Enjoy the Transition of Moving Home

Original article first published on Houzz Jo Simmons, Houzz Contributor

Moving house is so much more than the physical move to a different place. When we leave behind a home, especially one we’ve lived in for a long time, we also leave behind all those years spent enjoying it. Children who were tiny when you moved in have grown into teenagers. Friends have visited, meals have been shared and the small dramas of everyday life have been played out here, so it can be emotional to walk away.

Equally, settling into a new home that still carries traces of its previous owners can take time. So in the rush and chaos of moving, take time to celebrate the home you’re leaving behind and get set to enjoy the place you’re moving to with these tips for easing the transition.


How to Say Goodbye to Your Old Home

Take photos of it
Before everything is swept up into packing cases, take photos of your home. Document each room, so you can revisit it later. If you have children, snap them, too, enjoying the house as usual: drawing at the kitchen table, playing in the garden, chilling in front of the TV. You are aiming to capture an emotional record of your house, as well as images of its beautiful kitchen or big windows.


Hold a goodbye party

Celebrate your home and the life it has given you with a goodbye party. It doesn’t matter if you’ve already started to pack – your guests can happily negotiate a few boxes. String up some lights, play some music and enjoy the house with the family and friends you’ve shared it with over the years.

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Toast your home

Raise a glass to your home, perhaps during your goodbye party or simply with your family. Moving is busy, but it’s important to pause, look around and say, ‘Cheers!’

Stay organised during your home move
Enjoy the challenge and reap the benefits of staying on top of everything. Read our helpful tips here.

How to Settle into Your New Home

Clean up
When you arrive in a new home, nothing looks, feels or even smells the same way, which can feel unsettling. So start by cleaning surfaces, floors and inside cupboards with some familiar, fresh-scented products to help make the place feel like yours.

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Grab a few goodies

Piles of packing boxes and empty rooms do not help a house feel like a home, so treat you and your new place to a few goodies that will make it feel special. Arrange some fresh flowers, simply bought at the garage on the way to the house or picked from the garden, or buy some quality hand soap or a few new towels. When you are facing days of unpacking chaos, these little touches can really cheer you up.


Don’t forget the pets!

Dogs and cats may also take a while to settle into a new home, so try to ease the transition for them, too. Read our tips for moving home with your dog here.

You can let your cat out at the end of the day to explore, but confine him/her to a few rooms so they don’t feel overwhelmed. Cats should be kept in the house for a week or so to prevent them trying to return to your old home.


Host a house-warming

Sharing your new home with family and friends can help you to bond with it, so host a party – no gifts required. You might like to invite new neighbours, too, as a good chance to get to know them, or simply keep it small and intimate.

Make sure you can get flood insurance

If you’re moving to a low-lying area, flood insurance is something you must consider when purchasing your next home. Water can cause substantial damage to homes and property so make sure you’re adequately covered should the worst happen.

UK Government cuts to funding for flood defence schemes across England and Wales could lead to increased destruction of homes and businesses, the country’s economy, and to coastal erosion.

flood sign

The environment secretary, Caroline Spelman, has acknowledged that the flood risks are rising because of climate change but imposed an annual cut of over 20 per cent on flood defence spending. One in six properties in the UK are at risk of flooding, according to the Environment Agency.

The changes could leave more than 50,000 households unprotected by flood defences. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) issued a press release in November 2010 showing that the cost of flood damage since 2000 has leapt by 200 per cent. Insurers who were heavily hit by claims from recent devastating floods will “inevitably” seek to increase premiums or refuse cover altogether, industry experts have said.

Owners of properties next to the Thames will be most at risk, but premiums across London could rise by as much as 10 per cent. The insurance industry has pledged to guarantee cover even to those living in flood-prone areas, under the Statement of Principles on Flood Insurance, but this runs out in 2013. Malcolm Tarling, of the Association of British Insurers has been quoted as saying “The environment Agency has said flood spend needs to double each year just to keep pace with current flooding.”

Read the rest of this post on the Pickfords Moving Advice Centre.

How to choose a removals company

Moving house is a massive event and it’s crucial to get the right removals company to help you. As the old saying goes, not all removal companies are the same and there’s plenty of choice out there in the market, so here are a couple of pointers to help you decide.

Moving DayTake a recommendation
Word of mouth recommendations are a great way to find a reliable removals company. You can also look at social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to see how frequently each company engages with its customers and how they handle queries or issues raised via these sites.

Getting in touch
A reputable removals firm will give you as many options as possible to get in touch, hinting at a business that has the resources to handle you professionally. If the only contact information you can find on their website is a mobile number, think twice about making the call.

What insurance do they offer?
Any handling of goods is a risky business so household effects are at risk during a home move. Different removals companies offer different cover, so it is worth taking some time to understand the difference, as not all removals insurance is the same.

Do you have valuable or, fragile items?
We all have something that is particularly special to us, so check to see how your moving company handles fragile and valuable items. Most professional companies will use different packing materials to protect unusual items and may use export packing or crating to protect the goods.

Do their customers back up their claims?
Positive endorsements of a product or service are one of the strongest factors in making a decision to buy, so when doing your research pay attention to what people say about them.

How do they approach security?
There aren’t many occasions when you freely welcome complete strangers into your home so you should feel comfortable that they are well-trained, professional and above all, trustworthy. Check to see whether their staff are CRB-checked – this is a process administered by the Criminal Records Bureau, a government agency, and ensures that businesses are aware of any convictions held by prospective new recruits.

Do they have quality standards?
Many removal companies use quality management systems as a management tool to ensure they deliver consistent service. Check to see if the company has a formal approach to managing quality, or carries a quality accreditation to help them maintain their quality standards

What is their approach to the environment?
Dealing with a company that is sympathetic to the environment should not cost you any more. Check to see that the company recycles packing materials and timber and has a system in place to ensure its business does not impact its local community.

This post was taken from the Moving Advice Centre on www.pickfords.com. To read more useful hints and tips around the moving process, just click here.