I recently moved house and to say it was stressful would be an understatement, but as they say in life you have to go through experiences to fully understand them. I feel now having gone through that dreadful experience of being under prepared and misinformed about moving house, I am now in a place to offer some helpful guidance and insight for those wishing to make this as painless as possible.
If you do what I did, which is not plan ahead and slapdash everything on the day, then you’re bound to run into a unbelievable amount problems-just as I did. If you forward plan, however, you should minimise this.
When moving house you will of course have to update your address with the various companies you have relationships with; banks, schools, phone network etc. This can now be done easily and effortlessly through the Internet. Sites such as Megcor carry guides if you are in the US and the Royal Mail has a dedicated service if you are here in the UK. This makes the process pain-free and leaves you more time to stress about the little things, like where did I leave the Cat!
You are now free to negotiate a bargain on your Internet and TV package
Remember your new house will not have utilities such as the Internet or land-line. These will need to be arranged, ideally ahead of time. You are also free to shop around for new deals and bargains now that you are a footloose and fancy free customer, there are countless websites that offer this service of comparing the market.
Tell the council what’s up
Of course do not overlook your council tax, you will also have to tell them that you have moved, if you don’t you could be laid with a bill for council tax when you were no longer living at the property. The redirection service with Royal mail will handle this and ensures that the council know exactly your whereabouts.
Getting help moving the furniture
If like me you are 5-foot-nothing with muscles that are made out of Doritos, you will need some help. Of course there are lots of reputable removal firms out there you can use. The like of which are registered with the British Association of Removers and the National Guild of Removers and Storers. These companies will be the real deal, however, the price these companies charge their services will also be the real deal. Not great if like me you are on a budget.
Don’t get duped with the VAT bait and switch
When looking for removal companies always make sure they tell you the final price. As some companies sneakily try adding the VAT and other add-ons like insurance on your possessions in transit etc after the fact. Always read the small print and as lots of questions. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
If like me you on a budget you can always rope in friends and family or look on gumtree for a man with a van – they can be picked up very cheaply. I paid £35 per hour with a minimum two hours. This worked out at £70 for the whole removal, granted I did have to pack and prepare myself and also unpack myself.
You want it cheap I’ll give it to you cheap
An even cheaper option would be to get the van yourself from a company such as Uhaul in the states or Thrifty here in the UK. These can be rented for as little as £9 per hour and you can also save money on the insurance of the vehicle if you are insured on your own vehicle.
Preparation, preparation, preparation
I would advise on de-cluttering the house and removing all unwanted belongings that you have perhaps grown out of or you no longer wish to keep before moving day. This will save you time when packing and also keep you focused on the job at hand.
In terms of packing I would label each box with the room that it corresponds to, while packaging fragile items in separate boxes clearly labelled. Of course you are going to have a few breakages that is just a fact, but you can prepare for them by wrapping all fragile items in old newspaper and clearly separating them from other boxes.
On the day
Do not do what I did and have your children, pets and husband around on the day. You need to be focussed that means no children. Call in a few favours from friends and relatives and asked them if they will babysit for half a day or the whole day, bribery can help.
Give yourself a deadline every hour in terms of what you need to achieve. An even better idea is to have a checklist and a plan for the whole day.
Good luck on the move