Following what feels like a crazy few months in the housing market, people are completing and moving at a rapid pace. Including my next-door neighbours on both sides. Whether people are downsizing, moving out of the city to embrace wfh or relocating to find work, moving house comes with a lot of stressful emotions. However, there are things you can do to make moving less stressful.
- Don’t start packing too soon. The advice is always start early. Wrong! Living with boxes is stressful. Living in mess is stressful. Plan – yes but focus on decluttering and organising. Get rid of as much as you can. Be ruthless before you start putting things in boxes. Do you love each item enough to pack, carry and unpack it? If not, donate, sell or recycle. Organise your possessions well so they are in sensible, calm, tidy, liveable groups and easy to pack.
- Book in professional help. Working with a moving team will significantly cut down the stress. It may seem like an expensive option, but they are professionals for a reason and a full house removal can save you time, money, and stress in the long run. Think about how long it would take you to do this on your own and multiply it by minimum wage. Suddenly it doesn’t seem so expensive. Doing this early will give you peace of mind.
- Allocate time to the process. Packing after a day at work with small children helpfully unpacking behind you is infuriating and inefficient. Packing things, then unpacking them when you realise you still need them is also inefficient. Look at the moving schedule and allocate 2 full days to pack properly. You will have already decluttered and organised so this will be a less traumatic process. You will have had time to process emotions during decluttering so this will be less draining. It is simply the act of putting things in boxes.
- Invest in decent boxes, tape, bubble wrap and the weird and wonderful clingfilm stuff that actual packers use. This will all go much faster if you are working with good tools. People often list their pre-used boxes on freecycle and Facebook Marketplace so this doesn’t have to be expensive.
- Label every box with a number, room, and outline of contents. Geek out and put it in a spreadsheet. Honestly, it is worth the time. Put the box number on at least 3 sides so whichever way it is stacked you can work out what is in the box from your list/ spreadsheet. If you have gone all out spreadsheet, you can CTRL F the item to locate which box it is in.
- Pack a bag of hand luggage. I remember the first time I lost my luggage whilst travelling abroad. It took 5 days for my suitcase to catch up. I now pack enough to last me a couple of days in my hand luggage. The same applies to moving house. In the chaos, you will want access to your key survival things. If you have small children, favourite blanket/ teddy, an emergency set of new crayons and distracting activities is priceless. If you are an adult, a good bar of chocolate, loo roll, clean pants, pjs, crucial medication and your phone charger will make life less stressful.
- Plan for your first night in your new home. Spend some time scoping out the neighbourhood before you move if you can. Work out which takeaway delivers to your new home. Knowing there is beer and good pizza to look forward to at the end of a hard day makes it so much more bearable.
- Acknowledge moving house is stressful so give yourself (and your people) some slack. Yes, there will be moments when everyone is annoying and not helping. But this is a limited period of time. Hug it out, it will be over soon.