Moving house is one of the most stressful events you will go through in your life, but relocating in London can be even worse. It’s much more expensive than moving in other parts of the country, and you can come up against hidden costs and charges you wouldn’t have to elsewhere, such as the congestion charge. The busier roads and public transport also make it a much longer journey to travel between destinations, which may add to the stress.

Despite these handicaps, moving in London doesn’t have to be any more stressful than moving house anywhere else. Following these three tips can help alleviate some of the stress of moving in the big city.

 Avoid using public transport to move to your new home

You may have had the misfortune of sharing a carriage with someone attempting to do this. As bizarre as it might sound, moving house via the tube is one of the options offered in AnyVan’s guide to arranging removals in London. There is a reason why it’s the bottom of their list however. Unless you’ve packed extremely light, and have a handful of friends willing to help you move, you should avoid using the trains and busses to get around. You would also have to avoid the rush hour commute times, which often last for a few hours in the morning, and is even longer in the evenings.

Instead, hiring a removal van company is a better way to transport your personal belongings quickly and all at once. You can make the trip in one go, depending on the size of the van you hire, giving you more time to spend unpacking at the other end. It’s advisable to use a  local company when arranging removals in London, as the driver will be familiar with navigating the city, and won’t be put off by the traffic and one-way systems.

Refrain from moving on a Friday or on the weekend

According to a study, the most popular day to move house is a Friday, with 41.57% of house moves in 2015 taking place that day. While this option does give you the whole weekend to unpack and settle into your new home, it’s best to try and avoid it. Banks may get overloaded and take time processing any payments, which can affect any transfers taking place on the day. Moving on a Friday also means that if anything does go wrong and you need to contact your solicitor, you would need to wait until Monday when they’re back in the office. This concern also makes moving on the weekend unadvisable.

The survey also found that Monday was the second most popular day for movers, with 17.18% of movers choosing the start of the week. This ensures that your solicitor will be in the office in case of any emergencies, and any payments will be processed quickly and easily. However, as it is a popular day, removal companies may be more expensive to hire or be booked up well in advance. On top of this, collecting the keys to your new home may take even longer, as estate agents deal with the busy moving day for all clients.

Try and plan your move for mid-week instead, when the hire charge for a removal company may be cheaper, and bank transfers will be able to go through smoothly. Offices and tradesmen will also be open through the week, meaning if you do run into any issues, you’ll be able to fix them sooner rather than later. Moving on a Tuesday or Wednesday also means that you won’t have to rush trying to get settled on the weekend, and can take your time with decorating your new home.

Prepare for any unexpected fees that may crop up

While moving can be expensive on its own, there are some hidden fees you may find yourself responsible for. It’s a good idea to check your chosen removal company’s insurance policy, and find out what the excess is. Your existing home insurance may also cover your possessions while in transit, but it’s best to check this before you begin the big move. Driving around London also means you will have to face the congestion charge, which the removal company may not have taken into account when giving the quote. Check with them, otherwise you may need to pay the daily £11.50 charge on top of the hire fee.

Once you have moved in, you may find that you need to call a tradesman to fix any little bits around your new house. For example, there might be frustrating issues with the plumbing, heating, or lighting. It’s also a good idea to change the locks when you move into a new home, which can add to your overall cost of moving. Over half of Britons admitted that they didn’t change their locks after moving house. However, this can leave you vulnerable to break-ins, as you don’t know who has keys to your new home. Burglaries are more common in London according to a recent study. Out of the 20 worst postcode districts for burglaries, 16 were from the city.

While moving homes in London can be stressful, if you simply take the time to plan how and when you’ll be transporting your belongings to the new house, you can ensure that you don’t get too overwhelmed on the day. Having a detailed plan and being prepared for any unexpected costs, such as the congestion charge, can ensure you get settled into your new home sooner rather than later.