Seven tips for moving home
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1. Pick a moving date and book a removals company
This is step one of any successful move. Look for a removal company that offers a free home assessment, so you can get an accurate quote of what size van or lorry you need, how many removal company staff will be on-site the day of the move, and how many boxes and other essential packing materials you need to have on hand. For a totally stress-free move, find a company that offers a packing service, and optional storage.
2. Declutter and plan ahead
It’s a waste of both time and money to move things you aren’t going to need or use in your new home, so make sure to give yourself plenty of time to declutter beforehand. The best approach is to tackle your home room by room, so as to not get overwhelmed. Each room can be divided into clearly labelled piles:
- Donate pile
- Sell pile: There is no shortage of online marketplaces where you can sell items you don’t want to take to your new house, and make a profit too. Check out sites like ebay, Etsy, Bonanzamarket, Gumtree, Jootree, and Wish, just to name a few
- Storage pile: Looking into short- or long-term storage is worth it, especially if you’re downsizing to smaller square footage
- Recycle pile
- Batteries, cords and flammable pile
Decluttering is something that can be done well in advance of your move, we suggest at least 4-6 months before moving day.
3. Notify others of your new address
Besides giving your family and friends the address to your new home, there are other companies and agencies you need to inform of your address change. Don’t forget to contact:
- Utility providers (water, gas, electricity)
- HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
- National Insurance and Department of Work and Pensions
- Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and V5C Vehicle Log Book
- Electoral roll
- Banking and savings account providers
- Insurance providers (health, life, home, car, pet)
- Broadband / cable / satellite / phone and TV licensing
- Newspaper, magazine and newsletter subscriptions
You can make this process easier by using the post office’s change-of-address service, which takes up to 10 days to come into effect and redirects all mail to your new address. You can get more information on the official Royal Mail website.
4. Plan your packing
If you’ve decided to take on packing yourself, there are a few tips from the experts to help make the process go smoothly.
- Gather all packing material and boxes in advance. You don’t want to be stopping and running out while packing to replenish supplies like boxes, tape and bubble wrap.
- It’s best to start packing the storage areas (e.g. loft, basement, garage and cupboards) followed by the living room and kitchen, and leave the bedroom(s) and bathroom ’til last.
- Dismantle any furniture you can go without for a short period of time like the office desk and shelving units.
5. Get familiar with your new neighbourhood
Moving to a new borough can be disorienting, so you want to make sure you do a little research first. Make a list of the nearest pharmacy, tube station and nearby parks, grocery stores, restaurants, cafes and pubs.
Bookmark social media sites, websites and local guides to the area you are moving to, in order to be instantly available on your phone. There are plenty of area guides available for each area of London. If moving to an area like Balham in South London, you could bookmark the Wiki guide, moving guide, restaurant guide, map, transport guides, Facebook groups and even a Twitter feed.
After a long day of moving, you’ll thank yourself for settling in quickly, getting local tips and having your celebratory pint and dinner venue already picked out.
6. Finalise important details
Confirm the moving date and time with your removals company. Confirming the date and time of your move with anyone who is involved leaves less room for scheduling errors.
Leaving your current home damaged or dirty can cost you your deposit if you’re renting, so make sure that you have a cleaning and repair plan in place. You might want to consider hiring a cleaning company to come on the day of the move.
Pack a moving day bag and make sure it’s stocked with water, snacks, and anything you might need during the day and your first night (toothbrush, plasters, paracetamol, etc). Even the most organised moving day can be a little hectic, so putting this aside, and staying hydrated on the day, are some must do’s for any successful move.
Finally, don’t forget to find a way to unwind, whether it’s exercise, meditation, socialising, having fun in London, or even just catching up on sleep!
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