As two people who have just gone through the tiring and back-straining process of moving home, we know that it’s a daunting and stressful time. Whether it’s moving rented accommodation or packing up the family home, it’s never an enjoyable task.

Here are some top tips designed to make life a little bit easier and the load a little bit lighter…

Packing

  • Be organised and start thinking about packing a month in advance of your move. Depending on how much you have to pack, even obtaining some boxes and putting away decorative items, books and DVDs can make a real difference. Each week put more away until the final week when you can finish off – you don’t want to be having a breakdown and stress-packing right at the last minute.

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  • Don’t hoard! Moving is the perfect time to start a fresh. Whether it’s old clothes you haven’t warn since the 80’s or old books that haven’t been read, be ruthless and either toss or, even better, give to charity. You’ll have less to move and you’ll be doing a good deed.
  • Where do I find boxes for packing? We hear you cry. Argos, Homebase, Staples, Big Yellow Self Storage and even Amazon are larger brands who sell boxes. Alternatively, websites such as Help I Need Boxes have been recommended, or to take the trouble out of packing and moving further look to LOVESPACE. Not only can you buy packing materials from these guys but they can also collect your boxes when ever is convenient for you, store them for you for as long as you need them stored and delivered to you when you next need them. A great solution for those of you who are super organised, that way you can get pieces boxed up and out of your hair.
  • Don’t want to pay for boxes? We’re advocates of freebies so our top tip would be to scour local hardware shops and supermarkets and don’t be afraid to go and ask for free cardboard boxes. We went into our local Sainsbury’s who gave us a time to go back and collect the good boxes (inside tip: at Tooting Broadway it’s around 10.15-10.30pm each evening, head to the crisp aisle, ask one of the staff unboxing and they’ll kindly put some aside for you!). Look to websites such as Freecycle and Gumtree for free cardboard boxes too.
  • Save money on bubble wrap and wrap breakables in towels, dressing gowns and clothes. Two birds, one stone, it stops things from getting smashed and also saves space.
  • Finally, grab yourself a marker pen or Sharpie and label your boxes. You’ll be thankful at the other end when you know exactly which ones to prioritise. Label, not only with what’s in the boxes, but also which room they need to go to.

Bills

  • Prior to your move, make a list of all the companies you’ll need to contact to cancel accounts or change addresses with. Look on the respective websites and look into how far in advance you’ll need to notify them. Start contacting as and when to make the switch over. Many can be contacted after you’ve moved so don’t fret! It’s not as scary as you think.

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  • Finding it all too much of a headache? Check out Just Move In who can manage the tedious administration for you.

Cleaning

  • If you can, look to move a week apart from when you’re tenancy is up. That way you can clear your old home, move and then come back to it a week later when it’s empty and ready for a deep clean.
  • Equally, if you can get into your new flat prior to your official moving date and give it a pre-clean then do that too.

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  • Some elbow grease and getting down on your hands and knees should do it but if you’re cleaning shy, time poor, or perhaps your contract requires a thorough clean then there are plenty of companies who can do it for you. A quick Google will give you plenty of options.
  • Always look back to your inventory to remind yourself of the state you found it in – remember that most letting agents will expect you to replace old bulbs and make good of chipped walls so plan ahead, order those bulbs and grab yourself some Polyfilla.

Pets

  • Moving with a pet can be really stressful, for them and for you. We have our little black cat Kiki and we know that she doesn’t travel well so when it came to taking her to the new flat to say we were dreading it is an understatement.
  • Don’t travel with a pet on the day your moving. Lugging boxes and dealing with removal men is stressful enough and having a pet to contend with too would be a nightmare. We travelled with Kiki in a taxi the night before. That gave us a chance to sit with her and calm her down as well as giving her a night to get used to one of the rooms in the flat.

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The Move

  • Keep calm and breath, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Make sure you get yourself some good removal men. We’ve used Optimal Removers four times now, they’re extremely helpful, quick and efficient and highly recommended.
  • Keep hydrated – if you’re helping move boxes, walking up and down stairs or in and out of a van then you’re going to get hot and bothered very quickly. Keep a bottle of water nearby, keep sipping and stay cool.
  • Don’t put your back out! Bend the knees and keep the back straight, you don’t want to damage yourself.
  • When the removal men have gone it will look like a war zone. Don’t panic! Take a break, grab a cup of tea and compile a plan. We recommend making a start on the bedroom first, you’ll be zapped of energy so you want to make sure there’s somewhere to lie down as soon as you need to! Take it room by room and just remember, it’s not going to be like this for long. It may look like it’s getting worse what with broken down boxes and bubble wrap flying everywhere, but soon it will be your very own haven so stick with it. Don’t worry about getting it all done there and then, it will take a couple of days and even a few weeks before you’ve stopped moving things about and feel as though it’s perfect.
  • If you’re moving later in the day chances are you’ll be shattered and not in the mood to fully unpack. Put together an overnight bag with some essentials – toothbrush, fresh underwear, phone charger, wash bag, change of top – that way, if you want to crash you can do and still wake up, freshen up and get cracking.

Finally…

  • It’s all just completely and utterly stressful so once you’re in to your new abode, stop, chill and celebrate! Grab yourself a bottle of bubbly and a takeout, toast your new digs and congratulate yourself on a job well done. Having a treat to look forward to will get you through the day. You powered through, you did it, well done…

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We hope this guide helps anyone moving in the future. Do you have any golden nuggets of advice to share when moving? We’d love to hear! Leave a comment or drop us a tweet.

David & Mark x

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