We all know that moving house can be busy time, but while you can’t take control over the entire process, there are ways to mitigate and reduce stress, and to help you and your family stay calm during the house move. Moving house is often a reason to celebrate rather than panic over being without Wifi for 24 hours or so.
There are lots of practical steps you can take to keep calm during your home move but before we get onto those let’s talk about our general well being. These days we talk a lot about mindfulness and well being, but without wishing to avoid the more practical tips, it’s important to remember that good sleep, exercise and a healthy diet will go a long way to helping a smooth move.
But just one more note on that: If you find that you are beginning to worry and the planning is starting to consume you, breathing exercises are useful to help you refocus on the present. Try sitting on the ground in a quiet space (preferably outside if possible), close your eyes and just spend a few minutes focusing on breathing in and out, slowly and consciously. You may have never done it before, but don’t mock it before you try it. We even practice this at JamVans HQ.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail…
1. Accept that delays can (and probably will) happen
Now obviously we’re not inferring that our London Man & Van Moving service will have delays! Instead we’re talking about the whole moving process. One of the first things you can do is to accept that it’s going to be a long process and it’s not going to be straightforward. You may make a few mistakes along the way, but so does everyone regardless if this is their first move or their hundredth!
Whenever a number of parties are involved – purchasers, sellers, solicitors, mortgage companies, removal companies, van hire – there are a lot of things that are out of your direct control. And, if you can’t control it then you should try not to worry about it.
2. You can still be prepared for delays
Of course, when the going gets tough that can be hard to follow through with, so here’s what else you can do: be flexible, provide information on time when required, be prepared to give the professionals a nudge to get on with the process, keep all the relevant parties contact details to hand, and take professional advice where necessary.
3. Avoid personal deadlines
Some delays are inevitable and part of the process and it’s very rare for a house move to go totally smoothly from start to finish, so try to avoid setting personal deadlines. These personal deadlines can often unnecessarily add to your stress. At the same time, don’t put your life on hold ‘just in case’ you move that day / week. You will make yourself more mad if you miss out on events because you hoped you might move on a particular date and then it doesn’t happen.
Get sorting early
4. De-clutter early
As soon as you are considering moving house it makes sense to start decluttering and getting rid of things you don’t need and don’t want to take with you. Make lists or piles of items to go for recycling, charity shops, storage or to the dump and then actually get rid of them. This means that there’s less to pack up.
5. Take time to pack – a lot of time!
The next step you can take to minimise stress is to appreciate that every part of the packing up takes a lot longer than anticipated. Only professional packers and removal people (like us!) can accurately estimate how long it takes to pack up a house. If you aren’t experienced then you will inevitably underestimate the time required. The earlier you begin packing or sorting out your belongings, the more time you will have during the final stages of the move, meaning less stress!
6. Get packing materials ready and label everything
Get enough boxes and packing materials ready and clearly label everything by room. As long as you leave out the things you are likely to need then it will be easy to find things if necessary.
7. Keep things you might need close by
Bear in mind that your move could cross seasons and you might want to keep out some of the next season’s clothes so you don’t have to do more clothes shopping.
8. But, is there more you can pack than you think?
Also, how many of your clothes do you actually need. Many reckon we only actually use about 20% of our clothes because we inevitably return to our favourite T shirts or comfortable pair of jeans.
9. Separate your important docs into a folder
Also keep in a separate folder (and in a sensible place) all important documents, including passports, identification documents, bank details. Scan and save copies of important documents to a USB that you can keep access to.
10. Have clean bedding ready for moving day
Keep some clean bedding easily available for move day – you’ll need it early on.
11. Play relaxing music
While you are packing, play some music. Relaxing music can calm your mind, and classical music has been proven to decrease stress levels. Calm Radio offer some great stations dedicated to help ease your stress levels. It might be worth getting a Bluetooth speaker paired with your phone (because your radio might be packed away).
12. Pull in a few favours beforehand
If you’re feeling slightly guilty about asking family and friends for help, then start thinking about favours you could offer them in advance. Could family and friends look after your children and pets on the move day maybe?
13. Get them a small gift for your appreciation
If you have friends coming to help you, getting them a small gift like a crate of beer or a box of donuts (sorry, I haven’t had my lunch yet!) will show your appreciation and they may even be more willing if you need another helping hand later on.
14. Ask a removals company in advance
Did you think we weren’t going to mention this? Yes, as a removals company ourselves we would highly recommend speaking to a removals or man and van firm as early as you can and seeing how much your removal might cost. Some firms (like us!) can also professionally pack for you. Price-wise, it’s often not as much as you think and we can’t tell you the amount of phone calls we get on the day of someone’s removal and they say, “Help! I didn’t realise how much stuff I’ve got!”
On the day
15. Set your bed up
In the new house, make one of the first tasks making up the beds. That way, when you’ve had enough, you can crash out and start again the next day.
16. Lower your unpacking expectations
Don’t expect to get it all done on the first day, first week or even first month and don’t exhaust yourself trying. There’s no deadline to make a house a home and you don’t need the unnecessary pressure of creating a deadline. Enjoy the unpacking process and making everything feel homely. Remember all the positives that a new house can bring and that should help keep you in a good frame of mind. Or even better, get your removal company to unpack for you.
17. Find your local supermarket
Find out where the local supermarket is in advance and what their opening times are, so you can be prepared for when you need supplies.
18. Pick out a take-away
In advance,find a nice local take-away and have their number (and maybe even your order!) in your phone ready for the big day.
Accept that there are some things you can control, but there are also many things you can prepare early for! And, if you’re moving house in London then speak to us to see how we can help or get a quote here.