Moving house is one of the most stressful things that we have to do in our lives. Though that may seem a little over the top at first, anyone who has actually undertaken a move will know that it's certainly not a task to look forward to.
However, at some point in our lives, (and quite possibly at several points) most people have to move properties. According to the Office for National Statistics, the average adult moves property once every five to ten years, and about one in ten adults move every year! So the question is: how do you make the entire process of moving home as stress free as possible?
A successful move is all about planning and packing. Before you start to pack up your life, now is the perfect time to edit your life.
That means doing a thorough audit of all your worldly possessions and selling, recycling or just throwing out all the old bills, magazines, clothes and other rubbish which you have accumulated over the years. Being ruthless is the name of the game here; if you haven't worn it, listened to it, watched it or read it within the last year - it's probably time to say goodbye.
Next, you'll need to get hold of as many large, sturdy cardboard boxes as you can. These can be bought for around £1 each, but can also be obtained for free from various shops.
Try your local supermarket, clothing store or a fruit shop as these can provide a good source of large, clean boxes. Most businesses are very happy to give away their boxes as this frees up space.
To commence your packing, start with items that you aren't likely to want to use until after the move. For example, books, DVDs, pictures and photo albums. These items tend to be easy to pack due to their shape and are also relatively robust. As moving day draws nearer, start to tackle more fragile items, like crockery and electronics.
It's a good idea to leave a stereo and a few of your favourite CDs until the end, as you'll need some form of entertainment to keep you going through the final stages.
When it comes to transport, get a van that is big enough to handle your cargo. Shop around, and you should be able to find cheap van hire in London.
If you can, it's much better to get everything into one van, than have to do multiple trips in a car.
Moving house is always going to involve a degree of stress, but with careful planning and preparation, it's quite possible to make a smooth move, even in London. .
Matthew Pressman is a freelance writer and frequent flyer. When not travelling, he enjoys golf and fishing.