Even before you put your house up for sale, you should be starting to think about the practicalities of moving. Moving house is one of the top five most stressful life events, but a bit of forward planning can really help. Here are the top five tips for moving home.
1) Take control: solicitors, estate agents, the vendor and your potential purchasers all have their own agendas, so you need to be clear about what your own priorities are from the outset. What features must your new home have, and what are you prepared to compromise on? What are your preferred moving dates? What is the maximum price you’ll pay for your new home and what is the minimum price you’ll accept for your current one? The trick to regaining control over the process of moving home is to know where you are and are not happy to compromise, and then to communicate this clearly from the moment you first approach an estate agent.
2) Get rid of all your clutter: even before the estate agent comes around to measure up and give you a valuation, sell things on eBay, or give them away to charities or recycling schemes. Not only will this bring in some much-needed money at an expensive time, but it will make your home seem more spacious and easier to sell, and it will leave you with fewer things to move.
3) Enlist help: ask friends and relatives to recommend good agents, solicitors and moving firms. Ask if they wouldn’t mind watching the children or walking your dog whilst you’re undergoing the moving process. If you can afford to, hire professionals to take care of the cleaning and packing – otherwise, ask friends for an hour or two of their time to help out, instead of a housewarming present, which would save them money too!
4) Help the kids to adjust: in the initial process of moving, start talking to your children about it as soon as possible. If you can, take the children on a viewing before you move. Explore the area with them. On moving day give them simple but important jobs to do, like making sure that anyone you have paid or enlisted to help a steady supply of tea and other refreshments, or just get them to check all the cupboards are empty and there’s nothing under any of the leftover furniture or fittings. When you get to your new home, spend some time together as a family rather than spending the entire night unpacking.
5) Keep pets safe: consider putting your animals in kennels or a cattery during the move. When you arrive at the new house, ensure that fences are secure, and don’t allow dogs out unsupervised for at least the first few days. Keep your cat indoors for up to two weeks to ensure she is used to her new home. Make sure the contact details on pet collars and chip databases are up to date.
Remember that the stress of moving is only temporary and that you will soon be settled into your new home and your new neighbourhood.