Moving House Guide
Posted on May 07 2021
Moving house is one of the most stressful of life’s events. Making the decision to move and finding the right place (whether you’re renting or buying) is just the beginning. The process takes a lot of time and there are many small and large changes and challenges that need to be considered. Often, moving house comes as a result of other stressful life events such as: marriage, having a baby, death, separation or divorce, loss of a job, or starting a new job.
So how can you reduce the stressfulness of this important life event?
Planning and organisation will make your move more stress-free. This doesn’t come easily to everyone, but any level of planning will help in this process. We’ve assembled a thorough checklist for you to use in the lead up to your move, as well as some tips that will help you cover all your bases.
You can start thinking about moving day as soon as you start looking for your new place, especially if you have been in your current location for over 3 years. You should begin to take stock of your furniture, clothes and other household items and ask if they are still working for you in the way you want. Humans are creatures of habit with a tendency to over value the items we have already purchased making it difficult to sell, donate or trash things. We collect and store more items than we really need and moving house will prove this to you. The average Australian household has $5300 worth of unused items, not to mention all the unused items of no value. At some stage you will probably want to organise a hard rubbish collection, or even a skip.
Furniture and Layout
During this phase you might like to ask yourself some of the following questions: Are you ready to upgrade to a king-size bed? Do your kids need bunks or will they be in separate rooms? Will your new property have space for a larger dining table? Or does it have an additional living space which will need furnishing? Alternatively if moving means downsizing, is any of your furniture multi-purpose? Would a sofa bed be more useful?
Take time to think about the large or delicate items you will need to move such as appliances, a piano, artwork or bikes. Take measurements of your new home and your furniture and make decisions about what items will go with you and what items won’t fit. This removes the stress by reducing the number of decisions you need to make in the moment. It also gives you time to sell or donate any items you will not require.
If you are going to need new furniture, keep in mind it can take over 8 weeks to order in an item, so you might want to think about ordering now. To save yourself some work, it would be ideal to have these items delivered to the new property on the day you move.
Once your new home has been secured the real tough work begins. One mistake people make when moving is underestimating the time it will take them to pack. Obtain packing materials - boxes, tape, bubble wrap - and start packing as soon as you can; and have a system. Label all boxes with the items inside and potentially with what room you want it to go to on moving day.
While it might seem counterintuitive at this early stage, try not to pack items solely according to their location in the house. It is much better to pack according to need. If you know you will not need the item before the move, pack it now. If you’re moving in February, pack your winter clothes and Christmas decorations first. You will be too busy for a camping trip or lots of reading, so go ahead and pack your camping gear and books. In fact you are better off to put some books in every box, if you put them all in one box not even the strongest removalist will be able to shift it.
There is an old saying: a problem shared is a problem halved. Often people will ask if you need help during the moving process: be willing to accept offers of help. When you do accept help from friends and family, clearly tell them what tasks would be of greatest help to you. Some of these tasks might be: baby-sitting (especially on the day the truck is packed), gardening, a meal on the final night before the move, cleaning windows or walls, or being at the new property on the morning of the move to receive the removalists. Feeling like you are not alone in the moving process will reduce your stress.
If all of this is still too overwhelming for you here are a few simple but very effective things you can do to ease stress on moving day:
While it is a hugely stressful, busy and sometimes expensive venture, moving house is also the perfect time to look at your life and your belongings and really ask if everything you own is really working for you. Does everything in your house reflect the life you dreamed you’d be living?
We have put together a detailed checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything in the lead up to your move.