It is said that moving homes can be one of life’s most stressful events. In many cases, the pressures of finding a new home, selling your existing one, the legal paperwork and arranging movers can really get a little too much. Then there’s the packing. Add in finding new schools and new jobs, and you’re left totally frazzled.
The good news is that there a few straightforward things you can do in the weeks and months before you move to make life easier, and to make your actual moving day much less stressful. Here they are:
1. Declutter Like There’s No Tomorrow
Moving homes are the perfect time to sort out the essentials from the clutter. There are so many benefits to getting on with it straight away: it’ll make your home seem more spacious and, thus, easier to sell. It’ll help keep your moving costs down since you won’t be paying extra to move your non-essentials, and chances are you’ll feel better for it, too.
It may seem like a massive task to have to do a full declutter of your home, but break it down into smaller tasks, room by room, closet by closet. Aim to do one closet or section per day, or whatever you feel is manageable.
Start with outgrown children’s clothing and barely worn outfits. Next, tackle unused or unloved toys and bric-a-brac, and unwanted books. Many of us have a few drawers or boxes with barely used bits and pieces lurking at the bottom: have a ruthless clear out of these. All these items can now be donated to charity, or you could even have a garage sale to earn a few bucks.
After this, tackle bathroom cupboards, remembering to dispose of expired medicine correctly and safely.
Kitchen and pantry cupboards can come next; you may be surprised at how old some of your packets and tins might be. Plan to use up any in-date food from the fridge, freezer and store cupboard over the coming weeks.
Stop buying in bulk, too. This will lessen waste, mean there’s less to move, and you should save a little cash to put towards spending on your new home. Don’t forget the garage and outbuildings when decluttering. Safely dispose of chemicals and paints that you don’t need.
Finally, tackle the paperwork. Shred or recycle whatever you are sure you no longer need, and carefully file the rest. Start a dedicated folder for all your moving-related paperwork so that you can get your hands on them quickly.
2. Arrange Removals and Storage as Early as Possible
Great removal companies may get booked up quickly so it pays to start your research early, particularly if you are going to need reliable interstate removalists. Get recommendations from friends if possible, and try to get a few different companies to give you estimates.
Remember that the cheapest isn’t necessarily the best option. Look at insurance levels provided by each company, and try to gauge their professionalism. A move is stressful enough without feeling like your belongings aren’t in safe hands.
3. Plan Ahead with Paperwork
There’s lots of admin work connected with moving homes. Lots of it cannot be done until the last few days before the move, but getting organized now will pay off. Spend time making a list of everybody who needs to be informed of your move, and exactly when they should be told.
You’ll need to let utilities and service providers know you’re moving; doctors, dentists and medical services; subscriptions; relevant government offices such as taxation and driver licensing; all insurance providers, and banks, credit and store cards.
Look at setting up a mail forwarding service and how this works.
If your children are moving schools, or you need to switch medical services, then you may have to complete lots of paperwork for these. Try to sort these things out as soon as you can.
It really helps to keep a handy checklist of all your moving-related admin tasks, with relevant dates and deadlines alongside. This will help you feel calm about the process and will avoid any last minute panic attacks.
4. Arrange for a Cleaning Company
It’s good etiquette to leave your home looking and feeling fresh for its new residents, and it may well be written into your sales or rental contract.
It’s also frustrating to need to stay back and clean your old home when you’d rather be setting up life in your new one. A professional cleaning company can do this job thoroughly and efficiently. Arranging for a company to clean up after you leave will lessen the stress, and should be hassle-free and fairly inexpensive.
If you really do want to do the final cleanup yourself, make sure you’ve blocked out some time to get it done.
5. Pack a Last Minute Suitcase Each
A day or two before your move, pack up a suitcase with everyone’s essentials for a week or so. Include clothing, toiletries, medication, books and light entertainment, essential devices and chargers, and any other must-have items. This will ensure nothing vital gets packed into boxes, and that you can take unpacking at a more leisurely pace.
Like many times in life, it pays to be organized with moving. With a little planning, a move can be a happy time with plenty of opportunities to celebrate the end of life in your old home, and new memories to make in your new place.
Kim Hill works in Marketing at Adams & Rofe Removals and Storage and has been a dynamic figure in the removal industry for over 30 years. For relocating families, individuals or offices around Sydney or all over Australia, Kim will develop the perfect removal plan to take the stress out of your next move.