Moving house can be stressful – but luckily there is a tonne of apps out there to make the process as painless as possible. Here’s our pick of some of the most useful.
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1) Use Zoopla to find somewhere to live
So first of all, you’re going to actually need somewhere to live. The Zoopla app will let you browse properties – whether buying or renting – with ease, and you can filter results by different criteria, such as price – and also display them on a map.
Perhaps the best feature is being able to search via GPS – so that if you’re walking through a nice neighbourhood and want to know what is available, simply whip out your phone and within seconds you can be despairing at the price of houses in this country.
2) Moving Van will keep track of your stuff
So you’ve got a place to go to, and now you need to move all of your stuff. The big problem is how do you keep track of what is in all of the boxes?
This is where a clever app called Moving Van comes to the rescue. It helps you create a database of the contents of each box – complete with a photo of the contents and text listing, which when you get to the new place you can search for whatever you need.
Brilliantly, if you’re hyper-organised you can even export the database as a text file, PDF or even CSV for printing or processing.
Moving Van is available for iPhone.
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Zipvan for lugging your stuff across town
Everything is packed – but how to get it to the new place? Zipvan, which is operated by Zipcar is a very easy way to rent a van. Essentially, there are vans parked all around a number of cities in the UK – all you have to do is make a reservation on the app (after paying a membership fee and having your driving license checked, alas), and you can simply walk up to the van and unlock it with your Zipvan membership card.
Then it is simply just a case of loading up the van, dropping off your stuff and then parking the van back where you found it. Nice and easy.
TaskRabbit to get someone to clean your house
When moving there’s always the annoying task of getting your old place clean and ready for the next person – so why not get a helping hand? Task Rabbit is a bit like Zipvan but for people – where you can book people to help out with cleaning, packing, DIY and all sorts of tasks. Super useful if you’re a tech wizard but can’t take apart a shelf without destroying everything in a 3m radius.
Use Uber to shuttle between properties
Annoyingly, whilst Uber might be one of the most controversial companies in tech, it provides a very useful service. Inevitably when moving house, you need to shuttle back and forth between the old place and new place with heavy bags. So if you can’t face dragging a vacuum cleaner on to a bus, catching an Uber might be a good option. In London at least it tends to work out cheaper than a black cab, and even some minicabs. Though be careful – it uses surge pricing so during times of high demand, the app will charge you double for the same journey.
Google Docs to keep things organised with others
There’s lots of faffing about when moving: Changing addresses, organising deliveries, shopping lists of things to buy and so on. If you live with someone else, then you’ll also need to coordinate with them.
The easiest way to do this is probably to create a spreadsheet in Google Sheets. Not only can you keep your data organised, but you an access it across a wide range of devices (computer, phone, tablet) and also share it with other people, so that they can edit it too. Invaluable.
BT Wifi for internet connectivity
Without doubt the worst thing about moving is the lack of broadband. Whilst water and electricity will work immediately, every move tends to mean a month of agony as you wait for your ISP to pull their fingers out and get you re-connected.
Whilst there isn’t an app that can offer you respite from this – there is a potential stop-gap. If you live in a built up area, it is increasingly common for there to be open BT Wifi hotspots thanks to “Fon”. Essentially, without knowing it many people’s BT Homehubs are also acting as public routers – that you can connect to like you can BT Wifi or BT Openzone. Don’t worry if you have a HomeHub – it is all kept separate from your data, and nobody can access your files or anything, but it means more hotspots for everyone.
If you’re lucky, perhaps you’ll be able to connect to a neighbour’s BT Openzone – and the easiest way to do that is with the BT Wifi app.
Yelp to find new places to eat
Finally, you’re all moved in… but now where to eat? If you’re in a new area, Yelp will help you explore offering suggestions and reviews of restaurants, as well as other shops and services too. Some places will even offer special deals to Yelp users.