Essential house move crib sheet for NQ Solicitors.
The rate of home ownership amongst legal professionals has grown in the last 12 months, with the percentage of those living with parents or in rented accommodation falling. According to Douglas Scott Legal Recruitment's 2017 Salary and Benefits Benchmarker 50% of the country's legal professionals are owner occupiers. January, February and March is a time when many Trainee Solicitors start to browse legal jobs but it's also a peak period for rented accommodation searches and availability.
Recruitment Consultant Katie Maloney advises Midlands based Lawyers and Solicitors on In-House legal moves in the region. She has also moved house 6 times in the last 5 years and knows first hand there are steps you can take to make it easier. Here's Katie's crib sheet for NQ Solicitors and any legal professionals thinking of moving house this spring.
1. Plan Ahead
Contact removals early to obtain quotes and secure dates. Many incorporate flexibility for a fee. If you will be hiring a van then obtain quotes and check conditions of hire and license restrictions. Packing always takes longer than most people expect, so start early and do a little each day. Before you begin packing, stock up on strong cardboard boxes in a variety of sizes, bubble wrap, packing tape, food bags, old newspapers and towels. Don't be afraid to ask shops and recycling centres, or check online community recycling networks, for free cardboard boxes.
2. Prepare Your Boxes
Before filling your boxes, cut handles into the sides of your boxes to help make lifting and moving easier. You should also tape across the base of your boxes with a double strip of packing tape. Labelling everything helps with the unpacking at the other end. Also, use this as an opportunity to de-clutter – moving is no time for sentimentality – whether it is clothes, books, gadgets – if you haven’t used it/worn it in the past 12 months, it’s not coming with you.
3. Pack Non-essential Items First
Once you're ready to pack, place an empty box in each room and pack non-essential items, such as off-season clothes and books, first. As your moving day approaches, you can start to pack essential items, such as cutlery and crockery.
4. Protect Fragile Items
When packing fragile items, use suitably sized boxes and line the bottom with towels, linen or bubble wrap. Fill empty space with scrunched-up newspaper or old towels and clearly mark your boxes as fragile.
5. Keep Your Valuables Separate
Gather valuables, such as important paperwork, keys, electronics, jewellery and family heirlooms, and keep them separate from your moving boxes. Put these items in a lockable storage box and transport them in your own vehicle.
6. Pack a Survival Kit
Pack a survival kit containing everything you'll need on your moving day, such as a toolkit, scissors, cleaning materials, toiletries, tea, coffee, milk, sugar and other drinks and snacks. Transport your survival kit in your own vehicle and put it in a safe place, such as on a kitchen worktop, when you arrive at your new home.
7. Create an Inventory of Your Possessions
Consider using an inventory app, such as Sortly, to record your possessions and the boxes you've packed them in. Some apps allow you to create labels showing the contents of each box and the room to which it belongs. Be sure to label both the sides and the top of your boxes, as this will help you see your labels if your boxes are stacked.
8. Utilities and service providers
Check in advance that utilities are live where you are moving too. Obtain details of the current providers so you can provide the opening readings and discuss future supply. The last thing you want to do is discover there is no water, gas or electricity in your new house. Use the Royal Mail redirection service which at £41.99 for 6 months is peace of mind. Notify your utility providers you are moving house and provide a final meter reading with onward address. If you do not have the time to call them on the day do not worry just take a photo on your mobile and call them when you arrive.
9. Load Your Van Correctly
Arrange your furniture and boxes in order of weight and size so that the largest and heaviest items are nearest the door and can be loaded onto the van first. Plan to put the largest and heaviest boxes on the floor of the van and load the boxes you'll want to unpack first, last. Regularly test the weight of your boxes as you are filling them. I once made the mistake of filling several boxes with kitchen stuff, books etc and then couldn’t lift them or even shove them across the floor. Cue lots of unpacking and re-packing and calling in favours from strong friends. If you are not using a removal service you need to be able to shift all the items yourself so pack accordingly!
10. Unpack Essential Items First
Unpack essential items first and give priority to the rooms you use most, such as your kitchen, living room and bathroom. Remember that unpacking takes time, so don't expect to finish it all in a day. Instead, aim to complete your unpacking within a given time frame.
Moving house can be a challenge, but there are plenty of steps you can take to make it a more pleasant experience. By using these simple hacks, you can minimize stress and execute a smooth and successful move.
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