Moving house has long been labelled as one of the top most stressful life events, ranking only after bereavement or divorce. Claudia Hammond for BBC Future embarked on a study of the research to back up this myth and concluded that the above statement is perhaps more urban myth than hard fact. That said, there is no doubt that moving house is a big job. It can be stressful, but with careful forward planning it need not be the cause of grey hairs.

Before Departure

The weeks before you are due to move is the ideal time to get rid of much of the unwanted clutter that accumulates in houses over time. Go through your wardrobes, kitchen drawers, attic space and send what you no longer need to a charity shop or for recycling.

As you are doing the laundry begin to pack away clothes that you won’t wear until after the move. You can also get ahead on the packing with belongings that you don’t use every day. Getting certain elements taken care of in advance will reduce the workload on the day.

Decide on how you will move. You may opt to pack and move everything yourself. Although it is the cheapest option, it involves the most work and physical labour. Keep in mind that you will have to hire a van, if you don’t have one, and source packing materials & equipment to move furniture. If you have any sort of back problems or are tight for time this may not be the best option for you.

There are plenty of services which offer ‘A Man with a Van’ which involves a driver who will come and help you to load the pre-packed boxes and furniture into a van, transport it for you and help unload it on the far end. Prices vary greatly as do the quality of the service you may get, so it’s a good idea to ensure that you are happy with the person you choose.

The most hassle-free option is to hire a professional moving company to do the whole job for you. They may even include packing in their service, leaving you free to do other things. They will bring everything needed to do the job. You can source a wide range of these providers on Oneflare.

During the Move

Rope a friend or family member in to look after small children or pets for the day of the move. It can be quite hectic and open doors that provide a ready escape for a child or animal with a flight risk is not ideal.

Ensure that you pack all breakables securely with newsprint paper, which can be bought in most craft supply stores. Mark all boxes clearly with colour coded labels. The labels should be placed both on the side and top for easy visibility. The colour coding can reflect the various rooms in the house, which will make dropping the boxes off easier. Remember to mark boxes with glassware and other breakables as fragile, so that whoever might be handling it knows to take extra care.

Don’t be tempted to use bin liners for anything other than rubbish, otherwise you could find that something valuable has inadvertently ended up in the trash.

Pack your valuables and urgent items in a separate box that you keep with you until last and ensure that you have some snacks and a kettle packed in an easy to reach place for when you need a little ‘pick me up’.

On Arrival

When you get to the new house, if possible put all the boxes in the rooms where they will be unpacked. Attend to the most urgent rooms first, such as the kitchen and bedrooms. Once you have somewhere to sleep and cook, the rest can be unpacked at leisure.

Try to enjoy the process as much as possible. Play some music to keep the mood light and to help keep momentum up.


If you’ve found the house of your dreams and are planning the big move, don’t let stress take over. Just focus on the end result, when you’re set up in your new home it will all be worth it.