How to make moving into a new home as stress-free as possible
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How to make moving into a new home as stress-free as possible

Moving into a new home is incredibly stressful for the majority of us, but it doesn’t have to be. This guide will walk you through the entire process and advise you on how to make your move as stress-free as possible. Why not print this article and use it as a checklist? Here’s to the easiest move you’ve ever had!

Prepare for the move at least a month in advance

Much of the stress that is associated with moving is feeling like you’ve left everything to the last minute. You can eliminate most of this angst by getting the process started early and by spreading out the work over several weeks.

  • An audit of your home should be done a month or so in advance. Sort through your entire house from top to bottom and decide which of your possessions you’d like to keep, donate or throw away (hint: be ruthless!)
  • If you plan on using one, begin to source your quotes for a number of different removal companies. Once you’re confident you’ve found the best deal, get yourself booked in. You’ll take great reassurance from knowing that this element of the move is all taken care of.
  • Begin to make your way through your cupboards full of food and only buy new food if you absolutely can’t make do with what you’ve already got in.
  • Keep an eye out for used cardboard boxes that you can get for free from local shops. You’ll also want to purchase a couple of rolls of industrial tape.
  • Arrange transportation for your pets, if necessary. If you’re moving abroad you will need to get a Pet Passport.
  • Create a floor plan for your new home and assign a number to each room. Later you can label boxes with the corresponding number to keep everything organized.

A couple of weeks leading up to your move…

  • Start packing items that you won’t need between now and moving day. Label the boxes with their assigned number and set them aside.
  • Request a final bill from your utility providers and give them a forwarding address to send the last bill to. You should also notify your bank, post office etc of your change of address.
  • Transfer plants to containers more suitable for moving. Clean out decorative pots and pack them.
  • Clear and pack items from shelves, wall hangings and curtain rods as well as all other decorations from around the house.
  • If you’re taking it with you, defrost the freezer several days prior to the move. Drain water from fountains and any other items that carry water and give them a few days to dry out.
  • Set aside the items you’ll need for moving day and begin packing everything else. Try to keep boxes with corresponding numbers together.
  • Disassemble furniture the night before moving. Keep all screws and tools packed together and labelled correctly.

Moving Day

  • Provide directions and a spare key for your new home to removals staff and give them a copy of the numbered floor plan you created.
  • Do one final check of your home to make sure nothing gets left behind. Turn off any necessary utilities. Give your key to the landlord or estate agent.

Enjoy your new home!

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Top tips to finding your perfect home
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Top tips to finding your perfect home

Buying your first home is a hectic, but exciting time in your life. On one hand, there is nothing like finally taking that prized ownership of your own personal space. On the other hand, it is stressful because in many respects, as buying a home can leave you in a financially tight situation, and provide you with a lot of work. While it isn’t uncommon for homebuyers to make  negotiation errors during the process of buying a home, these mistakes are easily avoidable. If you’re on the hunt for your dream first home, here are out top mistakes that you should avoid.

 

Get it checked

One of the biggest and most serious mistakes that homebuyers can make during the buying process is to opt out of getting a professional to provide a thorough property inspection. When purchasing a home, you’re likely to allocate funds towards remodelling rooms and new furniture. However, without a pre-purchase home inspection, you could find yourself unaware of any number of  structural issues  or deficiencies in the home. You can avoid this issue by hiring a professional to conduct a pre-purchasing home inspection.

 

Pricing

Another common mistake that homebuyers make, especially when purchasing without an estate agent, is that they will easily overpay for a home. While not doing a pre-purchasing home inspection leads to overpaying, so does not reviewing the pricing of homes in the area. Therefore, to make sure you aren’t being overcharged, do some research and review the prices of homes in the area. It will give you an idea of range you should be paying in and give you negotiating power when talking with the seller.

 

Don’t get carried away

Don’t fall into the trap of growing too fond of a property before having a full research and view of properties. Try to stay relatively neutral throughout viewings,  whilst you want to make it clear you have an interest in the home, showing over exuberant enthusiasm for a property during a viewing or the negotiation process can spell trouble. Usually, the seller will notice your feelings and gain the upper hand, which will result in you paying more.

 

Why is it for sale?

One trap that many homebuyers fall into is to not question why the seller has put their home in the market. While in some cases, the seller wants to move elsewhere, it can also be the case that there are other issues. Therefore, in order to protect your investment and add to your negotiating power it is a smart move to ask why the seller has their home on the market.

 

Keep Your Options Open

Sometimes, home sellers notice when a homebuyer is desperate to buy a house. This scenario immediately increases the seller’s power, and reduces your negotiating chances. Also, you do not want to put all your hopes into one home. Thus, when searching through homes, it is best to keep your options open. Look through a number or properties and make a list of your favourites. This will help you keep calm when facing negotiations with a homebuyer and increase the chance that you’ll get the property that you want for a fair price.

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Top tips for moving in winter
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Top tips for moving in winter

Moving home at any point of the year can be a stressful time, however moving over the coming months, as we move towards winter, can throw up a range of tougher problems.

Organisation when moving is key, however winter weather conditions can wreak havoc with any pre-made plans. If you’re planning to move in the heart of winter, removal vans can struggle to cope with the icy roads and conditions. If it’s through the late autumn period, you’ll likely have heavy downpours of rain to contend with, and even if it does stay dry on the day of the move, you may have to work through gusting winds, which may cause potential issues when moving furniture.

Back-up plan

If the weather is against you on moving day, make sure you have a backup plan organised, just in case. Removal vans can find it hard to transport heavy loads if there are heavily flooded or snowy roads to navigate. The last thing you want to do is get stranded mid-move, especially if you’re in the middle of a lengthy journey. Make sure you plan well ahead and are able to deal with every eventuality, should the worst strike.

Get your car serviced.

Ahead of the impending move, make sure that your car is running well and has been recently checked over or serviced. This is especially important if you’re travelling a long distance to your new home. The last thing you want to happen is for your journey to be interrupted by a breakdown, leaving you stranded between homes in the cold weather.

Dress warm and have extra clothes in the car

It’s highly likely that, in preparation for your move,  you’re going to be packing  plenty in advance. When it comes to packing your clothes, make sure you leave enough unpacked to cover every eventuality, come moving day.

Set off early

The winter weather and early nights mean that the sooner you can get out on the road, the better. No one wants to be arriving at their final destination late at night, with the dark evenings and cold weather to contend with; so ensuring you’re well organised early in the day is essential.

Take supplies

You might have a well organised plan, with your belongings being transported ahead of you. Make sure that in your car, as you follow in tow, you have all the supplies you need, from maps and navigation systems (in case you get lost), to snacks and food if you’re taking a particularly long journey. Keep all your important documents in a file and ensure it’s in your vehicle, should it be required at any point during the move.

Make sure you have heating and lights.

Ensure that once you arrive at your new home, you have the basics up and running. The cold and dark nature of winter means your new home is unlikely to seem welcoming upon arrival, however having a prior recce and ensuring that your new home has both heating and lights ready for your arrival will help you to immediately settle in.

Quieter season

Despite having to deal with the weather, moving in winter does have positives. The winter season might not seem like an ideal time to be up-heaving your life, but the season does also have a few benefits, as the market is fairly quiet and the reduction in demand can lead to financial savings.

Be friendly with your movers

For the duration of day, the tough aspects of your move will be handled by your removal men; meaning it’s important you keep them on your side. Treat them as an extension to your family for the day, as their help and assistance will make your move much easier. From making coffees in the cold to keep them warm, to offering them food and relief in your new home upon arrival, it’s likely that the more generously you treat them, the happier they will be to carry out all the little tasks that make a move niggly.

Have you experienced a winter move before? If so, we want to hear from you! Make sure you comment below with your top tips, and pieces of advice.

Image credit: Commons image sourced from en.wikipedia.org

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Key contacts for an impending home move
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Key contacts for an impending home move

The home moving period is a hectic and busy time, and for many, there will be things which are forgotten or cast aside in the hectic preceding months. In this article, we will examine the key contacts required when moving home, looking into contacting utility suppliers, phone and broadband suppliers, and even local government establishments.

Services
Prior to your move, it’s important to make sure that all your service providers are informed that you’ll no longer be living at your current address. You don’t want to continue being billed for services you’re no longer utilising after having moved, so make sure companies such as your gas, electricity and water providers are all informed of your impending move. Also, your telephone, broadband and satellite TV provider may be able to transfer your information to your new home, given a reasonable amount of notice. If you have a satellite provider, such as Sky, make sure you take all your equipment to your new home (with the exception of your satellite dish) to make sure your programmes and channels move with you.

Finance
Financial security is something which plays an important role throughout life, so at a time of mass upheaval in your life, it’s important to ensure your finances are well in hand.  Everyone has worries about financial security, so it is hugely important that all your bank and credit card companies are kept in the loop regarding your move. The last thing you want upon arriving at your new address is for key information and correspondence falling into the wrong hands. To make sure that all information sensitive post reaches you, the Post Office offer an easy to set up service for the redirection of all mail addressed to your old residence.

Also falling under the finance category, insurance companies will all require to know your change of address. Home insurance is crucial and will need to be transferred to your new address, so be sure to get in touch with your providers in plenty of time.

Authorities
It’s important to contact all authorities, such as the DVLA, who need to be informed of your move for any issues that may crop up concerning your driving licence. Other possible authorities you’ll need to get in touch with could be HM Revenue and Customs, the local authorities

Healthcare
Moving house also means a change in where you go for your healthcare. Your dentist and doctor will need to be contacted, and then once you settle in to your new home, you’ll need to find your new local doctors and dentist. Make sure you don’t forget, because the last thing you need the next time you fall ill is to have no local GP to visit.

Do you have some top tips for informing key contacts of your recent move? If so, drop your top pieces of advice into the comments section below.

 

CC image used courtesy of Lauren.

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Packing tips ahead of moving house
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Packing tips ahead of moving house

Moving house is always hard. Whether it’s organising belongings, trying to coordinate removal men, or even just getting your keys for the front door, moving day is up there with one of the most stressful days in anybody’s diary. Here are our top tips for making sure that packing for the big day is as easy and stress free as possible.

Have a clear out before you start

There is no point packing, moving and then unpacking lots of old belongings that you never use and don’t have space for. Take on one room at a time and throw out everything you’ve not used and no longer need. Not only will it make your packing a lot easier and lighter but it will help when getting everything into your new home. Be prepared Make sure you have enough supplies well before you start packing. You will always need more boxes, more tape and more bubble wrap, so being prepared always saves time in the end.

Make lists

Know where everything is at all times. Yes, it takes time at first but when you need to access something, its a lot easier and saves a lot of time to just look at a list and know exactly which box it is in. Numbering each box and having a list of what’s inside  and where it should be going also makes unpacking in your new home much easier.

Don’t throw out your newspapers

This is a cheap trick to save you the expense of buying bubble wrap. Old newspapers can be used in a similar way to bubble wrap, but are a lot cheaper. Use them to protect plates, glasses, vases etc.

Pack like for like

It makes it easier when unpacking if all books are in the one box and all shoes are in another. Also try not to over pack each box as it causes them to break and then you’re left in even more of a mess.

Have a schedule

It doesn’t have to be strict and you don’t have to stick exactly to it, but knowing what time and where you have to pick up your keys, then what time the removal team are due eases stress tremendously. Always keep contact details close to hand as well just in case there are any timing or location issues.

Have an essentials box/bag/suitcase

Having all the things you will need to hand is much easier than having to sift through all the boxes when you need a cup of tea at the end of the day. Keep things like a change of clothes, batteries, small first aid kit, small tool kit, some cleaning products, a torch and some cutlery and a few plates and cups all close to hand as these are essential to getting you through the first night.

Following these tips will hugely aid your packing process, and although it’s unlikely to make moving your favourite of tasks, it will help ease the stress and help you enjoy the first few moments in your new home.

Have you recently moved? If so, why not give your fellow readers a few tips by leaving your advice in the comments box below.

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Redirecting mail from your old home
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Redirecting mail from your old home

Moving house can be a hectic time, but receiving your mail at a new address can be sorted easily. With a bit of forward thinking and a few early enquires, redirecting your mail to a new address can be one of the easiest tasks of your big move.

First Home

If you’re a first time buyer on the verge of making the move to your first home, ensuring your mail eventually gets delivered to your new address is important, however isn’t an urgent matter. If you are moving into your first home, it’s highly likely that your previous home will be somewhere with your family. The fact you have someone trustworthy still inhabiting your previous address means it isn’t a disaster if old post continues to be delivered to your old home, as it can be forwarded on manually or collected for times you visit. If this is the case, we’d still advise you contact relevant institutions and inform them of your address change, but you probably don’t need to set up an auto forward with the post office.

Set up a redirect

If you previously owned a home and, as part of your move, have now sold it on, then you’ll need to set up a redirect for your mail. For a permanent move, the Royal Mail offers a number of approaches. Be prepared, and ensure you make your application at least three weeks before your expected moving date -leave it any later and you may be post-less for your first few days at the new address. Next up, you need to complete your application, which can be done either online, by mail or at your local Post Office. The application is simple and can be downloaded from the Royal Mail.  Once you have the application sorted and sent, you’re all set. Any mail addressed for your old home will arrive at your old local office, and then be re-routed first class to your new address – meaning you won’t miss out on any exciting bills that you just couldn’t do without!

If you aren’t satisfied that all your mail is being sent to your new address at the end of your redirection agreement, just extend the process for as long as you need for up to two years, it’s that simple.  Starting at just £21 for the shortest term redirection, the service is not only easy to sort but reasonably priced too, giving you the ultimate peace of mind that you’re getting all your mail.

 

Image used under CC licence courtesy of EDDIE

 

Make sure you plan ahead

Forward planning is crucial with any home move, as you’ll need to get in touch with a number of services and institutions and inform them of your address change. Get in touch with the likes of your bank, the DVLA and your telephone/internet suppliers prior to your move and ensure all future correspondence from them heads to your new address. Getting sorted with these early means you’ll then have chance to set up the Royal Mail redirect mentioned above, for any lingering mail that heads to your old home.

With the madness that can surround moving house, this redirection process should give you one less thing to worry about. Remember that you need to get started early when planning to move house, otherwise your move will quickly become a horror show.

If you’ve recently made the transition into a new home and have any tips and advice for your fellow readers, we’d love to hear them. Make sure you leave a comment below!

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Packing your possessions with care
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Packing your possessions with care

Whilst you’ll undoubtedly be excited about your new home and impending move, there are plenty of preparations and bits of hard work you’ll need to carry out in advance of your big move. Packing up all your valued possessions when moving somewhere new can be a daunting task, and the last thing you’ll want upon arrival at the new place is a disaster zone of broken and smashed possessions. Although jumping straight in and cracking on with the job might seem like the quickest option, it’s not the wisest option if it results in an assortment of crumpled boxed and smashed possessions.

Pre-packing

  • Before jumping in at the deep end and turning the process into a total disaster, it is vital you begin by taking precautionary steps to help ease the process as a whole; you’ll reap the rewards at a later stage.
  • Gather all the materials and supplies you need before you start, from the obvious such as boxes, tape, furniture covers, dust sheets, to the less obvious, like a tape measure to help you really plan your pack. Make sure you have everything you need before beginning the packing process. It’s a real momentum killer to get half way through the chore, only to then realise you need to rush out for more supplies.
  • It’s important to ensure all furniture is given a thorough clean before putting into storage or the removal truck, it saves a job at the other end. The last thing you want is for all the dust and dirt of your old home to be traipsed into the new place.
  • Some wooden furniture will need treating to avoid being damaged en-route. Make sure leather goods and other damage prone items are well secured and protected. Wooden and leather items are pricey, expensive numbers, so you should take every precaution possible to avoid any damage.
  • For glass objects, best practice is to cover with newspaper, drape it with bubble wrap and duct tape it, repeat this numerous times for added protection.
  • Start a log of all the possessions you’re packing. It helps should anything go wrong, and also allows you to know exactly what is still to be unloaded on the other end.
  • With items that are disassembled, you may be left with small screws, put all small objects in a bag along with manuals to make sure you don’t misplace items you need upon unloading.
  • Label up your boxes and belongings which you’ll struggle to identify when it comes to unloading.

Packing tips

  • With important objects that you’ll need immediately when unpacking, start a designated box for them. Make sure you know where the box is packed and is easily accessible, so you can have quick access at your new home.
  • Make sure all fragile or breakable objects are securely wrapped and have plenty of padding to ensure they’re secure for transport. The last thing you need is your favourite vase arriving in pieces.

If you’re looking to escape and plan for that perfect first home, check out the website of the official First Home News sponsor, Keepmoat. The national housing company operates a first time buyer scheme, which builds on the Government’s First Buy scheme, enabling thousands of first time buyers to purchase a new home since it was launched in 2011. Keepmoat has helped customers buy hundreds of new homes under First Buy at a number of its new housing developments across the country, so if you’re searching the market, check out their offerings.

Have you recently moved and were required to hone your packing skills? We all know it can be a tough job, so let us know your best nuggets of help and advice in the comments below…

Photo Credit: Betsssssy via Compfight cc

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