Moving house is ranked as one of the Top Ten most stressful experiences in life.
Charlotte Ribbons, Trainee Solicitor with MJP Conveyancing examines the ups and downs of moving home
Moving house is ranked as one of the Top Ten most stressful experiences in life. Having moved house myself last weekend I can strongly agree that uprooting a life’s worth of possessions, daily debates with my partner over whether it is really necessary to take my childhood memoirs and having spent a week wading through boxes to find basic items I can vouch that a divorce may have been slightly less traumatic.
I believe the highlight of my day was loading my cherished super-king sized bed into the van, driving it all the way to our new home, spending a good hour manoeuvring it up and down the stairs in a vague attempt to make it fit, standing outside debating whether going through the window might work and then eventually with tears in my eyes admitting defeat, loading it back in the van and saying goodbye to it at the tip. I can safely say a little pre-planning may not have gone a miss.
So before picking up the key from the estate agent with the Cheshire Cat smile (which will remain on their face all the way to the bank!) you may want to digest the following.
Before moving day take the opportunity to have a spring clean. I can assure you, that beloved box of treasures which you cannot live without suddenly becomes less appealing when in your new home you realise there is simply no way one more box will fit in the cupboard.
At least one week before moving contact your gas, electricity, water, internet and telephone suppliers and make the necessary arrangements for your final account. Use this as your chance to shop around make the most of those cash-back deals your friends keep raving about.
Run down the freezer….yes this does mean it is totally acceptable to eat a whole tub of Ben & Jerry’s for breakfast, after all the Trade Associations advise against moving freezers in full or frozen state. Little tip, if you overlooked this getting a hair dryer on it will speed up the defrost time. Prop open the doors to avoid having to clean mould out later on, you do not want to add another cleaning job to the list.
Decide whether you need a professional moving firm or not. If you’re thinking of moving yourself, look into the costs involved. Several journeys over long distances can quickly add up, it may well be worth hiring the professionals. Not to mention saving your blood pressure hitting dangerous levels when your mirror slips out of your brother-in-law’s hands and smashes on the floor! Check with your home and contents insurer to see if you are covered during the move.
Your best-friend on this day will be the baby/dog sitter… tripping over the dog, hearing your child ask where the lego is for the tenth time and standing on Biro will have you crying blue murder. If this is a luxury you cannot stretch to then make sure you keep some essential favourite toys at hand to set up a make shift playroom at the other end.
Hindsight has now taught me on my next move I shall pack a ‘survival kit’ consisting of tea bags, coffee, snacks, lightbulbs, screwdrivers, tape, hammer, cash, phone charger, toilet roll, chocolate and wine (believe me the last two are essential!).
Boxes - small ones for the heavy items, big ones for the lighter items. For pictures and mirrors select a box large enough to cover it, then instead of making the box up, keep it flat, seal one end with tape and slide the picture/mirror in and then seal the top. (Advice my brother-in-law did not follow!)
Before you rush off to your new home check your old property for any items left behind, and don’t forget outdoor plant pots. Take gas, water and electricity meter readings. This should be the first thing you do at your new house too. If your old property will not be re-inhabited turn off gas, electricity and water supplies as the mains. Check windows and doors are fastened securely.
On arrival at your new home make sure all items, fixtures and fittings that were included in the sale are present and correct. If anything is missing contact your solicitor as soon as possible.
Get your mail redirected to your new address. Knocking on your on the door of your previous residence to ask for your NEXT catalogue is a little awkward. Also cancel deliveries of newspapers milk etc.
Before you snuggle down in front of the TV make sure you have notified TV Licensing of your new address as your TV license does not automatically transfer to your home. Risking prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000 is not the ideal moving in present. (www.tvlicensing.co.uk)
It is a legal requirement to notify the DVLA of your new address. You will need to renew your driving licence and vehicle registration. Don’t forgot to update insurance providers, credit card, pensions, investments and loyalty cards. You will need to let your children’s schools know that you are moving. Do be aware that your children might have to change schools if you are moving out of the catchment area.
This one maybe for the slightly over cautious but change the locks on your new home… you never know who might have a key!
Finally…take a deep breath, relax, and crack open the champagne. Believe me you will have earnt it!