Why is Moving Stressful?
26 October 2022
Moving home doesn’t just require physical energy – it puts a huge amount of pressure on you mentally and emotionally and that can result in a lot of stress.
In this guide, we will provide you with some great tips to help ease the stress of moving home, alongside a moving house checklist to help you keep on top of things and enjoy your move rather than stress over it.
The process of moving house
Your moving process begins as soon as your offer is accepted. One way of reducing the stress that comes with buying a house is knowing what to expect, when to expect it and how long it will take.
Pre-contract: 4-12 weeks
Once your offer has been accepted, your solicitor will begin drafting your contract alongside your seller’s solicitor.
During this stage of the process, you will also:
- Finalise your mortgage offer
- See your solicitor carry out searches
- Have a survey done of your new home
Exchange of contracts: 24 hours
Once your mortgage offer is in place and the searches and your survey are completed, your solicitor will exchange contracts with the seller’s side.
It’s here you will pay your deposit into your solicitor’s account, agree a completion date, and your purchase will become legally binding. Your solicitor will now draw funds from your mortgage lender ready for completion.
Once contracts have been exchanged, you should:
- Get a building insurance policy in place for your new home
- Sign any remaining documents for your solicitor
Completion: 1-2 weeks
Your completion and moving day will usually be a week, or two after you exchange contracts, although this can vary depending on yours and your seller’s needs.
On the day of completion, your solicitor will:
- Transfer all funds to the seller’s side
- Redeem your mortgage if you’re also selling your existing home
Once all the money is where it needs to be, the seller’s estate agent will hand you the keys to your new house.
Post completion: 1-2 weeks
Even though you are now settling into your new home, your solicitor’s work isn’t quite finished.
After completion, they:
- Pay any stamp duty you owe
- Obtain your title deeds and send these to you and your mortgage lender
- Register your ownership with the Land Registry
9 great tips for a stress-free move!
Attend a post-offer viewing
A large part of moving home stress is caused by unknowns.
Attending a further viewing after your offer has been accepted means you can get important answers to things than can cause stress later in the process.
While attending a post-offer viewing, you should:
- Discover where the water, gas and electricity meters are, so you can easily take readings on moving-in day
- Find out where the fuse box and stopcock are, so you can deal with any electricity or water issues when you move in
- Ask the agent or seller about the boiler and how it works, also find out how the kitchen appliances that remain in the property function.
- Discover what day bins are collected as you will likely have a lot of boxes and other rubbish to dispose of quickly after moving in
Pros and cons of removal companies
Even though using removal companies can cost additional money, it’s often the best way to ease the physical stress of moving house.
However, if your budget for moving is tight it’s worth weighing up the pros and cons of hiring a removal team versus hiring a van and moving things on your own.
Arrange finances as early as possible
The amount of money involved in moving is usually one of the most stressful elements. The financial aspect of moving home can also take its toll mentally.
By arranging your finances early, you can take the pressure off, knowing you have everything sorted and ready to go.
Create a list of people who need to know your new address
The amount of companies, authorities and people you need to inform of your new address can be vast. Therefore, spend some time writing up a list of everyone who’ll need to know you’ve moved.
This could include:
- Doctors and dentists
- Your children’s school(s)
- Your bank
- Your employer
- Insurance companies
- The local council
- The DVLA
- Credit lenders or pension companies
- All your friends and family
If you think you have forgotten someone, you can set up a mail redirection service, so any post is diverted to your new home before it reaches your previous property.
Your moving house checklist
The list of things you need to do before moving can be very daunting. However, breaking it down into weekly tasks can make it more manageable and less stressful.
Eight weeks prior
While your solicitor takes care of all your pre-contract work, you can begin preparing for your move:
- Insure valuable items ahead of your move
- De-clutter your home and sell or donate things you no longer need or want
- Get quotes from removal companies or van hire firms
- Pack up essential items like your passport, birth certificates, financial documents, and anything else of importance
- If you are renting, give your landlord notice under the terms of your tenancy
Six weeks prior
Packing up your house is often the most daunting aspect, however it’s never too early to start!
Make a packing list for moving by:
- Drawing a line down a piece of paper
- Go around your home room by room
- Write down items in the left-hand column that you’ll sell or donate
- Write items in the right-hand column that you’ll take with you
As well as preparing for packing, six weeks before your move you should also:
- Start looking for buildings insurance quotes for your new home
- Begin shopping around for any new items of furniture you’ll need
- Shop around for storage if you need it and get some quotes
- Think about who’ll look after your pets or children on moving day
Four weeks prior
Now, you should be getting close to exchanging contracts with your seller if you haven’t already done so.
Four weeks before the move you should:
- Make sure you have enough boxes and wrap to safely pack your belongings
- Star packing what you rarely use and won’t need before you move
- If you’ve exchanged contracts, you should have a moving date in place, so finalise arrangements with your removals company
Two weeks prior
The most common timeframe between exchange of contracts and completion is one to two weeks and this will be the busiest time for you prior to moving.
If you have exchanged contracts, you should:
- Inform your bank of your move and alter any direct debits or standing orders that relate to your old home.
- Inform your doctor and dentist of your move and new address
- Set up mail redirection if you need it
- Register with the electoral roll under your new address
- Pack any remaining non-essential items
One week prior
By this time, you’ll have exchanged contracts, this can be a huge relief but there is still a lot to do to prepare for your moving day, including:
- Packing all your remaining belongings
- Making sure you have all the keys for your current home, either to give to your estate agent or landlord
- Defrosting your freezer
- Cleaning your current home so it’s ready for the new owners
On the day of your move, you should have everything arranged and packed away, you should also:
- Take your final meter readings for gas, electricity, and water and give these to your suppliers
- Make sure your property is clean
- Do one final sweep of your home to ensure you haven’t left anything behind
- Ensure all windows and doors are locked when you leave
- Drop your keys off to your estate agent or landlord