How to move house (and keep your sanity intact)

15 June 2018

Moving: it’s exciting business! Out with the old house, with its grotty kitchen, creepy neighbours and mould; in with the palatial new house, with its multiple bedrooms, working toilet and leafy garden. When you’ve completed the big move, you’ve effectively begun an entirely new phase of your life.

Of course, you’ve got to complete the big move first – which is unfortunately easier said than done. In fact if you’ve lived in more than one place, you’ve likely got a few horror stories of your own. We don’t guarantee that the following tips will stop you from facing any more, but they will help you avoid the more common pitfalls. Which means that your new and unusual tales of moving woe will make for some brilliant stories to tell your mates down the pub.

Don’t hesitate – decorate! 

You’re eager to get settled in to your new flat or house – and so you should be. But if you rush through the process, you’re liable to miss a few important details that could bite you in the gizzard (or worse) later on.


Holding set of new house keys

Take decorating, for example. If you own your new home, you’ll swiftly come to the realisation that fixing it up and getting it to look the way you like isn’t a one and done thing. Tastes will change; paint will chip; your partner or spouse will disagree on how certain things should look. But get the foundations in place before you move in all your things, and redecorate as much as possible before you’re permanently living in your new abode. There’s nothing worse than getting that lovely, expensive new settee covered in crusty emulsion, and nothing easier than decorating an empty room!

Money, money, money

The impulse to skimp once you’ve paid your deposit can be very strong, whether you’re renting or buying outright. If you need a moving company for only a day or two, why plump for an expensive, well-regarded option? Why bother insuring your possessions for a day or two? The chances of something happening in transit are pretty remote, after all. Indeed, why buy robust boxes and containers for your belongings when you’ve got that old box the microwave came in? It’s not pretty, but it’ll do the job…right?

Wrong! The old ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ adage applies here as much as it does anywhere else. The cost of employing a dodgy mover who breaks (or worse, steals) your things will far outweigh whatever you saved paying them. Paying to insure your possessions is next to nothing compared to the price of losing them, and the cost of your boxes falling apart – shattering your priceless vinyl collection into a thousand pieces – is significantly less than the cost of just buying some decent boxes at the outset.

Pack strategically

“Fail to plan, plan to fail”, as they say. Just having a bunch of decent containers and a reputable moving company won’t be enough. You need to think about what’s most important to you, where everything needs to be positioned in the vehicle, and what you need to get off first. Think of it like moving van Tetris.

For example, if you’ve got hungry kids – or want to relax with a nice glass of well-deserved wine once you’ve arrived at your freshly-decorated home – you’ll want to pack your kitchenware last. It’s easy to forget in the mad rush that if it’s stuck at the back of the truck, you won’t be able to get to it until you’ve got everything else off first. Equally, you don’t want to put your well-loved wine glasses next to anything liable to fall onto and break them to bits. 

With a little help from your friends...


Using fingers to measure room size

It’s amazing what you can accomplish by mercilessly exploiting the generosity of family and long-term friends. Firstly, many of them will have gone through this numerous times themselves and they’ll be able to recommend decent moving companies.

This is invaluable for obvious reasons: you don’t want to end up with no-good two-bit hucksters liable to destroy your treasured belongings. Secondly, for the price of a takeaway and a couple of drinks, you can manipulate them into doing the whole thing for you! This is especially useful if you do not have a car, or any sense of shame.

But be forewarned: this has consequences, and you’d be well-advised to tread carefully. If you order your loved ones about when they’ve given up a day of their lives to help you, they’ll probably be very reluctant to do the same in future. And even if they’re happy to be bossed around, remember: everyone moves sometime or another, and they might ask you to return the favour.

If you’re looking for somewhere to store your goods in that awkward phase between mortgages/tenancies, Access Self Storage is available all over the UK: from storage in Manchester to Portsmouth and beyond!