Anything that makes moving house less stressful has got to be worth considering. It’s right up there with bereavement as one of the most stressful things we can do, yet we love it and do it several times in an average lifetime!
In the Beginning
The journey starts with getting the house ready for viewings, and for many of us this is a challenge.
You still have to live there, but also maintain a show house level of tidiness. It’s far easier to achieve if you reduce the number of possessions you keep at home.
Indoors, look for:
- Any ornaments
- Collections of odds and ends
- Overloaded book shelves
- Items stashed in cupboards so the doors won’t close – or stuff tumbles out when they’re opened.
- Too many kitchen gadgets cluttering up the work surfaces
- Jumbles of kids’ toys that don’t have a proper storage or display place.
Outdoors, look at:
- The shed or garage – tools and machinery or bikes and sports kit that’s not often used.
- The garden – furniture you’re not using, or that looks tired and grubby, along with play equipment.
Gather together all the stuff you don’t use very often and pack it away into boxes. Label the boxes specifically (write ‘breadmaker’ or ‘Grandma’s vase’, not ‘ornaments’ or ‘kitchen stuff’).
Once you have a few boxes packed, rent a suitably sized self storage room to stow everything in. Rooms come in all sizes along with lockers for very small storage needs, so you don’t need to pay for more space than you’ll actually use.
Because the terms are short, often from just a week, you can start with a small space and move up in size as your packing progresses. And if you decide you’ve made a mistake and need to retrieve something you’ve packed, it’s easy to bring it home again.
Setting Your Stage
Having packed away the possessions you won’t miss in the short term, you’ll have lots of space to display what’s left. You can still make your house feel like a home, but at the same time give it a more spacious, uncluttered feeling.
It’s also easier to clean up and keep things looking good, so you’re ready for a viewing at a moment’s notice.
Take some inspiration from home designers when you’re displaying related objects. Groups of odd numbers, for instance, look more pleasing than single items or even numbers.
Taking your personality out of the house can be tough, but it allows potential buyers to see a neutral space they can imagine filling with their own things.
Things that personalise a home include:
- Family photos.
- Trophies and framed awards or certificates.
- Big collections, such as figurines, plates, bottles – anything you’ve amassed a large number of and like to display.
- Personal items such as clothing, which should be neatly put away out of sight.
One area where we’re very fussy about personalisation is the bathroom. It’s okay to have decorative items on show such as nice soap dispensers and clean, neat towels, but remove personal hygiene items, toothbrushes, razors and other personal items. It might sound extreme, but imagine your bathroom is a hotel bathroom. Guests don’t want to see other people’s toothbrushes and razors!
As Moving Day Draws Closer
You should already have made a good start with packing. Once you’ve secured your buyer it’s time to add to the collection in your self storage room.
You could organise the remaining packing by category, or by room. If you’re doing all your own packing and moving, it’s important to make an early start if you want to reduce the stress.
Day by day, go through the house and pack up as much as you can live without. Make sure you’ve got plenty of boxes, packing materials and tape, along with labels or markers. Clear labelling cuts down on the stress at your new house when you don’t have to hunt too far for the kettle and mugs for a cup of tea.
The more you can add into your self storage space, the easier it is to get everything loaded on the van and shipped to the new house. Self storage facilities have plenty of parking, with trolleys or pallet trucks to make shifting heavy boxes easier.
As a final bonus, you can take your time unpacking for your new home. If you’re moving to a different town, choose self storage in your new town and make a few trips as you’re packing up. A little extra work early on means you reduce the pressure caused by living with boxes piled up to the ceiling at both ends of the house moving journey.
There will always be some stress when it comes to moving house, but packing and organising the physical move needn’t be something that adds to it.