Moving house can be a really stressful time, and no other day requires as much organising as moving day itself.
This post gives you 25 fantastic tips for moving that, if you use them all, will make your moving day so much easier.
If you are moving house soon, good luck! And of course, if you have any extra tips then feel free to add a comment at the end of this post as I love to hear from you, and you may just help another reader!
Moving tip #1 -Declutter before you pack
Moving house costs. A lot. Why would you want to add to this cost by paying to move things you don’t use or need?
We all have items in our house that have long been forgotten – usually ending up in the garage, loft or shed.
Now is the time to go through everything and have a good sort out. Decluttering will mean that you only move what you really need – and you will not only save money by doing so, but you will also save time in the new house by not having to unpack and deal with all that stuff then.
Moving tip #2 – Pack a box for each child
Moving when you have children can have its own set of issues. Children often don’t want to move as they like routine and are unsure of the unknown.
If you get them involved in the process it can take this uncertainty out of the equation.
Get them to pack their own box for the move, and pack this into your car on moving day.
This could contain their favourite toys, books, games, bedroom items etc…. – so that they can unpack and feel right at home immediately.
Theres nothing worse than getting to a new house and having to open all the boxes to find the night light they won’t sleep without….
Moving tip #3 – Pack an essentials box
In a similar vein to packing a special box for each child, you should also think about packing a box for you on the first night.
Consider adding things like a corkscrew (for that much deserved bottle of wine!), batteries, a torch, tea, coffee, milk, snacks, radio etc…. – anything that you feel you will need pretty much immediately on arriving at your new home.
This will mean that you will feel at home straight away – and the first night will be a lot easier.
(Pack this in your car as well so it doesn’t get lost, and is easy to grab on moving day)
Moving tip #4 – Use your moving company to pack
Decluttering your home is a massive job in itself – so why add the stress of packing your home as well?
For me, its a no-brainer to get your removals company to pack up for you.
- They will be insured for any breakages
- They can do this SO quickly!
- It usually only costs a few hundred pounds which is a drop in the ocean of moving costs
- It frees you up to oversee everything
- They supply all boxes and packaging
Moving tip #5 – Colour code rooms
Its always worth having a copy of your new homes floorplan.
Allocate a colour to each of the rooms in your current home (green=kitchen, red=living room etc….) and try and replicate these colours into your new homes floorplan (this may of course change once you get into the space, but its a quick and easy way of trying to put the right boxes in the right room from the start).
Simply add a coloured sticker onto each box being taken out of your home, and then in your new home, put a sheet of that coloured paper on the corresponding door – that way the removals company will know exactly which room to place each box in your new home.
Moving tip #6 – Create a storage room in the new house
If you are taking your time to unpack, rather than allocating colours for each room and spreading out the boxes, why not allocate one room that can house all boxes so that you can unpack at your leisure?
Work out which way will be the least stressful for you, given the time you have etc…
Moving tip #7 – Consider off site storage for a while
I am not an advocate of off site storage, as it usually ends up costing money to store all the things we really don’t need – but when it comes to moving house there is good reason to use it under certain circumstances.
Often we want to do work on our new house pretty soon after moving in.
If this is the case with you, then why not consider moving some furniture etc.. into storage to make redecorating/recarpeting etc.. easier?
Your removals company can often store your items for you on a rolling monthly basis, which can ease the strain of having to move everything around to accommodate trades people etc…
Moving tip #8 – Work out what cannot move with you
Does it fit?
Furniture that is in your existing home may well not fit into your new home, and its best to know this up front so you can sell it before you move.
Measure doorways etc… and work out whether your sofa/dresser etc… will fit into your new space.
There would be nothing worse than leaving a sofa on the front garden on moving day!
Moving tip #9 – Know what you may need in the new house
Also worth considering is what you actually have in your new home.
Is anything being left (carpets/curtains/furniture etc…), is there fitted storage etc….?
If you are moving from a house with all fitted wardrobes, and the new house has none, then you will need somewhere to hang your clothes asap – you may therefore want to invest in some rails for the interim while you decide on suitable furniture etc…
Moving tip #10 – Confirm what you are leaving
Your current home works for you – without really having to think about things anymore. You have the right flooring, furniture, window dressings etc… that fit your lifestyle.
However, when you move you may have agreed to leave certain things in the house such as curtains, freezer etc…..
As such, its worth making a list of these things, and working out whether you need to buy items for the new house to compensate.
You don’t want to end up moving only to find you are woken at 3am by the summer morning sun because you don’t have curtains in your room as yet!
Moving tip #11 – Consider a 2 day move
Most of the time we move out of the old house and into the new house on the same day.
There is however, good argument for moving in the following day instead.
If you can get the keys to your new house the day before your stuff arrives, you have a great chance to clean everything first, or put in new carpets/flooring etc….
Its so much easier to clean and add new flooring into a space when the house is empty, and then when you put all your stuff into the house you can be sure you are happy with the state of the house first (think kitchen cupboards, bathrooms, carpets etc…)
It may well be worth paying for a 2 day removal service for this very reason.
Moving tip #12 – Label electrics
Take a look behind your living room TV. What do you see?
Chances are its a mass of wires and plugs – working perfectly for you but confusing!
A really great tip is to get some coloured stickers and stick the same colour to each socket and each end of the cable – so that you can easily set everything technical up in your new home.
To go one step further – why not take a photo of the setup so you can have a visual reminder as well.
Moving tip #13 – Photograph valuables and breakables
Talking about photos – its always worth taking photos of your valuables and breakables before they get packed up.
If for any reason things get broken, damaged or lost during the moving process, at least you have a record of them.
Moving tip #14 – Travel with valuables and paperwork in your car
Valuables and paperwork are essentials for you and your home, and its often worth packing these up and moving them with you rather than letting the removals company move them.
Moving tip #15 – Travel with bedding
By now your car will be very full! (valuables, paperwork, essentials box and a box for each child), but there’s one thing extra thats worth taking with you – and that is bedding.
If you have your bedding ready to go when you get to your home – whether you arrive late at night or have more time to unpack, you know that you have something to sleep on and be more comfortable on that first night.
After all – things can go slowly on moving day, and you may not get your keys til its really too late to start unpacking – so best be prepared!. On this note you may decide that investing in an inflatable bed may be worth it!
Moving tip #16 – Wear comfortable clothes
It’s an obvious thing to say maybe, but its worth wearing comfortable and practical clothes on moving day.
You need to be able to move around easily, you will be on your feet all day, and you should also think about the weather as well (wear layers as you will get hotter throughout the day and want to take layers off).
Moving tip #17 – Organise an online food shop for day 2
The last thing you will really want to do is move lots of food – especially fresh/frozen food. You will no doubt have tried to use up as much as possible in the cupboards before moving day, and as such you will have minimal foods once in your new house.
Its therefore worth taking some stress away and organising an online food delivery for day 2 of your move. That way you know that you will be able to stock up, and you only have to sort out food for moving day and the morning after.
Moving tip #18 – Get someone to look after kids and pets
Although you will want your children and pets to feel at home as soon as possible, its worth having them looked after for the bulk of the moving day.
You will be stressed and have 101 things to do, and the last thing you will want to deal with is entertaining children, or worrying that they (or your pets) are going to get hurt etc….
Have someone look after them until you have at least some of your new house looking like your home, and then get them back!
Its worth trying to unpack the childrens bedrooms first so that they feel at home as soon as possible, and also then letting them unpack their own box that they packed up and put into your car (see tip #2), so they feel part of the move, and feel at home asap.
Moving tip #19 – Leave a note for the new owners of your old house
When you close the door on your old house for the last time, its a great idea to leave the new owners a welcome pack.
Write a card welcoming them to their new home, leave a bottle of wine, and also leave a folder with any paperwork for the house inside such as warranties, guarantees, plans etc…). Its also worth leaving a list of useful points about your house such as where the stopcock is, what the alarm code is, any issues that you know of such as leaky tap or faulty switch, and any trades that you use that they may want to contact such as window cleaner and milkman.
Its a lovely touch, and would be exactly what you would love to see in your new house!
Moving tip #20 – Familiarise yourself with your new home asap
Whether the previous owners of your new house give you a welcome pack or not, its worth making the time to familiarise yourself with your new house asap.
You don’t want to have a power cut on the first night and not know where the trip switch is – or am alarm goes off without you knowing how to turn it off etc…
Moving tip #21 – Fridge / Freezer checks
Often the fridge and freezer are built in now, so this is a tip only for those that you are moving to your new house.
Switch them off the day before your move, defrost and unplug so that they can be moved easily and safely. Put anything you want to take food-wise into cool bags or an ice box for the move itself – and always allow the fridge/freezer to stand for a while in its new home before switching it back on.
Moving tip #22 – Make a checklist of numbers to call to get utilities switched into your name
When you move, there will be a whole host of numbers to call to get your address changed.
Some of these are really important to do on day one – especially if you need things installed or turned on like sky TV, broadband, utilities etc…. – so make a list of who you need to call and order them by priority.
Moving tip #23 – Set up mail forwarding
Its always worth setting up mail forwarding from your old address, and I advise doing this for 1 year.
A year will see all important dates, so you will know if any relatives or friends don’t have your new address if they send cards to the old one, or whether you have forgotten to change addresses for anything.
It also saves the new owners having to be put out by posting things onto you, which they may or may not do.
Moving tip #24 – Change the locks
This often goes missed, but changing the locks on your new house is a really good idea. After all – who knows who has a set of keys?
Better to be safe I always say….
Moving tip #25 – Relax!
My husband and I have a tradition when moving house. We open a bottle of champagne and get fish and chips for tea. The perfect end to a very long and tiring day – and really easy too!
Whatever makes you relax and feel at home – do it! – you deserve to enjoy your first night in your new home.