doctor/dentist/optician and ask them to send your records on to the appropriate people in your new town.
Have a good look around the house to make sure cupboards/lofts/sheds are empty, especially if you have children. With 4 days to go our garden is once again full of toys! Check the shubberies for any ‘lost’ toys. This also needs to be done on the day of your departure, but the bulk can be removed a week before.
Dismantle anything that requires it. I know my PC desk is going to have to come to bits – 4 days to go and I am still sitting here!!
Cancel your milk deliveries and pay up to the day you leave, likewise with your newspaper deliveries.
The eve of your move.
Run down your stocks in your fridge/freezer – this reduces the weight in the fridge/freezer that you have to move. Some people may suggest emptying and defrosting your freezer – it depends on how far you are moving.
Make sure you have your change of clothes bag and necessities in your car. Prepare a box with some food in sandwiches if possible crisps, fruit and so on, to keep you going throughout the following day. Don’t forget to put in animal food and bowls as well! Also put in the box your kettle, tea/coffee/sugar and milk – not forgetting teaspoons (I have lost count of the amount of times we stirred the tea with a screwdriver!) and the cups of course, make sure you have plenty for anyone who comes to help you! Put your washing up liquid in this box too – the cups will have countless refills over the next few hours. This should also go in your car and be one of the first things to be unpacked at the other end.
Move as much as you can downstairs now, dismantle the beds and sleep on the mattresses.
Disconnect and empty residual water from your washing machine, use cable ties to wrap up the flexes and keep them safe in a carrier bag inside the drum. If you are taking a cooker/dishwasher disconnect these too.
The morning of your move.
Have another check around the house; look out for plug in air fresheners you may want to take. Make sure you have all the lampshades you are taking with you likewise with light fittings. Have you left light bulbs (working ones) in every room? Are all the curtain poles etc down that you are taking? Are there any pictures still on the walls? Check right to the back of topmost shelves in cupboards also. If you have managed to empty any of the rooms, give them the once over with a hoover – not essential but a courtesy I would hope everyone would follow, although from past experience this is most certainly not the case!! Give the bath a quick clean, again a little courtesy extended goes a long way.
Pack away any bedding/nightclothes and toys – put these in your car. Organise the children and animals if they are going away for the day.
Start loading, put larger furniture towards the back of the van and smaller boxes in the spaces created. We have tried a number of ways to load a removal van, from loading room by room – that doesn’t work at all, to loading boxes first furniture second. Our tried and tested formula appears to work for us!
If you have labeled all your boxes adequately, you wont spend time trying to remember which is supposed to go where, this really does save time and energy.
Hang all your room curtains, at least once it is dark you will be able to shut out the night and have some privacy.
The last thing I want to say, is anyone willing to volunteer to help us move???
With all the hustle and bustle of moving day there a couple of things you MUST remember to do, one is to eat regularly and properly – you will not get to the end of the day eating chocolate and crisps, the second is to drink (water/juice/tea etc). Above all don’t fall out with your other half/children/friends. It is a very stressful time, but one that should be looked at as an adventure!
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