Emma Murphy Moving In It’s moving time!

Note: This piece follows on from How to move in with your girlfriend: Part 1

Yay! You’ve found a place that you both like and your rental/mortgage application has been approved, which is probably the biggest hurdle. So congratulations!

Now, we’re going to look at the actual moving process, from selecting a moving date to ordering take-out on the evening that you’ve moved in. Yes, when you make it to the end of the move, you get pizza and your best girl slumped beside you on the sofa. There’s a lot of stuff to do, so it might be best to have a moving checklist to ensure that you haven’t forgotten anything.

Choosing a move-in date.

Your tenancy or mortgage agreement will tell you when you can have the property, but this shouldn’t necessarily be your move-in date. Look at the date that is in your paperwork and check whether that coincides with any major events or even if it’s a weekend.

Moving companies will often charge a premium for working on weekends or holidays. Even if you’re not hiring movers, it’s still going to be more stressful to transport your stuff on a day when the roads are jammed.

My advice is to pick a weekday.

Give up your current property.

If you’ve already got your new place, then you need to hand in your notice on your rental property or find a real estate agent to sell/lease your house.

Have a sort-out.

You should start sorting out your belongings four to six weeks before you move. This involves going through both of your current homes to determine what will be coming with you and what will be donated/sold.

This means having some tough conversations about whose sofa/bed/dining table to take.

If you’re about to embark on one of these conversations, then here are some tips:

  • Be practical – If you want to take your six-seat dining table, then it needs to fit through the front door and into the dining room.
  • Be honest (up to a point) – You’ll hopefully be living together for the rest of your lives, which might mean that you’ll be living with some of her more “unique” items of furniture or artwork. If you really dislike a piece, then it’s okay to tell her (nicely!), but if she loves it, then suggest that it go into the spare bedroom.
  • Be understanding – There may be a piece of furniture that one of you loves and the other hates, but it’s important to understand why the other person feels that way. If you hate the sofa because you don’t like the style and she loves it because it was her grandmother’s, then prepare to compromise and invest in a throw that will match your décor.

When you’ve figured out what stuff to get rid of, start listing it on eBay or book a stall at a rummage sale roughly a month before you leave. If you’re donating stuff, your local women’s refuge or homeless shelter is always looking for items.

Arrange movers/moving vans.

If you’re moving any larger items of furniture – even if it’s inside the same city – then don’t try to transport it in your little Mini Cooper.

This means arranging movers or hiring a moving van (if you feel confident driving it and moving the furniture). Try to get some quotes from various firms about a month before you leave to compare prices.

Once you’ve decided what’s coming with you, book your moving company (no less than two weeks before the move).

Pack like you’ve never packed before.

When I first moved, I assumed that packing would be easy. After all, you’re just clearing a room/house, so how could you leave anything behind?

Well, it turns out that a lot of the time, we’re not clearing everything so there’s plenty of room for error. Sometimes you’ll be leaving behind furniture belonging to your parents/property owner or, if moving out of shared accommodation, you’ll have to avoid taking your roommates’ stuff.

Basically, what I’m saying is that you need to prepare. If there’s anything I should have learned from watching Home Alone, it’s never closed the door until you’ve triple-checked that you have everything.

Also, it’s a good idea to make a packing list for the things that you won’t be packing until the day, like:

  • Phone and charger
  • Heath and beauty items
  • Pets (and food, toys, beds)
  • iPod/MP3 and dock
  • PJs and clothes for the next day
  • Bedding
  • Take-out menu – You probably won’t have the internet right away and you won’t want to cook after moving

Tell people that you’re moving.

Two to four weeks before moving day you should let people know about the change in address. Here’s a fairly quick list of the people that need to know that you’re moving, although this is obviously slightly different for everyone:

  1. Your employer – Not only might you need to ask for a couple of days off to move, but they’ll need to update your current address and emergency contact.
  2. Your family and friends
  3. Utility companies – Begin to cancel your internet/cable/gas/electric or ask for them to be switched over on your moving date. This might also be a good time to negotiate a better deal by threatening to switch to your girlfriend’s provider.
  4. Banks/Financial Companies – As much as you might want to never see your credit card statements ever again, Visa and MasterCard have ways of finding you.
  5. Government agencies – If you like being legally allowed to drive, vote, travel, etc, then you have to update your address with the relevant agency.
  6.  Commercial businesses – The last thing you would want is for someone else to get your Amazon package or your LOTL magazine, right?
  7. Cleaning, repairing, and decorating   No matter what condition your current home is in, it’s always best to go through and identify any areas that need special attention before handing the keys or to the realtor or letting agent. This should be done at least a week before you move.

This could mean putting filler into picture hook holes, painting walls a neutral colour, or even investing in some plug-in fragrances to get rid of lingering smells (smoking, pets, etc). If might even be necessary to hire a professional, particularly for repairs.

Arrange sitters.

If you have children under the age of ten or pets of any age, they’re not going to be especially helpful on moving day. About a week before your move, reach out to friends, family, or your usual sitter and ask them if they can watch your child/pet.

That’s about it from me about making the moving process stress-free, so now I want to hear from you lovely ladies below. Have you recently moved in with your girlfriend? What advice would you give to anyone about making the move? Let me know in the comments below.