If you’re reading this moving house checklist, then, congratulations, you’re officially moving house! Packing up everything you own may be stressful, especially now in a new world of pandemics and lockdowns but don't fret, it can also be a celebration of a new chapter of life. So, plan well ahead for every eventuality by following our checklist.
Can you move home during lockdown
You are allowed to move house during a lockdown. It is always best to check government advice for your local area because rules can differ and change very quickly.
Here are some useful links for each area:
You must follow socially distancing measures and ensure good personal hygiene, such as washing your hands regularly.
You are unable to stay in hotels, a guesthouse or with family during a lockdown, so you must take this into account when moving home.
Professional removers can help with the move and it is best to contact them well in advance about the process and what you need to do.
How to stay safe moving home during a lockdown
Moving home can still take place providing everyone follows the government’s safety guidelines.
The three most important rules are:
- Wash your hands
- Cover your face when in an enclosed space with people you don’t usually meet, and where socially distancing is difficult
- Maintain social distancing ensuring you remain two meters apart as much as possible.
If you or anyone in your household is experiencing any Coronavirus symptoms or tested positive for the virus, you must put your plans on hold until you’re better or finished self-isolation as per the government guidance.
For the move day, pack soap (ideally a multi-pack for each tap and person washing their hands especially if not in your household), anti-bacterial spray, disinfectant, hand gel and hand towels. You don't want different people using the same soap and hand towels, such as family and removers to avoid contamination. You may prefer using paper towels that can be disposed of.
Don't forget face masks, when with people outside your household and socially distancing is difficult.
Leave doors open to avoid touching door handles and having to keep wiping the handles down.
Researching your move (2 months before moving)
Now’s the time to settle down into some worthwhile research at least eight weeks before your move.
- Use a wall calendar to mark out important days, or start a moving-home scrap book with pockets to store all notes, letters and receipts, plus other important information in one place.
- Circle a moving in date in your diary to coincide with annual leave from work. You’ll need at least a couple of days either side of the move.
- Make sure your moving date check doesn’t coincide with Bank Holidays when parking is restricted or traffic conditions are worse than usual.
- If you have children, contact their new school, getting all the information you need for a seamless transition.
- Make an inventory of all the things you will be taking with you and a separate list of items you intend to sell or donate to charity. Use your upcoming move as an opportunity to have a good clear out.
- Collect cardboard boxes that are suitable for storing your stuff.
- Use Google Maps to scope out your new neighbourhood. If there are parking restrictions, arrange for residential permits.
- Find out where the local amenities are. Including parks and other places of interest for children. Identify nearby shops and supermarkets. Think of all the amenities you currently use day to day and see if these are available in your new area.
- If you decide to use a removal company, get several written quotes and book well in advance. Ask what their procedures are at the moment relating to Coronavirus and during a lockdown. The British Association of Removers can help you search for reputable companies.
- Review your home insurance policy and check you’re covered from the day you move in and/or exchange contracts.
Sorting out your home (1-2 months before moving)
- By now you should have confirmation of your moving in date, so it is full steam ahead as sorting out your home becomes top priority.
- Contact your solicitor to check moving dates and exchanging contracts.
- If you’re renting ensure you liaise with your existing landlord to confirm moving dates.
- Before you get your deposit back you’ll need to make sure everything is as it should be. Consider booking a cleaning company, or hiring a carpet cleaner to ensure you leave a good impression.
- Once you’ve completed your research, book your removals company.
- It’s time for some heavy lifting. Start to organise attics and cellars, garages and garden sheds well ahead of your move.
- Organise a garage sale, or sell unwanted items online. Contact charity shops and furniture recycling centres to pick up household items (check government guidelines and charities because during lockdown there will be restrictions).
- If you’re downsizing you might need to hire a storage centre to hold items of furniture for a short timescale.
Packing, contracts and bills (3-4 weeks before moving)
This is crunch time. Surveys will be complete and contracts (fingers-crossed) will be signed.
This is why you prepare well in advance as the legal requirements will now take up a great deal of your focus.
- Start with life admin changing addresses for driving licences, car and home insurance, utility bills including TV and broadband.
- Essential for day 1 of the move, make sure you have broadband connected at your new home.
- Contacting the Post Office to get your post redirected will save you a great deal of anxiety over the next few weeks.
- Arrange for someone to look after pets on moving day if necessary. You may want them out of the way during moving day.
- Start running down all the food in your freezer!
Packing, cleaning and admin (1-2 weeks before)
- Change your TV licence and bank details.
- Speak to your insurer, because your insurance can be invalidated if you don’t notify them of your change in address.
- Make sure your removal company have confirmed your moving dates and that their parking permits has been arranged.
- Make sure you have given your removal company an accurate arrival time to avoid running up costs.
- Get a final deep clean done of your property as you work methodically from room to room, from loft space to the garden shed.
- Arrange for a professional to disconnect any mains connected appliances you’re taking with you.
- Finalise your packing and label all your boxes by room for easy unpacking.
- Confirm with your estate agent when you can collect the keys to your new house.
- Make up a box of essentials for the first few hours in your new home (champagne included!)
- Pack a box for the move day to help keep you and your family safe during Coronavirus (face masks, multi-pack of soap, anti-bacterial spray, disinfectant, hand gel and hand towels).
Moving day. As momentous as a wedding day, with as much to organise.
- Delegate someone to choose the takeaway meal you’ll eat tonight (you’ll have the rest of your life to cook in your new kitchen).
- Take final meter readings.
- Do a final check of your property and garden to ensure nothing has been missed.
After the move
You’ve slept in your new home and awoken to new beginnings, there are still a few details that need your attention.
- Contact the local locksmith and enquire about changing all the locks. You can never be too sure all your house keys are accounted for.
- If your home security is not as efficient as it needs to be then here’s a handy guide to explain how to keep your new home secure.
- Pop by to say hello to your neighbours.
- Have a cup of tea and relax.
Your hard work has paid off. Congratulations on your move.