5 mins read

Moving house is one of the most stressful things someone can go through. Our research found that the majority of home movers described feeling either daunted or overwhelmed by moving. And it’s been ranked - stress levels-wise - as up there with the death of a loved one, losing your job, or going through a divorce. You’re unlikely to be able to make the move completely stress-free, but these tips will hopefully help to reduce your cortisol levels a little.

Budget for moving

Worrying about money can exacerbate an already stressful situation. Being aware of all the potential costs (and when you’ll need to pay them) will allow you to feel prepared, and in control of your finances.

The basic costs are your estate agent fees, and conveyancing costs. These will be paid once your home has been sold, usually from the proceeds of your sale. When you ask for quotes, make sure they include a full breakdown of costs, including any potential extra costs. Getting a full breakdown will mean you’re not hit with surprise fees later down the line.

On top of these fees make sure you’ve prepared for the other costs of selling. These include the cost to prepare your home for sale, removal and storage fees, and any charges for repaying your mortgage early.

Get yourself the best team

Having the support of an experienced team of estate agents and conveyancers will make the whole process go more smoothly. You’re paying a lot of money for their work, and being confident that you’ve got the best people working to sell your home, is the ultimate reassurance.

The best way to find the top performing agents in your area is through our free comparison tool. We use a number of data-backed statistics to find the real experts in your local area. And because everyone’s selling goals are different, we measure performance in a bunch of ways, including: time taken to sell a property, and ability to accurately value a property.

For more information on how to pick the best estate agent, or conveyancer, for your sale, check out our handy guide.

Give yourself enough time

Once you and your potential buyer have set a completion date, don’t wait to prepare for your move. The more time you give yourself the better; packing will always take longer than you think!

Packing up your rooms little and often is perhaps the least stressful method of tackling it. This will give you a chance to actually sort through what you want to take with you. There’s no point packing or paying for storage for things you don’t need, so be honest with yourself with what you actually use.

You don’t need to do a full Marie Kondo. But, channelling her idea of only keeping things that ‘spark joy’, is a useful way to consider what you actually want in your new home. This can also be a cathartic way to help mentally transition from one home to another.

Lists and labels

Trying to remember every little thing that needs doing, and everything you’ve packed, over a period of several weeks, can be really frustrating. Lists and labels will be your (slightly boring, but very important) saviour.

Create a timeline of everything you need to do each week and be as pedantic as possible. Include everything from: contacting your utilities providers, to booking a removals company, to arranging for a cleaner to tidy up on completion day. Reward yourself whenever you tick everything for the week off your list.

When packing, make sure to label all your boxes and bags with more detail than you think you need. Simply writing ‘Kitchen’ might make sense at the beginning. But, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to unpack everything in one go, and when you have 4 or 5 boxes all for the same room, you’ll make finding your cutlery much easier if you’ve labelled exactly which box it’s in.

Focus on the new space

Taking the time to focus on your new space won’t make the stress go away, but it will reinforce that it’s worth it.

Take time to think (and talk) about your future in your new home; how you want to decorate the space; and all the unique, personal reasons that encouraged you to make the move. Perhaps you’ll be saving money, or maybe you’re starting a new job, or moving for family.

Taking the time to acknowledge these things can help make a stressful decision feel less daunting, and more exciting.

Prepare for the day

It’s likely you’ll be tired and busy when you first arrive at your new home, and you won’t be able to unpack all in one go. Make sure you pack one box of ‘essentials’ that you will open first. This should include things like: a change of clothes, a phone charger, your toothbrush, toilet rolls, and any food you want.

You should also include things that aren’t immediate essentials but will make your life so much easier on the first few days. Consider: scissors, cleaning supplies, and ‘essential luxuries’ that will make you feel more at home.

On move day, make sure to also have a few numbers on hand for people who can help out if things don’t go to plan. It’s unlikely that you’ll need to use them, but it can be reassuring to know vaguely what you’ll do if something goes wrong.

Don’t feel guilty about feeling stressed.

Moving is a daunting experience, and it’s normal to feel like it’s a bit much. Take breaks, and go at your own pace. You’ll soon settle into your new home and all the stress will have been worth it.

Thinking about moving house? Meeting estate agents is the first step. Check out the top performing agents in your area.

Read how to make moving house with children less stressful here.