I’d like to think of myself as an ‘expert’ at moving house (I’ve been watching Peppa Pig far too much!) Not because I want to toot my own horn, but because I have moved house over ten times. I’ve had ten addresses since I was 17 and decided to move out of home. I also sometimes had in-between addresses for days or weeks, so had to move my stuff more than once for a single house move!
Moving house is the best time to declutter and rid your home of any items you no longer want or need. If you’re downsizing then you’re going to have to do this, but even if you’re moving to a larger pad or a similar size, it can be very therapeutic to clear out the old unwanted items and start afresh in your new home.
Here is my timeline for preparing a house move and some of my top tips:
As soon as a move is on the horizon, start saving boxes, big and small. You’re going to need an awful lot of boxes if you’re moving an entire family house, so start flat packing every box you receive and store them in an attic or cupboard. This will save you money nearer the move as you’ll not need to buy new boxes.
Start with the attic
A few weeks before the moving date start going through your attic. This is where most of our unwanted goods end up stored and quite possibly a lot of junk! Have a good sort through and be ruthless. If it’s been in the attic for years and you haven’t used it, then do you really need to keep it? Not only is it great to pass it on to someone who can make us of it, you’ll also have less stuff to move. Win-win!
Once you’ve narrowed it down to the items you want to keep, you can pack up the rest of the attic stuff ready for the move. If it’s in the attic then it’s unlikely it’s something you use regularly, so it can be packed for a few weeks. If you do think you’ll need it, then keep it to one side and don’t pack it!
Label your boxes
There’s nothing worse than moving home and having no clue to where anything is packed! Make sure you buy a couple of sharpies and clearly mark which room the boxes are for. Make a note of any key items that are in the boxes so you can find them at a glance. If you’re like me and start packing well in advance, then perhaps pack the boxes, mark them, but leave them open at the top just in case. You can tape them all down when it gets nearer to the move.
Work your way down
For me I prefer to work my way down the house. Once the attic is cleared out and packed I will move to the bedrooms. I’ll start with the wardrobes, sorting through and clearing out any clothes we no longer wear/need or fit into. I’ll follow the same process or selling on eBay or donating, until we only have left what we need. Once it’s only a couple of weeks to the move I’ll keep out ten or so outfits, but pack the rest in clearly labelled boxes.
After the bedrooms I’ll tackle the cupboards and the kitchen. This is where things can accumulate in cupboards and there are often things we no longer use. I’ll leave the living areas and bathrooms until last as these usually have items in we use daily.
The garden shed can also fill up with bits and pieces as it’s a great storage space. If you’ve no idea what is in the back of your shed and things are piling up, then you’ll want to start sorting through your garden near the beginning too.
Recycle, donate and sell
‘Getting rid’ does not mean throwing in the bin and adding to the ever increasing terrible landfill problem we have. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, or something like that! If you’re short on cash then sell your unwanted items. You’ll be surprised at the items you think really are junk that will actually pick up a decent amount of cash at a car boot. Sell higher quality items on eBay or local Facebook selling groups. Put your profits towards new items for your new home, or use them to pay towards moving costs. Anything that is left over can be taken to the charity shop.
Book a van
If you don’t know anyone with a van and you have too much stuff to fit in your car, then you’re going to need to hire a van to move your belongings or large furniture. Start looking for van hire 4-6 weeks in advance. This allows enough time to get quotes and to budget for the cost.
Instead of trawling through numerous sites and directories, use a quote comparison site. Simply post your request on Shiply and delivery companies will send you quotes via email. Sometimes you can save up to 75% as the delivery companies compete for your business and may even be able to squeeze you in on existing routes.
A few days before
You should, by now, have everything packed that you don’t need to use daily. Now you can pack everything else! Make sure you keep out any kitchen utensils you need for a couple of days, enough clothes and toiletries. Pack everything else.
If you have children keep out a few extra outfits just in case and a box or two of toys.
Keep one of two boxes back to throw in all the last bits and pieces on the day of the move.
If you’ve started planning the big move weeks in advance, like I do, then the day itself should be quite hassle free. All you need to do is load up the van and move everything to your new location. Rope in as many friends and family to help as you can to make the whole process as quick as possible.
Next comes the dreaded part. . . unpacking!