Moving to a new home is almost always stressful. Even if you are only moving around the corner, there is an awful lot to do in a short space of time. Staying organized is essential because forgetting something vital is likely to throw your plans into disarray. To keep your stress levels at a minimum, here is our guide to moving home without too much pain.
Why is Moving So Stressful?
Moving from one home to another is stressful because an awful lot can go wrong. Until contracts have been exchanged on the properties or a lease signed, there is always the possibility that your plans might be terminated. If you have spent months packing boxes and making plans for your new home, this would be devastating. Even once that hurdle is crossed, the removal men might break a valuable antique or you could get the keys to the new place and discover it comes with a shed-load of problems. Overall, in terms of stress levels, moving home is right up there with suffering a bereavement or getting divorced.
However, there are ways to make the process as stress-free as possible, so read on for a few handy tips from people who have been there and survived intact.
Find a Removal Company
Look for a removal company that offers the right level of service. For example, if you are moving from Winnipeg to Toronto, ask a Winnipeg moving company to provide a quote. Next, obtain at least two other quotes for comparison and decide which company offers the best service for the right price.
Read reviews and check to make sure other customers have been happy with the service. You need to know that your belongings will be looked after, particularly if you are sending them into storage for a while. Reputable removal companies are insured, so your belongings are protected from costly damage. Ask for details of any insurance coverage before you accept a quote.
If you don’t have a huge amount of furniture and belongings to move, you can save money by doing the job yourself. Hire a van and ask friends to help you out on the day. This is the best option for cash-strapped students or couples on a tight budget, but you could come unstuck if you underestimate the amount of space your belongings take up or you can’t shift the extra-large sofa in the front room.
Once you have organized a removal company or elected to do the job yourself, it is time to start packing.
Start Packing Early
Packing up an entire home in a few days is no laughing matter. It is incredibly hard to pack everything you own in three days or less. Professional removal companies can do it, but they have a team of removal agents and are adept at packing in a hurry. Most ordinary people have to pack around their full-time job and kids so it becomes a monumental task if you need to pack at the last minute.
The ideal solution is to pay extra for professionals to pack up your house, but this will obviously cost you more. If this isn’t an option, start packing as soon as the move looks 90% certain, even if you don’t have a date yet.
Some removal companies provide packing boxes and crates for free, but most charge a small fee. You can also buy packing boxes online from sites like Amazon and eBay but remember you get what you pay for. Single-walled boxes are not that strong and are no good for heavy items such as books. Buy double-walled boxes if possible, preferably in a range of different sizes.
Packing Heavy Items
Be careful when packing heavy items such as boxes. Overloading a box makes it very hard to carry, even for a strong man. It also increases the possibility that the bottom will fall out of the box and dump your stuff everywhere. Try to distribute books between several boxes and mix them up with lightweight items such as photos or small ornaments.
Seal boxes with strong parcel tape to prevent them from bursting open in transit. Mark boxes containing fragile items with red and white ‘FRAGILE’ tape. This helps the removal men (or your friends) take better care of delicate crockery or ornaments.
Label boxes according to the room where they need to go on removal day. This makes it easier to relocate boxes in the new house. Some people find it useful to color code boxes. However, this can be confusing, so write the room ID on top of the box in large letters instead.
Mark each box with a list of what is inside the box. It is a pain to do this, but when you move into your new home, surrounded by hundreds of identical cardboard boxes, finding things becomes an impossible task. It is a lot easier if you can locate items by reading the contents list on the box. It saves you the tedium of opening ten boxes to find one item.
Pack One Room at a Time
Pack up one room at a time, starting with the least used rooms, such as a guest bedroom. Finish the packing in the kitchen and whatever you do, avoid packing the kettle and mugs until just before you lock up and walk away from your old home. Regular cups of tea or coffee might be the only thing that keeps you going on removal day!
On removal day, arrange for kids and pets to be out of the way. Older kids may wish to help, but younger children will soon get bored and just be in your way. If possible, organize for your kids to stay at a relative’s home and book your pets into the kennels for a few days. It is less stressful for everyone concerned if you don’t have to worry about pets escaping or kids running off.
Moving house is stressful, but once you are in your new home, the pain will all be forgotten… until the next time!