Tips on Moving House

Moving house is one of the most stressful events in your life, but these tips might help ease the pressure a little.

Organising everything well ahead of the moving day is the best way to make sure things run smoothly. The countdown should begin as much as two months before you move home.

Moving Day minus 8 Weeks

  • Confirm your moving date (usually the completion date), and arrange your home insurance to cover you on the day you move in.
  • If you are not moving yourself, get at least three written quotes for removal costs. Ask friends, family and work colleagues for a reputable removal company. Just like we are governed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, it makes sense to choose a company who are members of their professional body. Choose a company who is a member of the British Association of Removers (BAR) or the National Guild of Removers and Storers (NGRS). Fridays, weekends and bank holidays are usually in high demand, so try to organise yourselves for a mid-week moving date. Ask the removal company if they offer a discount if you move on an off-peak weekday. Make sure there is insurance covering any damage to goods during transit.
  • Check whether there are any exclusions as some insurance policies don't cover goods you have packed yourself.
  • Notify the utility companies of your moving date and arrange electricity, gas and water meter readings on your old and new property.
    Arrange your new telephone line/internet/satellite/cable connection.
  • Start marking a list of all the people you need to notify. Include all your service providers such as car insurers etc, plus friends and family. For friends and family, why not create a "photo postcard" of your new home using the online service from someone like Bonusprint? The list might include people like your employer, children's school, bank, building society, pension provider, credit card company, vets, council tax, DVLA, Inland Revenue, TV licensing, etc.
  • Start sorting out your possessions and throw away, or donate to charity, any unwanted or surplus items.
  • Book the required time off from your employer.

Moving Day minus 2 Weeks

  • Confirm your moving time and ensure the removal company have directions to your new house and your mobile phone number.
  • Organise a time with your solicitor or estate agents to collect your new keys and hand over your old keys.
  • Arrange to get your mail redirected by the Post Office to your new address.
  • Notify all other service providers of your change of address. Why not use the free service from the Royal Mail.
  • De-register from your GP and dentist if you are moving out of the area. Remember to register in your new locality.
  • Notify your local services, such as milk delivery, papers, window cleaning, etc and arrange a cancellation date.
  • If you are moving yourself, begin packing any non-essential items, i.e. spare clothes, extra crockery, books. Colour code or label the boxes per room you want them in as you go.
  • Arrange for any final bills to be paid.
  • Have meters read and pay any outstanding amount.
  • Find some old blankets to put down in new house to protect carpets when you and/or the removal company are trekking in and out. Particularly if you are moving in the winter or on a wet day.
  • Start cleaning the house. In our experience the adage "leave it as you would wish to find it" is a good one here.
  • Ensure your pets have tags with your mobile or new phone number on them.
  • Notify pet companies such as "Identichip".
  • Put important documents such as passports and driver's licences in a safe place. Keep all your house move related douments together & in one place, that is easy to hand.

Moving Day minus 1 Day

  • Set aside all items that you will need on the day such as: tape measure, extension lead, step ladder etc.
  • Pack a bag to keep with you on moving day with the essentials - light bulbs, a torch, fuses, toilet roll, candles, matches, toiletries, underwear, cash, phone charger and tools.
  • Pack a box with your kettle, some mugs, tea coffee, milk, biscuits etc. Make sure it's clearly lableled!
  • If you or your family have and medications, make sure that these are set aside and clearly labeled.
  • If moving yourself, collect hire van later in the day. Rent or buy a sack truck & appliance rollers for moving your heavy items.
    Defrost the fridge and freezer.
  • Label or colour code all the boxes and carpets with the room you want them put in. Mark boxes with any fragile items, so the removal firm will know to take special care.

Moving Day

  • Unplug any of your remaining appliances.
  • Strip the beds and keep this linen separate in a box that travels with you so you can use them the first night.
  • Ensure a box containing a kettle, cups, tea and the bedding is loaded last of all - that way it will be the first to be unpacked. Put in a bottle of champagne and glasses to celebrate later!
  • Keep your essential bag out of the way of the removers, such as in the car, and label anything you want to keep with you 'Do Not Remove'.
  • Count the boxes before they are moved and check when they are delivered to your new address that you have them all.
  • Make it your priority once you reach your new home to make the beds and hang the bedroom curtains as soon as possible - by the end of the day you'll be exhausted and it will be great to just relax. Don't attempt to do all your unpacking on the first day, just unpack the essentials - and make sure there is somewhere comfortable to sit, eat and sleep.
  • Sit, down, put your feet up and open a bottle of bubbly to celebrate your new home!