Plan ahead to avoid the stress of moving house

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

While there is generally a great deal of excitement around a home move, there is also a great deal of stress involved, regardless of how organised you think you are.

Moving home should be exciting. After all, you're pulling up your roots, you’re selling up and starting a new adventure and as we know, change is always good…right? Well, while there is generally a great deal of excitement around a move, there is also a great deal of stress involved, regardless of how organised you think you are.

There are ways, however, to remove some of the stress associated with moving. Here are a couple of tips to help ensure the move goes ahead as smoothly as possible.

Firstly, take some of the pressure off by not arranging to move out on the same day the new owner is moving in. There is nothing worse than trying to speed up a move simply because you have to be out of the property by a certain time or feeling pressurised because the new owner’s moving van is parked outside waiting to offload. Moving out a couple of days beforehand will also allow you to clean thoroughly, ensuring that the home is handed over in tip-top condition.

Book the moving company as early as possible. This applies equally to those moving a long distance and to those who have bought another home in the same area. Shop around for the cheapest quotes, but try to choose a reputable firm, particularly for a long distance move. Remember that most moving companies charge more if they move you at the end of the month.

• Start packing from the moment you sign the deal to sell your home. Items such as books and ornaments can be packed up long before the big day. These are not the only things that can be boxed ahead of time. Pack away winter clothes if you are moving in summer and summer clothes if you are moving in winter. Pack up children's rooms, leaving them a few favourite toys to play with. Wait until after the move to do your regular monthly food shopping.

• Try to pack up one room at a time. Label and number all of the boxes. Don't pack up everything with the idea that you’ll toss out unwanted goods when you unpack - have a clean out before you move and give away/sell unwanted items.

• Try and arrange for the keys to your new home to be handed over before the move. Ensure that the deposits for the electricity and water have been paid and if there is no street delivery, that a post box has been reserved in your name. Take note of final meter readings at the property you are vacating and forward these to the relevant authorities.

• Moving home can be incredibly stressful for animals and small children so consider putting your pets in kennels for a few days and finding someone to look after the children during the move.

• Pack an overnight bag for each member of the family. Having things like toiletries, a change of clothing (including something warm and comfortable footwear like slippers) could well save the day once you've moved into your new place and will save you hours of searching through boxes for necessities.

• Likewise pack a few essentials (including cell phone chargers) in a separate box that will be transported in the car. Items such as pens, scissors and toilet rolls are all going to be handy although a kettle, tea, coffee, milk, and sugar can prove to be lifesavers during a move too.

• The last thing you are going to feel like is making up beds at bedtime. It therefore makes sense to prioritise this task when you get to your new home. Food preparation is another hurdle so if you can, arrange for takeaways to be delivered for both lunch and supper.

• Perhaps the most important aspect of any move is ensuring that your goods are insured both during the move and once you have moved into your new property. Be sure to contact your broker or agency before the move to ensure that everything is covered in the event of an accident or theft.

Planning ahead is going to save you time and a great deal of stress. Remember that you don't have to unpack everything on the day of the move and it is possible to survive by unpacking a few essentials at a time. With this in mind it may be an idea to set up a timetable and slowly get your house in order, one room at a time.

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