Your first home is always special. Whether you are moving out of your parents’ home to get your own space, or moving in with a partner, you will always remember your first independent home, so it pays to make sure that your first home-moving experience creates fond memories and not ones that you’d rather forget.
If you are a moving newbie, here are six tips to help you move house like a pro:
1. Get organised
Moving house takes organisation, and with so many things on your mind at once, there is bound to be something you forget. Whether it’s something important you need to remember or something that is merely a nuisance to have forgotten, writing a ‘to do’ list will help you to avoid missing things out. Have a look at our moving guides for help and advice, and download our moving home checklist.
Keep a notebook handy (including by your bed) so that you can capture those chores that you might otherwise forget. There does seem to be a lot to remember, and writing them down can help control your stresses.
2. Combine your belongings
If you and a partner are moving in together after having lived separately, it is likely that you will already have your own possessions; two sets of crockery, cutlery, two irons, vacuum cleaners… the list goes on. Why not get together and purge your belongings before you move? This will ensure that your move will cost less if you decide to hire a removal company, as they quote based on the volume of items to be moved.
Choose the best of your combined possessions, and then find new homes for the things you no longer need. For items you could sell, try eBay, or list them in your local newspaper. For things that you don’t need but probably couldn’t sell, your friendly local Freecycle group may be your answer. If you need to create space quickly, you can place items in storage until you decide what to do with them.
3. Consider opening a joint bank account
Joint accounts can be useful for keeping track of shared outgoings such as shopping, household bills or mortgage payments. You should still be able to keep your existing current account, and then easily move money between your account and the joint account. Remember, most banks assume that you are both equally responsible for a joint account and should one partner exceed any set limits, you will both be liable to pay the debt.
4. How to pack your items
Well-packed items take up fewer boxes, saving you time and money when moving them. Our video guides will help you learn how best to pack up a whole range of items.
Labelling your boxes clearly will save you so much time when unpacking and will make things easier to find when you need them. Colour coding your boxes for each room will also help to make things even clearer for the removal company to distribute your boxes efficiently when they are working quickly.
5. Give yourself enough time
Work out a timeline of when you need to be into your new property (and out of your old one). Packing always takes longer than anticipated, especially if you need to disassemble items, or bubble wrap delicate crockery. Thing about the day of the move - will it all get done in one go? When can you get the keys? What will the traffic be like in your new area. Should you unpack everything, or work on building bigger items? If you are moving with a partner, not knowing the answers to these questions can cause stress - make sure you are both on the same page and have a clear plan for how the day will unfold.
6. Take a break
Make sure you take time to look after yourself. It is all too easy to become so preoccupied with all the tasks at hand that you forget to attend to your body’s basic needs – like food, water and sleep! Take some time to set a meal plan, work to goals and reward yourself with breaks. And take the opportunity to celebrate your new home, whether that's with a bottle of bubbly or a well earned first night take away.
Allow yourself time to settle in. It will take time for you to adjust to your new surroundings, and you may feel more tense until you do finally feel at home, so don’t worry if you and your partner argue more than usual to start with. Once you are fully acquainted with your new home, things should settle down again and you can begin enjoying your new home.