Creating your moving plan

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The secret to moving house with a minimum of stress is good organisation. This means that one of the most important things you can have as you get started is a clear and complete moving plan. This quick guide will help you create one that's tailored to your individual needs. 

Getting started

The first phase of preparing for your move begins as soon as you know that you're moving and consists of three key steps. Once you know you're moving, you should begin to purge down your belongings. Moving offers a great opportunity to get rid of clothes you no longer wear, books you're not planning on rereading or furniture you're just going to replace anyway. During this phase, you'll also want to choose your furniture removalists. The earlier you start talking to firms and comparing quotes, the more dates you'll have to choose from. Although you may not initially need to register address changes, you should also make a list of the address changes you'll need to submit and the bills you'll need to cancel. 

Preparing to pack

Once you've chosen your removal firm, it's time to prepare for packing. Ideally, this step should start about a month before your move, although of course not all moves have that much advance warning. You'll need to acquire packing supplies such as cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape, soft packing materials such as foam pellets, labels and permanent markers. If you want to protect larger items of furniture, you may want to use specialised furniture pads. Talk to your removalists about whether they can provide these items; it may be simpler just to get supplies from them than to look for them elsewhere. 

Taking it piece by piece

With supplies in hand, it's time to get packing. Packing a whole household can seem like a daunting task, but it's possible to do it a little at a time. Even if you can't do much, packing a single box makes a dent in the pile. The same holds true for bill cancellations or changes of address; even if you only have a quarter of an hour, you can still cross one or two items off your to-do list. Consult with your removals firm about what you'll need to pack; they may have instructions or advice for you. 

Performing the last steps

In the day or two before your move, you should be finished packing your everyday belongings. Now you'll pack the last things you need. Include a few days' worth of clothes and toiletries in a suitcase in case unpacking takes longer than expected. You should also prepare a clearly marked box with anything you'll need immediately, such as a pet's dish, a child's favourite toy or your kettle. By separating these essential items in advance, you can save yourself the trouble of searching through boxes when you arrive. 

There's a lot to do as part of a house move, which is why organising in advance is so important. By creating a to-do list, breaking tasks down into smaller pieces and working with an experienced removalist, you can eliminate much of the stress, allowing you to enjoy the process of moving to your new home.