Whether you're buying or selling a home, there's no avoiding the moment most people dread: the move.
All removals cause chaos, untidiness and dirt, but this can actually be a fantastic time to get rid of all the excess clutter and stuff we no longer use.
When you're in the middle of moving it can feel never-ending, but if you're well organised and know where to start and how to deal with it, the process will be much quicker and less painful.
- First and foremost, make a plan. How are you going to go about moving?
If you're one of the brave ones who decide to do it themselves, you might need to hire a special vehicle, apply for any necessary licences, get hold of some boxes (probably more than you think you need!), sealing tape, bubble wrap, scissors, labels...
Another option is to look for help. There are lots of removal companies, but not all of them are trustworthy. Be very careful when you choose one, remember you're going to be trusting them with all your belongings.
Look for a company that you feel confident in, that provides guarantees, insurance and a removal contract. Check what clients who have used them have to say about them and make sure they will deal with any necessary licences or paperwork. Ask how long they will take to load and unload, and if your possessions will have to spend the night in the van or lorry ask where it will be parked overnight.
If you have trouble finding a removal company you feel happy with, ask your real estate advisor. They can probably recommend one, and they might even be able to arrange the whole thing for you.
- Prepare the house you're moving to:
Do any necessary renovation work, check the electrics, paint and clean the property.
It'll be much easier to paint and clean an empty home before furnishing it. You'll avoid getting paint on your belongings and you can get it done in a couple of days as the work can be done much quicker when there's no furniture to move about or cover up.
- Make the move lighter:
Over time, practically everyone ends up collecting clutter they don't use or need without realising it. Go through your belongings and think about whether you will use things in your new home. Recycle everything that's no good, and donate everything that somebody else can make use of.
- Think before you pack:
Organisation is the most important part of moving. Start with specific rooms and begin putting similar items into boxes (blankets with blankets, books with books...) That will make it much easier to organise the unpacking and put everything straight into its new place.
Don't forget to label the boxes once they're closed so you can see what they contain.
The heaviest items should go in the smallest boxes so you don't break your back trying to lift them. Use the bigger boxes for lighter items.
- Kitchen equipment:
Carefully pack your crockery separately. Use bubble wrap to protect the most delicate items. Glasses should be wrapped individually. Stick a "fragile" label on these boxes and on any others that contain fragile items.
There are special boxes with hanging rails that you can use to easily take everything you have on hangers from wardrobe to box to wardrobe.
Otherwise, use bags and suitcases for clothing as they're easier to transport.
- Wash everything you can before packing it:
The last thing you need when you get to your new home is to have to start doing the laundry straight away as well as unpacking everything and putting it away.
Don't forget to clean carpets, curtains, blinds, blankets...
- Unload and unpack in order:
We've already determined that order is key to a pain-free removal. Unload the furniture first and put it in place, followed by the heaviest items. Then tackle the kitchenware, the boxes, bags and suitcases of clothes and leave the decorative items for last.
- Last but not least, what should you take with you?
Take the most important things, those of great sentimental or material value, with you. You'll feel better knowing they won't be broken or get lost.
You're probably going to be living in relative chaos for a few days in your new home, so it's advisable to take a "survival case" with you. Make sure it isn't too big though. Pack it with everything you'll need for the first few days: some clothes, personal hygiene items and anything you need for work.
Don't forget, once you're all set up in your new home it will all have been worth it.