The UK property market is experiencing a strong period of sales, with high numbers of Brits on the move this spring.
According to the UK House Price Index, the average house cost £277,000 in February 2022, which is a whopping £27,000 higher than a year earlier. Last spring, Property Mark also reported that one in six properties sold over the asking price, with this time of year historically a popular time to buy a home.
The Home Owners Alliance said that spring is an ideal time to sell your house, without the distraction of summer and Christmas. Homes and gardens will also look better in the Spring sunlight, and the number of potential buyers can slow down significantly in the winter months.
Whilst moving is often a cause for celebration, relocating can be overwhelming and transporting your family, pets and possessions can feel like a huge challenge. The NHS even cites moving home as one of the leading life events to cause high levels of stress and anxiety.
Speaking on the sentimental aspect of decluttering, Clare Parrack from the UK Association of Professional Declutters & Organisers, explains that whilst most of us cite lack of time as the reason we don’t declutter, the real reason may be more deep-seated.
“There’s a large psychological component. Clutter is about postponed decisions. And, of course, the longer you put it off, the harder it gets.”
As more people expect to relocate, retirement property experts McCarthy Stone and removal company Bishop’s Move share tips on making the moving process as stress-free as possible.
Declutter your belongings
Google trends data showed a 1,570% increase in searches for downsizing between mid-February and mid-March this year. Whilst Brits prepare to downsize, the decluttering attached with it can be emotionally and physically tiring.
Spend a few hours at a time decluttering and stick to one room, drawer, or wardrobe to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Start with rooms you use the least, like the spare bedroom, garage or attic and leave the well-used kitchen until last. Tackling the visible clutter on surfaces or the floor will give yourself more space to work.
Richard Hohler, General Manager at Bishop’s Move, suggests asking friends of family to help you decide what to throw or keep. If you’re someone who struggles to part with things, their impartial voice can help you see which items are important.
He said: “They’ll have less sentimental attachment to items, so can encourage you to downsize more effectively.”
Finding a new home for your belongings
Donating unwanted goods is not only a sustainable choice, but some charities offer collection services. According to children’s charity Barnardo’s, decluttering will also help up to 18,000 disadvantaged families in 2022.
But be warned, Richard advises not to leave your decisions until last minute. “Deciding what should go on the day of the move will add considerable time and stress to the process,” he said. “Decide what to donate and what is rubbish and put it out weekly for collection by your local authority.”
Prepping your belongings
When packing, mark what room you want items to be delivered to at your new home with a sticker or label to make unpacking easier.
Richard suggests finding or making a detailed floor plan of your new home too, measuring large items you may want to take with you to be sure that they will fit and not look out of place.
He added: “Keep essential documentation separate with your mobile and charger. Have an ‘essentials’ box or bag at the ready.”
Seek help where needed
When heading for your new home, additional costs can leave you tempted to cut corners, but the physical toll and stress of doing it yourself can outweigh the cost of using a professional relocation service.
Trained professionals are experienced in packing, handling and loading delicate and heavy items, and can arrange for handymen or electricians to dismantle wardrobes and beds, or safely disconnect light fittings or appliances.
Richard said: “You’ll need to hire a vehicle large enough to carry everything you own and ensure that you have enough resources at hand to pack and move everything on the day of completion.”
Leaving your current property
The property chain is often the biggest obstacle when moving and communication between all parities is key, but Richard suggests there are options for affordable storage solutions in the interim period if such an issue arises.
He advised “Be aware of any longer periods between selling and moving into your new home – you may only need your summer or winter clothes handy so be organised and separate out your essential items early.”
Making the move smoother for the tenants, you can leave additional and essential keys and instructions for the new occupants visible. If you’re feeling really kind, you can leave notes around utilities and what day the bins need to go out.
Check list for your next move
- Pack well in advance
- Get a variety of boxes and be mindful of the weight they can hold
- Make a detailed inventory list and make labels for boxes
- Keep valuables and documents safe in one place
- Update your address, redirect post, and register to vote
- Arrange utilities and council tax early