For many, the mention of moving house can make the blood pressure rise, but there are some ways of making the process easier. Sam Funnell from Fine & Country Rugby gives some ideas on how to reduce the stress of moving.

If you’ve ever moved house, you know that it can be one of the most stressful life events. Whether you are worried about the complexities in advance of your move or you see it as a potentially wonderful experience offering new opportunities, there will inevitably be some parts of the move that don’t go to plan. However flexible we think we are, we are all, in fact, creatures of habit and we rely on our routines and creature comforts. These will be disrupted during the move and it is normal to feel a level of anxiety when facing change.

Packing up a house is an enormous task. Throw in the administration involved in changing an address and there are a few stress triggers to start with. Add in the unpacking and the notion of settling children and pets into a new home and it’s clear moving will never be stress-free. There are, however, a number of ways stress can be kept at a manageable level.

Give yourself plenty of time. Plan as far ahead as possible. If you have control over the time period, twelve weeks is recommended, but eight weeks is also enough time to get everything done. Make a list and allocate monthly, weekly and daily tasks to help keep you on track.

Task number one is clearing out the clutter. Moving is when you realise exactly how many belongings you have amassed, including a large volume of unnecessary bits and pieces. The amount of clearing out will often depend on how long you have lived at your current address but expending energy on packing and moving items you intend to dispose of a waste of time. Sort your belongings into things you want to keep and those that have served their purpose, then have a garage sale, sell items online and box up those you want to pass on to a charity.

As you pack the things you are keeping, label the boxes with a detailed list of the contents. This will make life much easier when you arrive at your new home. You probably won’t unpack immediately, but you can get your removalists to put boxes where they need to be unpacked and you’ll have an idea of which boxes are the most important. A couple of boxes of essentials – coffee machine, kettle, cutlery and plates – means you can buy yourself time to unpack the rest. Have a plan of where the furniture will go though, particularly bulky items, so they can be placed there immediately, saving on the heavy lifting.

Eight weeks of packing and decluttering can take its toll on health and wellbeing. It’s all physically, mentally and emotionally draining, so try to maintain healthy sleeping patterns. Healthy eating will also keep your energy levels high. If you begin to feel like it’s all a bit much, give yourself some downtime – go to the gym, read a book, or take the dog for a walk; anything that gives your mind and body some time off.

Moving with children and pets adds another dimension to the process. Asking friends and relatives to step in and look after them for a day can make things a lot easier. If your budget allows, hire a reputable removal company to help, too. Their services are designed to alleviate stress and they’ll take the strain of moving heavy furniture and boxes. Do your research though – you get what you pay for and some companies can add to the stress by not showing enough care when handling your belongings.

Finally, expect to feel a little bit overwhelmed when you move. It will take time to adjust to your new surroundings and to let go of your old life. Give yourself a break and use the time to get to know your new neighbourhood – find your local café, your nearest park or the local shops to start establishing your new life.

For advice on selling or buying property, please contact Sam Funnell Rugby on 07714 515484 or visit www.fineandcountry.com