Moving house can be outrageously exciting and stressful at the same time. That in-between period of preparation where I completely envision my new home and how I would like it to look ignites a creative passion in me and a strong ‘can-do’ attitude. I can’t wait to get the move over with so that I can start building my dream home. Following these steps allowed me to make the most of my remaining time in my old city, successfully move my life to a new city, and to enjoy the process in-between.
1. Plan, plan, plan!
Planning what you need to do before you move and what you’ll need to do as soon as you move in will allow you to allocate your time and funds appropriately. There is nothing worse than working to a deadline and finding out that you forgot about a job that will take way longer than expected, resulting in the loss of your well needed deposit! At the same time planning what you want to do to your new house, allocating approximate time and funds for each project, will allow you to move-in your boxes accordingly and to find which projects need to be done immediately and which can be postponed until a later date. Having a plan of action, such as an extensive to-do list, before moving to the new place allows you to be proactive in your new home, instead of moving everything in and never getting around to things that bother you because you’ve already put away everything in its respective place. A new home is a new chapter in your life that you have the power to illustrate as you’d like!
2. For the avid gardeners, don’t forget your bulbs or shrub cuttings!
Certainly keep this in mind particularly for what season you plan on moving during. Gardening is not only a fantastic hobby that reaps many rewards, but can also add up in price. Moving house can mean leaving a lot of that investment behind. Are there bulbs you will be able to dig up this summer, to plant them in your new place come autumn? Will you be able to adequately take your prized rose plant with you, or will you need to take a cutting before hand (and to make sure it takes!)? Giving yourself a couple of months to work out your garden details, gathering cuttings and making sure they take, will allow you to ensure you are able to bring some of your investment with you, and will save you from investing in a whole new set of expensive plants to start building that new garden once you move.
This is no doubt found on every moving list and for a good reason. Skipping this step is probably the biggest mistake my mother and I made before moving to France (and that was from the U.S…. Can someone say expensive?!) It is so easy to put off something like decluttering until after the move. After all, most of us are busy with full-time jobs or studies, and would rather deal with it later than now. But believe me, the downside of this is having a room in the house that is filled with nothing but unneeded miscellaneous objects that haven’t been used in the 6 years you’ve now lived in the new house. Decluttering means there is less to pack and unpack, and allows for much less stress in your new environment leaving more time for fun things like barbecues in your brand new big backyard!
Ask yourself: When is the last time that I wore/used this? Does this have enough sentimental value for me to display in my new home? Is there space for this? Could this be better used by someone else instead of just sitting in a box for years? Do I need the countless magazines and catalogues that I have not looked at in three years and will probably never look at again? Make a keep pile, a trash pile, a give-away pile, and a sell pile (and try to sell them before moving!)
Einstein once said, ‘If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” I’m not saying throw everything out, but imagine what it would mean if your mind was surrounded by things that you wanted, instead with cluttered with things that you don’t.
4. Organise based on room and necessity
This is made much easier once everything has been decluttered. If you’ve planned your projects for your new home, like what rooms need to be painted first, what curtains need to be made or hung, what will go where, then you can pack you boxes based on room and what will be taken out in the first few days and what can stay out of the way until your basic projects are done. This will also allow you to find out what needs to be purchased for the new house. There is no need to pack a toilet brush, but you will certainly want to remember to pick up a new one during your first new home shop.
5. Wipe and dust before packing away
As things go into boxes, they should be in a condition where they can be put away or displayed with ease. That quilt that hasn’t been washed in 6 months should certainly be washed and dried before being packed. The same goes for curtains and washable rugs. All those toiletries in the bathroom, sticky with spilled over soap, should be given a good wash, making sure the lids are on tightly before going in the box. Nor should dusty books and ornaments be packed away before receiving a good-as-new cleaning. Imagine how much longer unpacking will take if you have to worry about wiping everything down as you put everything up?
6. Make some sort of memorabilia of your current house
I plan on making an ‘our first house’ christmas tree ornament from a salt dough or baking soda and corn starch dough like the one found on Emerald City Diaries. I love the idea of creating a way to reminisce each year over the history we’ve had together. Even for those who aren’t in a couple who would just like a small reminder of the places they’ve lived, this is an excellent way to do it. Particularly during Christmas time, the ultimate time to be sentimental, to be thankful, and the think back at all that you’ve done and all that you’re going to do.
Edit** I ended up running out of time but did a super quick version of this with Play-Doh that I had in the house! Once it had fully dried, I was able to gently sand away any rough spots, I covered it with a thin layer of super-glue over the front and back (allowing each side to fully dry before flipping it over) and plan on painting it with some gold paint before labelling it “Our first apartment” and hanging it on the tree. It’s turned out super solid and should last for years!
7. Make sure to notify the proper authorities
This little guy was almost left out because Tim took it upon himself to do this for us. However, it is arguably the most important. Letting your electric and water company, your internet provider, places like your local dentist and GP, and you city council know of your move well ahead of time will not only help you set things like your utilities to work in your new place on the day of move it, but could save you money on unnecessary payments and will allow you to get suggestions of good dentist and doctor’s practices in your new local area.
8. To visit your favourite restaurants or parks in the place you are moving from one last time
Sheffield is one of the only cities in the UK that is located within a national park, the Peak District. Tim and I have planned a day away from packing to go for a nice walk and picnic in the Peaks. There are other national parks where we are moving to, so it is hard to say when we’ll make it back to the Peaks. Therefore, it is certainly on our list to visit before the move. Our favourite individually owned restaurant in Sheffield is Zara’s Indian restaurant in Crookes. After our walk-through on the day we have to hand in our keys, we plan on getting an early dinner at Zara’s one last time as residents in Sheffield before heading up to our new place.
9. If you get a chance, give your new house a good clean the day before moving day
We’re lucky that it has worked out that Tim and I will get the keys the day before we are able to physically move all of our stuff up. When we get the keys, we plan on bringing our vacuum and a load of cleaning supplies to give everything a good dust and wipe over. That way everything will come in anew! On top of this (I wish I has thought about this as we were viewing the house), if you plan on making curtains or Roman blinds for your new home it would be good to get the necessary measurements of the windows well in advance. For renter, this would be the day you decide on the house! Bring a pad and tape measure with you so that you can start, allowing the home-making of a new home go all the quicker!
10. Arrange for help
Having help on a moving day, whether it is loading boxes into the a moving van or unpacking boxes at the new location, is always… well, helpful. We’re lucky both of Tim’s parents have taken the time out of their schedules to help us. Having a ‘helpers’ Chinese takeaway at the end of a busy moving day will give everyone something to look forward to as well.
Like I said, moving can be both exciting and stressful. Being well organised will help to ensure nothing gets left out or forgotten and will allow you to make the most of your remaining time in your old city, as well as your first few days in your new and exciting home!
Do you have any moving tips or experiences? I’d love to hear them! Please comment below on how you found my ’10 Things to do Before Moving House’ and your thoughts 🙂