Six ways to simplify moving day

Couple packing up boxes with labels

Moving house is an exciting and often unforgettable experience, especially if it’s your first home with a new partner or your first new-build purchase. Yet this can also be a time of great anxiety. Moving house is commonly cited as one of the three most stressful events in a person’s life, and moving day itself forms the fulcrum of this journey.

Happily, there are ways to simplify the moving day experience, reducing stress levels and improving your efficiency at the new house. These are our tips for making moving day less stressful, starting with something that’s often overlooked until the last minute…

  1. Do your cleaning in advance.

There’s often precious little time to clean as the removal van is being loaded up, but landlords and purchasers won’t appreciate being left dirt or disorder. In the days prior to moving, pull out furniture before dusting skirting boards and vacuuming the floor. Scrub the sinks and toilets; if you have multiple bathrooms, seal off all but one after they’ve been cleaned. Wash the windows, scrub the hob and dust lampshades and curtain tracks if you’re leaving them.

  1. Number and itemise every box.

Write a unique number on all six sides of each box (so it’s always visible), and make a list of what each one contains. Not only does this simplify the process of tracking an object down once it’s been packed, it helps you decide where to direct that box as it’s lifted out of the removal van. The new house will be chaotic enough without every box ending in the wrong room and having to be repositioned, while unpacking will also be streamlined.

  1. Keep moving-day documentation handy

Alongside your box inventory, set aside any paperwork you’re likely to need on moving day. This might include invoices, booking documents, policies and order sheets (such as for new blinds or satellite TV installation). If the removal firm is half an hour late, you don’t need the added stress of trying to find (a) a phone number for them, (b) your order confirmation and (c) the details of when your booking was made.

  1. Pack a first-day box

As the removal van drives away from your new house, you’ll probably be desperate for a cup of tea, two paracetamol and the loo. A first-day box should be packed in advance with things you’ll want as soon as you arrive. You shouldn’t need cleaning products in a new-build home, but common necessities include pre-prepared food and essential medications, a kettle and teabags plus tissues. Take this box with you, so it’s on hand whenever needed.

  1. Try to load the removal van in reverse order

There may be items you’ll need straight away at the new house, such as a vacuum cleaner to extract fluff from soft new carpets. Ensure these are the last things to be loaded onto the van, so they’ll be the first things out. As less important items are unloaded, you can get on with assembling furniture or organising kitchen cupboards. This is another scenario where a numbered list of boxes will be vital.

  1. Prioritise children’s bedrooms

Preparing a child’s bedroom will be a top priority for any parent. House moves are uniquely stressful for children, and could become triggering if they have attachment issues. Giving them a functioning bedroom as quickly as possible eases the transition, adding familiarity to an otherwise strange environment. Make tasks like hanging curtains and building their bed frame a top priority, so they can go to bed as normal while the grown-ups work into the night.

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