Moving home - we’ve all done it, and for most of us, there was probably a fair bit of stress involved. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Whether you are moving into a newly purchased home or a new rental property, there are a few things that you can do well in advance to ensure that your move is as stress-free as possible.
So much of what we do relies on the internet these days, so ensuring you book your internet connection well before you move will save a lot of frustration - particularly if you just want to entertain the kids while trying to unpack all those boxes. Contact your provider at least three weeks before you move in to ensure that you will be connected quickly.
When you move, you will need to order a final read of the electricity in the property and organise an initial read at the property where you are moving to. Simply call your current power supplier and the supplier you want to use in your new home, providing the date you will be vacating and the date you will be moving. You may find there is a crossover in dates, but this allows you to have time to clean before the power is switched off.
You will need to speak to your energy provider to see if they prefer to do a full disconnection or just a final read - and if there are any costs for you.
Moving is stressful, and for many younger children, in particular, they won’t always understand why they need to pack up all their toys and leave the house they know. Then there is the safety concern of children and pets running around the legs of those trying to move furniture and around cars.
There are two options to plan around moving when you have children and pets. The first is to have someone look after them - grandparents, aunties/uncles, family friends and so on may be able to help you out on the day. This stops the boredom, and it also stops being asked the same question all day.
The other alternative is to arrange the move during the weekend when your children are at school or daycare and have your pets looked after, or have them confined to a closed room.
The main thing is sticking to your normal routines as much as possible, both as you are packing and moving and in your new home. Encourage your child, if they are old enough, to pack a box with all their special toys before you move. This box can then be transported separately and placed into their new room for them to find, helping them to settle in.
When it comes to pets, designate one room of your new house as a room for your pet. Place their bedding and toys inside so that they start to feel comfortable in a new space. For cats, give them a few weeks before allowing them outside, whereas dogs can be taken for walks almost straight away to get them used to their new surroundings.
When moving, it’s often high on our list to let utilities and other companies know our new contact details. Sometimes, people forget about their family and friends in all the rush! Send out a text message or email giving your new contact details so that they know where to find you.
Along these same lines, make sure you start to take note of everyone you receive mail from so that you can tell them about your new address. This includes:
Insurance and registration
To make sure you catch everyone, head to the post office and pay for mail redirection. You could have the mail redirected to your new mailing address or set up a PO Box, and you won’t have to worry about doing mail redirections again unless you move out of town.
Whether renting or moving into a home you own, having your insurance policies set up from the day before you move in is essential. When cancelling your current policies, have them set so that they cancel from the day after you move out. This protects you on moving day.
Make sure you research insurance policies well before your move day - even moving a street or two can change your insurance policy costs and coverage, so you need time to ensure you are properly covered.
If you don’t already have insurance, now is a good time to set it up - home, contents, and car insurance are all important and will save you money should you ever need to use them. Having insurance cover your portable items also means your laptops, tablets, and other personal items may be covered outside the house.
When choosing a removalist, make sure that they have insurance cover to cover your items should they be damaged or lost in transit.
We often get so caught up in the actual process of moving that we forget to leave enough time for cleaning - either before we move in or after we move out. While most people do a thorough clean or have a professional clean done when vacating a property, delaying your move by a day and having your own clean done means that you know it has been done to your standard. Having the carpets steam cleaned, and the walls cleaned down can make a big difference when moving in.
Similarly, when vacating a property, leave a day before you need to hand your keys over to have the property professionally cleaned.
Everyone has done it at some stage - and if you haven’t, you’ve probably been close. Once you get your new keys, get another set cut. Moving is stressful, and life is stressful; it’s far too easy to lock your keys in the house or in the car, and the last thing you want to be doing, particularly on moving day, is trying to find a locksmith to come and get you back into your home.
Make sure each member of the household has a set of keys (if they are old enough) and make another one to two sets to be held onto by family members. Also, consider having a key safe installed outside your home, where you can safely leave a spare set of keys.
There are two absolute essential boxes you must pack - a moving box and a first night box. The moving box should have all your essentials in it - Allan keys, spanners, screwdrivers, drills etc.; if you need it for constructing furniture, it needs to go in this box. You can even pop the screws for each piece of furniture in this box, just make sure they are labelled and in a zip lock bag so they can’t get mixed up.
The second box you need is a first night box. This box has the essentials you need to make that first night and the first morning in your new home easy - a change of clothes, toiletries, kid's PJs, tea, coffee, the kettle, the toaster, a set of sheets and so on. If it can make the first night easy to deal with, it needs to go in this box.
Moving is never going to be stress-free, but you can make it a little easier by using these tips.