Moving house can be quite a daunting prospect, even for those of us who have done it more times than we can remember! In fact, in terms of stress, it's often said to be on a par with getting married, getting divorced, or changing jobs! So it pays to do a bit of planning to reduce the stress to as manageable a level as possible. I recommend you start preparation about a month before the actual moving date, and make four lists, one for each week beforehand. If you have any special concerns, add the planning for those to week one so that you are ready when the time comes, but the following general hints will help your move go smoothly:Week oneBook your removal van (or hire van if you plan to do the driving yourself)Ask friends/relations if they're free on the dates you want them to help (I suggest during weeks three or four, and just one or two a day is usually best; any more and you'll probably be tripping over each other, and you may find them more of a hindrance than a help!)Order all the packing materials you think you will need – this includes packing boxes, tape, bubble wrap, bin bags, and a sharp knife for unpacking boxes when you suddenly realize you've sealed in something you need right now! Make sure you have enough packing boxes large enough for big single items but, otherwise, try to use smaller packing boxes so that each box is not too heavy.Week twoPack the contents of any rooms you will not be using between now and the moving date (lofts, spare rooms, conservatories, garden shed, balcony, etc.).Pack any clothes, shoes, etc. you will not need in the next two weeks.Week threeWash and dry curtains and any other fabrics/furnishings-both those you'll be leaving behind and those you're taking with you.Pack as many as you can of your kitchen things.Thoroughly clean the house, including the floors. You'll make a mess on moving day, but if you do the majority of the cleaning now all you'll need to do at the end is go into each room, vacuuming, and cleaning any last-minute bits as you go.Week fourSet out the clothes you'll need for moving day itself, and another set for your first day in your new home; pack these and any other items you'll need in a small bag which you'll take with you, and you'll have everything you need when you arrive. Leave space in the bag for tea and coffee making things, which you'll need to keep removal staff/friends going while they're packing boxes into the van at your old home, and also once you arrive at the new one.Fill the last few packing boxes, seal, and give the old place a quick once-over so that it's clean and tidy for the new arrivals!
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