It’s said that moving is more stressful than break-ups or a new job – according to a research study a couple of years ago.
Having moved recently I can certainly vouch for it being stressful. So many things to think about. Everything to remember. Liaising with the managing agent/landlord on viewings etc. Cancelling bills – the faff (why can’t they all be with one provider? But no, there’s like 5). Selling/getting rid of unwanted stuff – that huge clear out. Making sure the flat looks in the same condition to get as much of your deposit back as possible. Actually finding a new place (with nice housemates). Thinking about the extra bits and pieces the new place needs.
And this doesn’t even take into account the actual process of packing your whole life up, finding a vehicle big enough and transporting everything you own to the new location.
It’s safe to say it’s not something I like doing regularly. But once you’re in and settled, feeling all homely it’s so worth it.
As I went through the whole process only a few weeks ago, managing to stay reasonably calm (with the help of some awesome friends and my super helpful family), I wanted to share my top tips to help make it a more relaxed experience.
Once you have a date for the big move, ask friends/family if they’re free.
Don’t feel like a burden. Most likely, they’d love to help and know you’d do it for them if it was the other way round! Set dates with friends to do packing over a glass of wine, and make dinner afterwards. It’s all about the little rewards and making it fun, to cancel out the stress.
Moving is the perfect time to have a huge clear out. So start early, and be ruthless.
Do you really need that old bedding just in case? Or those boxes for your electrical items you’re never going to sell? You will feel so much lighter. And moving will be easier without all the stuff you don’t need anymore! If it’s worthy of selling, I’ve found Facebook Marketplace to be great. People will come and collect, and although they do try to haggle, you just need to be firm (consider listing for slightly higher so you get the price you really wanted in the end).
Alternatively, charity shops are always grateful for donations, big or small. The British Heart Foundation takes beds and mattresses, as well as furniture for resale, you just need to book a collection online. Anything smaller you can drop into stores. And if you have any old fabric such as old sheets which aren’t good enough for them to resell, some charity shops run a fabric recycling scheme too, so it’s a good thing to ask about! For anything you’re left with at the end, which you just want to go, there’s always Freecycle – an app where people list free items for people to collect, or just list for free on Facebook marketplace.
Make lists. I know, I know. Lists for everything.
Just use them how works best for you. For me, it was more towards the end, as I was moving out first so leaving a few communal bits behind, and wanted to ensure I remembered all of my belongings. I did really enjoy the list of all the things I needed for the new place to be homey…built after a girls trip to Ikea. Yes, there were meatballs involved.
Ikea bags over boxes.
Yes, those big plastic blue bags are the best for moving. They’re pretty spacious, you can easily see what’s in them which is great for helping you group things together as well as for unpacking, and the straps make them so much easier to carry. No slipping fingers on large box edges, wondering how you’ll get your arms around it, or forgetting what you packed with what. We all forget to list absolutely everything on the outside of the box!
Obviously, this depends on how much stuff you have to move. My parents rented a large people carrier style car, and with so many hands we managed to take suitcases on the London overground too, meaning we moved all my stuff in one go. Consider all routes. If the car isn’t big enough, is there another way around doing several trips? Suitcases are so handy!
I was also recommended zip van for van hire in London. You can rent by the hour, making it a pretty cheap alternative. There are plenty of pick up locations, and you can drop off at any other nearby location which accepts the vehicle. Super simple.
I almost wrote the dreaded clean. Let’s face it, when you’re all packed and ready to go, you hardly want to spend a few hours thoroughly cleaning your old place. All the skirting boards and areas hidden by furniture, inside cupboards…the oven. Getting the flat back to a similar condition as when you first moved in is a top priority on most people’s list – you don’t want any issues with the landlord and it helps with getting the deposit back. But you also don’t really need the additional stress.
I’d highly recommend booking an end of tenancy clean with Fantastic Services. You can start moving out, leave them with an empty flat (clear of all possessions), and they’ll get to work. They do a sparkling job, intense clean, and they even think about the things you didn’t, like inside the oven (which was glistening) and all the cupboard shelves. Something I couldn’t have dreamt about getting done in the time they did. Prices obviously vary depending on the size of the place, but I think it’s really worth it. They were running pretty late last Saturday as they were held up at a previous clean, but I’m definitely using them again next time – for how good the flat looked after and helping reduce the stress at such a busy time.
Get unpacked, but settle in slowly.
I unpacked in one afternoon, and it was amazing. By the evening everything had its own place, so I could sit back, do my nails, eat dinner and chill. I wanted to get straight back into a routine, so having everything sorted was great. But it didn’t mean I was immediately settled. It doesn’t need to be perfect. As you spend more time in your new place you can reshuffle, add the homey bits and really figure out how to best have your room/space to love it the most. It doesn’t need to all be done immediately.
I might have unpacked on the same day, but plants were added within two weeks or so, and I’m still adding every now and then. Pictures have also been held up until I’ve been on my first big adventure, my trip to New York with Katy. I want to really think about the best photos to have in my frames to represent my life and loves now. My family and friends, the things which make me happy.
I’ve still a little way to go, even though I moved mid-september, but that’s fine. I’m just taking it slowly, avoiding as much as stress as possible.
There you have it. My tips for making moving as stress-free as possible. I hope these help. Trust me, it can be a little bit more a chilled process 🙂 Have you moved recently? What did you find helped you to keep a level head?
*This post is in collaboration with Fantastic Services. All views my own.