So, will moving house make you happier? Many households are considering a move at the moment so it was great to catch up with Monadd – an address updating service who have made it their mission to make moving easier. Moving is certainly a big decision and can seem like an overwhelming one.
- There’s the valuation stage if you already own a property and calculating affordability for a new place.
- The mortgage application process might be next…
- Then there’s the dilemma over location and considering different types and styles of properties.
Viewing potential homes can be time consuming in itself, although due to Covid 19, many agents now offer detailed video viewing services.
But wait, it’s still only the start……
Especially you need to sell a property, there’s a process of preparation. Perhaps you need to declutter, decorate, finish those odd jobs and style some finishing touches. All this before the home even goes on the market!
And the conveyancing process with its mountain of paperwork, emails and admin. Not to mention packing, coordinating moving day and all the administrative tasks that need to take place.
In a recent poll, two thirds of people voted moving house top of their stress list, with it triggering more anxiety than relationship breakdowns, divorce and starting a new job.
“It’s one of life’s most stressful experiences, and it’s because it involves having to cope with change,”
explains Nicky Lidbetter, chief executive of charity – Anxiety UK.
“Moving house represents a transition in life, it’s about change and unfamiliarity and for many people that causes stress and anxiety. You’re not just changing your home and getting to know the new one, you might be in a new area, you have to find new schools for your children, take on a new commute to work, find a new GP and dentist.”
This makes sense. When you move, you’re not just moving house – you’re moving your life – so it’s no wonder it can seem daunting.
The truth is that there are many ways moving home can make you happier, but the process can have the opposite effect. In this post, we share some tips that can make this process easier and less stressful. Let’s break it down into bite sized chunks and consider what you can do to get and stay in control of the task:
Utilise Professional Services
You don’t have to do everything yourself when moving house. Services and initiatives have been invented to help you. Monadd are an address updating service, created to make moving home an easier and stress free process. When moving house, there is a huge amount of admin that needs to be taken care of, which only adds to the list of house moving jobs that need to be done. Monadd was created to facilitate how you interact with your accounts and make admin easier. For a fee, this service helps you to redirect your mail and make sure it ends up in the right place, in the right hands. The perks of Monadd are that the customers can update their address across all accounts, in under 5 minutes. This saves a lot of time and provides a stress free alternative for when you are moving and need to sort out your admin.
You may also consider using the services of professional house movers, professional declutterers, eBay sellers, home styling services, unpacking services and waste removal. Each one of these can be worth their weight in gold in terms of saving time and anxiety.
Organise Your Finances
The rising costs of moving house can hamper enjoyment when it comes to moving. It’s safe to say that any move will involve financial outlay and that’s to be expected. It’s when these costs spiral out of control or unexpected expenditure crops up, that panic can set in. This is where good financial planning is paramount.
Firstly, ensure you examine your finances so that you’re not paying unnecessary direct debits and standing orders. A Tidy Mind offer a money management service to help people get organised and once found that a client had been paying a needless direct debit for two years. It’s a good opportunity to do a financial declutter and ask yourself if you can streamline your outgoings. Likewise, setting (and sticking to!) a budget for things like food and petrol will give you a better handle on whether you can afford to stretch yourself if you’re considering a bigger mortgage. And being aware of exactly what you spend on utilities will help you calculate whether that will change when you move. Don’t forget that older styles of homes as well as bigger ones may cost more to heat and you may change your council tax band too (Monadd can also help with changing your tax band)
When it comes to actually moving house, make sure you factor in all the costs. The mortgage arrangement fee, conveyancing fees, stamp duty, estate agent costs, insurance, bank charges, paying a removal company, buying boxes or hiring a van. The costs of decorating and home or garden improvements can accumulate too and carefully consider how much money you will need to spend on your new property.
If all this sounds dispiriting, then take heart that moving house can absolutely be a long term investment. It’s just that you’ll want to avoid over stretching yourself in the short term. Getting organised with your income vs outgoings and budget will give you back control. And don’t underestimate the power of a spreadsheet when planning out moving costs.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics also revealed that many households reported they would like to move house but were unlikely to move in the next 12 months. Could this be partially due to facing the sorting and packing of years’ worth of belongings? Or maybe it’s to do with letting go of the life we know.
Psychologist Meredith Fuller explains our house is symbolic of ourselves, our safe haven from the outside world, which is why it is so hard to leave and start all over again.
“People dread the idea as they know that it involves a major disruption to their lives,” Fuller says.
“It means going through our stuff, boxing it up, letting go, throwing out, saying goodbye to who and what we know, losing our favourite café, our dog park etc. We have to do awful things like deal with our mess, our junk, and when we have to sort the ‘stuff’ we are triggered into memories of our past.”
But moving can be a positive fresh start and moving onto a new life stage. Simply packing up all your belongings is a waste of an opportunity because it’s the ideal time to go through everything and consider whether it’s either beautiful or useful. Do you want it to come with you to your new life? Take a look at everything that you own and ask yourself simply questions:
- Have I used it in the last month?
- Does it bring me joy?
- Do I own something else that does the same job?
With decluttering, the key is to start early and start small. One day you can edit your sock drawer and the next move on to your underwear drawer and so on. If you’re downsizing, you may have a bigger task on your hands, but don’t forget there are professional declutterers who can help you discard and donate.
You could also use this as an opportunity to make some money by selling on Facebook, Gumtree, Vintage Cash Cow or Stuff You Sell.
Look After Your Mental Health
Whether one moves frequently or almost never, moving is an intensely emotional experience. The underlying psychological issues involved in real estate decisions are of great interest to therapists and psychologists, because housing and moving are filled with symbolism, the hope for new beginnings, crushing disappointments, loss, anxiety and fear.
People can be frozen by a fear of change. The prospect of leaving the place that is the centre of your universe or the one constant in your life can be frightening.
One of the real stresses, especially now during in Covid 19, is the massive change in routine says counsellor Elaine Bond. Moving house disrupts all of our routines. When you start the process of selling your home, things have to change. Moving house creates a level of uncertainty which can last for months and there are lots of unknowns, twists and turns. Will the house sell, will the buyer drop out, will the solicitor ever answer the phone, what does the survey throw up, will we even be able to exchange on the same day.
When moving to a new house, inevitably a loss for the old home may be felt and you may miss neighbours and the area. You then have to learn how the new house works and can no longer come home and be on auto pilot. Families can become short tempered and snappy with each other. Children can become scared of the move or teenagers hate the idea as they want to stay close to their friends.
The antidote is to ramp up your self-care during this time. Take some time every day for yourself, even if it’s only 10 mins. Download a meditation app or escape with a book. Don’t forget the basics such as getting enough sleep eating healthily, exercising and staying hydrated. You can’t deal with a big life change effectively if you’re running on empty. And if you live with family, remember it’s team effort, so share out the tasks.
Pack Like A Pro
The packing process can actually start very early because you can pack up items you don’t need to use such as memorabilia or archived documents. Arrange your boxes or storage well in advance of moving day. Place them in the appropriate
rooms and label them clearly with the room they will be going into in the new house. This is a good tip whether or not you use a removals company – last thing you want is a pile of boxes in the living room that should have been put upstairs.
Once you have exchanged contracts, you can start packing in earnest. Martin & Co offer good advice on getting organised when packing.
Here is a list of some crucial things you may need to put your hands on quickly on moving day. Put them in the car, rather than the van!
* A screwdriver – if it’s electric, make sure it’s charged!
* Bottled water, sandwiches and snacks – moving is hungry/thirsty work
* A hand towel or wipes – your hands will get sweaty and dirty
* Bleach, cloths and washing up liquid – even though they’re in boxes, your mugs and
plates will be dirty when they arrive at your new home
* Bin bags – you will need them!
* Vacuum cleaner – all those feet trekking in and out of your new home will mean a dirty
* Mop or floor wipes – like the carpets, heavy moving day traffic on tiles and laminate
flooring will leave them needing a wipe
* A meter key – you’ll need to take readings to start your accounts
* An overnight bag for your first night
* The kettle, tea, coffee, milk, cups and perhaps a bottle of champagne too
Give Yourself Some Wiggle Room
Ms Lidbetter of Anxiety UK advises giving yourself as much time as possible to deal with the move.
“If you can, clear your schedule around the time of a move,” she says. “Take time off work and get someone to mind your children, so you are not spreading yourself too thinly.”
Preparation can also help in managing stress levels.
“If you can do things in advance, for example, switch your broadband to the new address, register with a new GP in the area, plan in advance what furniture and items will go in what rooms… all of that will help the actual day feel a bit less overwhelming and more controlled.”
Also, avoid over committing in the weeks or months following a move. You will want some white space in the diary to settle in and sort out the inevitable snags, as well as re decorating and home DIY or garden projects. Take some time to simply ‘be’ in your new home and recover from the craziness of moving.
Also think about your budget and giving yourself flexibility when it comes to this. You might also want to check out our article Top 5 Budget Tips When Moving House.
Remember Your ‘Why’
Dr Mann, a Psychology lecturer advises remembering why you made the decision to move.
“Perhaps you’re moving to a bigger house, or to a beautiful area, nearer friends and family,” she says. “Remind yourself why it will be worth all the effort you are putting in.”
You might be trying to move to a better catchment area for your kids’ school, moving in with a partner, moving on from a toxic relationship, planning a bigger family or downsizing for a simpler life. These are all great reasons to move and don’t lose sight of how your life will improve because of the move.
Moving house can mean you gain closure on the past, forgive, let go of stagnant energy, develop yourself, move forward, gain new experiences and open yourself up to new possibilities. Moving can bring you joy and contentment and stop you becoming set in your ways.