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Your ultimate moving house checklist

If there's a house move on your horizon, don't panic. Just keep this moving house checklist up your sleeve to help you stay on track and save you stress.

The best way to organise a house move is with a moving house checklist. With so many shifting elements, having a way to make sure you haven’t missed anything will save you stress further down the line.

Here, we’ll cover what steps you need to take from your house exchange to the moment you step into your new home.

Moving house checklist – pre-steps

Once you’re ready to pack your things, there are a few life admin tasks to tick off. Use the following list to make sure you’ve covered the basics:

Confirm your moving date

You’ll need to get the date of your house move confirmed by your conveyancer and the house sellers.

If you’re renting, you may be able to spread your house move over a few days, to reduce the stress of moving.

Notify your landlord (if relevant)

If you’re currently renting, be sure to give your landlord plenty of advance notice that you’re moving.

If possible, try to time the move with the end of your lease so you’re not left paying rent and a mortgage at the same time.

Book a removal company

If you don’t own much furniture and you’re able to spread your move out over a few days, you may be able to handle this yourself.

However, most of the time, it will be much easier and less stressful to hire a removal company to pack up and move your belongings for you.

Order boxes, bubble wrap, tissue paper and packing tape

Some removal companies will provide packing materials for you. This is usually the case if you hire them to pack your belongings (as well as to move your belongings between homes), but may even be the case either way. If not, be sure to order packing materials within plenty of time.

Book off any time you need from work

Remember to book your moving date off work, otherwise, you could find yourself in a tricky situation!

Sell old furniture and buy new

There’s no point in transferring old furniture from your old house to your new one if you’re planning on getting rid of it anyway. You might as well sell your furniture while you’re still in your old house, and then order any new furniture to arrive at your new house after the move.

Hire a cleaning firm to do a deep clean

If you’re currently renting, leaving your old property clean will usually be a requirement of your lease. But either way, it’s courteous to leave your property clean for the new inhabitants. You’ll likely want to arrange for a deep clean of your new home too, as there’s nothing worse than moving into a grimey property.

Get in touch with your utility providers

Your electricity, gas, internet and phone suppliers will all need to know that you’re moving.

You’ll probably be taking your phone and internet contracts with you to your new property, so give them as much advance warning as possible to give them time to sort out the transfer.

Arrange to have your post redirected

Arranging a redirection with the Royal Mail will ensure that your post continues to reach you at your new home while you get your address updated in all the important places.

Get your buildings and contents insurance in place

You’ll need to arrange for buildings and contents insurance in your new property. You may be able to transfer your existing policy to your new address, so contact your existing provider to see how this would work.

Get ahead on cleaning and clear-outs

Take this opportunity to get ahead on cleaning and clear-outs, such as your garden, shed or spare rooms. This will give you less to worry about during the rush of the move itself.

Consider storage options

Think about whether you need to hire a storage unit for any surplus items, or to hold your belongings during any gap between moving out and moving in.

Our guide to storage costs has you covered.

Plan for repairs and renovations

Take a good look at the results of your house survey and start to consider how you plan to tackle any necessary repairs and renovations. You may even be able to put feelers out with tradespeople to see what their timelines are.

Find out how much it costs to move house.

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Moving house checklist - people loading up a van

Moving house checklist – what to do during the move

So, now you’ve got the basics sorted, what are the essentials when it comes to the physical act of moving house? Use the checklist below to get sorted:

Pack

Start packing as soon as you can. Begin with items you don’t need on a day-to-day basis, such as spare bedding or books.

Label your boxes and make sure you wrap any fragile items with tissue paper or bubble wrap and disassemble your furniture to make it easier to load into the moving van. Most removal companies will also offer a packing service, so you could get them to undertake this task for you.

Consider an inventory so you don’t lose track of your items, and take photos of all your belongings in case anything goes missing.

Put aside your important documents and items

Pack your important documents and items separately and keep them in a safe place so you don’t lose them during the move. These include passports, bills, birth certificates, medications, phone numbers, chargers, toolboxes, and valuables.

Direct your removal company

Experienced removal companies will make moving house a lot less stressful – after all, they’ve done it all before! However, we’d always recommend being around in case they have questions. It’s also helpful to provide them with instructions and moving directions.

Give your old property a deep clean

This includes defrosting the freezer, disconnecting the dishwasher and generally giving the property a thorough clean (or, leave the cleaning to a professional cleaner to save you the stress).

Use or throw out perishables

Use or throw out any perishables and pack longer-life items so they don’t spill or spoil.

Make good

Fill any holes from pictures or shelves using something like Polyfilla – or get a handyperson in to do this for you.

Take meter readings

Take meter readings and double check that your utility suppliers know what date you’re moving.

Swap your keys

Once you’ve completely moved out of your old property, it’s time to say goodbye and drop the keys off with your estate agent or landlord. Then, pick up your new keys (if you’re moving out of a rental property, you might have a period of time where you have both the old and new keys which is ideal if you want to make a few trips between properties).

Clean your new property

Before unpacking, give your new property a deep clean – or, enjoy letting a professional cleaner do it for you.

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Newly sold house - moving in and unpacking checklist

Moving into a new house checklist

Now you’re in your new home, there are several things to get sorted. Here’s a handy moving house checklist to help make your new house a home.

Start unpacking

Your removal company will usually place your boxes and belongings in the rooms you ask them to, but they won’t unpack for you.

Unpack the essentials first, such as your kettle, mugs, cleaning products, loo roll, bedding, and TV/radio. Starting with the kitchen will also mean you can make a cup of tea and have a snack whilst you unpack!

While you still have people helping you move, utilise them where possible, such as setting up the fridge or building furniture.

Learn where everything is

You’ll need to learn where everything is in your new home, such as your stopcock, gas and electricity meter, thermostat, and fuse boxes.

Test your utilities

Test your utilities, such as your water, heating, and washing machine to make sure they’re all in good working order and take meter readings.

Set up your bills

Make sure you’ve paid any bills and set up new ones. This can take a while, especially if you end up having to wait for a new internet connection to be set up at your property, In this case, you can try turning your phone into a mobile hotspot just to help you keep on top of things until a longer-term solution is in place.

Register for council tax

Your council tax responsibilities begin the day you move to your new house. Make sure to register with the local council as soon as you move, otherwise they’ll backdate any payments.

Check your bin schedule

Find out when the bins need to be taken out. The house sellers might leave you a note letting you know. If not, you’ll often be able to find your bin days on your local council’s website.

Unpack room by room

Once you’ve unpacked the essentials, you can make your way around the house methodically unpacking room by room. Consider your use of storage, including smart options to maximise space and intuitive unpacking methods to create a holistic or ergonomic space (for example, how far away your mugs are from the kettle!).

Change your address

Update your address – and, if necessary, your telephone number – with all your providers. This includes your bank, credit card/s, investments, loyalty cards, pension schemes, the DVLA, insurance providers, GP surgery, broadband, and mobile.

Change your locks

Finding a locksmith near you to change your locks is a wise move for security purposes. You could even get the locks upgraded for added peace of mind.

Make a to-do list

Go around your property and make a note of anything that needs repairing or redecorating. Make sure to check our new home job checklist too, to price up any work that may need doing.

Once you’re in, it’s time to find your local takeaway and order a well-deserved treat for all your hard work. Then, make a plan for how to tackle that to-do list, and find a local handyperson to help you make a dent!

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