Moving house is a monumental task, the process can be utterly exhausting but there are some ways to ensure the stress levels don't rise too high along the way. Eventually we will all be faced with the challenge of moving house, often numerous times, and whether it is a share house, first apartment of you are purchasing a house, it helps to have a few tips up your sleeve to make the process easier.
Studies have shown that those who move out of home too young often struggle financially later in life, and it’s the same story for those who leave it too late. The same study found that people who left home in their early twenties go on to be substantially more successful than their peers. At the end of the day, whether you are moving out for the first time, simply for a change, pursuing interstate study, up-sizing, downsizing or moving for work, the process is hard to navigate and can be incredibly stressful.
Budget is a key consideration when moving; can you genuinely afford to? And it’s not just rent; groceries, petrol, insurances and utilities all need to be taken into account. Start thinking about where you might move to, what’s on offer in that area and how much it will realistically cost you. You might love one location, but if it’s on the other side of town from work then you may not be able to afford the travel. On the flip side, living right near work might be costly and utilizing public transport for the extra travel may work out better financially so do your research.
Don’t be afraid to ask tenants or landlords how much bills generally amount to in any property you’re interested in. Write a weekly budget, fortnightly and monthly budget. Looking at the bigger picture is the best way to approach a move – stretching yourself an extra $50 a week for a better place might seem achievable but when you calculate this over a year it quickly adds up.
Inspections & Expectations
Be realistic about what you expect from a home; make sure it feels comfortable and ticks the right boxes emotionally. Coming home to a place that is mold ridden, falling apart or doesn’t feel comfortable is tolerable for a few weeks but no way to live long term. Consider the place as a whole – don’t be sucked in by fresh paint over cracked walls, pay close attention to detail. Consider bringing along a friend or someone with trade experience who can help you consider the place from a structural perspective.
Check out the bathrooms and kitchen for mold issues, look at leaky taps, skirting boards, cupboards etc. The fact is cheap rent often comes with hidden expenses - appliances that break, or damaged structures and utilities could end up costing you a fortune. Make sure you are not ripped off or settling on something unsuitable. Take your time and be honest with yourself about what you are willing to live with.
Take Care Of The Small Stuff
Once you do find the right place, it’s time sort out the (boring) details. Have copies of everything you will need - pay slips, identification and recommendations. Get everything organised in good time; have electricity connected, discard or sell old furniture and make a list of the new things you need. Check out Gumtree or recycled furniture stores for drawers, TV units, barbecues, TV's or anything you don't want to spend a fortune on. There are often great bargains out there and you don't need everything to be brand new.
Establish a set place for any household paperwork so you ensure you stay on top of bills and rent - failing to do this can affect your future rental applications and could affect your credit rating. Stacked drawers or desk trays are great for this and you can split the bills up in an organised and visually appealing way.
Familiarize yourself with the agent for your property and any requirements they have in terms of inspections, bond etc. Also, consider insurance because flimsy security could cost you everything, in fact even the nicest properties aren’t totally safe against theft so it can be a smart idea to look at contents insurance to cover yourself.
Discover The Area & Services
Check out the local parks, ovals, shops, gyms, doctors, transport services and cafes. There are always ways to save money if you make the most of the local services on offer. This is the perfect time to get into good habits with your cleaning, cooking, health and overall happiness. Discover if there are any local options for bargains on groceries - good quality fruit and veg are often sold off cheap at the end of the week. Most importantly, find your nearest barista!
Look at entertainment, gyms, sport groups and recreation in the area to establish if it will be a good lifestyle fit for you. Having these things at your fingertips will save you from travel, excessive expenditure and help establish a feeling of community and comfort as you settle in to your new place. Get googling to work out what is on offer, join local groups on social media or chat to people in the area.
Now is the perfect time to rid yourself of unwanted junk and embrace all things minimalism. The less you have to move the better. This will also give you the feeling of a fresh start and the chance to have fun redecorating. For tips and tricks on moving your clothing (obviously the most important thing hah!) check out my post “How To Pack and Move A Room Full Of clothes”.
This article was written in conjunction with Hire A Mover, a professional Melbourne removal company.