Moving is one of life’s more stressful experiences. In an ideal world we would leave the packing and unpacking to a professional company, and check into a hotel until the move is done. Some companies do offer this service – but with the cost of relocating already sky-high, most people have to move house themselves. Unfortunately, there is no magic fix to shorten the hours of work ahead. However, there are a number of ways to make moving house a less stressful experience.
Before You Leave
When you’re packing up your worldly possessions, proper boxes make a whole world of difference. You can repurpose your own suitcases and pilfer boxes from the supermarket, but for heavy items like books, you need something sturdy. Most storage and removal companies sell standard cardboard boxes. However, these will inevitably end up sat in your garage or loft, taking up room – if you have the space. They can also weaken with time, especially if you re-tape them more than a couple of times, or the room you keep them in is damp. Renting specially-designed reusable moving boxes is a better option. These are often made of plastic, making them better for the environment than the standard cardboard variety.
Labelling a box with a list of the contents is a sensible idea – most of the time. However, you might not want to announce to the whole world precisely which box contains your very expensive computer. Try labelling some of your boxes with numbers and the room they belong to, and make a note of the contents on a corresponding spreadsheet instead.
One of the last boxes you pack should be a special ‘essentials’ kit, with toilet roll, phone chargers, paperwork related to the move, and other items you know you’ll need as soon as you arrive. Along with these, it’s also worth including some basic cleaning products, just in case the old owner or tenant hasn’t tidied up as well as you’d like. Try to make this box distinctive – a bright colour, or a different shape, for example – to help it stand out from the sea of boxes you’ll be faced with in your new home. You should also keep it with you during the move, in case the removals truck gets delayed.
In Your New Home
When you finally get the keys to your new home, you will inevitably have a to-do list as long as your arm. Before you start arranging your new kitchen and filling the wardrobe, there’s one essential task you should do first – make the beds. Moving house is an incredibly tiring experience, especially if you’ve travelled a long way from your previous home. When you’re exhausted from a full day of moving boxes and unpacking items, you’ll be so thankful your bed is ready and waiting.
If you have children, it’s often kinder to ask a relative or friend to take care of them for the day. They will understandably be excited about moving into their new home, but this often means they’ll spend the day getting under your feet – making the process more stressful for everyone involved. However, if they will be joining you on the day of the move, put their furniture in their bedroom as soon as possible. This means they’ll have somewhere to go if they feel overwhelmed with the process, and also gives them a space to safely unpack their toys without getting in the way.
The key to an easy move is checking the floorplans before you move into your new home, and deciding exactly where you want all of your existing furniture to go. When you arrive, you should arrange the larger items (the sofas, beds, and wardrobes) according to this plan first, and then begin opening boxes and unpacking your smaller possessions. You should also work methodically – tackle the functional rooms like the kitchen and bathroom first, before moving onto the other living areas. Leave the television, computer, and other recreational items until last, in case they tempt you to abandon the unpacking.
This post was written by Anne Haimes of AH Interiors. Anne is a passionate interior designer with over 20 years’ experience, based in Henley-on-Thames, England.