Moving is stressful, and no one knows better than me. In the list of life’s stressors, it’s up there with death and divorce, and so when I embarked on my sixteenth house move last week, I jotted down a few tips to help avoid meltdown.
It’s all in the planning
I know it’s a cliche, but a stress-free move is all in the planning. “Starting early” is one of House & Garden’s top tips when it comes to moving, and to kickstart the process, you’ll need to create a good, old-fashioned to-do list to allocate who is taking responsibility for which jobs, what’s staying, and which items will be making an overdue trip to the tip.
I’m not a fan of gendered chores, but when it comes to moving house, my husband and I play to our strengths – otherwise we end up doing the same jobs twice. Typically, he takes charge of the garden, the oven and fridge, while I pack up the kitchen. The remainder of the chores we divide equally.
If you’re renting in Australia, beware the exit clean
When you rent in Australia, you must leave your property in the standard you find it, which means close to a professional clean. Because I know the exacting requirements of the “exit clean” demanded by agents (from my experience in real estate and relocation), we choose to take on the clean ourselves. But that responsibility does require more organisation and time, and if your clean doesn’t meet your agent’s requirements, you may find yourself up for the cost of a professional clean anyway.
I will detail the requirements of an exit clean in a later post, but below are my top tips for a stress-free house move:
- Declutter – Draw up your list of what is staying and going several weeks before to give you time for the sale and pick up.
- Advertise what you are selling a month before and take the rest to your local op-shop or tip, or organise a council clear-up.
- Allow an extra day in your planning if you are leaving a rental property. The extra time will take the pressure off you to move and clean in the same day.
- Take a 5-step approach to cleaning each room during the last week. Tackle any repairs first, then pack, clean, vacuum, and close the door on each area (where possible). If it’s in your budget, I would book a professional clean to reduce your workload.
- Mark items that are headed for storage areas or the garage with a cross or coloured sticker. This will prevent wasting time and confusion when you unload at the new property.
- Don’t pack your bedding. Tie it together in a bundle and transport it in the car. That way it won’t get dirty and you can throw it straight on your bed as soon as it arrives.
- Keep any storage and laundry baskets aside for those last items such as hangers, cleaning products, personal items, your kettle, small plants, food from the fridge, and lampshades – which are easily damaged in the truck.
A “stress-free” move may be optimistic, but with enough time spent on planning and organisation, your move should be plain sailing.
Are there any tips you’d like to add?