Top tips when moving house

You may or may not know that the Franglaise family moved house a couple of months ago (from one side of the street to the other, as you do!) and it got me thinking about how I’m a bit of an expert on house moving.

I moved from the UK to France in 1998, which was a simple move as I took one (BIG!) suitcase on the plane, but once I decided to settle in France I started to cumulate possessions and my moves got more and more complicated.

I have moved 10 times in the last 15 years so here are my top tips to share with you:

  1. As soon as you decide to move, go through your house and throw stuff out! If you’ve not used it in a year, recycle it, sell it or give it to charity.
  2. If you are using professional movers, start researching different companies and ask friends for recommendations.
  3. If you are moving yourselves, start contacting friends and family to ask for help. Also work out what size of vehicle you might need and book it in advance.
  4. If you are moving yourself start gathering boxes. Either pick up free boxes from local supermarkets, or order packing boxes online, this is slightly more expensive but it’s guaranteed and you can usually choose the box sizes you want.
  5. It is far better to have lots of smaller boxes that people can lift than just a few big boxes that no one can budge. Take my word for it!
  6. Start packing early, it takes much longer than you think. Start with winter gear if it’s summer or vice versa, you’ll find there are loads of things that you don’t use every day and that can be packed in advance.
  7. Contact the post office so that your post gets forwarded to your new address.
  8. Contact everyone who needs to have your new address – family and friends, but also your employer, the tax office, the electoral roll, the bank, your GP, your children’s school/nursery etc.
  9. If you have pets, remember to change the address on their chip.
  10. Now is a good time to compare home insurance and utilities’ providers to see whether you can save money elsewhere. Just check that you are not tied into an existing contract before signing up to anything new – you don’t want to end up with two contracts and double the expenses!
  11. If you’re packing your own boxes, here is my top OCD tip – number the boxes and list what is in each box. Hubs took the mickey out of me so much the first time I did this, but then he was grateful when I found the TV remote control for him in a matter of minutes!
  12. Find someone reliable to look after your children all day – moving always takes longer than you expect.
  13. If you have dogs and cats, work out where they will be while you’re moving; we keep the dog in the garden and we choose one room in each house, that we don’t need to access (much), for the cats to be in.
  14. Once you have moved everything into the new place remember that you won’t get everything unpacked the first day, or even the first week, so my suggestion is to get your children’s bedrooms and your bedroom ready first, then at least everyone can collapse into bed when they need to.
  15. Try not to stress, moving house is tough but take it one step at a time and enjoy your new home.
  16. Don’t forget to chill some champagne to toast your new home!
The beautiful Magnolia in our new garden

The beautiful Magnolia in our new garden

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12 Responses

  1. Judith says:

    Thanks for the tips! As we change flats almost every 12 months, they will be very useful.

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      You’re welcome! I’m hoping this will be our last move for a while, but seeing as we’re in rented accommodation at the moment there will no doubt be another move at some point.

  2. sarahhillwheeler says:

    All great sound advice, wish I had been this organised, the only thing I’d suggest different is maybe putting the cats into a cattery overnight…we had a near escapee last time we moved (but that could have been down to our overall chaos)!

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      It’s my OCD kicking in 😉 My cats tend to hide when we move, so we’ve never come close to losing them, but a cattery is definitely an excellent idea.

  3. Marina says:

    Hello Franglaise Mummy! I’m a Britalian Mummy based in Wales 🙂 I really like your list.I organize clearing of spaces as a job and guess what? Your OCD (lol!) tip about numbering the boxes is what I always recommend to my clients, so that unpacking and settling in the new place is easy-peasy!

  4. these tips are way way better than ones I have seen on professional websites focused particularly on moves and storage so go you! and of course THANK YOU xx
    Liska @NewMumOnline recently posted…Your Super Hero WinterMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      You are more than welcome! Having moved a fair amount, we’ve got it down to a tee now 😉

  5. Dona says:

    Moving can be a stressful time for some people, but in our experience, if you are organized and plan in advance, then it can be reasonably stress-free and most importantly, an exciting time.

  6. Alice says:

    Informative!! especially #5. So true that finding the small carton boxes makes a perfect sense for both an organized and a stress free move.
    Really helpful tips. Loved it 🙂

    Thank you Franglasie!

  1. 25/03/2015

    […] If you’d like more moving tips my lovely friend Sophie from Franglaise Mummy, a seasoned mover herself with ten moves in fifteen years and two more coming up this year, has written her own top tips post. […]

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