Making the Transition Between House Moves that Little Bit Easier

Say goodbye to a much-loved home and settle in quickly to a new place with these tips for a smooth physical and emotional move

Full article originally published on Houzz

Jo Simmons, Houzz Contributor

Moving house is so much more than simply relocating 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 strapping teenagers under its roof. 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.

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Snap it messy!
Take pictures of your home on a typical day, when it’s not clean and tidy. This will provide a more meaningful snapshot of your house and how you used it.

You could arrange all these images in an album, with the address and the dates you lived there on the front. This serves as a lovely record of your time, but also a realistic account. If you have mixed feelings about moving on, honest images of all the good and bad elements of your last place may help you feel more positive about your new home.


Leave your mark
Why not leave a little something of yourself behind, before you move out? No, that does not mean a sink full of unwashed coffee mugs! Try something more subtle.

You could go for the classic time capsule, hidden in the loft. Or write a letter to the new owners, welcoming them to the house and explaining what you loved about it. You could even sign your name somewhere and date it, perhaps on the ceiling inside a cupboard or on the rafters in the loft.


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.

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

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 very 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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Get fresh
Fling open the windows on the first day, too, to air the rooms and freshen up the whole house. In the evening, light a few scented candles.


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. When you arrive at your new home, shut the cat in a single room for safety, with water, a litter tray and her bed.

You can let your cat out at the end of the day to explore, but confine her to a few rooms so she doesn’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.

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Do right by your dog
Dogs should be introduced to the house by you. Keep them on a lead and take them around the key rooms, one at a time, allowing them to sniff and explore, but under your supervision. You wouldn’t expect guests to run all over the house, upstairs and down, the moment they arrived, so don’t let your dog.

Point out where his bed is and even keep upper floors out of bounds at first, so he doesn’t feel overwhelmed by his new territory.


Personalise the place
Paint a wall, hang up photos or order some new blinds. Even if the rest of the redecorating will take months, a few small tweaks can really help you start to stamp your personality on your new home.

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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.

Ensuring a successful move


Whether moving within the UK or relocating overseas, moving home can be a stressful experience. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. The following tips can help ensure everything runs smoothly throughout your move:

Plan ahead
As with any major event, taking the relevant steps to prepare is very important when planning to move house.  If you are moving yourself,  decide what day you are going to move and make sure you have given yourself enough time to get everything packed and transported to your new home. Alternatively, use a professional removal company, they will provide packing materials ahead of the move if you are planning to pack some boxes yourself.

Take your time while packing
If you try to get all of your packing done in one go, you run the risk of breaking or losing items, and putting yourself behind schedule. Try to split your packing up into more manageable chunks, and then give yourself enough time to complete all these tasks over a longer period of time. By taking your time, you can make sure that all your belongings are packaged safely and securely, reducing the risk of them getting damaged in transit.  To ensure your goods are packed by professionals, contact a removal company and ask for a full pack service to protect your goods during the move.

Take this chance to get rid of clutter
When packing up and getting ready to move home, you may start to come across things you forgot you ever had! Moving is a great opportunity to de-clutter and get rid of unwanted or unused possessions. Ridding your house of clutter will make things much easier when you move into your new home, as you will only have what you actually use and need.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Trying to complete an entire move on your own is a sure-fire way to cause yourself unnecessary stress. Ask some friends or family to help out along the way, whether during the packing and cleaning, or on move day. Alternatively, you can hire a professional removal company who will come and take care of everything for you.

Managing your time in ‘moving limbo’


When moving house, there are a few things that need to be done between signing for your new property and actually moving in. Below are some of the main items to check off the list while in ‘moving limbo’

Update your personal details and get your post redirected

Several different companies may need to be made aware of your impending move. These could include the electoral roll, your bank or building society, mobile phone or internet provider, your employer, and any other subscription providers you may have. Many of these services will need an updated address to send any bills or communications to, so it is vital to inform them of your new address.

It is also useful to leave a forwarding address in your old property, so any post that gets wrongly delivered there can be redirected to your new home.

Take final meter readings

Before you leave your current property, you will need to take final meter readings for gas, electric, and water, to ensure that you are not surprised by receiving bills for somebody else’s utility usage.

Make sure you have insurance

The type of insurance you need will vary depending on your property. If you are moving into rented premises, the landlord may already have building insurance. It is more likely that you will need to arrange for your own contents cover however, and getting this out of the way before you actually move will be one more thing ticked off your list!

Organise your TV licence and broadband

If you require a TV or internet connection, try to arrange these before you move so they can be set up as soon as possible.

Don’t forget to pack!

Don’t leave your packing to the last minute! If you need help with packing, moving, or need somewhere to store some of your belongings while you are in between properties, Pickfords offer a range of solutions to help make your move as stress free as possible.

Pickfords Move Day Clothes Clear Out raises money for the NSPCC

Pickfords, the UK’s largest removals and storage company, has officially launched a campaign to raise funds to stop cruelty to children in the UK as part of their home move service.

The Move Day Clothes Clear Out campaign is a free service that provides a simple way for customers to donate quality, reusable clothing and paired shoes to charity on move day. Your Pickfords Move Coordinator will provide you with NSPCC Clothes Clear Out stickers so you can bag up any goods you don’t want taken to your new home. The removals team then take all stickered bags to Clothes Aid, the UK’s leading clothing collection fundraiser, who turn the goods into funds for the NSPCC.


Pickfords strives to make it hassle-free for customers to donate unwanted clothing and home textiles on move day for the benefit of the NSPCC and their work protecting UK children from cruelty, while also ensuring that these clothes are properly recycled by Clothes Aid.

Did you know that approximately £140 million in clothing goes to landfill in the UK every year? That’s equivalent to 350,000 tonnes of good clothing being binned by half the adults in the UK!* So when it comes to clothes collections, we believe that doing our bit for the environment is equally important. Which is why we are proud to be working with Clothes Aid in support of a new initiative called ‘Love Your Clothes’. Developed as part of the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP), Love Your Clothes aims to change the way we acquire, use and dispose of textiles, by 2020. The initiative is coordinated by WRAP, a not-for-profit organisation supported by UK Governments.

Since the start of this successful relationship with Clothes Aid, Pickfords customers have raised £11,000 for the NSPCC. That’s enabled Childline to answer 2,750 calls from vulnerable children in need of a voice. And with your help, we can raise even more!

With approximately 30% of clothes in each household unworn for over a year, what better way to lighten the load before a big move, lower our impact on the planet and support the NSPCC’s mission to end cruelty to children.

Let’s keep Britain moving with Pickfords and donate to the NSPCC!

Coming soon… Don’t miss your chance to win a FREE** move courtesy of Pickfords Clothes Clear Out!

* WRAP report, Valuing our Clothes, 2012
** To be featured in Metro UK, Friday 27th June 2014. Free move up to the value of £1,000, not including goods in transit insurance.