Whatever time of life, moving is an exciting but stressful time. There is so much to plan and organise never mind all the packing and lugging around. This can become can be even more daunting when you are taking on a move later in life – especially if you are moving out of the family home with a lifetime’s memories and emotions.
However, moving house in old age usually makes a lot of sense, and there are many good reasons to move home as we get older.
Have you made the decision to downsize (or rightsize)? The key is to be as prepared as possible and from the moment you know you are moving, start your countdown to moving day.
If you’re planning to move this year, we’ve put together our top tips to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
Have a plan…
There is nothing more satisfying than ticking off jobs on a ‘To Do’ list so use this to organise yourself nice and early. Don’t leave everything to the last minute, as this is when things can become stressful. Instead, start planning your move at least three months prior to the planned move date if possible. Write a check-list of everything that needs to be done and when you plan to do it. Try to stick with the plan as far as possible. As those jobs gradually get ticked off you will feel more and more productive!
De-clutter … no you don’t need that!
If you have decided to downsize and are moving to a smaller home … we are sorry, but we have to say it…there is no way that you can take everything with you! Paying to put things into expensive storage can be money down the drain.
Take time going room by room (including the garage and shed) and deciding what is staying, what is being thrown away and what could be sold or taken to a recycle centre or charity shop. A useful tip is to put different colour stickers on items that are staying, being thrown away or selling/recycling.
They say if you have not used it or worn it in the last two years you don’t need it! As hard as it can be, use this as an excuse for a really good clear out. You may not think so but there is always room to be sentimental should you wish to be. Things that bring back happy memories are so important. Photographs could always be used to decorate your new home…old memories in a new home!
Contact removal companies
It’s wise to speak with removal companies nice and early and get some quotes for packing up and moving your belongings to your new home. Try local businesses near your current home and new home, as well as the bigger removal companies to see who can offer you the best deal. Once you have found a suitable company book them in so that’s one less thing to have to worry about.
Browse for new furniture
Often people who are downsizing will find that some of their old furniture won’t fit in the rooms of their smaller home. If this is the case it could be a good opportunity to update your furniture a little! It can be a good idea to shop for essentials such as beds and sofas as soon as it’s confirmed you will be moving as sometimes there can be long waits for delivery. This way you can try and get them delivered, either on the day you move in or as close to it as possible.
Let everyone know your exciting news…
Contact banks/insurance and investment companies
Make a list of all the bank accounts, insurances and investments you may have. People often forget about things they have taken out, so it’s useful to go through all your paperwork and make a note of what you have (this is a great chance to tidy the paperwork too!). Once you have this write to them all and inform them of your change of address.
Contact utility companies, phone, TV, broadband & subscription services
Call utility companies and let them know your moving date and new address so they can send final bills. Take meter readings on your final day. It’s also useful to take a photo of the meter reading so you have a record should there be any discrepancies down the line. Do the same with your TV, phone and broadband providers, as well as your subscription services such as Netflix and Amazon.
Don’t leave calling them until the last minute as they can take time to change addresses or cancel services. Make sure to tell TV Licensing too so that you are covered in your new home – wouldn’t want to miss out on your favourite shows!
Family, friends, pets and others
Write change of address cards for all your friends and family ready to send closer to the time. If you have pets, make sure you change the address with the microchip company and let your vet know too. You may also wish to contact a vet close to your new home to start the registration process. Also start to make a note of everything you get sent through the post and if it’s a company you wish to stay in touch with let them know you are moving.
Remember to redirect post for everyone that lives in your household in good time. You don’t want to miss out on letters and packages still being sent to your old address. It’s useful to leave your new address with the selling/rental agent or new owners/renters of your house so that they can forward mail if necessary.
Cancel milk/papers/other regular deliveries
If you are relocating to a new area, think about those little essentials. Once it is a bit closer to your move date cancel things like milk and paper deliveries and pay any outstanding bills. Or change your delivery address if it’s an ongoing subscription that you wish to keep and you are not moving far.
First night essentials
It’s a good idea to keep a box with items you will need on your first night such as kettle (you are going to need that brew), mugs, utensils, tea, coffee, plates, tea towel, snacks, toilet rolls, soap, washing up liquid, bin liners, tin opener, any medication, pet food, towels etc. Also ensure your bedding is easily found so you can make up your bed (or blow up bed if you are waiting on a new bed) as soon as you arrive.
The Big Day
The bottom line is a little organisation and following these tips will mean when it comes to moving day you won’t have too much left to do, except say your final good byes to your old home and neighbourhood. Remember to do one final check just before you leave and make sure all the doors and windows are locked and the heating is off. Then it’s just time to lock the front door and you are off to start a new and exciting chapter in your life!
Remember, the benefits of moving to a smaller, more manageable property can be huge. Do not worry, look for all the positives and be excited for your new start.