packing boxes

How To Make Moving Home As Stress-Free As Possible

I can make very organised to-do lists every time I move, it will never make it completely stress-free. I must have moved about 20 times in my life already (not kidding) and yet I can safely say the last one has been the most painful. It just doesn’t get any easier with time! It also took me a while to recover and settle in my new place… So I’ve been forced to take a break from the blog for a few weeks. After enjoying a nice bank holiday weekend, now is time to get back to business! What do you need to know to make such a life event as smooth as possible?

Do some decluttering first

The best thing when you move is that you get rid of a lot of useless stuff. Unless you’re an expert in minimalist living, you accumulate a lot over time and only seem to realise it when it’s time to pack everything up. Surely you don’t want to carry unwanted items with you, so start fresh beforehand and declutter to free your mind:

  • Sort out your wardrobe. How many times have you worn that dress? Have you ever had the occasion to wear that expensive pair of high-heel shoes that you might not even be able to walk in? Clothes bank, charities, second-hand shops, the possibilities are endless to get rid of what you don’t need.
  • Go through big items in your garage. Is there anything that has been packed away and never used? Do you really want to keep them in your new home?
  • Check any cupboards prone to stock unnecessary stuff. I’m talking about beauty products, bathroom items, random little things that have been forgotten in a drawer, it could be anything.

It may sound obvious but I was so glad I did this exercise before moving out… Getting rid of half my wardrobe also made me realise I owned way too many clothes. I now have a new policy where I wear anything I want everyday, no more “special occasion” clothes I will never end up wearing. I’m not saying you should wear your wedding dress to go to the supermarket if you fancy, but hopefully you get the idea.

Too many to-do lists will overwhelm you

If you’re like me, you like creating to-do lists for everything. This is usually super useful but when it comes to moving, it could be counterproductive. I ended up with so many lists of things to not forget that I felt my mind was never able to rest… And I ended up tiring myself out as a result. Not needed! It’s like when I go on holiday and I worry about forgetting important things. I use a different mindset now: I just remember that as long as I have my passport and my phone with me, everything will be fine. It’s just a case of prioritising what really matters. What I’m trying to say is: if you forget in what box you packed your sunscreen and the sun is nowhere to be seen, it’s obviously not a big deal.

I will even go further and say you actually don’t need to do much before moving, apart from packing. As long as you know when you need to move out and when you get the keys to your new home, this is pretty much it. The rest will naturally follow as you will be able to do them once you’re settled. That would include:

  • redirect your mail
  • update your new address (bank, insurance, driving licence, various memberships, etc)
  • terminate any direct debit you may have (electricity, gas, water, council tax, etc)

I always try to sort things out as soon as possible but then I realise they could also be done on the spot. Most admin things are done by email nowadays anyway, it’s not like people can’t reach you if you move.

Some things can’t be rushed

That is probably the most underrated advice I could give you. I was trying desperately to do as much as possible, as quickly as possible, but all I needed was patience. There’s no point chasing the agency to send you the contract if you agreed on the move-in date weeks ago. No point packing kitchen stuff a week earlier, unless you want to order a takeaway every day until you move. Chances are you won’t get the keys to your new place earlier than planned so no need to wonder how long is that wall in the living room so you can buy a new dining table right away. You get the idea.

I would say the most difficult thing in a move is to stop feeling anxious something will go wrong. You might end up packing something useful too early or forget to clean the oven before you move out, it’s not going to be the end of the world. Just breathe and relax, you will be just fine. Give yourself some time to fully embrace the experience without stressing out, maybe it means taking a week off work for your own sanity. It’s exciting to move into a new place, so you might as well enjoy it!

As I’m writing these lines, I’ve only just started to settle in… All I need from now on is a well organised routine full of good habits. New home, new life, new adventures! Who can relate?

Big Girl x

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