Written by Hugh Metcalf

A professional organiser’s guide to moving house

Find moving home stressful? Who doesn’t! This new service offers you an escape from packing and unpacking, and a beautifully styled house at the end of it.

well organised living room with bult in shelving - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Sharps

Did you know that according to a study by Yopa, 40% of homeowners said that moving home was the most stressful experience they’d ever had? For some, more stressful than childbirth!

But what if you could hand over your belongings to an organisational expert, head away on a little staycation and return to a perfectly organised and styled new home.

We’ve seen a love of home organisation grow hugely in recent years – and professional organisers are fast becoming big business. We’ve discovered Poppy Duffree of Organised Interiors who specialises in making home moves a joy, and wanted to get to know what a professional organiser can offer to the process.

What does a home move by a professional organiser entail?

‘We begin with an in-depth client consultation where we discuss lifestyle, priorities and style preferences. From the high level questions around routines, right through to the detail of whether they want snacks to be in reach of children in their new kitchen and if they want their books colour co-ordinated or organised by genre – we make sure we cover it from all angles from the practical to the aesthetics. Where possible, we then visit the new property and take measurements of main storage areas so we can source organisational products that fit the space and the visual preferences of the client.

If the client wants to include a pre-move declutter (which we always recommend), we work together to edit out belongings that are no longer loved or needed.

Read more: 8 tips when moving house during Covid-19 restrictions

If the client wants to avoid the chaos and stress of the move itself, they simply pack a suitcase and go on a mini-break, leaving us to do the rest and they only return once the house is box-free and completely set up.

On the big day, the client packs a suitcase and leaves before the removal company arrive (if they want to escape the chaos) and stay elsewhere for a few days. They leave us to oversee the removal company, ensure that all boxes and furniture are moved as planned and then we start to unpack. Our team ensure everything is functional and beautiful, and our unpacking plan is carefully actioned, considering the client’s lifestyle and requirements at every step. Finally, we add the finishing touches – the beds are made, we pop milk in the fridge and create a new home guide, before giving the all important tour to the clients when they return. They simply unpack their suitcase and make themselves at home.’

Image: Organised Interiors

How have past clients reacted when they’ve seen what you’ve done for their new homes?

‘There’s a lot of excitement! Some clients can’t quite believe that it’s their home and belongings they are seeing – styled and organised, set up specifically to their routines in a house they’ve been looking forward to moving into for months. It really is a ‘wow’ moment for people.

It’s often the little touches that we’ve incorporated as a result of everything we’ve found out about them that create the most joy, as they know we’ve not just unpacked in a generic way – it truly is set up for them. When we give them a tour of their new home, they are often excited to explore their newly set up home, room by room. Taking clients on a tour of their new home really is the highlight of the job and is incredibly rewarding.’

Image: Organised Interiors

What are your top tips for how to unpack to settle into a new home quickly?

1. Create an unpacking plan

Decide which boxes are a priority to unpack. Noting this down ensures all household members involved with unpacking know what the plan is – avoiding miscommunication on the day.  Print a hard copy off and stick it to the fridge when you arrive so it can easily be referred to.

2. Think about your routines

When we unpack and set up a new home for our clients, we consider their routines, lifestyle and personal taste to ensure their home is set up to support them from week one. Ensure the layout and storage options you choose work for your routines so your home is practical as well as stylish.  Organised homes should save you time and make day to day tasks a breeze, as well as enhancing how your space looks.

3. Make the beds as soon as possible

Once the bedframe has been re-assembled, make the bed straightaway. The move day itself is demanding, so having a bed made up ready for you to collapse into at the end of the day will be something you thank yourself for!

4. Ensure everything has a place

This is the golden rule of organisation and the first few days in a home are the perfect time to ensure every item has a place. Once unpacking is finished, take your household on a tour so that everyone knows where to find things and – most importantly – where to put them away.

5. Stay motivated – Reward yourself!

If the motivation of having a clear and calm house alone doesn’t help you stay focused on unpacking, set yourself a deadline for finishing by scheduling in a post-move treat. Whether it’s a spa-day, a family trip out or allowing yourself to order some new houseplants – having a fixed date can help you stay focused on the task in hand, ensuring your home is set up and unpacked in a timely manner.

Read more: How to recreate this Kardashian’s Instagram-famous pantry

What organisational tasks should you take advantage of a house move to tackle?

‘The first task would definitely be to declutter. Moving is the perfect opportunity to consider what is no longer serving you and what you want to take with you. Clutter is simply a number of postponed decisions – moving is an excellent time to review what you own and how your possessions serve you.

Setting up a system for paperwork is also important if you don’t already have one as paper is one of the largest sources of clutter in a home. Consider where new post will go, where you keep outstanding paperwork and ensure you have an effective, accessible filing system set up. Thinking about these types of ‘systems’ ensures that you can maintain a tidy home as good habits are formed from the beginning.

Invest time in setting up frequently used areas, so you save time in the future. For example, finding organisational products that make everything in your kitchen accessible will save you time when finding items, cuts down on food waste as you don’t forget about previously purchased food and also ensures your cupboards are visually pleasing when you open them. Items to consider would include lazy susans, bakeware organisers and shelf inserts.’

read a free issue of good homes magazine

Would you consider hiring a professional organiser? Let us know by tweeting us @goodhomesmag or posting a comment on our Facebook page.

RELATED ARTICLES

Decluttering: our top tips to streamline your house

Experts answer the 10 most common cleaning questions

Marie Kondo’s top tips on decluttering, tidying and hoarding