Moving checklist – from planning to moving day
So you’ve found your dream new home, your offer has been accepted and you’re now faced with the daunting prospect of managing the legal process, dealing with surveyors and planning the move of your entire earthly possessions all within the space of 2 months.
Little wonder that moving home is cited as one of the most stressful events in life. That’s why we’ve put together our comprehensive Moving House Checklist detailing all the things you need to do from the initial planning stages to the actual day of moving to ensure that your house move is as stress free as possible.
You can print off or download our checklist and just tick off the points as you go.
Checklist of things you need to do when moving home
2 months before the move
Once you’ve had your offer accepted and you’re planning your moving date it will be all systems go so you’ll need to be super organised in order to ensure that your move goes as smoothly as possible. Now’s the time to be consulting conveyancers and surveyors, as well as speaking with your mortgage company; it’s a time of intense planning and organisation:
- Create a single file where you can store all important information and documents related to your move, including names, phone numbers, to do lists, quotations, notes of conversations etc.
- Start looking for a surveyor and a conveyancer to manage the legal process. Asking for recommendations from friends and family is normally a good place to start.
- Notify schools
If you’re moving out of the area it’s important that you inform the school or nursery that your children attend as early as possible so that they can organise the transfer of their records to the new school. You’ll also need to start thinking about new uniforms too.
- Research utility providers and available deals
Whilst your focus at this point is not on packing, take the time to shop around for the best deals for your energy, phone, broadband and home contents insurance.
Removal companies quote on the volume of items you need to move, so the fewer items you need to move the cheaper your house move will be.
Start to get rid of all your unwanted possessions, make a full inventory of all the items you want to keep and start grouping all non-essential items which you can start disposing of in advance of your move date. (See our separate article on De-cluttering).
- Book time off work if you need it for the move
When booking time off work to move house, if possible it’s best to try and book off the day before the move, the actual moving day itself and the day after the move. Don’t underestimate the scale of the job involved – moving your entire earthly possessions is no mean feat!
Now’s also a good time to start calling in the favours; come the day the more hands on deck the better, so start making those subtle hints to family and friends now!
Six weeks to go
The move date is looming, by now you should be speaking with removal companies, organising your packing, checking access and any required permits both for your old home and your new property. Depending upon the location you may require council permits, so it’s essential that you check now.
- Organise the logistics
One of the first things you need to do once you have a moving date is to organise the removals. The size of property you’re moving from as well as the amount of possessions you need to move will determine the type of service you require.
If it’s a small scale move from a flat / house share or a rented furnished property then a man and van removal service should suffice. If you’re moving from a larger (3 bed+) fully furnished property then it’s probably best to use a full service removal company who will come out to your property and undertake a pre-move survey in order to accurately establish the volume of possessions that need moving and therefore the size of vehicle required.
To compare up to 5 competitive quotes from rated moving companies fill in our quick quote form detailing the size of property and where you’re moving from / to and our approved local service providers will then quote you based on the information provided.
Also take a few moments to read our article Questions For Your Removal Company this will help you decide upon the most suitable company for you.
Whatever service you decide upon it’s best to try and avoid Fridays or weekends as these are the times that removal companies are in high demand. For budget moves try and opt for an off peak time during the week.
- If your removal company hasn’t already done so check with the local council regarding any required access permits. Relay the information back to your removal company as this will determine the vehicle type required as well as any additional costs with respect to permits etc.
- If you’re doing the packing yourself it’s time to start ordering the boxes, bubble wrap, tape and other required packaging material.
Check with your removal company to see if you are fully covered under their insurance policy if you pack your possessions yourself.
1 month and counting
By now you should be speaking with your solicitor about exchanging contracts and finalising the actual move date which you need to confirm and book with your chosen removal company. With just 4 weeks to go now’s the time to really start getting things organised and packed.
- Pack non-essential items
Hopefully by now you’ll have decluttered in preparation for the move; unless you’ve booked a full service removal including full packing services, now’s the time to start packing up non-essential items and least used rooms. For information on the best way to pack read our packing tips guide.
Don’t forget outdoor items as well as those in order storage spaces such as the loft or the shed. If you’re downsizing now’s the time to start looking for additional storage space if required.
- Arrange the transfer of utilities
If you’ve been shopping around for the best deals in anticipation of your move now’s the time to make your decision. To avoid any disruption in service it’s best to give your chosen utility providers at least 4 weeks’ notice of your impending house move. This is also a good time to organise and update your account address details as well as any refunds that you may be due.
- Check the level of moving insurance
Ensure that any particularly valuable possessions are fully insured for transit by the removal company. If you have valuable possessions it’s important to check with the removal company to ensure that you are covered under the terms of their policy. If you decide to move your more valuable possessions yourself check that they are covered by your home contents insurance provider.
2 weeks before the move
By now the excitement (or more likely stress) will be kicking in. Follow these tips to keep things on track during the last 2 weeks before your move:
- Notify your home insurers of your exact moving date so that there is no disruption in your cover
- Make arrangements for your children and pets to stay with friends or relative on the move day, this will decrease your stress levels on the day. Time to start calling in those favours! You might find our moving with children and moving with cats and dogs information guides and articles helpful.
- Notify the TV Licensing Company (www.tvlicensing.co.uk) – failure to do so could lead to a fine of up to £1000.
- If not provided by your removal company, start booking the additional services required such as a gas safe plumber to disconnect any appliances, furniture dismantlers, cleaning services etc.
- Start to gradually empty your fridge and freezer – plan your meals around the contents to avoid wastage. You will not be able to move a fridge or freezer that is full of food. Freezers can take up to 48 hours to defrost and can produce a large amount of liquid. Clean and dry them out thoroughly before the move to prevent odours.
1 week to go
This is the time to be confirming all the important details with your chosen removal company, as well as your estate agent, solicitor and mortgage provider. It’s also a time for compiling a list of all the people you need to notify of your move.
- Confirm dates and times with the removal company as well as any other external service providers, such as plumbers and cleaners; exchange emergency contact numbers just in case.
- Check with the estate agent what time they expect the keys to your new property to be available.
- Arrange for your post to be redirected to your new address. It takes up to 5 days for Royal Mail to redirect your post to any UK or overseas address. The redirection can last from 3 months, up to 12 months and can be applied for up to 3 months prior to your moving date. This service can be booked online at www.royalmail.com/personal/receiving-mail/redirection
- Settle all outstanding bills. If you have a regular delivery service such as milk or a newspaper that is not going to continue at your new property, ensure this is settled before you leave.
- Not everybody leaves blinds and curtains, so if you are taking yours with you, now is the time to start taking them down and cleaning them.
- Highlight any items that are staying at the property by using a sign or sticker as this will help the removal company and reduce questions for you on moving day.
- Unless you’ve booked a full service move start dismantling bed frames in preparation for moving. If you have similar beds in every room it is useful to tape all the parts together or colour-code them so the pieces don’t get mixed up.
- If you have access to your new property hire in professional cleaners to give your new property a thorough clean before you move in. The last thing you want to do is to attempt a spring clean on your moving day.
The day before the move
- Start preparing your ‘Last in, first out’ box of essentials. This should include all essential documents and contact numbers, a mini tool kit, first aid supplies, as well as a kettle and cups!
- Arrange for your gas safe plumber to disconnect all gas appliances that you plan to take with you and arrange for them to be reconnected in your new property.
- Gather up all the keys to your property including window locks, garage, shed and other outdoor storage area keys.
- Compile all documentation relating to your old property: local services such as refuse collection, warranties and instruction manuals etc.
- Fully charge your mobile phone as you will need it on moving day to stay in contact with everyone involved in the move.
- Call friends and relatives to make sure they haven’t forgotten those favours you’re calling in!
Tensions can run high on moving day so it’s important that you’re as organised as can be.
- Complete your ‘Last in, first out’ box – see our separate article Last in, first out with suggestions of what items you may want to include.
- Pack up the last few essential items such as beds and the kettle! Moving is tiring work so make sure you know where your bed linen and towels are so they can be easily found on the first night. Then go and pick up the keys to your new property.
- Make sure the legal completion of your transaction has taken place before allowing the new owners access to you old property. Be conscious on the money timeline as there are often hitches; leave your old house keys with the estate agent to avoid hanging around waiting.
- Take meter readings at your old and new property, this will ensure you pay the correct bills.
Take pictures on your mobile phone at both your old and new property to ensure you’re not overcharged.
- Prepare for the arrival of your removal company; depending on the logistics of your move you may also want to give them a key to your new property. This will allow them to start unloading if you get held up along the way.
- Check all windows and doors are locked when you leave the property and make sure all the taps and lights are switched off.
- Check that all rooms are undamaged and as you would expect to find them.
Take pictures of your own property as well as anything you are unhappy with at your new home in case you end up in a dispute at a later date.
In your new home:
- First things first: Unpack the last in, first out box, put the kettle on and take a deep breath. There’s still work to be done, but for now it’s time for a well-deserved break!