Now that we have a moving date I am starting to remember how much I hate moving house. The mess, the expense, all the things to remember. They say it’s the second most stressful thing ever – I’m not sure that it’s quite that bad, but there’s always that moment on moving day when you find yourself neck high in half-packed boxes, searching for a vital lost item, having some sort of mini-breakdown because you’ve been up since 5am and there’s at least 15 hours and a trip to Ikea ahead before you can fall into bed… yeah. Fun!
I think the key is definitely to be as organised as possible in the lead-up. I have a month before the big day, and plan to do a LOT of clearing out junk in that time and basically doing everything I can to prepare, so that things will go as smoothly as possible.
Here are some things I’m thinking will help keep things pain-free (or as close to) and also help keep costs down:
Do it yourself The first time we moved house, we did it ourselves. Hired a van, packed, lugged boxes, the works. It kept the costs way down, but I had a moment of clarity on my, oh, 209th trip up to the third floor carrying crates of books that I would NEVER DO THIS AGAIN FOR AS LONG AS I LIVED. Stressful and tiring it is, but yes, it is the cheapest way to do it. Worth it only if you don’t have lots of furniture, or you can rope lots of friends into helping (just be prepared to return the favour some day in the future!)
Man and Van The last time we moved we did man and van. It was far cheaper than hiring professional movers, but it was really only like having a couple of friends helping, because they had no specialist equipment or anything. I think I carried more boxes than the pair of them put together, because I wanted to pay for as few hours as possible, and well, it suited them to be as slow as possible, didn’t it? But it’s good to have that extra help for the heavy lifting.
Professional movers This time I’m going professional movers all the way baby. I want two big, burly men to move everything while I ‘supervise’. It’s the most expensive way to go, but I think it’s worth it in the reduction in stress and fatigue!
Get organised In the lead up to the move, get organised. Book movers far in advance so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute (especially if you are moving on a Saturday), organise restricted parking with the council outside your current and new homes for the removal van, and start eating the food out of your freezer because you’ll have to entirely defrost it a couple of days before the move.
Clear out the junk Be ruthless. Go through all your closets, cupboards, attic, and chuck out or donate all the stuff you no longer want/need. Remember that everything you get rid of is one less box to move on the day. Start doing some deep cleaning so you don’t spend all of moving day on your knees scrubbing the oven out.
Check your inventory Go through your check-in inventory and make sure there are no repairs you need done before the move. The landlord will charge extortionate rates for anything that needs doing and it will come out of your deposit; so if you, for example, have a husband who drilled a massive hole in a wall to hang a mirror and then simply covered it up with said mirror after a large patch of plaster crumbled off (grr), fix it up yourself or your landlord will make you pay!