Moving house has always been listed as one of the most stressful things anyone could ever experience - it is right up there with divorce, losing a loved one or experiencing a job loss - and it is something most of us will experience at some point.

1. Get the house checked out before you arrive on moving day

Oftentimes, the last time you (as the new owner) set foot inside your newly-bought house was when it was still lived in by the previous owners and on the market. Take the time to check out your new home before your moving in date.

It’s at this time, when all the previous owner’s furniture, paintings and rugs are gone, that you’ll see what needs attention before you move in. The house might need cosmetic ‘clean-ups’ such as painting, grouting of bathrooms or having damaged floorboards or tiles repaired.

If you’re in doubt about possible defects such as damp issues, leaks in the roof, etc., it would be best to get a property inspector in to give you a professional opinion. You should also check that your TV and telephone connection points are where you want them, or make plans to have them moved.

2. Get the house thoroughly cleaned

It’s also a good idea to have the house thoroughly cleaned so that you can settle in. Get the carpets cleaned, scrub the bathrooms and kitchen. Unpack those rooms that you will need the most, such as the kitchen and bedroom. It’s important to have a place to make coffee and get some sleep. If it gives you peace of mind, get the locks changed.

3. Declutter, declutter, declutter

The best way to reduce possible stress is to be organised. Book the movers way ahead of time, label boxes properly and throw away excess clutter and stuff you no longer need or use. Clutter causes huge stress long term, and there are many organisations willing and able to collect things you no longer need.

4. Get to know your neighbours

It is very important to know your neighbours, not only from a security perspective, but also for social reasons. You never know, you might need to borrow a cup of sugar at some point. Your neighbours should also be able to provide you with information on your local area and where to get what from, who the best doctors in the area are, where the best vet is, etc. Knock on their doors and introduce yourself. Your real estate agent should also know the neighbours and could help you get acquainted.

5. Make sure you have these five local telephone numbers available on quick dial:

- Your security company - the one your alarm is connected to.- Your neighbourhood patrols, like the neighbourhood watch, etc.- A reliable neighbour.- A plumber - just in case.- An electrician.


“The most important thing to remember is that even though moving is stressful, have fun with it. It’s a new adventure and a step towards the next exciting chapter in your life. Embrace it, resonate with it and just go with the flow. Once you are in and settled, the stress becomes history. Lastly, deal with a reputable estate agent who can guide you through the process from beginning to end,” says Harris.