It’s been a few months since I moved and I *just* about think my blood pressure and stress levels are returning to a vaguely normal level. When they say moving house is stressful they really aren’t kidding. And to think that I don’t have kids or other complications to throw into the mix. But I can hand on heart say that moving house has been THE most stressful few months I have experienced in my life to date.
If perhaps you haven’t had the joys of moving house (only partial sarcasm as there is a lot of joy – it’s not all bad) then a little insight into this.
For me, it was mainly that our home as we knew it was not ours anymore. You are leaving behind everything you know as familiar to be replaced with something hopefully better but be it better or worse it’s new and it’s different. This can be disorientating and stressful. Then this is all starting with how stressful the whole process is from the get go. Sure, there’s the excitement of house shopping. But then there’s the living in a show home element of trying to keep your home viewing ready at all times. Not an easy feat when you throw boys and a dog into the mix (can’t imagine what this is like if you have kids too)! Then you have estate agents that are early/late/don’t show or call at the last moment. You don’t want to say no as every viewing is a possible step closer to the actual move. This is before you even get to the point of offers being made/accepted/rejected and then stuff gets really real with solicitors and negotiations and surveys and endlessly grown up stress things…
But before my blood pressure goes through the roof just thinking of this again. I thought I’d cover off a few little tips I wanted to share about how to *hopefully* reduce a bit of stress in the whole moving process. Ones that I either did and helped, or in hindsight (a wonderful thing) I would have done to make the process a little less stress-filled.
- Clear out early – Don’t wait until those last couple of weeks before the actual move date (assuming you’re lucky to have that much notice – we had three days between exchange and completion) start sorting now. Clearing and binning the clutter well before your move means you’re far less likely to move with boxes of bits and bobs you have hoarded and it will make settling in and unpacking a far less painful process.
- Get a deep clean – One, it makes it lovely for viewings – which is a massive plus. Two – it makes maintaining a clean home when you’re mind is elsewhere through the contracts/negotiations stages a lot easier because a deep clean makes everything a little easier to manage. My top tip would be to use an amazing service like Fantastic Cleaners who can do basically anything (in and around London, plus across some of the rest of the UK – worth having a look as they cover a really wide area). They do everything from deep cleaning carpets – this is what we used the service for in our old place – to oven cleaning, general weekly cleans and beyond. It just takes a load off your mind, to know your home is as clean as it can be before people potentially looking to part with large chunks of cash come to look at it. We also used the service to come into our new place before we fully unpacked/settled in to do a deep clean service too – it was in good condition, but having a professional deep clean really helped start things in our new home off right as you knew it was really deep down clean before you start putting things in place and making it look pretty
- Add a few weeks (months) to your goal move date – This is only the second time I’ve gone through the whole ‘house buying/moving’ situation and I’ve already learnt that dates and deadlines become a very flexible thing. Sure, have a goal move date in mind and push for it – but also know (especially if in a chain) that there are lots of variables and you need to be ok with going with the flow a bit. Not exactly my nature when it comes to big things like moving house. But you need to
- Take time off – It’s easy to fall into an obsessed rut where all conversations turn to Rightmove updates or latest solicitor talk. This just adds to your stress and frustration. Try to switch off – maybe try and ban house-talk from conversation at least one or two evenings a week. For the sanity of everyone involved. Tricky when it’s all you can think of – sure. But worth it just to have a breather and remember that there’s more going on in your life than just the move. As all consuming as it can feel.
- Get some help with pets and or kids – Where possible, either if you can leave them with a friend/family/sitter for a weekend whilst you blitz your house pre-sale, in the last few days before the move and even on move day. It makes a world of difference to have that one thing off your mind plus it makes the big change a little easier for the pets (and kids I guess?!) as it means you can set up a few key familiar things for them in the new place before they get there so it’s not straight into a totally unfamiliar thing. It just means you can focus on the tasks that need to get done without added items on the to-do list.
If you have a move on the cards in 2016 then I wish you all the luck with all the challenges through the process. It’s almost a year since we decided to move house and as I sit here very happy in my new home I can look back and say it’s totally worth it. But BOY was the process stressful. But with a little help here and there you can take a little load off and those little things will make all the difference. Next thing you know you can bit hitting up West Elm/Loaf/Made.com/Homesense and all that fun stuff that helps settling in to your new home!
* Fantastic Services provided cleaning services for review. But have also paid for these independently because they’re really good & convenient.