Moving House? Here’s How to do it The Right Way (Checklist Included)
It’s been said that moving home is more stressful than starting a new job (ouch) suffering a romantic breakup (ooft) or even getting a divorce after 15 years of marriage (Somebody call a doctor!)
Yikes! That sure is a whole lot of stress for unsuspecting movers to walk into unawares.
However, dearest movers we urge thee to fear not! Because today, we’re doling out moving advice so wise, that any excess suffering will be dodged with ease.
In this post, we will share a 9-step process for upping sticks in the absolute easiest way possible - and to top it off, there’s a handy checklist at the end to guide you through the process with minimum fuss.
So, follow along and we promise there’ll be no need for pulling out of your lovely hair, no nasty stress-induced stomach ulcers and no mammy-style lecturing about how you should’ve never moved into your current abode at all (If that offended you, you know she was right)
Excellent! – Let’s get stuck into it.
#1 Decide if You’ll Hire a Professional Moving Company or Go DIY
When it comes to moving home you have three options:
- Hire Professional Movers
- Do it Yourself (and guilt your mates into helping out)
- Pay Some Muscle to Help Out
Right off the bat, we're going to say that unless funds are tight, it’s probably the best shout to hire a professional to move your stuff from point A to point B.
Rates for professionals vary but a good ballpark figure for a ‘pack & move’ is between €800-1200 for moves within the same city.
Now, we can already hear the bargain-hunting fundamentalists roaring through the screen – So, we will qualify that advice by saying that yes, you can do it yourself – it’s just that most people have a tendency to majorly underestimate both the amount of work and the time commitment involved.
But look, we also understand that money doesn’t grow on trees.
So, if hiring a moving company is genuinely out of budget, then a decent option is to hire a strong man or woman with a van to help with the heavy lifting. Generally, a ‘man with a van’ will set you back between €75-250, depending on the size and distance of the move.
Finally, if you’re on the hunt for the absolute cheapest option and don’t mind adding a little elbow grease to the situation, you can hire your own van for around €99 for a weekend. Then simply invite your mates around and pretend that everyone is having a good time.
#2 Carefully Choose Your Moving Company
Not all moving contractors are created equal. So, if you’re going to use a company to help you, then it’s important to find one that’ll do a great job.
First things first, check out several companies that service your area. Have a peek at Google and Facebook reviews to see what other folks are saying about them.
If you find any that say “Cracked an urn that contained my grandmother’s ashes which in turn wrecked our best linen set” then probably give that company a miss.
Give each company a call and request a moving house quote to get an idea of what’ll you’ll get for your money. Typically, the most popular times to move are January, Easter and Summer, so you’ll get a lower quote if you can slot in your move outside of the busier periods.
While you’re on the phone, enquire about what kind of transit insurance they offer and ask about their replacement policy too. That way if some of your things get wrecked, you won’t be left out of pocket.
Also, keep an eye out for any hidden charges too – some companies will have surcharges for what’s called a ‘long carry’ (if your stuff has to be carted down/up multiple floors) at either end of the move.
Lastly, ask if they’ll reassemble furniture in your new home post-transit and if they’ll agree to remove all of the packing materials.
These last two may seem like trivial details now, but trust us, when you’ve to be up early for work, the last thing you want to be doing is struggling to put the bed back together with the dawn chorus ringing in your ears.
#3, Determine Your Budget – Then Double it
Kind of like the stress and effort involved, a lot of people don’t anticipate the extent of costs of moving home.
It’s wise to allow yourself a bigger budget than you initially think, mainly because it’s almost inevitable that some things will end up going arse-ways.
See, when moving, we've found that lashing a bit of cash at the problem can often make it disappear.
For example, imagine the previous tenants leave your place in a grubby state – instead of getting down on bended knee to scrub the floor in a state of pure exhaustion, it’s ok to pay a cleaner a few bob to spruce the place up.
Or think about lugging your new kitchen table home on the 155 bus from Ikea – in such situations, spending a little on a taxi won’t break the bank, but it might just save your sanity.
So, whatever you think this move is going to cost you, double that figure to make life easier for yourself.
#4 Get Your Weapons & Make an Action Plan
Preparing to wage war with the monster of moving requires that you’re properly armed. The key thing to get your mitts on is boxes and lots of them.
You can source boxes from moving companies, but you can often pick them up for free by calling into your local supermarket and asking if they have any spare.
If your local shop is box-deficient, then off-licences are also known to be a good source of empty boxes.
The only downside to that is that your new neighbours will think you’re a complete session-head.
To make sure everything gets packed down into your boxes properly, you’re also going to need
- A few reels of good strong tape
- Two or three sturdy scissors
- Bubble wrap
- Old newspaper
- Tissues (Both for your tears and for padding small objects)
- Thick markers for marking boxes
When packing down your stuff, make a logical plan so that you’ll be able to unpack with ease.
The system we recommend is to start by assigning specific boxes to certain rooms – kitchen, living room etc
Then, use numbers 1-5 to denote which boxes contain the most important items as these will be unpacked first.
So, for example, bathroom box #1 will contain things which are needed urgently like toilet paper and toothpaste, whereas bathroom box #5 might contain the loofah your great aunt gave you for Christmas 3 years ago.
Finally, within each box include an A4 sheet detailing the contents. That way, you won’t have to go rifling through multiple boxes to find a bowl to put your corn flakes in.
#5 Start the Process Way in Advance
Starting to pack-up early easily halves the amount of stress involved in moving. But if you’re like most of us, then you’re prone to procrastinating the life out of these kinds of things.
So, if you’re planning on moving in three months’ time, then start right now. Even with just a few things that you don’t use every day.
Just 10 minutes.
But seriously, a little bit of packing over a long time adds up to make the whole project much more manageable. So, allow yourself a good long run at it.
#6 Trim the Excess
Think about all the stuff you have – furniture, personal items, appliances etc. and cull what you don’t need in your new abode. Sure, your mother-in-law’s Christmas cards are nice, but how often do you read the one from 2006?
There’s no point in transporting things to your new home if you’re just going to throw it out anyway.
The aggressiveness of your cull will depend on a host of factors; how sentimental you are, the space you’ll have in your new home, how much of a shameless hoarder you are etc.
I know sometimes it’s hard to throw stuff out. Moving isn’t just a physical stress, but it’s also an emotional stress too.
When you think about it, this place has been your home, you probably have a heap of memories here and all your stuff is probably dripping with nostalgia.
So, take the time to process all the heart-string-tugging jazz too while you decide on what you really want to keep.
#6 Dispose of Stuff You Don’t Need
There’s a number of ways you can get rid of furniture, household items and other things you don’t need:
If your stuff is in decent nick, there’s no harm in throwing it up on re-sale site with an appropriate price tag attached.
If it’s in not such great shape, then there’s also a freebies section on most marketplace sites where people will be willing to come and collect it from you for free.
For many items, charities such as Age Action Ireland or Oxfam will also send around a courier to collect your items for a small donation.
Of course, they have to be in suitable condition for re-sale in their shops.
If you’re located in or near Dublin and nobody wants to buy or collect your stuff, then Dublin City Council runs a scheme where you can dispose of up to 5 bulky household items for €40.
Lastly, it might also be worth hiring a skip bag for outside your property to chuck items that you can’t shift online or aren’t worth selling. You can find them for about €70-90 with delivery and collection included.
#7 Embrace the Inevitable Suffering
It’s often said that the key to happiness lies in managing expectations. And we're firm believers that if you expect things to go awry, then at worst you’ll be mentally prepared for it and at best you’ll be delighted that the s*** didn’t in-fact hit the fan but flew two inches to the left of it instead.
Moving home has the potential to be explosively stressful. Don’t believe for one second that those mortgage ads of happy young couples prancing around in their new homes are a realistic portrayal of what it’s like to move home.
Remember what we said in the introduction – Moving can be equivalent to the experience of getting a divorce (and we ain’t talking about MacKenzie Bezos style divorce here) – So, mentally prepare for that and you’ll be grand.
#8 Unpack and Get Back to Normal Life
Once the grunt work of moving your stuff is over, it’s easy to end up living out of boxes for a year if you don’t decide to unpack pretty quickly.
So, our final piece of advice is to take a day or two to get your bearings - treat yourself to a few drinks in your new local, introduce yourself to your neighbours and then get back to business.
Start unpacking everything and setting up your new home. Try not to get stuck in that perpetual ‘just moved-in’ phase that can drag on and on.
Lastly, it’s a good idea to let people (like your bank and your electricity provider) know you’re moving to a new house and changing address so that you won’t end up having a service cancelled on you.
Using a service like Property Button can take care of the whole process for a small fee.
Putting it All Together With A Handy Checklist
Hopefully, by now, you’ve got a better idea about how to move home like it ain’t no thang.
While the above advice is one thing – sometimes it’s also helpful to get more applicable help. To that end, we've also included really useful actionable check-list below to help guide you through the moving process if at any stage you feel lost.
Hope it comes in handy!
Moving to A New House Checklist
12 Weeks Before You Move
1. Email your employer and book time off (at least a day, you’ll need it!) before & after your move
2. Decide if you’re going to use a professional service or DIY
3. Contact moving/van rental companies & get quotes
4. Source packing boxes & equipment (tape, markers etc)
5. Begin decluttering & sell/give away/dispose of things you don’t need – use online marketplaces or consider donating to charity.
6. If you have kids, assess schools in your new area
7. Check out the parking situation in your new area and apply for any permits you’ll need
6 Weeks Before You Move
1. Make the final call about your home moving/van rental company
2. Make a big old inventory of your belongings
3. Start packing away non-everyday items. Seriously, start now!
4. If you’re currently renting, get on the blower to your landlord and let them know your moving date
5. Contact a property surveyor to undertake an inspection of your new home
4 Weeks Before You Move
1. Let your bank, broadband and utility providers know you’ll soon be switching address
2. Update any subscriptions you have
3. Book a professional clean of your current home (or do it yourself)
4. Examine your freezer and fridge, start using up everything that’s left
5. If moving to a new council jurisdiction, pay the council tax & register to vote there.
6. If you’ve young children or a pet, book childminding or pet-care for the day of to minimise stress.
7. Up your packing efforts to level 6/10
2 Weeks Before You Move
1. Implement a packing system (labelling by rooms/importance/contents etc)
2. Upgrade packing effort to level 8/10.
3. Cut off your current service providers & pay any outstanding bills
4. Compare prices in your new area to get the best deal
5. Update address details with any newspaper/magazine subscriptions you have
6. Give back any items you’ve borrowed (library books, next-door neighbours garden shears etc)
7 Days Before You Move
1. Upgrade packing effort to nuclear/10
2. Recruit friends and family to lend a hand
3. Defrost the freezer
4. Round up important documents (passports, insurance documents, birth certs etc) and put them in a safe folder that you can’t lose.
5. Contact the estate agent to arrange pick-up of your new keys
6. Confirm the appointment with the moving company
7. Bid your neighbours farewell & reminisce the heck out of the place
24 Hours Before You Move
1. Prep sandwiches & snacks for the big day tomorrow
2. Go over the place one last time to make sure nothing has been forgotten
3. If you’ve been renting, take photos of any damage to the property/appliances
4. Make a note of the meter readings to avoid being mischarged
5. Pack the final box containing tools to open and unpack when you arrive (Stanley knives, scissors, pens etc)
6. Layout clothes for tomorrow and pack the rest away
7. Get into bed nice and early.
It’s Moving Day! Woohoo!
1. Strip the beds, pack down toiletries & don’t forget your phone charger!
2. Greet the movers (if using a company) & confirm the delivery address
3. Have a final sweep of the house and ensure all appliances are switched off
4. Make your way to your new house (Hi-five!)
5. Unpack essentials such as toothbrush, toilet paper, bed linen etc.
6. Adjust the immersion if necessary, to provide hot water for a decent shower after all that.
7. Go to your new local for one, make up the beds and then hit the hay
24 Hours After You Move into Your New Home
- Start unpacking the rest of the boxes – make sure to keep an eye out for damage caused during transit.
- Check your inventory list to see if anything is missing
- Again, inspect the utility readings in your new place
- Check all plug sockets to make sure they work
- Make a note of any damage you didn’t already know about
- Say hello to your new neighbours
- Start thinking about throwing a house party – you know all your friends are just waiting for an invite!
Moving to a new house can be a long and sometimes hectic process, but it’s always worth the effort in the end.
Hopefully, this post has just made it a teeny, tiny bit more manageable for you!
Don’t forget to share this article and moving home checklist with any of your friends who are planning a move (see the part where we recommend that they don’t recruit you to assist them).
That’s all form us here at Perfect Property for now – thanks for reading and the very best of luck in your home moving exploits.