Moving home can feel like a daunting prospect.
With a to-do list as long as your arm, it's no wonder that moving ranks among the most stress-inducing events in a person's life.
But, fret not! Here's a comprehensive checklist to help you stay organised and on top of everything before the eagerly anticipated big day.
2 months before moving – check and research
There are many tasks you can tick off well in advance of your moving day to get prepared:
- use a wall calendar to mark out important days. Or start a moving-home note book with pockets to store notes, letters, receipts and other important information
- schedule your move to coincide with your annual leave from work. Consider taking a couple of extra days off either side of the move too
- go through your belongings and create a list of items to sell or donate. This will help you de-clutter and get rid of any items that you don't need or use. It could also help you save money on moving costs
- gather sturdy cardboard boxes that are suitable for packing your belongings
- get quotes from a few removal companies and book well in advance. The British Association of Removers can help you search for reputable companies that meet your needs
- review your home insurance policy and check you’re covered from the day you move in and/or exchange contracts
1-2 months before moving - Organise removal method
Moving day can be stressful, so it's important to choose a removals option that works for you.
The best way to choose a removals option is to consider your budget, the size of your property, and your own personal preferences.
If you're moving into a small property or on a tight budget, renting a van and getting a few friends to help can be a great option.
If you're not comfortable with the idea of moving yourself, there are plenty of professional removals companies that can help. They'll take care of all the packing and loading for you, so you can relax and focus on other things.
If you choose to use a professional removal company:
- get quotes from at least 3 different companies, well in advance of your move date
- ask about the company’s experience, insurance and guarantees
- get a breakdown of costs, including packing, loading and unloading
- compare the details and choose the company who best meets your needs
1-2 months before moving – Have a clear out
Moving house is the perfect time to de-clutter and get rid of anything you no longer want or need. This can help reduce the amount of stuff you need to pack and move, and it can also free up space in your new home.
Once you've de-cluttered your belongings, you'll need to decide what to do with them. You could donate items in good condition to charity, sell them, recycle or throw them away if they’re broken or damaged.
3-4 weeks before moving – Pack and label boxes
Packing up the entire contents of your home can feel like a formidable task, but it doesn’t need to be.
Thankfully, there are several ways to make packing (and unpacking) easier:
- start packing early. The earlier you start packing, the less stressed you'll be on moving day. Start by packing items you don't use on a regular basis, such as seasonal decorations and out-of-season clothes
- label each box with the room it belongs in. This will help you unpack more smoothly when you get to your new home
- use packing materials to protect your belongings. This includes bubble wrap and newspaper
- pack a box with essential items you'll need for the first few days in your new home. Not forgetting a kettle to keep everyone fuelled with tea or coffee
- ask friends and family for help. This will make the process go much faster and may even make it fun
1-2 weeks before moving – Who to tell you’re moving
Here’s a handy checklist of people and organisations you may need to notify of your change of address:
- your work: let your employer know your new address as soon as possible
- your bank, insurance, pension and credit card companies: to receive important statements and notifications by post
- the council and electoral roll: so you receive important information about local services, council tax and elections
- TV Licensing: when you move house, your TV licence doesn’t automatically move with you. You’ll need to let TV Licensing know your new address and date of move
- doctor and dentist: let your doctor and dentist know your new address so they can update their records
- DVLA: you’ll need to update your address with the DVLA to continue to receive important reminders and information
- National Insurance / DSS offices: make sure you update your details to ensure there’s no disruption to any benefits you may receive
- utility companies: including your broadband, gas, electricity and water providers
Notifying people and organisations of your change of address is an important part of moving. By doing so you can ensure that you continue to receive important information and services.
1-2 weeks before moving – Redirect your post
Post redirection is a service that allows you to have your mail forwarded from your old address to your new address. This can be a helpful service if you are moving and don’t want to miss any important mail.
There are a few different ways to set up post redirection. You can do it online, by phone, or in person at a Post Office.
1–2 weeks before moving – Preparing your home for the new owner
By taking the time to prepare your home for its new owner, you are showing them that you care about them and their well-being.
Some simple things you can do before you leave are:
- repair any minor damage such as fixing holes or cracks in tiles
- clean your home including surfaces, floors and carpets
- leave a welcome note and any relevant instruction manuals
A little effort on your part can make a big difference to the new owners.
1-2 days before moving – Get ready for moving day
Moving day is imminent! You’ve packed most of your stuff, had a big clear out and redirected your post. Now it’s time to think about settling into your new home.
To make life easier when you arrive, pack and label your essential items separately. This way, you can avoid the hassle of searching through a large number of boxes and have quick access to the things you need during the first few days.
These items could include:
- kettle, mugs, milk, tea, coffee and sugar: these items will allow you to make a cup of tea or coffee when you first arrive at your new home
- cleaning products, plus vacuum cleaner and bin bags: to help you clean your new home and make it feel fresh and new
- phone and laptop chargers: to ensure that you can stay connected and productive and avoid any teenage tantrums
- loo roll and kitchen roll: these items are essential for everyday life and will be much appreciated when you first arrive at your new home
- toiletries: such as shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, toothpaste, toothbrush and deodorant
- clothes: pack a few changes of clothes as you may not have time to unpack your entire wardrobe straight away
- duvet and bedding for the first night: this will ensure that you have a comfortable place to sleep on your first night in your new home
- television or radio: to help you relax and unwind after a long day of moving
- first aid kit: this could come in handy if someone gets injured during the move
- paper and pens: so you can note down anything important, such as your new phone number, utility information and meter readings
- water bottle: it’s important to remember to stay hydrated, especially when you’re moving, so have a water bottle to hand
Moving day is finally here. As momentous as a wedding day, with as much to think about and do.
Don't forget to:
- arrange a takeaway meal for your first night, to save yourself the trouble of rummaging through pots and trying to figure out how to use the oven
- take final meter readings
- carry out a final check of your property and garden to ensure you haven't missed anything
After the move
Congratulations! You’ve slept in your new home and awoken to new beginnings. There are just a few final little jobs to tick off your list: