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Settling in

Tips and advice to make everything run smoothly

So, you've managed to pack up all your worldly goods and move to the new house. Now it's time to make sense of your new surroundings.

Overview

Now you're sitting surrounded by odd bits of furniture and what seems like hundreds of cardboard boxes. On top of which, there's the prospect of acclimatising to a whole new neighbourhood when you can't even find any clean clothes.

Fix any problems with utilities and electrics right away so your new home becomes a refuge, not a source of frustration. You will settle in more quickly to a home where everything works. Similarly, changing all external locks will help your peace of mind.

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Unpacking

Creating an orderly home is the first priority. Unpacking will seem like less of a daunting task if you break it down into manageable chunks - don't try to do everything at once. Make a list of what needs to be done. When you look at all the items that have been checked off, you'll have a real feeling of accomplishment. Don't look at it as an ordeal, but rather as a rare opportunity to have a perfectly organised home, however briefly, before the inevitable clutter creeps in.

Unpack the essentials first, taking it one room at a time. Start with your survival box, which you cleverly pre-packed with necessities like coffee, tea, milk and biscuits (don't forget a kettle), screwdrivers, Stanley knife, light bulbs, toilet paper, address book, bin liners and maybe even a radio.

Then set up a skeleton kitchen, so food and drink won't be a problem.

Don't worry about making dinner on your first night - now's the time for a takeaway.

Next, put your personal toiletries and towels in the bathroom so you can relax with a bath or shower. Sleeping bags are fine for the first night, but make up the beds as soon as possible. If you are able to sleep in your own bed and have a good breakfast, you'll be in better shape to deal with the task ahead.

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