When I walk my dog at the weekend my steps always seem to take us past my childhood home. I lived there from birth to the age of 16 and I have many wonderful memories of living there.
The garden where I spent many an hour on the swing. The sitting room where we all used to vie for our favourite seat on the couch (I never seemed to win). The built in wardrobe and shelves in my bedroom that my dad built for me. The cherry blossom tree from next door that used to tap on my window on stormy days and that I used to spend hours sitting on the large window ledge staring at (think gloomy teenage years!).
I was utterly distraught when we moved from that house and despite moving since, it is and will always be, my favourite house in the world.
Each time you move house you learn something different about how to do it better. Can arranging a house move be anything less than stressful? Well yes, it can, but it takes planning and forethought.
When you decide that it is time to move house, the first thing that you should do, before you start looking for a new home, is declutter. Be ruthless and go through everything. From clothes that you haven't worn for the past ten years to the five whisks in your kitchen that you have accumulated (yes even that one you've had since 1994 that is somehow sentimental but belongs in a museum).
The longer you live in a house, the more that you will accumulate.
This will not only help with the packing process but when it comes to the time when you sell your house, a decluttered, tidy home will sell faster and hopefully, for a better price when the buyer can see what they are actually buying.
Save the Memories
This isn't a tip for moving home, it is preserving memories. Be ruthless in your declutter, but save your photographs. All of them. The silly ones, the old ones, the ones with your family where you hate the way that you look.
5, 10, 25 years down the line, you will miss them. Put them in a box for attic storage in the new house. Your future you, will thank you.
Order your removal company ahead of time. Get as many removal quotes as you can and get recommendations. Everyone you know will have moved home at some point and everyone has a different experience. You want a good price with a recommended firm that won't break your valuables and won't take all day with the removal.
Sounds obvious doesn't it? Which it is, albeit very, very time consuming. But we live in 2018 now, not 1960. Embrace the power of the internet and use a website like I Am Moving where you can put your details in and notify all the companies you use. Utilities, credit cards, internet shopping providers like Amazon, subscriptions and insurance.
Create a Fact File & Ask For The Same
Pay it forward by creating a fact file for the buyers of your home. Things like reliable trades people, who your utilities are with and when you last changed them, what make your boiler is, the best local takeaway, when the rubbish is collected; where the best place is to walk your dog nearby and most importantly, which is the best local pub.
Have a conversation with the people you are buying your new home from. Ask for the same and mention you are doing this for your new buyers. Maybe even offer a cash incentive. In all the costs of moving, what is another £50 to gain this sort of information at your fingertips when you first move in? (Particularly the best local takeaway when you are surrounded by boxes and losing the will to live and cook).
Create a Survival Box
That first night that you are in your new home you are going to be exhausted, bewildered, tired and hungry. Get a big plastic box that you can transport on your lap to the new house. Put in tea, coffee, sugar, a kettle, milk, toilet rolls, a DVD (if you manage to set up your TV system), scissors, warm socks. Yes I said socks. Working out the heating system on the first night, if the owners didn't leave you a fact file, may be confusing and you will be cold. Socks. Trust me.
The obvious things. Don't over pack your boxes and LABEL. Label everything. Try and get a good night's sleep the night before. If you are working full time, hire a company to pack for you. Again, someone reputable and recommended. Have a glass of wine to calm the nerves of moving (the night before, not on the day!). Breath. Just breath. You are organised. You will be fine.