12 ways to make moving house less stressful
They say moving house is one of the most stressful experiences in life. Whether you've moved once or several times, you'll probably know that this is true. However, experienced movers know that there are plenty of things you can do in advance to ease the stress of upping sticks to the countryside or buying a new pad in the city centre – eating well and getting a good night's sleep is just the start! The Expertrain team have their fair share of moving experiences – both bad and good – so we thought we would share with you some of our top tips with these 12 ways to lighten the load when you're moving house. Tell us which work for you and feel free to add any of your own tips in the comments below!
#1. Get organised
This is number one for a reason; without organisation, you're going nowhere fast. Everybody has their own tips and tricks when it comes to being organised, but for moving, the basics are: Set your moving date, check all is in order, pack in an organised manner and make sure you're on time. Sound simple? It's not as easy as it sounds, particularly if you're juggling a house move with working from home or the office and looking after your family. If you feel like stress is taking over, take a break – go for a run or a session at the gym to bust those stress hormones and get your endorphins flowing.
#2. Make a to-do list
Ah, the humble to-do list, life-saving organising technique used by the successful (and chronically disorganised). There's no better way to work out what needs to be done and when than by making your own moving to-do list. You might think this will actually make you feel more stressed, but bear with us.
By listing everything that needs to be done and the deadlines, you'll easily be able to see what's a priority and what can wait until you're through the front door of your new home. So things like utilities and ensuring you have a kettle to make a tea or coffee come near the top, whilst contacting every single one of your relatives with your new address is a little further down the list.
#3. Double check the details
We can't count the number of times we've heard stories from friends about moves going wrong because somebody didn't check the details. Imagine packing your belongings in a van and driving halfway across the country only to find out your moving date is NEXT Monday. Don't let this happen to you. If you're buying a property, make sure you get in touch with your estate agent to clarify the date you'll get the keys. For rented properties, don't just assume that the date on the lease is the date you're moving – ring the agency or landlord to double check that everything can go ahead on this date. A few moments spent now double checking the small details could save you time and money.
#4. Get some help
It might be tempting to build a box fort and hide until your move is over, but why not just rope in some friends to help you? Turn moving into a social event and celebrate at the end with a takeaway and movies or a meal out. Asking your best friends (and family) to help you move eases a lot of the stress, and you're far less likely to worry about things going wrong. If nobody's available, hire a removal van and a couple of packers to lighten the load – they don't even have to pack your belongings but they'll make moving heavy boxes look easy, leaving you to focus on unpacking and relaxing.
#5. Pack things in order
Have you started chucking your shoes, clothes and kitchen gadgets all in one box? This is a much quicker way to pack, it's true, but makes unpacking at the other end a nightmare. By organising your belongings into separate boxes and labelling them with marker pen, you'll know exactly where everything is. If your packing does start to get a bit mixed up, make sure you label each box clearly with its contents. Trust us; this will make unpacking a breeze and also helps the movers to know where in your house each box goes.
#6. Take a break
If you're starting to feel really stressed out about moving, it's important to remember to take some time out. A few minutes of meditation, a workout or even half an hour of reading with a cup of green tea can help you to feel less under pressure. There's no denying that moving can be stressful, but time for yourself is still vital, particularly if you're trying to move around work and family.
#7. Keep active
Research shows that exercise can help to reduce your stress levels. So squeezing in time to go for a run with a friend or a pilates class is a really good idea when you're moving house. Leave the packing for later and get some vitamin D by taking your workout outside. After a workout and healthy stir fry, you'll be full of energy and raring to go!
#8. Pack an emergency box
Never underestimate the value of the emergency box. You can use a box, bag or suitcase to store essentials; anything you'll need in the first 24 hours of your move. Things like your kettle, toaster, tea, coffee, clothing and supplies for the kids – these should all be part of your emergency box. This means you don't need to frantically search through boxes for nappies or teabags the night you move into your new home as everything will be in one box.
#9. Set up your utilities
On moving day, make sure you take meter readings and contact energy suppliers with your details. This ensures you won't end up paying more when bills come in. Make sure you know where your meter is as well as things like your stopcock; useful in case you have a burst pipe and need to turn off your water supply. If you don't know, ask your landlord or estate agent to show you.
#10. Book a few days off
Nobody wants to juggle presentations at the office with the stress of moving, so try to take at least a couple of days off to move into your new property. If you work from home, maybe you can fit your work around your move by working a weekend or in the evenings as you organise your new home during the day? It can be difficult getting that work/life balance right, but don't feel guilty about taking time off to move; there's no point taking on too much!
#11. Load your iPod
Music can help us to feel more relaxed, more motivated and energetic; it can even help us to sleep. So before you start packing, load your iPod with your favourite tunes to boost your through moving day. Keeping your favourite tracks to hand will help keep your stress levels in check and make early morning starts less painful as you organise your new home.
#12. Eat healthily
A healthy diet helps you to feel more energised and can balance moodswings. Eating foods high in protein will boost your energy levels and ensure you're not hungry mid-move. Pack portable snacks for the whole family for moving day; particularly important if you're moving long-distance, as the urge to stop for fast-food at motorway service stations can be too much! You should also ensure you have plenty of water to hand as staying hydrated helps you to focus and concentrate.