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Moving House : Top Tips to Save Your Sanity

Once was able to move by packing everything into a small car and now needs a fleet of lorries just for daughter's fashion...


Moving, moving, moving....

I've lived in lots of different places from my childhood homes to an Engineer's hostel at Bletchley Park, and flats wherever I worked.

Now it was easy enough in my youth to just pack all my worldly goods in the back of my car and move. "Simples" as that over grown ferret off the TV would have us believe.

Then it got to the stage where perhaps I'd have to make several trips.

And then I got married. And then I had a daughter. We're now thinking of moving and my soul quakes at the thought of just how many pantechnicons we're going to have to hire.

So spare me a thought but whilst we wait on tenterhooks for a buyer, I thought I’d put together my top tips – the sort of tips I wish we’d been told in our impetuous youth!

Location, Location, Location

— Phil & Kirstie

As they say on the telly, it really is all about the location.

I once had the choice between an 'okay-ish' flat in a scuzzy area. Or a nasty flat in a good area on the outskirts of Manchester. I took the good area, I only had my car broken into once in the couple of years I was there

What does an ideal home look like?

You’ve probably not won the lottery so have a good long think. What's essential in your new home & what's not?

What features would be nice to have and which ones are of little concern? That way you’ll have a framework for deciding which areas you can compromise on when viewing properties.

It might be that you absolutely must have a spareroom for friends to stay in whereas a garden would be nice but you could cope with a yard. Or you’d prefer communal (or no) gardens but really want a garage to keep your bikes in.

Whatever it may be, getting your heads around which parts of the puzzle are important for each of you makes selecting that new home so much easier.

Do it in advance

Be prepared & be organised. How about these things to do in advanced of moving day?

  • Declutter before you pack.
  • Inform the energy & utilities company. Remember to take final meter readings on your last day.
  • Pack books carefully.
  • Don't forget to empty the loft.
  • Label what's in each packing box - and which room you want it to go in.
  • Scan important documents onto a flash drive for easy access.
  • Redirect the mail
  • Cancel the milkman!
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It's not always possible but if you manage a day or two's overlap between houses - or spend a night in a hotel after moving out then it can make all the difference to your stress levels!

Being able to get into your new home while it's still empty means you can give it a deep clean and be sure that it's really sparkling before you start moving everything in. Just don't pack the cleaning stuff away where you can't get to it!

If you do have access a few days before you move in, you could arrange for deliveries to be made in advance. Getting the new American style fridge delivered is so much easier when there's nothing in the way and the carpet fitters will be delighted too!

Get the Hard Hat out!

Decide now if you want a project or if you'd prefer to move into a turnkey property that needs no work at all.

Do you fancy taking a sledgehammer to a wall and opening up the kitchen? It can all be done and often for less money than you expect but decide now if you want the extra stress, dust and please, don’t forget to consult someone qualified before knocking down any walls – they may be load bearing!

Money, Money, Money...

Yes, you do need to sort out the finances! It's easy to convince yourself that you can really afford the place of your dreams but a mortgage lender may not agree.

Mortgage Lenders will often stress test applications by assuming higher interest rates and running the affordability figures again to see if it still adds up. Although this has been scrapped as a Bank of England requirement [July 2022], lenders still make their own minds up as to how to assess your application.

Make sure you have a mortgage 'decision-in-principle' before shopping for your home, it makes Estate Agents much more likely to take you seriously.

For the best deals, speak to a whole of market mortgage broker who can ensure the mortgage is the right one for your circumstances, not always the case if you just call into the nearest High Street Bank!

Moving Day Survival Kit

With all your worldly goods buried deep in packing cases, make yourself up a survival kit of all the little essentials you'll be needing on the day.

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Milk
  • Soft Drinks
  • A tip for the removal men (beer or cash, both will be appreciated)
  • Pet Food
  • Plastic plates & cutlery
  • Teaspoons
  • Something for the next day's breakfast
  • Phone Chargers
  • Towels
  • Ladies Hygiene Products
  • Tootbrush
  • Toilet Paper
  • Multitool & screwdrivers
  • Torch
  • Bin Bags
  • Young Children? Remember that favourite stuffed toy!
  • Don't forget the kettle
  • Even more importantly - don't forget the corkscrew/bottle opener!
  • Champagne!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2022 Duncan Reid

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