Moving to a new house or apartment can be a stressful and expensive experience. Packing away important possessions can take days, sometimes even weeks, and managing all of your belongings through a multi-day move and juggling work commitments can be a recipe for disaster. From broken belongings to missing household items, the average home move can be a cocktail of bad experiences and annoyances.
Of course, moving isn’t always bad. With a great moving company and a well organized system, moving house is no different to checking into a hotel. When your possessions are systematically organized, your removal company is arranged well in advance, and your costs are accounted for, moving house can feel less like a task and more like an exciting adventure.
These seven tips are here to help you cut down the costs, stress levels, and insurance concerns of moving house. Some strategies take place weeks in advance of the move, while others can be carried out on the exact same day. If you want to move house without emptying your wallet or tiring yourself out, put these seven strategies into action and eliminate pre- and post-move stress.
1. Allow more time than you think you’ll need.
Moving always takes more time than you’d expect, even with the most efficient and effective moving team helping you. From packaging possessions to loading up trucks and transporting goods, there are a range of tasks involved with moving house, and they can very quickly add up to a full week’s worth of work.
If you’re moving internationally, more potential time-killers start to pop up. Customs officials could find issues with your possessions and add time to transportation, goods could be lost in the mail, or in-country property ownership issues could arise. Whenever you’re moving house, whether it’s across the town or across the world, allow extra time to take care of issues and distractions.
2. Donate, destroy, or recycle some of your possessions.
Most people have an incredible talent for collecting possessions, whether they’re worthwhile or not. From flashy electronics to rarely used collector pieces and extra clothing, the average home is packed full of possessions that are rarely used and serve no purpose but to take up space.
While managing all of these excess possessions might seem like an annoyance, it’s actually an opportunity in disguise. Rather than taking everything with you, leave some items behind to be donates to charities or underprivileged families. Excess clothes, canned foods, and household items will go appreciated by those in need, and moving house is the perfect opportunity to organize and donate those items.
3. Create video archives of your home and possessions.
Here’s a simple but effective insurance trick. There’s always a risk of your possessions ending up damaged or missing, even with the most reliable and impressive removals company. Rather than taking care of things with insurance afterwards, it’s much more simple to create a video archive of your possessions before you move house.
Walk through your house with a digital video camera and catalog everything you own. Open drawers, cupboards, and storage areas, and capture every possession on camera. This way, you’ll have clear documentation of everything that you own for any future insurance claims or reports. Video archives are useful for more than moving, and are a must-do for preventing insurance worries once you’ve successfully moved into your new home.
4. Hire a removals and transport company.
Moving everything yourself can be unnecessarily stressful and difficult, especially if you’re shifting an entire house’s worth of possessions. While clothes and small possessions can fit inside a car and small furniture inside a trailer, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to shift your bed or dining table by yourself.
It might seem cheaper to move everything by yourself, but it rarely is. Cramming items into your car is a recipe for damage and disaster, and the stress of insurance claims combined with the cost of replacement just isn’t worth it. Save yourself time, stress, and money by hiring a removals company to take care of transport for you.
5. Make sure your possessions are insured during transit.
Insurance can sometimes cover items until they leave your property. Whenever you’re transporting your own property, particularly valuable or fragile items, make sure they’re completely insured. Most removal companies will be able to provide basic insurance for your items, sometimes at an extra cost. Whether they can or can’t, always check with your insurance provider to ensure your items are safe.
6. Plan everything out in advance.
As tempting as it may be to leave everything until the last minute, few removals run smoothly on a tight schedule. Whenever possible, take time away from work and other commitments to plan out your move and make sure your items are ready to be transported. Box up items to save time on removals day, clear your home or any fragile items that could end up getting damaged, and piece together a basic schedule for moving everything into your new home.
Surprises are the last thing you’ll want when moving house. Plan for everything in advance and you’ll move into a new home smoothly and comfortably; wait until the last minute and you’ll find items disappearing, time passing by, and your schedule crumbling.
7. Group your removals according to weight, size, and value.
While it sounds like a simple suggestion, it’s amazing how many people fail to realize that fragile possessions aren’t best stored beside their 2-ton piano. Group items according to their weight, size, value, and strength and you’ll end up unpacking items that are unscratched and perfect.
While most removals companies will have more than enough space to store all of your possessions, do-it-yourself movers may want to employ a Tetris-style packing strategy. When you’re storing items for transport in your car, group them according to their size and design. Combining multiple items in a single container can save space and decrease the number of back-and-forth trips you’ll have to make.