A guide to moving house

Moving house is one of the biggest stresses in life – right up there with getting married and death, allegedly.

There’s the endless packing to take care of, with cardboard boxes and tape everywhere, then the effort to transport everything safely, and then you’ve got to unpack it all again.

That’s also in addition to redirecting your mail, getting bill payments organised at your new address and plenty of other tedious tasks.

The trick is to try and make the whole moving house process as stress-free as possible, and a good place to start is with a checklist. Then you won’t forget anything – well, at least in theory.

Ask the sellers all the questions you need to

In your rush to make a list of things to do when moving home, don’t forget that this may also be your last chance to ask questions of the property’s sellers or previous inhabitants.

Do you know where the gas and electric meters are in your new home, and do you have the instructions for any electrical items? What days are the bins collected? Make a list of the information you’ll need and remember to leave the same for whoever is moving into your old place.

Get cleaning

Something else to add to your moving checklist isn’t moving at all – it’s cleaning. There’s nothing worse than moving your belongings into a filthy house, and then worry about scrubbing and washing when you’re already tired from shifting boxes.

Even a brand new house will need attention, as you’ll find dust and plaster chips.

So if you can, give the place a deep clean before you move in. Look closely at the kitchen and bathroom – the oven, grill and hobs might need special attention, and then you’ll want to clean and dust any cupboards and surfaces.

Clean the sink and mop the floor, and then do the same in the bathroom.

For the other rooms, in addition to vacuuming, you might want use a specialist carpet cleaner, which can be bought or rented. This will thoroughly wash your carpets, but will need some time to dry out. While you’re waiting, clean and dust as much as you can – if the property has been empty for a while, there might be cobwebs lurking.

Find a good removal company

How much stuff are you actually moving? If you’re going from one furnished property to another, you may want to enlist the help of a removal company.

Websites like reallymoving.com let you compare quotes from companies online. For added reassurance, check that they belong to a reputable organisation like the British Association of Removers.

As well as carrying out most of the heavy lifting, the removal company may offer its own insurance. However, your own contents insurance provider may cover you in the event of loss or breakages, if you have used professional removers.

Only move what you actually need to as well. Look through what you own beforehand and throw away anything you no longer use as a first step on your moving house checklist.

Label all boxes with which room they are heading to and a description of what’s inside. Any screws and bolts for furniture, place in a taped-up freezer bag and attach it to the item.

Ideally, you want to get your furniture into the new house first, otherwise you’ll be moving boxes around to rearrange it. Take spare cardboard with you and lay it down on the floor to protect it, as heavy items are moved in and out.

If you’re moving with a pet, maybe visit the area you are moving to in advance so they can become familiar with their new surroundings.

Also try and make the literal process of moving them a stress-free as possible – take them to your new property in your own car and surround them with food, water, as well as their usual bed and toys. For more tips on relocating with an animal, see our guide to moving with a pet.

Who to let know that you’ve moved

No doubt friends and family will be eagerly awaiting an invite to your housewarming party, but even before that there are many other people who need to know you’re moving: banks, credit card companies, place of work, your children's schools, your doctor, the providers of your gas, electric and internet, and so on.

All of these places might require a checklist of their own, in fact. If you’re pushed for time, you can pay the post office to redirect your mail from your old address to your new one. That way you can simply contact whoever it is and ask them to update your details as the correspondence comes through.

Some service providers may adjust how much they charge you in relation to your new abode. Your council tax, for example, may rise or fall depending on the size of the property and where it is.

And remember, you’ll need a TV licence if you watch or stream live TV, but can update your address details online – it’s like your TV licence moving home with you. If you’re moving in with somebody who already has a licence, use the same website to cancel yours and get a refund, as you only need one per household.

Find out more about Home Insurance from MORE TH>N.

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