How to take the pain out of moving house



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You have spent months researching home loans, you compared mortgage packages from numerous lenders and have finally found the home of your dreams. But you are dreading the ‘big move’.

It’s been described as the third most stressful life event (after death and divorce), it can take over your life and cause friction in your relationship. Packing up your life’s belongings and moving house is hardly ever stress-free, but planning ahead can ease the pain and save you money, according to house-moving specialist Heather Wallach.

As the owner of Melbourne-based Classic Moves, Wallach has witnessed many moving disasters as well as successes. She believes you can reduce the pain of moving, but not eliminate it altogether.

“You see companies advertise, ‘We take the stress out of moving’, but you don’t ever take the stress out completely,” she cautions. “It comes down to timing, planning, logistics and getting really good people to help you with the nuances of moving – things like the logistics, legal requirements, settlement times. If you don’t do those things and don’t plan well, it ends up being a disaster.”

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Whether you plan to manage your own move or hire a moving specialist, the best way to take most of the pain out of moving house is to create a checklist.

“Your checklist should include all the organisations you have to notify of your move and checking whether your insurance is current for the new place, but most importantly it should list when the move is taking place and ticking off what you achieve backwards,” advises Wallach.

Here are some other items your checklist should include to make moving home that much easier:

  • Conduct a reconnaissance mission at your new home to determine which furniture, appliances and other items will fit – and which will have to go. Get rid of what you don’t need before the removalists arrive to save time and money dealing with it at the other end.
  • If you decide to do your own packing, source large packing boxes to reduce the number of boxes removalists – or you – have to carry, therefore saving time and money. Keep in mind that loose items take longer to carry in and out of each home.
  • Set packing goals and establish a plan of attack – room by room is an efficient packing system.
  • Label the top and all four sides of each box to make unpacking at the other end easier. Ask the removalists to place each box in the corresponding room.
  • Pack a weekend bag with clothing, toiletries, towels and other essentials for easy access, to make the first day or two in your new home a little less stressful.
  • Take your home loan with you – some mortgages have a feature known as ‘mortgage portability’, which allows you to release one home and substitute another using the same documentation, usually to reduce stamp duty costs.

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