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Moving house: Do you need a van? and other top tips

Moving house is a wonderfully exciting time in anyone’s life. Whether you’ve just purchased a new property, are switching rented accommodation or packing up and moving your life to another area, there is plenty to look forward to.

Although it is an exciting time, it is also a stressful one. With copious amounts of paperwork to fill in, phones calls to make and addresses to change, the last thing you need is the actual act of moving occupying your headspace.

In this guide, we offer some top tips on moving, with everything from borrowing a van using temporary van insurance to making sure you have an up to date inventory. Read on to find out more.

Packing

Young couple packing up belongings

Declutter to lower the amount you have to move

Moving is a wonderful time to declutter and rid yourself of the things you don’t really need. As well as meaning you don’t have as much to move, it also means your new space will be more refined, only filled with the things you truly need.

We suggest, whilst packing, to really assess what you need to bring. Also, identifying anything you can donate to a local charity will surely be well received. Alternatively, you can always make some money by selling items in good condition.

Start packing early

Many people might think that starting to pack too prematurely means that they will find themselves without items they need on a day to day basis. However, there really is no harm in getting a head start. Not only does this give you more time to declutter and assess what you’re moving, it means you can pack everything more efficiently.

Rachael, blogger at Lukeosaurus and Me, told us: “Packing is exhausting work, so make sure that you start packing odd bits here and there as soon as you can! You’ll find that there’s a lot of things that you can’t pack until the very last moment, but any non-essentials, such as books, DVDs, photos, toys etc can be packed up in boxes and neatly stacked alongside the edges of rooms/in your corridors. This means that when it comes to your big move, the few days before will be a little less stressful and a little less tiring because you’ll already have a bulk of the packing done.”

We suggest packing all non-essentials as soon as possible and making a plan for packing the essentials when the time comes. If you know something will be a struggle to pack, getting it boxed up early is also a good idea.

Make an inventory list

Sometimes, the amount that you have to move is hard to fully comprehend until you start packing it up. By making an inventory list, you can ensure you know where everything you’ve packed has ended up, making it easier to not only unpack on the other side but ensure you’ve packed everything.

There is nothing worse than moving out and realising you forgot to get that thing you love from the back of the attic and having to journey back to get it!

Save cardboard boxes

We spoke to Victoria, a lifestyle blogger at Lylia Rose, who told us her number one tip: “As soon as you know you are moving house, start saving cardboard boxes! You’re going to need a lot of boxes, especially if you’re moving an entire house worth of belongings. Start flat packing every single box you receive online orders in and store them in your spare room, attic or cupboard. This will save you money when you move house as buying new cardboard boxes can get costly. You can even ask local shops if they have any spare cardboard boxes from their deliveries.”

And we agree, having more boxes than you need is always better than having less, and so saving boxes from early on is especially important. You can hire boxes to move stuff, however, this is costly.

Moving

New house keys

Should I borrow a van to move house?

Borrowing a van to move house from a friend or family member is a wonderful idea if you want to cut down both costs, and the number of trips you need to make. Especially for those who are moving a long distance, having a van means you are able to move more in one trip.

And, borrowing a van for a short period of time from someone you know couldn’t be easier with our short term van insurance. You can get cover in as little as 15 minutes, and only get cover for the time that you need. Plus, if there is an accident, your No Claims Bonus won’t be affected, neither will the van owners.

Should I hire a van to move house?

If you don’t know anyone who does have a van, or even a larger vehicle, that you can borrow to move house, then hiring a van can be a good option. Although it will cost more than borrowing, it will likely save you time and money on multiple trips being made in your own car. Plus, you can likely just hire it for when you need, meaning you only pay for the days you need to move larger items. The smaller items you can then move in your own vehicle.

Unpacking

Young mother and children unpacking boxes

Clean before you unpack anything

First things first, a new house is a new start, and this is the best time to clean it. Although the previous owners might have cleaned it, it never hurts to give it a once over and make sure every nook and cranny is to your liking. After all, once you start putting furniture in, there are areas you may not be able to get to again before you move out.

We suggest before you unpack anything, if you are able to, either deep clean the house yourself, or even hire a professional service to get it in top condition.

Unpack the essentials first

When unpacking, it can be exciting to get your vision for the new space realised, and in the rush, you can find yourself unpacking non-essentials before you set up what you’ll really need, items like the fridge, bed and even little things like toilet paper.

Although it’s very exciting, the last thing you want is a beautifully arranged dining table, and no bed to get to sleep in after a long day of moving! We suggest making a list of all of your essentials and getting them unpacked and set up before starting with other things.

Work as a team

For most people, moving is a team affair and whether you are moving in with your partner for the first time, or moving your whole family for the 7th, working as a team is important. Rachael tell us: “Make sure when you move, it’s a team effort! It’s so easy to get stressed out and angry at your significant other/family members who are helping you. It’s a great idea to take regular pit stops, grab a drink and re-hydrate and top up your blood sugar levels with a snack. If you’re looking after yourselves and your ‘team members’, the move will go much smoother.”

Store boxes outside the house, if possible

Getting surrounded by a swarm of boxes, with no idea where to start, is a real worry for those who are moving house. Especially if you are borrowing a van for a set amount of time and need to get it empty to return. If you are able, storing the boxes outside of your house makes it easier to unpack.

If you have a garage or a watertight shed these can be great options. Alternatively, if you do need to store them in the house, putting all of the boxes in the room you want to set up last means you don’t need to navigate them whilst unpacking everything else; making the process much smoother.

Tips for moving house:

  • declutter before you start packing
  • start packing early
  • make an inventory list when you pack
  • borrow a van to help moving using temporary insurance
  • clean before you unpack anything
  • unpack the essentials first
  • store packed boxes outside of the house, if possible