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It doesn’t matter if you own your own home or are renting, moving home can be one of the most stressful things you can do, besides getting married or divorced. So you need to make sure you are organised when it comes to moving and packing.
After moving a couple of times, the second being much more stressful than the first, I realised a lot of the stress can be avoided with a little forward-thinking and smart organisation. So compiled a list of helpful stress-free moving to-dos.
Write a ‘change of address’ list.
Previously I used to use a spreadsheet I threw together, it wasn’t structured the best but it was the best I had during a stressful move. However, you don’t have to do the same. I have created a ‘change of address’ checklist below for you to tick off, feel free to add any of your own companies that you need to inform, but this will give you a rough idea as to what to include.
- MORTGAGE COMPANY
- COUNCIL TAX
- ENERGY SUPPLIER
- ELECTORAL ROLL
- TV LICENCE
- CREDIT CARD COMPANIES
- LOAN COMPANIES
- STUDENT LOAN
- TV/INTERNET PROVIDER
- CAR INSURANCE PROVIDER
- LIFE INSURANCE PROVIDER
- HEALTH INSURANCE PROVIDER
- ANY MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS
- MOBILE PHONE PROVIDER
- CONTACT LENS PROVIDER
- HMRC (IF SELF EMPLOYED)
- ANY LOYALTY CARD PROVIDERS, EG, CO-OP, BOOTS, NANDOS, MORRISONS, TESCO, MATALAN
- BUY TO LET MORTGAGE PROVIDER
- BUY TO LET INSURANCE PROVIDER
- ANY ONLINE SHOPPING ACCOUNTS
Take photos of your electric and gas meters
Obviously you can jot them down, which I also suggest you do but I also recommend taking pictures of your meters. I have found that taking pictures of the meters and saving them onto my camera roll has been vital. You may accidentally end up writing the wrong numbers down in a mad rush so if you are queried by your old provider you have a picture to refer to and back up your readings. What did we do before mobile phones?
Declutter as you unpack.
You want to do this ideally as you pack however, I know from experience, sometimes you don’t have the luxury of time, so packing when unpack may just be your easiest and stress-free option. Have boxes and bin liners dedicated to items to throw in the bin, give to friends and family, to sell eBay, craigslist or your local facebook group and give to charity.
Buy a tape gun dispenser and labelling machine
This will be your best friend and secret weapon during your move. If like me, you end up with well over 50 boxes, these will be a godsend.
I picked a tape dispenser up relatively cheap on eBay and it came with 12 tape rolls included and you can buy a labelling machine from most stationery suppliers, this is the one I use. It’s never let me down, you can make the font bigger or smaller and two spare labelling tapes are included.
Use plenty of black & bubble wrap
These saved my bacon during our last move, as we didn’t move straight into another house after we moved out of the apartment, we put nearly all of our furniture into storage. Therefore we had to wrap big pieces of furniture and fragile items in the bubble and black wrap. They were another godsend. It offered protection to our furniture and prevented them from getting scratched in transit and in storage.
Black wrap: Check out the ones I bought from eBay
Bubble wrap: Check out the bubble wrap I also bought on eBay
Don’t make boxes so heavy and buy strong cardboard or plastic reusable boxes
Trust me you will thank me for this. Again, a mistake I learned the hard way which resulted in me pulling my back out mid-move. It is also helpful to yourself and the removal company that you write ‘FRAGILE’, ‘HEAVY’ or ‘GLASS’ on your boxes if they apply.
Use vacuum and storage bags
Vacuum pack bags are fantastic whether you are moving home or not. You can get these anywhere, I’ve bought something from both Amazon and Poundstretcher, both great quality. I use these for packing away my Summer or Winter wardrobes.
If you don’t know what they are or why they are incredible, put simply, you pack bed linen, clothes, coats, pillows, towels etc into the bag, zip it up and use a hoover to suck out the air making bag smaller and easy to transport and store.
Food bags are also a mini saviour. When dismantling beds, dining tables etc, put all the little screws, nuts and bolts into the food bags, tie a knot in the bag and label each bag and put in your ‘immediate item box’.
Pack an ‘essential’ bag and an immediate item box
I highly recommend packing an overnight bag with toiletries you will need that night along with PJ’s, comfy clothes, underwear and any clothing for the next day and remember to pack your phone charger as there’s nothing more frustrating after a long day going back and forth from your old house to your new one then finding out your phone battery has died.
Have a bag or folder for important documents, spare keys and any nuts and bolts for any furniture you have dismantled. It’s easy to forget where you placed something during the chaos.
Arrange for a 3-month mail redirection
Despite following your ‘change of address list’, there is always something important we manage to forget so I recommend a minimum of 3-month mail redirection. Don’t blame or hate on yourself, you will have a million and one things to think about and that’s why Royal Mail offer this service. You can redirect your mail to any UK or overseas address from £33.99.
I hope these have helped at least one person out there. I understand how stressful and chaotic moving house can be. Good luck and make some amazing memories.
Feel free to tag me on Instagram @livefullandretireearly with your moving house snaps, I’d love to see them.