How to make your move as happy as it can be

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HOMEBUYERS need only take small steps to make moving to a new home a hassle-free experience, according to the Warwickshire-based National Association of Estate Agents.

It says planning well in advance is the key to a successful and smooth move - and will save money, too.

The association’s Midlands spokesman Martyn Baum said: “Moving into a house should be an exciting time, but too many people leave preparation until the last minute, which often adds avoidable pressure and expense.

“Making a few simple checks and arrangements in advance should keep problems to a minimum.”

The association has the following advice for movers:

n Get multiple quotes from removal companies – Once you are clear about your move in date, it is worth beginning to research removal costs.

n Don’t rule out moving yourself – Not all moves require hiring the services of a removal company. Work out the distance to your new property, and most importantly the size of vehicle you require to transport your possessions. If you are willing to put the work in yourself, it can save a lot of money. Should you decide to do it yourself, research self-hire services

n Set up services as soon as possible – It is frustrating to move into a new property only to find the gas and electricity isn’t working. It is worth checking with the agent for the previous providers so you can call them to change the name on the contract or set up new accounts. Also, make sure that phone and broadband services are enabled prior to moving in as these often take a number of weeks to become active.

n Check who holds the key to the door – This might sound like an obvious step but it is surprising how many new homeowners forget to check the date for when the keys will be released for the property.

n Research access points on the day – logistical considerations are often overlooked but making sure there is adequate access to the property for large vehicles will ensure no hidden surprises on the day of the move.

n Plan your packing well in advance – Packing up your old house may appear a daunting task, but it needn’t be. Many people make the mistake of packing up rooms according to what will fit best into boxes but it makes much more sense to plan where you want to put items in the new property. Labelling goes without saying but working on a floor plan for where you want everything to end up will help you to work out whether it will fit or not at the other end.

n Dismantle heavy furniture first – It’s very tempting to focus on packing the smaller items that can be easily put into boxes first but tackling larger furniture like cabinets and wardrobes should be made a priority as this usually takes longer. It helps if the are at the front of the property days before you move.

n Pack a ‘basics’ box – It is very easy to forget the essentials when moving house but ensuring that you have a spare change of clothes, a wash bag and a charger for your phone can be very helpful. You certainly don’t want to have to search through boxes on the day you move in to find the basics.