Monday, 27 September 2021

The big day: how to take the pain, angst and arguments out of moving

ALTHOUGH the reasons for moving home are usually positive, like moving to a larger property or a new job, the

ALTHOUGH the reasons for moving home are usually positive, like moving to a larger property or a new job, the move itself can be traumatic. Use our tips to make the move go smoothly.


Use moving house as an opportunity to sort out your possessions. Throw away your rubbish and separate items that can be given to friends or charity shops.

Get boxes well in advance from local shops or supermarkets, and save newspapers for wrapping breakables.

DIY removals

If you’re moving your belongings yourself, start by hiring the right van too small and you may need to make a few journeys, too big and you may have problems parking. It’s often cheaper to book vans on weekdays. But if you move at the weekends you may be able to make the most of special two-day hire rates.

Removal companies

Unless you have very few possessions, call in the professionals to help you move house. It will relieve some of the stress of the big move. You can arrange for it all to be done for you, and pay for the privilege, or you can do the packing yourself but leave the heavy stuff to the experts.


l Hire a removal company at least two weeks before you move making sure they are members of the British Association of Removers

l Get at least three quotes before deciding which one to use

l Check if the company offers a weekday discount

l Check the fine print in your moving insurance

Make a list of your possessions so you can check if you’ve left anything behind. It will help if you let the company know the following things:

l The amount of furniture you’re moving, so it can choose an adequately sized truck and plan the number of journeys needed

l A rough guess of how many boxes the company needs to pack, so it can estimate how long it will take

l Clear instructions and directions to your new property and the exact time you want the team to arrive

l Arrange a parking space for the removal van

l Always tell the removal firm in advance of furniture which won’t go through the door

l Make a plan of where furniture will go in the new home

Moving day is looming and you realise that you can’t put off the packing any longer. Think ahead and reduce the potential for disaster.

Before you start

Consider what you don’t need to take with you, what will need careful packing, and that you are covered for potential breakages.

Make a priority packing list

Take some time to sift through your belongings and have a clear-out. You can make up a box for charity and if you’ve time, hold a car boot sale.

Calculate how many boxes you will need and get these well in advance. Find boxes in a variety of sizes. Think about what else will be useful, such as strong tape, bubble wrap, and self-seal bags for keeping nuts and bolts together. Save old newspapers for lining boxes.

Don’t completely fill large boxes, as they will be too heavy to move. Use sturdy packing boxes, made from corrugated cardboard. You can usually find these at supermarkets, off-licences or large retail stores.

Check that your contents insurance will cover damage and breakages during the move. Put all hazardous materials, such as paint, bleach and aerosols, into a separate box.

Think ahead

Unless you travel light, you won’t be able to unpack everything in the first day, so it’s worth deciding what you might need easy access to at your new home.

Pack an ‘essentials’ box for the first night in your new home and carry it with you. Instant access to coffee, tea, snacks, cups and a kettle may be welcome soon after you arrive. As will plates, utensils and a kitchen cloth.

Prepare an overnight bag for everyone in the family, and make sure that there is enough toilet paper and toiletries for everyone. Other useful items that should be kept close to hand are a torch, a first-aid kit including pain relievers, pencil and paper, and re-closable plastic bags, along with a small tool kit.

If possible, finish any laundry well before you move to avoid packing damp clothes. Keep a separate box/bag for dirty washing. Make sure the boxes containing items you need the least are loaded up first.

Sensible packing

Spend some time considering how you are going to pack your possessions. Books are easy but heavy, valuables need careful wrapping and will take time, and some furniture may need to be dismantled.

Start early. Packing always takes longer than anticipated. Begin at the top of the house and move downwards.

Always pack heavy items in small boxes. It will make transporting them easier.

Pack one room at a time, clearly labelling each box.

Wrap items individually and place in a box that’s been lined with several layers of newspaper and a sheet of bubble wrap.

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