Moving house is one of those life events that fills us with a mixture of emotions. There’s the excitement and anticipation of exploring pastures new, but there’s also an inescapable dread.

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Moving means packing up, making plans, and hoping that you settle into your new home as quickly as possible. It’s fair to say that relocating can be stressful, but if you tackle the upheaval in the right way, it is possible to minimise hassle. Here are some top tips to help you ready yourself for your big move.

Plan as far in advance as possible

There’s nothing worse than tearing around like a headless chicken trying desperately to cram all your possessions into moving boxes moments before it’s time to give up your keys and jump in the car. Try and start making plans as soon as you have a moving date in mind. There are bound to be items in your home that you won’t use before that date arrives, so pack them away first. Make sure you’ve got plenty of boxes, and enlist the help of some generous friends and relatives. It can be tempting to put off areas that you haven’t broached for a long time, such as the loft, but it’s best to bite the bullet and get sorted as quickly as possible. The sooner you open that trapdoor and start getting crates, bags, and boxes down, the better. If you’re relocating to a different town, county or even country, start laying foundations as soon as you can. If you need to find new schools, you’re looking for a job, or you’re hoping to buy a house after renting for a period of time, start searching before you move, as this will help to reduce stress, and it may also accelerate the process of settling in.

Have a clear out

Nothing represents a better chance to have a clear out and declutter than moving house. Most of us tend to collect stuff we don’t necessarily want or need, and if you’ve lived in the same home for years, you may find that you’ve accumulated boxes of items you’ve probably forgotten about. Now is the chance to get rid of anything that you don’t want to take with you. Go through every room, and create separate piles. Put things you want to throw away on one pile, make another mound of items you’d like to donate, create a stack of stuff you want to sell, and finally, put everything you want to keep in another pile. Take a trip to the tip to get rid of rubbish, broken furniture and old electrical appliances, visit your local charity shop, and list any items you want to sell online. Hopefully, you’ll find decluttering cathartic, and it will make packing easier and quicker.

Start packing early

If you don’t plan to get a removals service to help you pack, the sooner you start, the better. Start with items you won’t use before you move, and work your way through each room methodically. Use protective bubble wrap to pack valuables, and label every box, so that you know where each box will end up in your new home. If you’ve got fragile items, make sure the box is clearly marked to minimise the risk of damage. If you don’t have much time, take a day off work to pack or ask friends to help out.

Book a removals firm

Unless you plan to move all your possessions yourself, you’ll need to book a removals firm. Once you’ve got a date in mind, make some calls, get some quotes, and read some reviews and testimonials. You can choose a package that suits your budget, and confirm a date and time. It’s worth booking early, especially if you don’t have any flexibility with your moving date.

Pack an overnight bag

We’ve all been there. You’ve spent days packing and several hours walking up and down stairs and trying to negotiate the staircase with wardrobes and get through doors with sofas positioned at every angle under the sun. You finally sit down to have a cup of tea to discover that you don’t have any tea bags, your pyjamas and slippers are in one of ten boxes marked ‘bedroom’ and you can’t find a single mug. Nobody wants to spend the first night in their new home unpacking boxes frantically trying to find cups and comfy clothes. To combat this issue, pack an overnight bag with toiletries, nightwear, underwear and a change of clothes, and put a box together with a couple of mugs, bowls, glasses, cutlery, and plates, which you can open as soon as you’re in, and you’re ready to enjoy some dinner and a hot drink before bed. You can get a good night’s sleep and start unpacking properly in the morning.

Tie up loose ends

When you move house, it’s likely that you’ll have a few administrative jobs to do. If you need to change your address for insurance policies, alter your bank details and settle bills, make those calls before you move so that all the loose ends are tied up. It’s also a good idea to get your new home ready in advance. If you work from home or you can’t survive without digital TV or wifi, for example, call your provider and arrange installation so that you have access as soon as you move.

Are you on the move? Even if you’re looking forward to a new adventure, you may be stressed out by the prospect of actually moving all your possessions and getting your new pad ready. It can be incredibly stressful to relocate, but if you plan ahead, you work methodically, and you’re organised, it should be a lot easier and more hassle-free than anticipated!

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