How to make moving home as stress-free as possible
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Moving house can be exciting but it doesn’t come without the stress and pressures of packing, and of course unpacking your belongings. Being prepared for the transition is one way to make the process easier, but often, it can be hard to know where to start. Express.co.uk spoke to professional home organiser Vicky Silverthorne, who shared her foolproof guide to moving house. She explained that for a seamless move, it’s important to consider the smaller things like your personal home comforts as well as the major logistics of settling into a new property.
Declutter – but start small
Facing the “mammoth task” of packing up your current address can be incredibly daunting, but according to Vicky, it is easier to overcome than you may think. She explained that often all you need to do is change your approach to overcome the “mental block” against doing it.
The professional organiser said: “The best thing you can do to start is to get your mindset right by initially starting with the room that’s say, annoying you most, like your kitchen, and then find a way to go even smaller with it – like a cupboard. As soon as you think of it in a more manageable way, it doesn’t become such a huge thing. And really, I think that’s the biggest hurdle.”
While decluttering will take some time no matter how you approach it, Vicky suggested that for those in a rush – perhaps with just days to pack up, being realistic is crucial to overcome the sudden panic of receiving your moving date.
She recommended packing up things you know you won’t use or need until after moving, such as personal items like keepsakes and photographs. To speed up the process, you can almost declutter as you go, by making a pile of things you no longer want as you fill up the boxes.
Use small boxes
Large cardboard boxes are ideal for moving bigger quantities of items at once, though Vicky revealed that smaller boxes are actually the “most useful”. She said: ” I can’t recommend small boxes enough. It’s unbelievable how many you need to use in your home, and they are great for chipping away at packing things yourself.”
She explained that one of the biggest mistakes people make is overpacking large boxes with heavy items like books, which the removals team could refuse to move for you. To get it right, think carefully about using suitably sized boxes and be realistic about how heavy they are.
Label the top and sides
Another top tip is to label both the top and sides of your boxes. Vicky explained that on several occasions, clients have stacked up heavy boxes so the label on the top is invisible – and there’s no way of telling what’s inside without opening them up.
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Make items accessible
According to new research of 2,000 UK adults by leading UK home builder, Redrow the key to a successful move comes down to organising the kitchen first, including having essentials like tea bags, mugs and the kettle within reaching distance. Vicky recommended packing a small box with these must-have items, so you can easily locate them at your new address.
In addition to kitchen essentials, Vicky noted that home comforts like a blanket or rug will make your first stay more homely – even if your furniture is yet to be assembled.
The professional organiser noted that labelling is also something to consider – particularly if you are upsizing into a large property. She told Express.co.uk: “The names of the rooms at your current address may be different in the new house, so take time to make sure the labels correspond.”
Vicky explained that this not only makes it easier for you to find things for each room but ensures your removal team are also placing boxes in the correct part of the house.
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Start an address list
As soon as your moving date has been confirmed, it is incredibly useful to start making a list of accounts and addresses that will need updating. From bank accounts and driving licenses to shopping sites and utility providers, there’s a lot to get through in a short time, though it is easy to do with the right tools.
Vicky recommended using a site called iammoving.com, which allows you to create notifications in the form of an email to instantly send to each service. The site is free to use, all you have to do is add the relevant organisations to your list along with your new address.
Make thoughtful purchases
It’s easy to get rid of a large majority of your “old stuff” and deck out your home with new items, though Vicky warned against making impulse purchases. She explained that buying non-versatile items that only serve one purpose can contribute to more clutter at your new address.
She said: “I would never recommend buying something that isn’t going to be versatile for a large number of years. So I wouldn’t buy a basket that has specific engravings like ‘kitchen’ or ‘utensils’. Instead, I’d think about how else I could use it down the line.
“For example, could you use that same basket in your bathroom, or store children’s toys too? It’s really key to ensure that it’s got long term use, especially if it’s plastic.”
Vicky added that while plastic is very useful for some items, it is designed to last for decades, not just to be thrown away after a few weeks. Her top tip was to wait until everything is unpacked and you have lived in the space for a while, and if you do need new items, stick to plain and simple styles that will fit in with changing decor, and serve more than one purpose.
She warned against giving into the labelled container trend too, noting that it’s not always the most practical way to use your storage space.
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