The last time I moved house I thought I’d rather have a tooth dug out with a spoon.
The thought of moving to a new house often makes many people happy, but at the same time overwhelmed because of the tedious process involved. The wrapping, the packing, the boxing and the general woe of ‘Where do I start?’ However, if you take time to organise your home prior to the moving day, moving can be easier, smoother and more enjoyable.
Here are 10 things to do before you move house.
1) Pick the Right Time to Move
A majority of people move during summer, weekends, as well as at the beginning or end of the month, and it is during these periods that moving companies are very busy, and prices are high. If you want to save some money, you should consider moving during off-peak seasons like in autumn or winter, and at off-peak times of the month. Other than reducing your moving costs by nearly half, you will also have the convenience of choosing your favourite moving time and date.
Household things lose value with time, and moving can provide you with the perfect opportunity to get rid of clutter. You can decide to throw them away, donate them, or open a garage sale; you might raise a good amount of money to pay for professional moving services. The less stuff you have, the less you will pay the moving company. If you don’t get rid of clutter, they will occupy more space in the removal trucks and force you to pay more money.
So, go through your house, storage areas, and garage, and collect all those old electronics, clothes, books and any other thing that you no longer need. Also, consider the moving costs of certain items versus replacing them. For instance, instead of paying to transport your old furniture pieces, you might want to consider replacing them once you are settled in your new home; it can help you save money. You can also hire a company to come and take your old clutter away. Pretty useful if you have a to throw out!
After de-cluttering, make a list of all the things you want to move on a room-by-room basis. Then, rearrange them according to size, putting the largest items like furniture in front. This can help you a lot when looking for quotations from removal companies. Just by mentioning the first 10 or 15 items on your list, they will be able to know if there are capable of helping you or not.
4) Decide On The Packing Service To Use
Decide whether you want to pack personally, or let the movers do it for you. If you decide to go for a full packing service, the movers will come with their packing boxes, pack everything by themselves, move you and unpack. Besides relieving you from the physically-tiring task, any breakages during the whole process will be covered by their insurance company. Usually, the moving company will give you one quotation that covers everything, so you need to decide on the type of packing service you’ll use before calling them for quotations.
On the other hand, if you decide to pack personally, you will pay much less on moving costs compared to when you hire full services. Since it is not easy to estimate the number of packing boxes you will need, especially when your things are still in drawers and cupboards, you should order for slightly excess boxes, as opposed to less.
Start packing your things early before the movers arrive, and load them in the boxes. If possible, ask for help from family members and friends to make the whole process faster and easier. Designate a corner, or a room in your house to place them, as they wait to be loaded on the truck. Label every box with the corresponding room where they should go to; this is to keep things organized and make packing easier.
5) Compare Quotes from Different Movers
It is important that you ask for multiple quotes from different moving companies in your locality, and compare them to determine which company best accommodates your relocation needs. However, be careful with movers whose prices are unreasonably lower than the rest, as their services may not be up to standard.
In addition, ensure that you carry out a thorough background research on the moving company you’ve chosen to avoid any scams and unexpected fees during the moving process. It’s important that movers are insured, licensed and have a good reputation.
6) Contact Service Providers
Contact movers at least one week to make arrangements how your things will be moved to the new location. Also contact tradesmen to come and dismantle beds, take down fixtures, disconnect dishwashers, washing machines etc. This should be done the previous night prior to your move. It’s wise not to expect the movers to do this for you if the quotation you have doesn’t include this.
7) Change Your Address
Go to your nearest post office and apply for a mail re-direction. Then, have mails re-directed to it to protect your personal information from being used by identity thieves. In addition, don’t forget to inform companies that send you deliveries regularly of your new address.
8) Change Your Details On The Electoral Roll
This is to make sure that you’ll still be able to vote in your national and local elections after moving.
9) Ensure Your Car Moves With You
You can do this by updating your address on your driving licence, car ownership certificate and car insurance. This will ensure that everything moves on smoothly on the actual day of moving.
10) Take Note Of Your Final Meter Readings
To make sure that you do not get billed for another person’s utilities, take the last electricity, water and gas readings in your home before you move. Most utility companies have forms on their websites that allow you to change your address. Inform your utility companies of your intended move and your new address either online, or by visiting their offices in person. Choose whether to keep using the same companies in your new home, or switch to a better deal, if you are not tied to a fixed-term deal.