Moving house is stressful, especially when you run a business from your home. Here’s my guide on how to deal with it.
This year marks my 10th year of being a freelance UI & UXer – In that time I’ve moved house three times but this was the first time me and my wife Chrissy have sold and bought at the same time so it needed some extra preparation.
All of these things are probably pretty obvious to you, but figured it was worth sharing 🙂
So, how do I move house while working from home with the least amount of stress?
1. Tell your clients early.
Lets face it, moving house never goes to plan and with our recent move we only completed on a Wednesday and moved out on the Friday, which isn’t ideal!
Luckily I’d been warning my clients for several months that I’d be having time off “pretty soon” and apologised if this causes any inconvenience down the line. Thankfully my clients are awesome and very supportive, some where even more excited than us!
2. Keep your work stuff separate.
It’s really easy to just throw everything into a box and hope that you find what you need when you need it, but it’s hell! What you need to do is make sure you either a) take your work stuff with you in a separate vehicle or b) work out before hand where your home office will be and label the boxes clearly to go into that room.
3. Setup your office first
You work from home right, you need to work to pay the mortgage of this new home… it made sense to me to set my office up first so I had somewhere away from all the madness of the house move that I could work. Even if in the early days of moving working involves sending a few emails, at least you won’t be doing it on your phone or ontop of a pile of boxes.
4. Plan what goes where.
We found that we planned the move in such fine details that we were unpacked in record time, we did this by making sure every box was labeled clearly, we asked the removal firm (if you opted to do it yourself then this still applies) to place the boxes in the right rooms. We labelled the room doors the same as the boxes so they knew where to put them! We even drew plans of each room beforehand to make sure we knew everything would fit! (But that might be a little OTT for some!). Doing this just make it quicker to unpack which meant it was quicker to get back to work.
5. Get mobile broadband!
Fibre broadband can take weeks to get installed, that’s weeks of tethering to your phone and burning data. You might even be in an area like me where the broadband is shockingly poor… if you find yourself in this situation I highly recommend getting a 30 day contract with a mobile broadband provider like EE. I paid £99 for a mobile router and £35 a month for 50gb of data. Because it’s only a 30 day contract I can cancel anytime. This helped me get online faster. Some providers throttle 4G tethering from your phone, I found this a great alternative.
6. Have a cash buffer.
Make sure before you move you have a few weeks where you can afford to be off the radar and not earning money. I found the move was fairly quick but actually getting back into the routine of working in a new environment with the distractions of delivery men and paperwork very hard. It took me a good few weeks before I was back in the zone of working for myself. I prepared by ensuring I had money in the bank so worrying about earning money didn’t add to the stress of moving house.
7. Get some exercise.
I’m new to this exercising lark. I’ve been lazy for so many years it was a killer to get off my butt and get running. I’ve just completed the Couch to 5k course and feeling much healthier than I ever have. The reason why I’ve included this in here is for mental health. Sometimes you can let it all get ontop of you. I found running three times a week just cleared my mind.
Ok thats it. Probably my most niche post yet!
Follow me on Twitter