Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Moving house: a checklist

Conventional wisdom dictates that moving house is amongst the most stressful things one can do in life; other blood pressure-increasing ventures include a significant job change, having a child and following the ups and downs of your favourite sports teams.

Most of these situations are going to be worrying and at times crushingly disappointing, regardless of any preventative measures we may try to take.

House removals, however, need not be as nerve fraying as their reputation beholds. The key, as with so many things in life, is preparation, and organisation.

Something as simple as creating a moving house checklist will enable you to break down and compartmentalise the various facets of undertaking such a challenge and change. One daunting prospect then instantly becomes a series of surmountable tasks for you to tackle. Ticking this off one by one will not only chart your progress, but also act as a form of both motivation and encouragement as the big day approaches. In addition, creating a list will also assist in the crucial prevention of any oversights or mistakes that could derail the move. Even with thorough preparation, there is more than enough to do on moving day without any additional and unnecessary headaches.

Decide what’s staying and what’s going

A couple of months before you move, draw up a list of your main possessions. From this list, decide which items will accompany you on your new adventure, which will need to be stowed safely into moving boxes and what isn't going to make the cut. It is advisable to obtain, however rough, a floor plan of your new home to assist with these decisions. Charity shops, online auctions and car boot sales are just some of the ways in which you can rid yourself of unwanted items whilst potentially making a little money.

Start dividing up your possessions

As the day nears, say approximately six weeks before, take a full inventory and place your possessions into usable piles. Clean out the cupboards and use the larger rooms for storage. It's important to remember that removal companies calculate their quotes by volume and so the more you take, the more you pay. If the move has come about as a consequence of your job, it is worth finding out exactly what your employer will cover, something that is particularly relevant for international removals.

Finalise a date and book your removal van

It's now one month before you move. Now you need to finalise a date and start making firm bookings for removals and all the other services you'll require, something that is easier to do following the exchange of contracts. Take the time to thoroughly research which removal company will offer the best service for what you need and what discounts may be available.

Arrange house cleaning and tie up loose ends

In the final weeks, ensure other services such as house cleaning have been arranged and details such as prescription medication supplies have been taken care of. One invaluable tip is to place all important documents, such as passports, driving licenses, deeds, wills and insurance papers in a safe and secure box to be placed where it won't be lost or damaged. All documents related to the move should be kept in a single, separate folder for easy reference. By now everything should be boxed up.

Things like bedding and linen should be packed to travel with you so it can be easily used on the first night. On the day of the move, stay until the movers have finished, equally, ensure you greet them at the new house to direct and guide them around the house.

Once the move is completed, simply make the beds, plug in the large appliances and bask in the glory of your new home! The serious unpacking can always wait until tomorrow.

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