Checklist for moving home

Moving house is, so the old statistic goes, one of the most stressful experiences a person can face, behind only death and divorce. This could be because the three have a lot in common, what with the packing up of boxes, completing alien documents and separating from the old home with all its memories.

This stress can be compounded, of course, by worries of broken possessions, nasty surprises at the new home and anguish of having to sort through many years worth of possessions. By simply following this checklist, however, the stresses and stains could be greatly reduced, even if not eradicated entirely.

Clean

The first task is to clean the house from top to bottom and get rid of clutter as you go. Admittedly, the house will only get dirty again in the moving process and will need another clean once it's empty, but cleaning up makes life easier when the real moving work starts in earnest.

Firstly, it allows for items to be sorted and tidied before being packed into boxes. Not only does this mean that the old house's dust won't be transported into the new, clean property, but it provides a chance to clear up and get rid of that which has been amassed but doesn't need to survive the move. According to American property expert Debra Gould, the typical householder could happily get rid of 30 per cent of their household possessions and not miss a single one (msn.com), but there's some people who would disagree, no doubt.

It's surprising, however, how long this whole process takes, so it should be started weeks, if not months in advance - to ensure there's not a mad rush ahead of the big move.

Tell people

This, of course, isn't about telling friends or family, but the official channels: banks, insurers, energy companies, local councils, TV licensing, dentist, doctor, phone provider, loyalty card providers, hairdresser and so on. In the million-mile-an-hour world of packing up and moving out, it can be all too easy to forget about informing the right people and companies of the move. Doing so could prove to be costly in the long-run, however, so it's imperative that movers take an hour out of their schedule to get calling the relevant companies.

When doing this, it's also worth taking meter readings and asking for one final bill. If done on the last day of an old tenancy, the bill will be dated and therefore provide proof of squaring up before moving out, should any be needed.

Get the tools

Moving can be tough on the body, especially when trying to navigate staircases whilst carrying heavy furniture or bulky boxes. This whole process, however, can be made markedly easier with the right tools.

Those moving on a budget can get hold of flat-packed boxes from their local corner shop or supermarket. Not only are these free but also can come in many different sizes, thereby being perfectly suited to packing different items, such as CDs going into a narrow box or books packed away into something more cubic.

These boxes, however, may not be the most secure, having already served their purpose in transporting goods to the retailer before being compacted down for recycling. They may also need further reinforcements in the form of duct tape or staples to secure the base. Those with a little more money, then, may wish to buy boxes new, as they will typically be more robust, as well as having handles for easier transport.

Car or van?

Where transport is concerned, hiring a van may not be essential, but can make life a great deal easier.

In the world of flat-pack furniture, even those with a small city hatchback can move their furniture from old home to new without needing outsider help. It will, however, take an age to do and the petrol of so many journeys could, actually, end up costing more than hiring a van would've anyway. Small vans of up to 3,500kg in gross weight can be driven by anyone with a typical Category B driving license, so anyone hiring should bear this in mind and rent accordingly.

For those looking to take on a man with a van or removal firm to help with the lifting, there are a few options to bear in mind. Firstly, shop around and take note of reviews as these could give the clearest indication as to what you can expect on the day.

It's also worth looking at the moving dates with regard to flexibility. Whilst not always the case, it can often be cheaper on weekdays than weekends, so being flexible with dates may save a few pounds. It's also worth avoiding Fridays or Bank Holidays to secure the best price available.

The last consideration is insurance. Whilst removal companies will be as careful as they can with your possessions, it's still worth finding out whether they will be insured for the time they're out of your hands for peace of mind.

In total, some 27 per cent of movers manage everything on their own, whilst five per cent barely lift a finger but instead enlist the help of the professionals, (dailytelegraph.com.au). The remainder, presumably, undertake a mixture of the two, moving themselves with the help of friends and family.

There are, of course, a great many variables for each mover, including the kind of property they're heading out of or into, the distance between properties, amount of possessions needed to be moved and the finances they have to do so. Having the checklist, however, should ensure that with the main issues accounted for, there's still plenty of time and money spare to deal with any potential surprises.