Moving House with Kids

If you’ve got a move on the horizon, then you might be worrying about an entire gamut of different problems – some of them small, some of them not-so-small. You’ll need to appraise your contacts of your new address, hire a removal van, and acquaint yourself with the new home. And that’s not even mentioning the details of the transaction of property!

If you’ve got children to move alongside all of your possessions and pets, then you might justifiably be worried about how to reduce their impact on proceedings (and, indeed, about how to reduce the impact of proceedings on them).

Keep Children Occupied

Since moving is an inherently stressful task, the added complication of children getting in the way can be a source of major headaches. In order to keep them from getting in the way, it’s vital that you find them some suitable distraction.

What this distraction might consist of will depend on the age and nature of the child. Teenagers might well prefer to hide away and entertain themselves during the move. Younger children, however, will likely be more inquisitive, hanging around in an entranceway, inspecting boxes and asking a stream of questions of both you and the removal workers. You can avoid this by providing your children with a new toy or book – or, if you’d prefer, by finding work for them.

Put Children to Use

When it comes to moving house, children aren’t just hindrances to be placated – they’re resources to be put to use (if not exploited!) Unfortunately, persuading children that the task of organising the contents of a household into boxes and shipping them is an important one is decidedly tricky. In all likelihood, they’ll lose interest quickly without persuasion.

This persuasion might come in the form of a bribe – say, a chocolate bar for every box packed or room cleaned. If you turn moving into a game, then the effort can be its own reward – especially if you harness your children’s natural competitive nature and pit them against one another. On the other hand, you might take the opposite approach, and suggest that there’s a chance their possessions will get broken in transit if handled carelessly. There’s nothing quite like the prospect of a malfunctioning Xbox to motivate young minds!

Of course, the danger of things breaking during transit isn’t an imaginary one – so be sure to restrict your children’s packing to the non-fragile items.

Don’t Forget Food

If you’re stressed during a move, then one thing that’s guaranteed to compound the problem is an empty stomach. Your children, like you, will need to eat – and they’ll complain loudly if they’re forced to go hungry, which will make the stress even worse. To make matters worse, when you arrive at your new house, you’ll have no food in the fridge, and you probably won’t be in the mood to cook.

With a little preparation, this problem disappears. Pack a few sandwiches, and have them ready for the day of the move. Alternatively, take a look at the restaurants near to your new home, and treat the entire family to a sit-down meal. In all probability, you’ll feel as though you deserve the respite yourself!

Hire a Babysitter

If things are especially hectic during your packing, then you might want to hire a babysitter to watch your children, or take them out of the house for a while. Older siblings and relatives usually come in handy here – especially if they’re unable to lend a hand with the moving itself.

If you can’t find anyone to play the part of babysitter, then you can always hire a professional agency. The respite you’re granted from doing this will likely make any money you spend worthwhile. After all, the value of your sanity is probably a great deal higher than a babysitter’s hourly rate.

Reassure Them

Moving house isn’t just a stressful thing for you – it’s even more stressful for your children, who’ll be transported from one place to another and expected to cope with the change in environment. They might need to make new friends at a new school with which they’ll be utterly unfamiliar. This is even worse if you’re travelling an enormous distance to your new home, and if your children already have close friends that they’ll be leaving behind. But even if you’re just moving around the corner, your children might be accustomed to their existing surroundings – and so change might make them feel insecure.

In order to battle these feelings, it’s vital that you communicate with your child. Explain to them why you’re moving, and that you’ve taken their opinion on the matter on board. Take them to the new house before you begin moving in, and give them the opportunity to take a look around the area. Research the things that there are for children to do, and make the case for the move to them. If you’re taking your children to visit the new house, then be sure to take the time to do something fun during your trip.

If you have any stories to tell your children about old moves you have had, then be sure to do so. It’s an opportunity to lighten the mood – particularly if those stories are funny ones. What’s more, it’ll make the point that moving house, despite being a big deal, isn’t a cataclysm.

De-stress yourself

Finally, while you’re worrying about the stress you’re putting your children through, it’s worth also considering yourself. Your children will probably be able to pick up on any worry you’re feeling, and they’ll feel it themselves. You’re not, after all, going to be able to reassure anyone that everything’s under control if you do so in a red-face shriek. Be sure, then, to take the time to refresh yourself every so often with a moment of calm, a smile and a joke!




Top Tips for Moving into Shared Accommodation

With a new term approaching, high-school graduates across the country, having finally put their A-levels behind them, will be moving onto an even bigger challenge – that of university.  For most, this transition involves moving to an entirely different part of the country – or even to a different country.  For many students, this is the first time they’re moving out alone, and so for financial reasons, it’s necessary to share accommodation with other people.

Sharing accommodation can provide a way to spread the cost of living across a group of people, each of whom will benefit.  That said, there are potential problems that can crop up during a share.  In this article, we’ll examine some of the ways in which you can help to ensure that the experience is a positive one.

Plan the day of the move

The best place to start with a new move is at the beginning.  You’ll want your first day to go off without a hitch – and in order to ensure that you’ll need to plan ahead of time.  Co-ordinate your move with your new flatmate, and if necessary, hire a moving van to take care of your belongings.  Make sure that you’ve finished packing everything by the night before the move.   In order to make things as stress-free as possible, you’ll want to do your packing over the course of a few days – since leaving it to the last minute will certainly result in frustration.

Tell your friends and family

If your friends and family can’t get in touch with you for a few days – and then discover that you aren’t living in your previous accommodation anymore, then they might justifiably be worried about you.  Avoid this problem by appraising them of your plans.  You might even be able to recruit them to help you with the move itself!

Pay your Bills

If you haven’t yet settled up bills associated with your old home, then now is the time to do it.  You’ll also want to get your name removed from any subsequent bills – to ensure that you aren’t going to be charged for electricity, gas and water that you aren’t using.

Take pictures

In case of disputes further down the line, you’ll want to be prepared.  Do this by documenting everything.  Take pictures of both your new accommodation, and the one you’re moving out of.  That way you’ll be able to demonstrate that you aren’t to blame for any new damage that’s been inflicted on your wallpaper since you’ve moved out.

Respect Boundaries

You’ll need to get along with your new housemates, and this means that you’ll need to afford them their own private space.  Simple courtesies like knocking before entering someone’s bedroom can go a long way to securing your status as a Good Housemate.  This goes especially so when it comes to the fridge.  Divide the fridge into equal segments, and assign each one to a given member of the household.  Stealing food from your housemates is likely to make you a pariah, so don’t do it.  If a housemate is stealing your food, then ask them to stop before talking to the rest of your housemates about it – they’ll likely share your irritation.

Do chores, but not too many

When you’re sharing accommodation, you’ll also want to share the chores involved in living.  Ideally, these chores would be spread absolutely equally – but in practice this is a near-impossibility.  Pitch in with your share of the chores, cleaning up any plates and cutlery that you’ve dirtied and occasionally hoovering the carpet in public places.  Be sure that you don’t help out too much in order to win friends, however – as you might quickly find that you’ve become the household’s non-official cleaner, charged with doing every domestic chore available.

Beware of predatory salespeople

If you’re just moving into a new university, then you might encounter sales reps looking to connect you to cheap broadband and other utilities.  Before signing up to such services, be sure to shop around – and check with your landlord that you aren’t already connected.  Be especially wary of any salesperson who offers to amend a pre-printed contract, as you may end up with the printed contract without any such amendments – and be stuck with a year’s worth of expensive, slow, unreliable broadband that you didn’t need in the first place.

Keep in touch with your landlord

You’ll want to be on good terms with the person looking after the place you’re living in.  They’re legally obliged to carry out repairs on the property where necessary – but only after they’ve been given written notice.  Send such written notice even if you’re informally let your landlord know about the problem – and send it by recorded delivery so that you can later prove the letter has been sent.

If your landlord still fails to comply even after you’ve provided written notice of the problem, then you might feel justified in not paying your rent.  Don’t do this.  It will amount to a breach of contract, which will place you, legally speaking, firmly in the wrong.


If you’d like to redecorate, then be sure to get your landlords permission before you start work.  Again, this needs to be written permission that you can later refer to.  If you don’t, then you may need to pay to have the property put back the way it was – or the money may be deducted from your deposit.  Since shared accommodation is usually a temporary thing, you’re probably best to leave things as they are during your stay.

Update your address information

Once you’ve moved, you’ll want to ensure that any correspondence is redirected from your old home to your new one.  Let all of the relevant authorities know about a change of address, including the DVLA, your car insurer, your bank, your gym and any mailing lists you might be subscribed to.  You can get post destined for your old place redirected, too – just head down to your post office with some suitable photo ID.

Things to Consider Before Moving to a New Area

Moving house is among the most stressful things that will happen in a person’s lifetime. According to some polls, it’s even more traumatic than a bereavement or a divorce! When we consider that most of us move house around four times over the course of a lifetime, it’s worth thinking about how we can keep this stress to a bare minimum.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how we might do just this by posing ourselves a few questions before we get started with the move.


Many movers find that they underestimate the total cost of moving their possessions from one place to another. If you find during the move that the costs are spiralling way above your budget, then you’ll inevitably become stressed. The best way to counter this stress is to budget well in advance. If you’re moving for work purposes, then your employer might contribute (or even cover) these expenses.


Finding a job in a new and unfamiliar area is among the most stressful things about moving – particularly if the process doesn’t go as well as you’d initially hoped. If you’re moving because of work, then you’ll be at an advantage here, as you won’t have the same amount of uncertainty hanging over your head. You’ll be able to move straight into your new position, and, with any luck, appreciate all of the other qualities of your new home.

If you’re moving to a new a job, then be sure to carefully research your new employer. Do members of the organisation speak highly of it? Are the company’s finances in good health? Is the industry in good health in the area you’ve moving too? The last thing you want is to have to move back after the company goes under – so be sure that you’ve done all you can to anticipate such an outcome.


If you’ve got children, then the decision about where to locate will be still more complex. You’ll need to investigate all of the local schools, and see which have the best reputations. If your budget allows for it, then you might consider private schooling.

Will you be able to adjust?

If you’re migrating from one country to another, then you’ll inevitably run into some friction during the first few months of your stay. You might need to learn a whole new language, and adapt to longer (or shorter) working hours and sleeping patterns. This friction can be limited by researching and planning in advance. Expose yourself to as much of the culture as your new homeland as possible, and be sure that you’re firmly acquainted with the language.

This research will give you the opportunity to prepare for the move – but also to warn you of things you might not like about a particular culture. If you’re a woman, for example, then you might not appreciate the modesty laws of ultra-conservative Gulf States.

The same is true of the climate – if you’re used to living in Scotland, then a move to Nicaragua is almost certain to take some getting used to. Be sure that you expose yourself to the climate of your new home before you commit to the move – as it’ll be far more stressful to pull out later.

Even if you’re moving just a short distance, and you aren’t crossing any national borders, you might find tremendous variation within the same country. Life in Central London is quite different to life in rural Cornwall – so you’ll want to be sure that you really appreciate the change of pace.

If you’re used to plenty of entertainment and culture, new shows to see and new restaurants to visit, then a move to the middle of the countryside might be a bit of a shock. If your passion is quite specific, then you’ll want to look for opportunities to pursue it in your new area – sailing enthusiasts, for example, will likely be more at home in Abersoch than in Milton Keynes.

Of course, this sort of cultural change might be precisely the reason you’re moving in the first place!


Some people are able to make friends more easily than others. If you’ve a member of a close-knit social group, which has been together for years on end, then you might not have had much practice in socialising with strangers in a while.

You’ll want to be sure that you’ve got the opportunity to make new friends in your new area. Where will you meet people outside of work? What chance will you have to meet new people and interact with them? What’s the nightlife like there?

In conclusion

If you’re going to move to a new and faraway home, then you might justifiably be worried about what might go wrong. That being the case, be sure that you aren’t leaping in blind – if you’re aware of the potential problems, you’ll be in a much better to deal with them if (and when) they arise.



Moving House With Pets

Moving house is an activity that’s stressful for many reasons. With so much to remember and deal with, it’s small wonder that moving is so rare. But if we throw pets into the equation, too, then the ordeal becomes doubly stressful. In this article, we’ll examine some of the ways in which you might make the transition more comfortable for your pet, and in turn less stressful for you.

Preparing for the move

Removal Stress

Many pets become distressed when their surroundings become unfamiliar, or when they’re forced into encounters with strangers. In the build up to a move, they’ll be forced to deal with both of these things, as unfamiliar removal people enter the house and start to remove items one by one, until the interior becomes eventually unrecognisable. It’s best to ensure that removal is a gradual process, as a last-minute rush is likely to be more stressful for your pet.

If your pet is uncomfortable with such things, then you might want to have them stay with a friend or close family member while the removals are taking place. You might even want to have them stay in a kennel or cattery. Of course, such things might ultimately be more stressful than the move itself, so you’ll need to decide how your pet is likely to react to the move, and then make the right plans.

Vet Appointments

It’s best to make an appointment with your vet in the weeks leading up to the move. Don’t leave it until the last minute. You’ll want to let them know where you’re moving, and ask them whether there’s a local vet they can recommend. If your pet is due an injection, then it’s best to get it out of the way now, since you’ll have a great deal more on your plate after you’ve moved house – and your pets, almost inevitably, will be less of a priority. Vaccinating a pet in preparation for a new area is essential, particularly if your move is going to cross international boundaries – so be sure to your pet’s vaccines are up to date.

If you feel that your pet is likely to become distressed during transit, then you might ask your vet to recommend a sedative for the journey. Bear in mind that many of these drugs will have side effects, and that proper dosages are important. You might also consider hormonal treatments, like calming pheromone sprays, during both the trip and the acclimatisation period that follows.

Ensure That Your New House is Pet-Friendly

When you’re scouting for a new home, it might seem obvious that you need to account for the needs of your pets. This is especially so in the case of apartment buildings, which might have strict rules on which pets are and aren’t allowed. If you’ve got a large dog to take care of, then you’ll want somewhere with a garden or easy access to a large park where you can go for walks. Ideally, you’ll want both.

Toilet Schedule

Your dogs and cats will likely be travelling in the same car as the human members of the household – whether it’s in a large cage in the boot or a smaller one strapped to a seat or wedged into a foot well. This means that you’ll be able to offer them reassurances during the drive – which might be required if the pet is particularly needy.

If there’s one thing we want to avoid during the trip, however, it’s an unplanned toilet break. If your car is suddenly filled with the smell of urine, it’s unlikely that the rest of the trip will be as pleasant. In order to avoid this, you’ll want to pay attention to your pet’s bathroom habits in the lead up to the move. What times of day do they go to the toilet? What times of day do they eat? You’ll want your pets to travel on an empty stomach, so plan meals accordingly.

Pets usually soil themselves in reaction to stress – and there are few situations more stressful for a pet than being cooped up in a small cage for hours on end.

After The Move

When you move your pet to a new house, they’ll be in unfamiliar surroundings. It’s important, then, to give them time to adjust to the change. This means a hours, or even days, spent wandering around the interior, sniffing items of furniture, and getting used to where everything is. Some pets will settle in more quickly than others.

But as well as being relaxed about the new setting, you’ll want to allow cats in particular time to get used to the smells and sights of the new home so that they can navigate back to it after they’ve left. This step is an essential one if you’re to minimise the likelihood of getting lost. Since shortly after a move is the time at which cats are at the greatest risk of running away, you’ll want to be especially sure that they’re happy and contented – and that they associate their new home with food, treats and shelter.

For cats, it’s recommended that you allow at least a day before letting them out – though many owners choose to wait much longer. If you’ve got a small garden, then you might look to ‘cat-proof’ it by blocking off any gaps, and ensuring that fences are unclimbable. Of course, this isn’t always possible, so you’ll want to ensure that your pets have the chance to explore, and to return home.

Cats are likely to disturb the territorial boundaries of their new neighbourhoods. Encounters with other cats are likely to be hostile, so be sure that you check your cats occasionally for injuries.

Once you’ve moved, you’ll want to be sure that your pet can easily be returned to the right address when it’s lost. Be sure that your pets are chipped, and that you’ve updated your address on the chip’s database. You might also want to give your pet a collar that’s inscribed with your pet’s name, and a few contact numbers.

Pruning and Maintaining Your Garden

With summer now well underway, gardeners both amateur and professional will be spending more and more of their waking hours out in their gardens, making sure that every flower and hedgerow is as well-looked-after as can be. One crucial tool in this endeavour is a pair of pruning shears. With the help of pruning, we can control the growth of the plants in our garden to a remarkable degree – helping to keep everything orderly as well as beautiful.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this technique, see where it might be employed, and exactly how we might do so.

Why is pruning important?

Pruning is the main way in which a gardener can control the growth of a plant. If a tree, for example, is starting to spread in an undesirable direction, or it has an undesirable number of limbs, or it is growing in an unstructured, ugly way, then it can be corrected through pruning. The same is true of smaller plants, too.

Pruning can help to emphasise certain parts of a plant at the expense of others. A flowering bud might be made to flower that much more vibrantly if it isn’t competing for resources with vast expanses of superfluous leaves and branches. By pruning these away, we can ensure that good growth is encouraged, and bad growth is dispensed with.

There’s also safety to consider. If a dead branch is left on a tree, then it will at some point fall off. Better that this is done in a controlled manner – as falling branches might endanger people, buildings and power lines beneath. Ideally, you’ll want to remove such branches before they have a chance to cause problems.

When to prune?

Generally speaking, plants should be pruned during winter, when growth is at its weakest. This will stimulate a burst of new growth when spring rolls around, and the plant compensates for the loss by growing faster. You might also want to prune in the summer, however, in order to make small adjustments and correct any undesired growth. It’s also easier during summertime to pick out the parts of the plant that are dead or dying – they might sag beneath the weight of their leaves. You might mark these out for pruning during winter, or address them right away, depending on the circumstances.

It’s worth noting that there’s such a thing as too much pruning – particularly during growth seasons. You’ll want to prune as much as is necessary to achieve the effect you’re going for – but no more. The crown of a tree, where the leaves are located, is where the tree draws more of its energy from. Prune this too quickly and the tree will effectively suffocate, leaving an unsightly block of dead wood. The same principle holds true for smaller plants, too. Knowing when to prune comes with experience – veteran gardeners know when to cut, and by how much. Newcomers, then, should err on the side of caution.

Pruning specific plants

Plants come in many different varieties. Any given garden might contain a multitude of different shrubs, hedges and bushes. As one might expect, each of these requires a slight different approach when it comes to pruning. Let’s examine some of the more notable examples.


Given the proper care, a hedge can form a sharp and clean boundary between one area of a garden and another. On the other hand, if left unchecked, a hedge can rapidly grow beyond its shape and quickly develop into an unsightly mess. Not only does this mean that the hedge looks dreadful, but if will also cast unwanted shade over its surroundings.

Formal, evergreen hedges should be trimmed around twice a year, while conifers will need to be prunes much more regularly. Informal hedges should be pruned depending on when they flower. For those that flower on new wood, such as roses, a mid-spring pruning is ideal. For those that flower on old wood, such as forsythia, it’s best to prune when the blooms fade.


Like hedges, trees will benefit greatly from regular pruning. In the case of most deciduous trees, it’s best to do it while the tree is dormant. This will minimise the loss of sap. There are, however, a few exceptions to this rule – maple, birch, horse chestnut and a few other sorts of tree all bleed sap even during their dormant season, and so should be pruned in summer after the new growth has had time to mature. In the case of conifers, pruning is not really necessary – except in order to remove any rotting or dead branches which might inhibit the growth of the tree.

It’s worth attaching a word of warning here – tree surgery is an art which requires expertise and experience, and sometimes danger. A professional tree surgeon should be called upon if substantial pruning is required to a tree, or if the tree is too tall to be pruned without the use of a ladder. Naturally, work which requires the use of tools like a chainsaw should only be undertaken by qualified professionals.


Through pruning, flowering plants can be encouraged to grow better quality blooms – and more of them. Unlike tree-pruning, it’s easy to prune flowers. It can even be relaxing to do so, as you can move around the garden at a leisurely pace and nip bushier plants as you see fit.

You can promote flowering by deadheading flowers as they fade. This will help to tidy up the plant and stimulate new growth. This will help to stop perennials from self-seeding and causing unwanted growth.

There are also ways in which you might improve the form and shape of your flowers. Some plants, for example, will send nutrients to a flower at the end of a stem, with dormant buds along the stem. Prune the tip and the buds lower down will begin to produce side shoots. Do this to perennials toward the end of spring, and the result will be later and more numerous flowerings. This technique is so widely-used that it even has a name: the Chelsea chop.


Tips for Moving from Renting to Your Own Home

So, you are considering moving away from renting a property and buying your own home instead. Being a homeowner is a big responsibility, but it also brings with it a lot of rewards. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of owning your own home rather than renting, as well as some tips for making the move.

The Benefits of Owning Your Own Home

There are a number of advantages to owning your own home.  Rather than paying rent to a landlord, you will be paying a mortgage every month and investing in your own property. When the day comes that the house is paid off, you will own it completely which will reduce your monthly expenses significantly. You’ll never again have to worry about paying for a place to live and you can use the money you would have spent on rent on saving up for something else.

If your home increases in value over the years, you will gain equity. Paying your mortgage can be seen as a form of savings, because it will increase your home equity which you will be able to tap into if you need money in the future. This could be used later to buy a larger home, or to fund to retirement. Of course, you cannot rely on this because it is not guaranteed. You won’t necessarily make a lot of money when you sell your home, but by investing in renovations and improvements you will increase the likelihood of this. Sometimes a simple but smart renovation can boost the value of your home by thousands.

Also, when you own your own home you will have total control over the renovations and improvements on the home. When you are renting you need to get your landlords permission to do simple upgrades and if you do, you are improving their property and not yours. When you own your own home you will know that you are investing in your own property and you will directly benefit from it. You have tremendous freedom to create the home you want and style the ideal living environment that you have always wanted.

There is something satisfying psychologically about owning your own home. When you look at the four walls that surround you there is a sense that you are safe and secure in a property that you own, not renting from someone else.

Buying your own home is a big decision and probably the largest purchase you will ever make, so take your time with the decision and do your research before you sign on the dotted line.

Tips for Moving into Your Own Home

If you are moving from renting into owning your own house, here are some important tips that will help you make sure that the process goes smoothly.

  • Make a very clear budget beforehand, so that you are sure that you can afford what you are taking on. You should be able to comfortably afford the house you are buying so that you don’t stretch your budget too far with a huge mortgage.
  • It is a good idea to have your financing in place before you start to look and homes, because if you find your dream home at the right price it could disappear before you secure the financing.
  • Explore all of the different options available for home loans. Compare what is offered by different lenders so that you can understand your choices and choose the best loan for you.
  • Think about the type of home that suits your needs. You have quite a few options, from residential properties to townhouses to condos to multi-family buildings. Each type of home has its own pros and cons.
  • Make a list of the ideal features that your home would have, such as the bathroom layout or a certain type of kitchen. Take your time to look around and find a home that suits your needs.
  • When you are searching for your home, make sure that you take advantage of all of the options available on the market – including your real estate agent, looking for listings online and driving around to neighborhoods that interest you.
  • Remember that when you are looking at homes, feelings can sometimes take over and cause you to make an impulsive decision. Always weigh up the reality and examine the home thoroughly before you make your decision.
  • Always make sure that you obtain a home inspection before you buy a property. The inspection might reveal serious defects that the seller doesn’t disclose, so you will want to know this information before you make a purchase.
  • Keep in mind that if the value of your home falls too much you might be unable to sell it if you owe more on your mortgage than the home is worth. Make sure that you are investing in the long term and don’t plan to sell soon, so that you can wait out the fluctuations of the market.
  • When you own your own home you will be responsible for your maintenance costs, such as fixing a broken boiler or dealing with a leak in the roof. Make sure that you have an emergency fund saved up for this.
  • Keep your home well maintained so that any small issues don’t get worse. If you spot a tiny bit of damage to the roof for example, repair it quickly so that it doesn’t cause a serious leak.

These are just a few of the things that you can keep in mind when it comes to moving from renting to your own home. Having your own home offers you a lot of advantages and it can be a fantastic investment, so make sure that you go into the purchase with a lot of thought and preparation. When you take your time and find the right home for you, it will be somewhere that you can live happily ever after.

How to Pack Efficiently For a Move

Moving to a new home is a stressful thing. With so much to worry about, it’s perhaps unsurprising that so little thought is given to the art of packing. But if you’re to cram all of your possessions into a space as tiny as a few suitcases and cardboard boxes, then you’ll need to first educate yourself in how this might be done efficiently. After all, packing the right way can save you literally bags of space, and hours of time on either end of the trip.

In this article, we’ll examine some of the tips that will equip you to pack effectively. If you’d like to learn the secrets of a stress-free move, then read on:

Make sure that you assessable the right supplies

When you pack to go on holiday, you’ll mostly be dealing with soft and durable items that can withstand a few bumps and scrapes. Drop a suitcase full of underwear and you’ll suffer no lasting inconvenience for it; do the same with a boxful of porcelain and that will likely spell the end for the box’s contents.

In order to guard against this, you’ll need to pack your fragile belongings tightly and securely. This means investing in bubble wrap to keep things still, and in tape to keep them held securely in place. Then there are other supplies which will make life more convenient, like felt-tip pens. You’ll thank yourself later if you’ve marked each box with a clear indication of its contents – and doing this in biro isn’t much good.

Pack the right way

However, tempting it might be to simply cram your possessions into storage as you find them, this approach will likely spell disaster when it comes to unpacking. Instead, be sure to put similar items together; cups should have a box of their own, as should plates. If you absolutely must put different items in the same box, then be sure that they’ll at least belong in the same room – you’ll waste an enormous amount of time if you have to run back and forth between different areas of the house distributing items from the same box.

Keep Children and pets away

If you’ve got fragile items packed tightly together, you’ll want to ensure that they’re handled only by those who know what they’re doing. This means ensuring that children and pets are otherwise occupied.

Of course, even if you don’t have a vulnerable spot in your packing, you’ll still need a means of entertaining the smaller members of your household. After all, once you’ve gotten the television, computer and the like stuffed into storage, there will be little for your children to do except sit there. Older children might distract themselves with smartphones and laptops; younger ones might need other stimulation. Get a babysitter – or conscript a friend or grandparent into the job.

Make an essentials pack

When you first arrive at the new residence, you’ll have a problem – all of your possessions will be in boxes. If you want to avoid spending hours searching fruitlessly for a toothbrush and a change of underwear, you’ll ensure that you’ve got the essential items stored in a pack of their own. This might be a briefcase containing clothes, toiletries and other essential.

You’ll also want a boxful of the other household items that you can’t do without: toilet paper, disposable cups and plates, and bedsheets will be essential. You might include some basic cooking equipment, too – but for most people a trip to the local takeaway will simplify things.

Give yourself plenty of time

Packing takes longer than you think – and doing it will might take longer still. The last thing you want is the mounting stress that comes when the day of the move is imminent and you’ve barely packed a thing. The best course of action is to start packing as early as possible, and to have a rough idea of how much you need to be packing each evening.

Don’t stress

Moving can be a stressful experience – there’s an enormous amount to get through, and a lot that can go wrong. It’s important, therefore, to take steps to combat this stress. Ultimately, how you deal with this will depend on what works for you – you might meditate while listening to Enya, or blow off steam while listening to Black Sabbath.

Ultimately, when things are more organised, fewer things will go wrong – which means that your stress will be minimised. By following the advice we’ve overviewed here, your move will go much more smoothly – and the stress you experience will be much reduced!