Tips for moving house
You've secured your dream new build, now it's time to pack up your existing home. Homeowner Joanne Derrick shares her tips for making your home move simple.
You can find Jo on Instagram at @newbuildoldstyle, or on her blog here.
You’ve secured your dream house, you’re letting go of the home that’s served you well, and now it’s time to pack it all up. When you look around at your things it can be hard to know where to begin. Here are some pointers to get you started.
1. The paperwork
One of the biggest headaches when moving house can be the conveyancing – all that paperwork! Persimmon's recommended firm will have been selected not only for quality but also speed. This was confirmed when we moved to our home and our solicitor did almost everything online, very quick in responding, which was not the case with previous moves.
2. View your new home
Charles Church will invite you to attend a new home demonstration. This will give you a chance to familiarise yourself with all the heating and other appliances and check everything is as it should be. It's also a good way of reminding yourself that all your hard work will be worth it - at the end, you'll have a brand new beautiful home!
It makes sense to move only the things you want to keep into your new home, so having a clear out before packing up is a must. Marie Kondo, tidying guru, recommends sorting by category - clothing, paperwork, toys, knick knacks etc. Then, keep those which ‘spark joy’ and get rid of the rest. If it feels difficult letting go, thank the item for what it has given you, then let someone else make use of it.
4. Pass it on
Charity shops always need donations, just make sure everything is clean and bagged up, according to their instructions. Most charities have websites with details of the things they take, for example many won’t take electricals. With your big furniture items, some charities will come and collect, or you could contact your local council who can take items, sometimes for a small fee. You can also list items on Facebook community sites.
5. Sell on an app
If you have the time and want to make some money to go towards your new décor scheme, then apps like Vinted are good for selling clothes and homeware, as well as eBay, Gumtree and local selling pages on social media. Also, it’s worth remembering good old word of mouth. Young people setting up home may be especially grateful of donations to get started.
6. Removal services
Removal companies offer packing services - a godsend if you’re busy or have mobility issues. But if someone packs for you, you won’t know exactly what’s in each box, so you’ll need to pack your essentials separately. It's worth keeping to hand anything you’ll need for the first week - kettle, mugs, tea and coffee, some plates and cutlery, family toiletries, loo roll, torch, first aid kit, clothes, bedding, small toolkit, even your essential cupboard food. Charles Church can also help with removal services, so speak to your sales advisor who'll be able to tell you more.
- Make sure you have enough boxes, crates and bags - you could check your local freecycle group to see if anyone is giving theirs away.
- Save cardboard boxes from deliveries, as well as bubble wrap, tissue paper and other packing.
- Start packing at the top of your house and work your way down, packing room by room.
- Heavy items should go at the bottom of boxes, lighter things at the top.
- Cushions and blankets can make useful padding, and tea towels, socks and scarves can be wrapped around breakables.
- When you take furniture apart, keep all the screws and fittings in a small bag taped to one of the pieces so they don't get lost.
7. Attaching labels
Make sure each box is labelled with a brief description of its contents and the room it needs to go to at your new house. Use a marker pen or print out sticky labels. You’ll also need packing tape and scissors. Keep all of this in a caddy or small storage container. It can also be useful to add a note about the priority a box should be unpacked. For example, your winter clothes are low priority in the summer, but your saucepans and utensils would need to be unpacked more quickly.
8. Floor plans
To save bigger items being moved about once you’ve moved in, work out your room layout beforehand so that you can produce a plan of where your fridge, sofas, large cabinets, wardrobes etc need to go. Make sure that your movers – whether that’s removal company or willing volunteers – know where everything is going.
If you’re moving a long distance and need to empty your freezer, make sure you don’t buy more frozen food once you have your move date, and use up as much as you can beforehand. It can also be worth booking an online grocery shop for the day after you move in to save you spending extra time in the supermarket.
10. You’re in!
You'll be asked to sign a key release form that confirms safe receipt of your keys, your final meter readings, and a final check on the quality of your new home. After that, you're free to move in!
Ah, the satisfaction of unlocking your front door for the first time, the smell of fresh timber, new carpets and all that possibility. So, get the kettle and make yourself a nice cuppa, and spend five minutes just soaking it in.