15 May 2013
Today is International Day of Families and this has led to us thinking on how the stress of moving house can impact the entire family, not just on Mum and Dad, but the children and the pets. Grandparents can also be effected - especially if you are moving nearer or further away.
With this in mind, we thought that we would put together some advice on ways to avoid stress when moving with your family.
Decide on a moving date and stick to it. This will be the date that you will work around and the date that your solicitors, estate agents and the removals company will work to.
Selecting your Removals Company
If you are moving in the UK, select a removals company that is registered with the British Association of Removals (BAR),. Whilst a man-and-van might seem the cheap and easy option there is usually a reason for this. Going with an approved affiliated BAR removals company, like ourselves, ensures the standard of your move from start to finish.
If you are moving abroad then try to use a removals and shipping company that is affiliated with the Fédération Internationale des Déménageurs Internationaux (FIDI). This will ensure a high quality of service no matter which country you are moving to.
If you are moving to a new area in which your children will have to start a new school you will probably have already thought about this prior to choosing your new home. Remember starting a new school can be worrying for your child, and this can be doubled with the stress of coping with moving to a new home.
Your children's new school might do an induction day, which the children could attend to give it a try. This can make their first day there a lot less daunting. Plus, don't forget your children's old school friends - arranging a play day with them following the move can be a good idea.
If you are moving to a new area you will need to inform your doctor, dentist or other health care services of your move date and register with new practices nearer to your home. This is particularly important to do early on if you are trying to source a good NHS service - or if you and your family are moving abroad. If you have pets, you will need to do the same with their vet.
There are lots of companies that you will have to inform about your move - your fuel (gas or oil), water and electricity supplier, your phone line provider, internet provider and the council know in regards to your council tax. We advise that you pick a week prior, to your move date, to sort out these issues and ensure that all your final bills are paid.
Visit the post office and arrange for your post to be forwarded to your new family address.
Ideally leave this job to the removals company - it's what they are trained to do, so let them. However, if you do intend to pack yourself, don't leave it to the last minute. Try and pack all of the non-essentials a few weeks before the moving date but leave your kids favourite toys out till nearer the big day.
A week so before your move, start dismantling any large pieces of furniture that you do not need . This will create space and prevent any un-necessary delays on the move day. A decent removals company will be able to supply a professional handy man service to do this for you.
Defrost the Fridge/Freezer
Try to eat everything up before you move, as food tends not to travel well. Defrost the fridge/freezer a couple of nights before moving date.
Keep all valuables, including jewellery and personal documents such as passports or wills, with you. We advise keeping them in a secure folder and to carry them with you at all times.
On moving day, try and reduce your pets stress by keeping them in room out of the way of the removal men. Don't allow your cats outside as they may be worried by the unusual activity and not come back to the house for a while.
Likewise, on arrival at the new house, keep you cats in for a few days to a week so that they get used to their new home. Dogs tend to cope with a change of surroundings a lot better than cats, but do check that your new garden is safe and has no escape holes before leaving them in it un-attended. Plus keep them on a lead for their first walks in the new area.
You will probably find that you all experience moments of stress about your move at different times, parents can be worried about the exchange and completion stages of the sale contract, whilst children can be worried about leaving an environment that they know and love. Grandparents might be sad to see you moving away.
Kids might ask what seems like silly questions such as: Will my bed be coming with us? Will I have all my toys? Try to re-assure your children at all times, especially if they are young whilst older children will love the chance to be the interior designers of their new room.
Don't forget the effects of your move on your extended family - you may need to rely on the help of grandparents on the big day by asking them to look after your children or pets. So remember to keep them in the loop of your moving process.
Moving house can be stressful, but it can also be extremely exciting - just try to stay organised, this will help you stay prepared and make the process smoother for your family and also yourself.