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Saying goodbye – 7 top tips for moving house

Saying goodbye – 7 top tips for moving house

Today is the day before we pack up our lives and our memories into boxes and drive them the five or so miles down the road to our dream home. The day before we say goodbye to the first home we lived in as husband and wife, the home that we brought our daughter home to from China, the only home that our Little Man has ever known.

The first garden that Curly Girl learned to play in…

Her first garden

…and taught her brother to play in too…

In the garden together

…the kitchen where all my blog posts are written and where the Little Man learned to play hide and seek…

Hide and seek

…the living room where we chill out and upside-downies happen with Daddy….


…the bathroom where a friendship was cemented…

In the bath

I’m feeling a pick-n-mix assortment of emotions – sadness, excitement, trepidation, stress! There’s so much to do and yet I feel like I’m still in denial that we’re actually saying goodbye to Bod Towers tomorrow.

And so, as is often the case when I need a helping hand, I asked for the advice of my friends on Facebook and they were brilliant, offering fab hints and tips from their own experiences. I just had to share them, so here are my crowdsourced 7 top tips for moving house!

#1. Get a removal company to move you and PACK for you too

When we moved our lives lock, stock and barrel to China for our four year expat adventure – and the start of our infertility treatment – we had a professional removal company sent by my husband’s company to pack and move us. The team of men that arrived were like locusts, picking, wrapping and packing up everything so quickly I could hardly catch my breath! A little disconcerting but oh so much easier.

Louise from Team Lloyd, Jax from Making It Up and Liz at Violet Posy all advised this, if you can afford it and my good friend Vicki from Honest Mum agrees saying that having movers meant she “could move everything over slowly so wasn’t stressful and painted and made changes before we moved in.”

Incidentally it’s worth seeing if you can negotiating with a removal company to see if they will drop the price of packing you if they spread the move over more than one day.

#2. Pack an essentials box for each room.

When all the boxes arrive at your new house it can look like a sea of brown! To help you lay your hands on all the bits and pieces for everyday life without having to open everything at once pack some essentials boxes with the key things you need for each room. Then pop them in your car before the movers arrive so you know you’ll have them straight away.

Liz at Violet Posy advises: “Put essentials kettle, tea, loo roll, meds etc in a box in the car so you know where they are immediately” and Joanne from The Boy and Me says: “Pack an overnight bag with change of clothes, meds, toiletries and put it in the front seat with the box of essentials Liz mentions above. (Plus any essential cuddly toys for children).”  Tinuke from Circus Mums who has just moved herself says: “I second the essentials box. We had a box with kettle, mugs, toiletries, phone chargers etc so we could have a cuppa as we unpacked and could put essentials in place straight away.”

Viv from 76 Sunflowers advises “Depending on day pack a weekends worth of spare clothes toiletries etc in case it all goes belly up and you’re effectively homeless for two nights with no clean clothes. Which it won’t! But I speak from experience…” and finally Jax adds “Don’t forget chargers in that box of essentials.”

#3. Prioritise jobs when you arrive at your new home.

There is so much to do when you move home that it can be quite overwhelming! Prioritising certain jobs when you first arrive can help to ease the stress later on. My friend Suzanne says “Sounds silly but I always make one of my first jobs to make up the beds. After a tough day like moving, you will just want to crash at bedtime rather than fighting with duvet covers!!” Definitely going to be our first action, after a mug of coffee of course!

Kelly from DomesticGoddesque adds “put the hoover and cleaning stuff in the boot of your car. It’s rare that the house you move into is spotless, but this way you can whizz round vacuuming before all the furniture and boxes get dumped in the wrong places. You can wipe out the cupboards as you unpack into them.” Fab advice!


#4. Don’t move what you won’t use.

Moving house is a great opportunity to declutter and finally get rid of those items that you’ve shoved up in the loft or under the bed years ago ‘just in case’ *ahem*. My good friends Lorna and Holly (who has moved more times than I’ve had hot dinners) both championed this.

Rosie from Pamper Parcels also adds “Do as much of the paperwork as you can before move day eg redirecting mail, change of address for TV license etc.” that way there’s less to worry about when you arrive. (P.S. get Rosie to send you one of her fabulous Pamper Parcels – like this one that I reviewed last year – to your new home so you have something gorgeous waiting for you!)

#5. Pack the kids (off for the day)

Moving house is stressful enough without two little people running around re-arranging the boxes that you’ve just carefully packed. Gemma from Sunshine On A Cloudy Day advises to get a babysitter for the day and Susan from Susan K Mann says: “Get childcare for the kids for as long as you can on move day. Helps they are out of the way & allow you to get on with what needs done.” The gorgeous Katie from Pouting in Heels advises “Rope in as much help as you can get from family and friends… (Oh and never move with a child when they’re six weeks old like we did).” Eeek!

#6. Be prepared

Make like the Scouts when you’re moving home and get prepared for the big day with labels and marker pens for labeling your boxes with what’s inside them and the room it needs to go in at your new house. My friend Monica says: “I label rooms doors with signs “Guest room” or “Michelle’s room” so the crew will easily know to label boxes with the same and label doors in new home the same. Otherwise you may wind up with boxes labeled bedroom 1, bedroom 2, etc. which isn’t as easy to remember which was which. The crews move so fast, and you can’t be everywhere at once, so I also label/write out any special instructions. For example, I leave a note on a desk that looks like 1 piece but actually breaks down to 3 to save time explaining during the actual pack.”

Libby who’s a close friend from our fab local brewery Bishops Nick , and who has recently moved house too, advises: “Be looking over their shoulders with a black marker to put more specifics about what goes in to the boxes. Otherwise you’ll have a pile of boxes which say ‘Sitting Room misc’ and you’ll not know which one has the remote in! And they’ll use random cushions and blankets etc… to secure valuables so a box will say ‘kitchen china’ and you won’t think to look in there for your bedside rug! And if you can be the one at the receiving end when the boxes arrive at new place already have an idea of what you want where so they can take boxes straight to rooms and get unpacking straight away.”

#7. Take your time, then stop and relax!

The final words in this list have to go to Hayley from Downs Side Up: “Take your time. Small bitesize chunks of extremely stressful work….” and the marvelous Kate from Striking Mum: “Make an appointment with a bottle of Baileys and no matter how much or little you have got done, down tools and enjoy at the appointed hour.” Sounds perfect to me!

If you’d like more moving tips my lovely friend Sophie from Franglaise Mummy, a seasoned mover herself with ten moves in fifteen years and two more coming up this year, has written her own top tips post.

I’d like to say a huge that you to everyone that offered their advice for this post. Is there anything I’ve missed? What hints and tips would you add for our moving day?

(P.S. If you like this post I’d really appreciate it if you’d take a moment to vote for me in this year’s Brilliance in Blogging Awards. And I want to say a huge thank you to the utterly lovely Hannah from Mums Days and Katie from who both wrote this week that they are voting for me – thank you so much ladies, I’m overwhelmed by your kindness, you all have my vote too!)


Linking up with Brilliant Blog Posts at Honest Mum, All About You at Mama and More, Share with Me at Let’s Talk Mommy

House image: Nobuhiro Asada/



  1. What a fab list of tips, thank you so much for sharing. We’re not planning a move anytime soon but have pinned your tips so I can find them again if we ever plan on moving house. Hope you are settling in well in to your new home and that all went well on moving day.
    Louise recently posted…40acts: Week 6

  2. What an AMAZING collection of tips Michelle! We’re gearing up for a move in a few months’ time. I’ve moved house 13 times so you’d think I’d be good at it, but after 4+ years in the same flat (an absolute record for me) I’m honestly having heart palpitations about it. I’m putting the panic down to this being the first time I’ll have to move with a kid in tow!! Aaargh! I’m bookmarking this post, as I’m sure I’ll be following all the advice to the letter.

  3. This brought me out in a sweat – we’ve moved three times in two years and I am in my forever home now, thanks be! I did all the labelling and stuff. Trouble is, all the boxes are still in the garage. I’m too sentimental to chuck stuff, which is a big problem. Best of luck with the move, happy memories ahead to make in your new home! xx
    Jess Paterson recently posted…A Laptop Of One’s Own

  4. What a lovely post, I love that you took the time to reminisce about Bod Towers and all it brought you before moving. Great tips there too – I’ve moved house 32 times so definitely know a thing or two about moving! I discovered a great company on our last move called Bubbles and Boxes that provide exactly what kit you need for moving, although more for if you’re packing yourself! Good luck darling, your dream barn will be amazing! And of course you’ve got my vote for the BiBs!! Xxx
    Mama and More aka Zaz recently posted…

  5. All the best .

    Hold those memories dear my lovely

    ninjacat recently posted…

  6. Great post and great tips. Thank you for including me. Good luck with the move hon xx
    Susan Mann recently posted…

  7. All the very best with your move, I hope you are super happy in your new home. Mich x
    Michelle Twin Mum recently posted…

  8. It must be such a tear to leave so many memories behind (even though you’re moving somewhere exciting where you will make new memories). Our three kids were all born after we moved into our current house – Isaac arrived just under nine months after we moved in – so they are inextricably linked with the place.
    Tim recently posted…Flip sides of the same coin

  9. Some great tips and I hate moving, we last moved when the 3 youngest were 1,2 and 3 and it was horrid, thankfully we had a bunch of friends on stand by helping us. It was sad to leave our home, as we had many good memories there.

  10. I moved around a lot as a kid and it was always difficult to start over. I love the tip about pack an essentials box for each room. That is a great idea. Good luck at your new home. #brilliantblogposts
    Mariet – Practicingnormal recently posted…Words that make your heart sing

    • You know what Mariet? Those essentials boxes were SO brilliant. Without opening every box we could get some sense of normalcy fairly quickly which made things much easier for the children. Thank you for visiting! x

  11. I moved a lot as a kid, and also lived in tons of shared houses before my hubby and I got our first place just us in 2007. We lived there for two years, another flat for two years and have been here for almost four now. We’ll have to move at some point because of space but like you, I’m so emotionally attached to this place.

    Thanks for the fab tips, and very best of luck for settling into your new home lovely xxx
    Renee @ Mummy Tries recently posted…My Social Media Presence

  12. Some great tips, and thanks for sharing mine too. I wish you the best of luck with the move, I’m sure it’ll be amazing and you’ll be settled into your new lovely home in no time at all….at which point we’ll be round with fizz to celebrate it :-) xx
    Franglaise Mummy recently posted…Dancing for a better life with Comic Relief

    • You’re so welcome lovely and thank you – as soon as the boxes are clear I’ll be expecting a visit!

  13. Fab tips! We are thinking of moving and Natty was born in our bathroom. Such an emotional attachment, I’m not sure how I feel about leaving that behind. Thank you for the mention Michelle.
    Downs Side Up recently posted…My Top Ten Books About Down Syndrome

  14. Best of luck my darling! Always sad when you leave a home (I broke my heart when we moved from our first home a couple of years ago) but it’s the start of a wonderful new chapter for you all. New memories to create, new fun times to enjoy! Wishing you much happiness in your new home and can’t wait to read all about it on here. Thanks for the mention too – such a useful post! Much love x
    Katie / Pouting In Heels recently posted…

    • Thank you so much honey, we’re settling in nicely now and oh how we LOVE it here! You’ll have to come and see it for yourself at some point…. :)

  15. The biggest piece of wisdom I can impart is: 1) Get a removals company to pack and move 2) Never move in the heart of winter if you can help it!
    Clementine Buttercup recently posted…

  16. We are currently in a moving house limbo where we might be moving next week we might not and I am so unbelievably stressed about it all, some great tips, fortunately we are moving into a new house so hopefully it should be clean and ready to go but packing! I have been Mrs Ruthless, getting rid of out of date and useless rubbish so we don’t move it. My biggest heartbreak is this is my home, the home my babies have known and the one they were bought home into, first walked in etc. I am going to take pictures of each room before we pack it all up, to remember everything, as it was. We also have the added heartbreak of leaving behind one of the best neighbours you could ever wish for, she has looked after my children been part of their birthdays and lives. Good luck with everything :)
    The Mummy Diary recently posted…Come on Summer

  17. Great ideas! But this post has made me feel sad – all those memories! We really want to move – we love our little house and long garden but for various reasons would like to move areas. However, the thought of actually doing it makes me quite queasy! We’re here for a while though until we either win the lottery or the OH’s business makes its first million 😉 GOOD LUCK! :)
    76sunflowers recently posted…A musical smorgasbord! {Camp Bestival 2015}

  18. Such sage advice. I remember when we moved to The Cottage 18 months ago. I sobbed in the garden of the only home my children had ever known and thought I was doing such a terrible thing to them. But now, we wouldn’t be anywhere else. I ask if they want to move back and they say it’s so much better here! Which makes up for the stress of moving for sure.Good Luck today!
    Domestic Goddesque recently posted…What to watch on the Amazon Fire TV Box

    • It’s funny isn’t it – I’ve never really been one to be tied to a place – it’s the memories that root us I think. That said I NEVER want to move from our new house, I’m totally in love with it! x

  19. Oh darling, made me emotional reading the intro to this and seeing all the gorgeous photos but your next house will be a wonderful new chapter in your dream home. Simply brilliant tips from all. Thanks for including me here and good luck with it it all. Can’t wait to see more on the blog, much love x
    Honest Mum recently posted…A Taste Of Home: Warming Puy Lentil And Chickpea Soup

    • I know I’m on a rollarcoaster ride at the moment! So excited but also very sad to say goodbye to a house that has seen so many wonderful memories. Thankfully I have this blog to remind me of them in technicolour :) Thank you for your tips darling, delighted to include you x



  1. Share the joy link up #12 - Bod for tea - […] week I’m sharing a crowdsourced post with some wonderful top tips for moving house from 15 fabulous bloggers (what else!) and …

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