Just 7 weeks ago on 12 June, I received the signed contract for my new job in the Netherlands. Yesterday I moved here from the UK and tomorrow I start my new job.
Whilst 7 weeks seems like a long time to pack up your life and move to a new country, it really isn’t (I also lost out on 2 weeks to a holiday that was already booked, so it was really only 5 weeks). There is so much to think about.
Moving house is never stress-free, whether you’re moving out of your parents’ and into your own home for the first time, whether you’re moving to a new town or country, or whether you’re just moving to a different house or flat nearby. I’m an Army kid so we always moved a lot when I was younger and, even as an adult, I haven’t stayed too long in any one place. Although it’s something I’m more used to doing than most, it still comes with its stresses and worries. Here are my top tips for how to manage a house move and how you can make a house move less stressful:
- Keep a live schedule – with so many things to think about (cancellation dates, handovers, appointments, etc), keeping a live schedule makes it easier and helps you not to forget one little thing when you’ve got so many things to think about. I print off a calendar covering the period of my move from a site like this which gives you enough space in each day box to write what you need to do that day. I also make use of Trello, creating a board for the particularly busy weeks of the move, making a list for each day and adding cards for every task that needs to be completed on that day – I take great satisfaction in highlighting/ticking off completed items so I can see exactly where I’m at and what I still have left to do.
- Separate your belongings – I think, to one degree or another, we all have a tendency to hoard. For some people, it’s clothes; for others, it’s beauty products; for others, like me, it’s kitchen and household items. Use a house-move as a time to sort things out and maybe even make a bit of money off things you don’t need. I sort into: things I’ll keep, things I’ll sell, things I’ll donate to charity, things I’ll throw away/recycle (the local household waste plant becomes a regular sight during a house move). You’d be surprised at what others will pay for things you don’t need or want anymore – I’ve made over £120 during this move using Gumtree which is great as a house move (especially an overseas one) isn’t cheap.
- Ask for help – I’m not the best at this but moving on your own is pretty challenging. During this move, I’ve had help from family, friends and colleagues, who have all been so willing to help and generous in giving their time, which is hugely appreciated.
- Be realistic – in the short time I’ve had, it was a little too hopeful that I’d be able to find a new place to rent in a different country. I’ve therefore moved into an Airbnb for a month, giving me time to settle into my job (the most important part of all this as it’s the reason for my move), time to get my deposit back from my UK flat, and time to get to know my new hometown and decide which areas I’d consider living in. The added pressure of having to find somewhere to live would have been a step too far for my sanity and my wallet so be realistic when it comes to things you absolutely have to do and things you can sort out given a bit more time.
Without trying to scare anyone, a house move is stressful, it does cost money, and you will be absolutely drained. I hope my tips on how to manage a house move will go some way to helping you out though. Let me know your top tips for managing a house move or let me know if you make use of my tips in your next move…