In the past year, COVID-19 has led to three national lockdowns and a sharp rise in the number of employees working remotely. Many people are reassessing how they want to live and work.
As a growing number of businesses embrace remote and “hybrid” working as the new norm, employees have greater flexibility in where they choose to live. Estate agents have reported a surge in demand for spacious properties in rural locations with gardens and fast wi-fi. There has also been a rise in the number of people switching jobs to affect a career change.
Whether you’re relocating to take advantage of fewer days commuting to the office or to start a new role, this guide will help you to achieve a stress-free move.
- Communicate with your employer
Make your employer aware of your moving plans early on and keep them up to date on the progress of your move. This will help both of you to plan your workload and make sure that there is no undue pressure placed on you at certain crunch points — for example, around moving day.
Flag dates when you may need greater flexibility than usual. For example, on the date when the exchange of contracts is planned, you may need to take time out of the office to meet with your solicitor.
Find out if your employer has a relocation package. If you are moving for a new job, they may subsidise some of your costs. Many employers also offer one “moving day” — a paid day of leave to give you time to settle into your new home.
- Plan your finances
There is a lot of money flying around when buying, selling or renting a property. Make sure that you keep on track of your spending to avoid unnecessary expense and ensure that you stay within budget. There are hundreds of apps that will allow you to record everything, from the cost of the removal van to the deposit paid when contracts are exchanged.
Set up a reliable system for recording spending as early as possible. Remember that many payments will be split between a deposit and a balance. Without an effective strategy for noting all this down, you could miss payments — resulting in extra fees. Carefully monitoring what will be going out of your account and when will also help you to maintain a healthy cash flow and avoid using your overdraft.
- Take advantage of professional services
Why struggle to do everything yourself if you can have a little help? Yes, paying for professional services will eat into your budget, but if they keep your sanity in check and allow you to achieve what you want in the time you’ve allocated, they could be a worthwhile investment
Many people have very limited time to relocate, and this can quickly disappear, especially if you’re juggling other commitments too, such as childcare. There are lots of services that could help your relocation run more smoothly.
Treat yourself by adding a professional packing service to your removals van hire, book the children and pets into daycare on key dates or enlist the help of a cleaning company to make your new home shine before you start unloading boxes. You’ll be surprised what a difference this help can make to your stress levels.
If you have a property to sell and the clock is ticking — your start date is looming or the sellers of your new home are getting itchy feet — remove the uncertainty by opting for a guaranteed sale with a house buying company. A reputable company will have the funds to buy your home in as little as seven days, and there are zero risks of a failed sale, unlike when selling on the open market.
- Explore your new location before moving
Relocating to a new area is exciting, but it can also be stressful and daunting. Where will the kids go to school? Will I be able to build a social life easily? Does the town have the facilities I need?
Unless you’re relocating far away, plan a few day trips to your new home town before the big move. This is especially helpful if you have children as it can make the new location more familiar and put them at ease. Start following local community groups on social media — you could make friends before you’ve even packed a bag!
Online research is a great way to learn about your new community, and it will give you a head start when you arrive. Moving and unpacking will probably take up all your time in the first few weeks.
If you’re already armed with key information, such as where the nearest supermarket is or who is the most highly recommended childminder in the area, life will be a lot less stressful in these early days.
- Prepare a relocation survival kit
Pack a bag or several boxes with the essentials you’ll need in the first few days after relocating. This will include practical items, such as a kettle, a torch, scissors, ready meals and anything else you might need when you arrive at your new property with boxes to unpack.
You should also pack any paperwork you might need quick access to and information, such as contact details for the estate agent or the key safe code if you’re moving into rented accommodation.
Having everything to hand will make moving less stressful and avoid delays. The contents of your survival kit will depend on your circumstances — are you moving solo or with a family? — and where you’re moving to — is it a rental or a property you have bought?
Relocating is an exciting time. It typically means a promising career change and a new home life. Don’t let the lengthy to-do list stress you out. Enjoy the adventure of your new beginning by planning and taking steps to make relocating run as smoothly as possible.