Navigating a new city when your phone has run out of battery, trying to remember your internet banking log in, moving house. Sometimes, life is stressful. With regards to the latter, however, there’s clear, regimented steps that you can take to make the process of heading to a new home that bit more chilled. (A portable wireless charger and emailing it to yourself are the answers for the other two.)
Jeanette Wharfe is a residential moving manager at luxury household, art and furniture movers, Cadogan Tate. These guys are so respected, they worked on the Obama’s 2017 move out of the White House. “Moving doesn’t need to be horrible,” she tells HuffPost UK. Her main piece of advice? Getting ahead of the game and getting organised.
From dealing with your pets to thinking about your knick-knacks, here’s her expert tips.
1. Get your admin done
“Moving home isn’t just about the moving,” says Wharfe. Pets? Book them in to stay at a friends, so they’re not there for the disruption. Let the Royal Mail know that you’re moving and book in a re-direct service, so important mail doesn’t go missing. Let HMRC, your bank and your pension provider know about the move, so documents, again, don’t go missing. Arrange for final readings from all of your utilities providers, book in a professional deep clean so there’s no issues on that front from whoever is moving into the place that you’re vacating and register with a new doctor if you’re moving a distance away.
2. Get a grip on how you actually feel about your stuff
“It’s only pots and pans!” You think. “I’ll just wrap it, chuck it and go!” Not so fast. “It is stressful when you move, because everything you possess is in flux,” says Wharfe. “It doesn’t matter if things can be replaced, everything is very personal - and seeing strangers take your things can be disorientating.” Get to grips with the fact that you might find the day itself a little unsettling, play it out in your head before hand and don’t be afraid to let anyone helping you move to know that a specific mug was a gift or that your clock was from your auntie.
3. Accept it may be more go-go-go than you realise
“If you have a moving company coming to help you, they’re probably not going to take a room at a time to load your things into a van,” says Wharfe. “Multiple people will probably take multiple rooms, so there can be more movement in your home that you might expect.” We’ve evolved to find change tricky, so, again, bracing yourself for this will help to stop you spinning out, when it comes to it.
4. Follow a system for boxing up
This will make life a lot easier on the day of the move. “We have a system in which we box up the contents of each room so that everything can be dropped off in that room’s equivalent in the new home,” says Wharfe. So, everything for the kitchen in specific, labelled boxes, everything for the bathroom in labelled boxes. If you have things like mirrors or framed posters, wrap these up, securely and label with a number. Stick that number and the corresponding item in a spreadsheet, so that you know what everything is when you get to your new place and can pop it in the right area.
5. Be realistic about how long it’ll take
You may think a morning will do it, if you’re coming from a one bedroom flat. But Wharfe warns that if you, for example, have a lot of paintings or ornaments, this could become a longer experience than you anticipated. Even for a single bedroomed place, she recommends taking the full day to get everything from A-B.
6. Book in some help
Want to make the situation as stress-free as possible? Then some professional moving help may come in handy. “Talk to estate agents, ask your friends, go by word-of-mouth, but a removals company should be happy to sit and talk to you on the phone about your needs, for as long as you need to,” Wharfe says.