If moving day is getting closer and you feel overwhelmed, don’t panic – simply follow these top tips for getting prepared in advance so you can try and avoid some of the usual stresses and strains associated with a house move.
If there’s one golden rule here, it’s not to leave decluttering until after you have moved. Moving is the ideal opportunity to grasp the nettle and get that decluttering done before you go anywhere. Allow plenty of time – you may need to dedicate a few weekends to the task or book some annual leave if you have accumulated a lot of stuff.
Sorting household bills and paperwork may take a full day or two in itself. Make files for really essential documents – one file for moving information and one for other important documents. Some items you may be able to photograph or scan to keep a digital record, rather than a hard copy.
If your wardrobes are bulging, this tip from a professional organiser friend of mine might help; a few weeks before you move, turn all the hangers around the wrong way in your wardrobe. When you wear, wash and return an item, put the hanger the right way around – you’ll soon start to see which clothes you are wearing regularly and the ones you haven’t worn in a long time. So perhaps you could sell, donate to charity or take to the local recycling depot the clothes you’re not using. Or you could even use online recycling sites to sell iPads, smartphones, and other electronics you no longer use.
In this digital age, hard copy books, CDs and DVDs are other possessions you might be able to donate or sell. Ultimately, the less possessions you have, the easier and cheaper the moving process will be – and you’ll arrive at your next home feeling lighter!
Also, don’t forget about emptying the loft or the garage (as we have done in the past, I have to confess!)
If you know you are going to struggle, why not hire a professional declutterer – you might even be able to cover their fee from the items you sell on Ebay or Gumtree!
Plan Your Packing
Depending on the size of your home, you need to start planning your packing well ahead of time – a month or two, if time allows. Prepare by getting lots of good quality packing materials including plenty of different sized boxes, tissue paper, bubble wrap and a heavy duty tape gun. You will also need labels/a marker pen to write the contents of each box – on the side and top (as they will be stacked) – and which way is up!
Think about the breakables you will need to wrap more carefully before boxing – and label these as fragile. Be sure not to overpack boxes or they will be too heavy to move – don’t risk a back injury! Spread heavy items between several boxes.
If you are using a removals company, you can request that they do the packing and even the unpacking for you.
Plan to pack a room at a time and start with the least used rooms. Gather together a box of essentials for moving day such as your kettle, tea bags, mugs, biscuits, pet food, loo roll, kitchen towels etc. for when you arrive in the new home.
Set Time Aside for Cleaning
As with packing, allocate plenty of time ahead of the move to clean your house so it is in a decent condition for the new owners/tenants. This is particularly important if you are renting and want to get your deposit back! Under tenancy agreements, you can lose your deposit if the home is left unclean and/or items broken.
If you are worried about losing your deposit, or short on time, it may give you some peace of mind to hire a professional cleaning company. They can deep clean the property, including carpets and the oven and leave everything spotless! Companies like the London Cleaning System can help with this sort of end of tenancy cleaning.
If you want to do the cleaning yourself, get prepared in advance with a range of cleaning supplies – stock up on things like rubber gloves, a mop and bucket, sponges, cloths and cleaning solution. You’ll find it is easier to do the majority of the cleaning when your furniture has been dismantled and belongings packed up, as you can then get into the corners and hard to reach places. You might consider hiring a carpet cleaner.
With regards to the property you are moving into, in an ideal world you might be able to get the keys before you move in to do a clean. Hopefully, though, the previous occupant will have left it in a nice condition! Sadly this is not always the case, so again you may want to consider hiring an established cleaning company to help with the task.