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How can I reduce stress when moving house?

The excitement of moving to a new home can quickly dissipate once the prospect of packing, carrying, checking and re-checking becomes a reality.  To try and minimise the worry this can cause as moving day gets closer, we’d like to address one of the questions our property clients often ask us, “how can I reduce stress when moving house?”

These are tips we’ve picked up having helped hundreds of clients move.  We hope they will help reduce any anxiety you’re feeling about moving and make your moving day that little bit easier.

1. Get as much as you can from your second viewing

When you go back for your second viewing make sure you find out everything you can about your new house or flat.  The last thing you want when you get closer to moving is to have a nagging feeling there are important details you don’t have, for example:

  • Where are the water, gas and electricity metres?
  • Where is the fuse box?
  • Where is the stopcock?
  • How does the boiler work?
  • On which days are the bins emptied?
  • How does the burglar alarm work?

When you go for your second viewing, chat to the vendors if you can.  They’ll be able to share a wealth of information about the local area and even agree to leave an email address in case you have any questions in the future.  All of this will help settle your nerves.

2. Get organised

This is a non-negotiable!  You must allow plenty of time to prepare for your move.  This means starting the process as early as possible.

Be prepared to declutter (i.e. throw out or donate all the things you know you won’t need in your new home).

Sort out your possessions into a room by room system so you know exactly how much you have to move and can pick out any last items that don’t need to make the move.

Research your new area and begin the process of registering with your new GP, working out where the local amenities are and finding the best routes to work, school and the supermarket.

3. Turn what you need to do into a checklist

While not everyone likes a list, they are very handy when you’re managing a multi-faceted process like moving.  Here are a couple of ideas that might help you pull your list together while you get organised.

  • Confirm your moving date
  • If you’re renting, give your landlord the required notice
  • Buy home insurance
  • Confirm dates/cost with your removal firm
  • If you have pets, do they need a place in kennels or a cattery while you’re moving?
  • Have you decluttered?
  • Have you purchased boxes and packaging crates?
  • Do you need to buy furniture or carpets for your new house?
  • Organise the redirection of your bills and post
  • Notify your utility providers and your local council
  • Register for council tax at your new address
  • Notify your GP and register with your new surgery
  • Notify your bank/s
  • Cancel deliveries/milk/newspapers
  • Change your address with any delivery services you use regularly
  • Give your family and friends your new address

4. Allow plenty of time

The actual physical move may take place over a day or two but getting organised, decluttering and packing up will take much longer.  So that this isn’t sitting at the back of your mind, give yourself as much time as you can to do what you need to.

Also remember that unpacking will take longer than you think.  Come to terms with this as early as possible too so it doesn’t cause unnecessary worry while you’re surrounded by boxes in your new home.

5. Ask for help

Trying to do everything yourself will be overwhelming.  This could increase your anxiety as you wonder how you’re going to get everything done.  Don’t be afraid to ask friends, family and neighbours for help.  They’ll only say yes.

Similarly, when you arrive at your new home, accept any help that’s offered.  Even a cup of tea from your new next door neighbours could make a massive difference not to mention break the ice.

6. Organise the essentials and a few luxuries

One possible source of worry is potentially not knowing where the things you know you’ll definitely need when you arrive are.

If you are on medication or think you’ll need toiletries or a change of clothes, pack them in a bag you can keep with you.  If your children have a favourite teddy or toy or a comfort blanket, put them in the same bag.

Similarly, it’s going to be a tiring and emotional day so put something in the bag that you really like.  Even something as simple as being able to pull out your favourite sweets, snack or drink can instantly bring a smile to your face.

7. And finally, take care of yourself/yourselves on moving day

Don’t be surprised if you suddenly feel more tired and anxious than usual while you’re moving.  This is perfectly normal.  Make sure you factor in time to eat properly, time to have a rest and time to take a break.

Although taking 15 minutes out to walk around the block and get some space may look like it will eat into time you should be spending unpacking, it will give you an invaluable opportunity to recharge.  t also gives you time to get to know to your new neighbourhood which will have its own reassuring benefits.

While we can’t help you on moving day, our property team does know how to make sure buying or selling your new home as easy as possible.  If you’d like our help, please email me at Jeremy.Tulloch@collinshoy.com or call me on 0208 515 6600.