Congratulations on finding and securing the mortgage for your new home! You’re close to exchange of contracts and completion.
If you’re going to be moving in close to Christmas there’s not a lot of time left, and it probably feels like there are endless things left to do. Getting on top of the essentials is a great way of reducing moving stress and goes a long way towards ensuring a smooth house move.
Here are our top eleven stress busting tips if you’re moving to a new house over Christmas.
Clear communication is key
Make sure you’ve confirmed your move dates in good time, and that all parties know what’s happening. Be clear on timescales too, especially if you’re part of a chain. There’s no such thing as being too prepared.
Book your removal company well in advance
This can be a busy time of year under normal circumstances, and the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t helped. Many removal companies will be closed for the latter part of December, so if you haven’t got everything booked yet make this your number one priority.
If you’ve decided to manage the move yourself make sure you know what vehicles you’re going to use and confirm that it is going to be available. If you’re renting a van, make sure it’s booked for the appropriate dates. If your socially distancing friends and/or family have already agreed to help out, now is the time to get their commitment. Remember to stay safe!
Get hold of more packing materials than you think you’ll need
If you’re using a removals company and they’re doing the packing for you, feel free to ignore this tip. If you’re doing the packing yourself, many removals companies will sell you packing materials, and they are readily available from suppliers you can find on the internet. Gone are the days of finding boxes under the tills at the supermarket.
Start packing a lot earlier than you think you need to
Packing will take a lot longer that you think. Even if you’ve done it before you’ll probably still put it off for too long. Nostalgia will kick in as you’re pulling things out of cupboards that haven’t seen the light of day since you put them there! Deciding what to take, arguing about it, buying packing tape and just putting it into a box - all these things will steal time. Be ruthless. Start with things that you don’t use first and work your way back to the essentials (the kettle and the TV will probably be last!)
Tell people that you’re moving to a new home
There are always a lot more people to tell than you might think. If you’re renting, start with your landlord, then family, then friends. Do you have a window cleaner? A dog walker? Any gin club subscriptions? Check your bank statements for subscriptions you may have forgotten.
It’s a good idea to set up a mail redirect with Royal Mail. You can do this for 3 months, 6 months, 9 months or a year.
Notify your utility providers
Get in touch with your gas, electricity, internet, telephone and water suppliers to let them know when you are moving. This allows plenty of time to have a final reading taken and for you to settle up your final bills.
Other important agencies to notify include the Council Tax office, the DVLA, TV licencing and your bank. Don’t forget your doctor, your dentist, your optician and your employer. If you’ve got children, the school needs to know too.
Have you checked the utilities at your new property are properly connected? Once you know the day you are moving you can start to arrange your new providers.
Be prepared for the trip
It’s winter, be prepared for snow, rain, fog, blizzards and the unexpected. Check for weather and traffic disruptions before you set off. If your new home is any distance at all from where you’re currently living, make sure you check your transport is fit for the journey. Check your tyres, washer fluid, oil, de-icer, fuel. If the weather warrants, a small bag of salt can stop ice being a problem. Also, a torch never goes amiss as time flies on moving day and it’ll be dark before you know it.
Take some extra packing boxes or cardboard for putting on the floor during unloading. This will avoid slips and protect the carpets!
Plan for eating and drinking
Make sure you’ve got enough to eat and drink on your journey and plan what you’re going to do when you get to your new home. A takeaway may be the ideal solution to sustain the body until the kitchen is usable, and a few bottles of water and a kettle should quench everyone’s thirst.
Have Christmas in the bag
If at all possible do as much of your Christmas present shopping and wrapping before you go. Find out whether your favourite supermarket delivers to your new home and book a delivery in advance for the day after you arrive. You could take a pre-packed Christmas box full of little treats, games, decorations and associated paraphernalia ready to hang.
Privacy and Security
Have you got blinds or curtains up at your new house? If you have this will stop any nosey parkers eyeing up your possessions and maintain a reasonable level of privacy until all your belongings are moved in.
Children and animals
You know what they say about working with children and animals. The day of the move can be pretty stressful for everyone and having to manage small humans and non-humans as well as managing the logistics of everything else can feel overwhelming. If possible, have a friend or family member look after them whilst the move is happening, or put your dog or cat in a boarding kennel overnight.
With a bit of luck your moving day will go without a hitch!