Moving House: How To Stay Sane And Survive An International House Move
With well over 100,000 customers living around the globe, we know a lot of people who have packed up their lives and moved to another part of the world.
In other articles, we have looked at clever ways to manage the overall move from one country to another (see: ‘Moving Abroad – 100+ Helpful Resources, Guides and Websites’). In this article, we’re going to focus on the moving house aspect of an international move.
How To Plan An International House Move
Besides divorce, moving house is said to be the most stressful experience that any of us can go through in life.
The problem with moving house lies with the unique combination of multiple stress sources that act simultaneously, provoking anger, fear, anxiety or even depression. For many of us, moving house is so stressful that we vow never to do it again. However, this need not be the case. With a modest amount of planning and preparation, stress can be kept to a manageable level. Follow the top five tips below to keep yourself (and everyone else around you) free from stress with a house move:
1. Make a checklist
Moving house requires a huge number of tasks to be undertaken, ranging from the first discussion with an estate agent, to booking a removal company, to changing the details of your address with the relevant authorities. It is all too easy to forget some of these actions and so it makes sense to write a checklist that details everything to be completed together with the order of priority. To save you time, there are many internet sites (such as those belonging to removal companies) that helpfully provide such checklists. Once you have produced a comprehensive checklist, you can now relax and feel satisfaction (rather than stress) every time you tick another item off the list.
2. Plan every detail
Perfect planning prevents poor performance; it really is that simple. Time invested in planning each detail properly will save a large amount of anxiety and stress later on. The more detailed your planning is, the fewer surprises there will be. For example, labelling every cardboard box with a room name will ensure that a removal company will place your items in exactly the right location of your new house. Planning suitable time margins to allow for the removal company to transfer your belongings will minimise stress. Ensuring that bills are managed and paid on time reduces anxiety. Your aim should be to plan everything down to the finest detail as you work through the checklist. Perfect planning eliminates surprises which eliminates stress.
3. Organise an effective filing system
Whether your preference is to work with paper or electronic copies of documents, you need to arrange a system of files and folders to keep track of all the legal documentation. The paper trail can be immense, with solicitor’s letters, bank statements, delivery bills, receipts, emails, mortgage plans and house brochures to organise. Most legal documents will be sent to you as a paper copy, necessitating the use of some sort of filing cabinet; spend some time arranging your documents by date and category within your filing system. Organisation of these key documents will enable you to locate them at a moment’s notice, rather than spending hours searching through a jumbled pile of papers. Obviously, an organised approach is an effective way to reduce stress levels.
4. Set a budget and stick to it
The true cost of moving house is much greater than you may initially have budgeted for. There are hidden costs at every stage of the moving process, including solicitor’s costs, removal bills, mortgage advisor fees and new council tax bands. Even cardboard boxes cost money. During your planning, make sure you identify all the expenditure and note the estimated costs. Remember to add an extra margin to allow for prices changing and shop around to get the best possible deals. Above all though, make sure you stick to your available budget. Nothing causes anxiety more than unexpected cash flow problems.
5. Maintain a sense of perspective
It is all too easy to become consumed by the process of moving house so that it occupies every waking moment. Keep a sense of perspective and concentrate on gaining small victories every day (keep ticking these off on your checklist) but make time for other interests, hobbies and activities. Moving house may well be your top priority, but that doesn’t mean it should be to the detriment of all other aspects of your life; keep a sense of perspective and look forward to the day when you’ll be in your new house, boxes unpacked with your mission accomplished.
Remember to check out ‘Moving Abroad – 100+ Helpful Resources, Guides and Websites’.