Relocating to a new home can be quite a complicated process with a number of steps that take careful planning. Just like any big project, dividing it into smaller pieces will make the moving process feel a little less overwhelming. Finding a buyer and a new property is tough, but once the dust settles the task of moving all of your belongings begins!
Often property owners don’t appreciate quite how much they own before they start to pack their possessions. It’s easy to pack things into a box but it’s far harder to actually keep track of exactly where each item is. That’s why it is important to organise your belongings early and to be honest about items you no longer have a use for. In short, you need to make a home inventory. You’ll be asked to do this during the house move, but it pays to start the process before the first viewing. A little bit of time invested at the start of the process can save you both time and money later on!
Create a List
You can do it the old fashioned way – with a pen and paper – or you can use one of the many apps available online. There are a variety of tools, such as Encircle or Sortly, that allow you to keep a record of your belongings and to include the price, the purchase date and the model. In addition there are different templates and spreadsheets with a sample list of items. This becomes your master list of items that you can refer back to through the move, it will help with viewings, insurance and removal quotes.
Really look around
With your list, go room by room and check what you plan to take with you. This will probably not be your final list, but it can serve as a base. You can add or remove items at any step of the house removals process. Consider the move as the ideal time to get rid of the unnecessary clutter that you’ve always said you could do without, but haven’t quite got around to actually throwing away. The less you have to move, the less you have to pay.
Make sure you only take what you need
There is nothing wrong with leaving some useful items behind – fixtures are an obvious choice, as are spare paint pots that match your current colour schemes. Help the new owner by labelling these with the rooms they match. This isn’t an excuse to leave your gnome collection in the garden, though!
If you plan on buying new appliances when you move, you may able to leave these behind and help out a first time buyer. If you know you don’t need it, talk to people viewing the property and say ‘we don’t need it, it works well, we’d be happy to leave it for you’. Equally, if you don’t want the expense of moving something you have no desire to keep, pop it onto Gumtree or Freecycle and pass it to someone else.
Detail is your friend
List exactly what is inside every box. Take a photo of your more valuable belongings, marking down any existing damage, so you can easily spot any problems. Don’t skip this step, especially if you are moving valuable objects. Describe exactly what you are going to move and then use your home inventory to get an accurate quote from the moving company.
Your list may also come in handy if you want to insure some or all of your belongings. It takes time, but it’s time you may have at the start of the process. On moving day, the last thing you’ll want to be doing is rifling through boxes looking for that one key item.
Colour code your belongings
If you’ve always wondered what you could use a DYMO label tool for well, this is the moment. Break your possessions down into sensible groupings. It could be by room in the new house or by activity they support (sleep, eat, drink). Alternatively, you can colour code as to the order in which items need to be unpacked. The bottle opener may be a priority over the collection of cuddly toys.
As with everything in life, if you plan ahead, you can save yourself a great deal of time and stress on moving day. You can also make your house viewings that little more polished – you will be asked ‘is that staying’ more than once, and answering definitively helps a buyer to picture themselves living in your property. And that’s exactly what you want.
Guest Post by Heather Roberts
Heather Roberts is a freelance guest blogger from London, with a number of published articles on various property related topics. She loves to spend her time with family and friends and she also tries to live an eco-friendly life.