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Moving house checklist | get your house in order 2023

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Moving house can be stressful and it’s important that you don’t miss anything out. So, we have created this moving house checklist to help you with the process involved in moving home from, two months before to after moving day.

Two months before your move

Begin a moving folder or binder:

This is a very important step in staying organised during your move. Having a dedicated folder or binder where you can store all moving-related documents keeps everything in one place. You should include removal company quotes, any receipts related to your move, and a list of all the items you’re moving. An inventory list can be helpful for insurance purposes and to ensure nothing gets lost in the move.

Start researching removal companies;

You’ll want to start this process early to ensure you have time to find a reputable company that is available when you need them. Look for online reviews, ask for recommendations from friends and family, and check if they are licensed and insured. Once you have a shortlist, schedule in-home estimates. These estimates are more accurate because the movers can see exactly what you have to move and any potential challenges (like large furniture or a lot of stairs).

Removal fees are on average between £420 and £1,800 depending on a range of factors. If you would like to read more about this you can read our blog post where we cover all the costs involved with moving home. Even though it will cost you to hire a removal company they will make things easier which should take some of the stress out of moving day. A tip is that removal companies are usually cheaper Monday to Thursday as less people move in the weekday.

There are different types of removal services you could choose. You can either just hire a van and do everything yourself, hire a man with a van or get a full removal service. Below we are going to look at the advantages and disadvantages of each one.

Advantages of hiring a van and doing it yourself:
  • Cost effective: Renting a van and handling the move yourself is usually cheaper than hiring a full-service moving company. This is especially true for smaller moves or short distances.
  • Control over the process: When you handle the move yourself, you have complete control over every step of the process. This can be reassuring for those who prefer to handle their belongings personally.
  • Flexibility: You have the freedom to choose when to start and finish the move. This flexibility can be particularly beneficial if you need to move in stages or outside of normal business hours.
Disadvantages of hiring a van and doing it yourself:
  • Time and effort: Moving is a labor-intensive process. It involves packing, heavy lifting, driving, and then unpacking. Doing it yourself can be very time-consuming and physically demanding.
  • Risk of injury: Without the proper training and equipment, you’re at a higher risk of injuring yourself while lifting heavy items.
  • Potential for damage: Professional movers have the experience and skills to handle fragile items and prevent damage. Doing it yourself, especially without experience, can risk damage to your belongings or the properties.
  • Stress: Coordinating and executing a move can be stressful. Without the help of professionals, the process can feel overwhelming.
  • Unforeseen costs: While renting a van can seem cheaper, unforeseen costs can add up. These might include fuel, tolls, packing materials, or even the cost to replace or repair items if they get damaged during the move.
Advantages of hiring a man and van service:
  • Cost effective: Hiring a man and van is usually cheaper than hiring a full-service moving company, making it a good option if you’re on a tight budget.
  • Efficient for small moves: For smaller moves, like a studio or one-bedroom apartment, a man and van service can be more efficient and cost-effective than hiring a large moving truck.
  • Flexible: Man and van services often offer more flexibility in terms of timing and can usually accommodate last-minute bookings or changes.
  • Less work than DIY: While you’ll still need to pack your items, the man and van service will take care of the heavy lifting and driving, reducing your workload.
Disadvantages of hiring a man and van service:
  • Not suitable for large moves: If you’re moving a large home or need to move a lot of items, a man and van service might not have the capacity to handle it in one trip.
  • Less comprehensive service: Unlike full-service moving companies, man and van services usually don’t offer extra services like packing, unpacking, or furniture disassembly and reassembly.
  • Variable quality of service: As man and van services are usually smaller operations, the quality of service can vary greatly. It’s essential to read reviews and get recommendations before hiring.
Advantages of hiring a full removal service:
  • Efficiency: Full-service movers are professionals who can pack, load, unload, and unpack quickly and safely. This can save you a lot of time, especially if you have a large house or a lot of items to move.
  • Less physical work: With a full removal service, you don’t need to worry about the physical strain of packing boxes, carrying heavy items, or driving a large moving van.
  • Safety of belongings: Full-service movers are trained to pack items in a way that minimises the risk of damage. They also typically offer insurance to cover any items that might get damaged during the move.
  • Less stress: Moving can be a stressful process. Hiring a full removal service takes much of the burden off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on other aspects of the move.
Disadvantages of hiring a full removal service:
  • Cost: Full-service removal companies tend to be more expensive than other options like hiring a man and van service or doing it yourself.
  • Less control: When you hire a full-service removal company, you have less control over each step of the process. For some, this might be a disadvantage, especially if you want to handle your belongings personally.
  • Availability: During peak moving times, it might be harder to book a full-service removal company. You may need to book several weeks or even months in advance.
  • Potential for hidden fees: Some full-service removal companies might charge extra for things like moving bulky items, climbing stairs, or packing fragile items. Be sure to clarify all potential charges before hiring.

One way to find a removal company is through homemove we can find you the best removal quotes in your area and it is really easy to do. Take a look at the video below to see how you can get a quote. In addition, if you like to read more about removal companies before making a decision we also have on our website a variety of blogs which cover everything you need to know about removals, from what questions to ask your removal company, what do removal companies actually do? How to book one and our top tips for an easy house removal.

Step by step on how to get a removal quote on homemove
Sort and declutter:

Moving is an excellent time to get rid of items you no longer need or use. Start by sorting items into categories: keep, sell, donate, and throw away. Consider if you’ve used the item in the past year. If not, it might be time to let it go. Selling items can be done through online marketplaces, and many charities accept donations of used goods. This process not only makes your move easier but can also help you start fresh in your new home without unnecessary clutter.

Notify schools:

If you’re moving to a different school district, you’ll need to let your children’s current schools know. You’ll also want to research schools in your new area and possibly schedule visits.

Start using up things you don’t want to move:

It’s not practical or sometimes even possible to move certain items, like perishable foods or hazardous materials such as cleaning supplies. Plan your meals to use up as much of your perishable food as possible. If you still have a lot left as your move gets closer, consider donating to a local food bank. Similarly, try to use up cleaning supplies. Anything you can’t use up or don’t want to move can often be donated or responsibly disposed of through local waste management services.

One month before move

Choose your removal company and confirm arrangements:

After comparing estimates and considering the reputation and services of each moving company you’ve researched, make your choice and book your moving date. Make sure you receive a written confirmation of all your arrangements including the cost, date and time of pick-up and delivery, and any additional services like packing or supplying packing materials.

Begin packing non-essential items:

Start by packing items you don’t use daily such as books, off-season clothing, and decorative items. Clearly label each box with its contents and the room it belongs to in the new house. This will make unpacking much easier. You might also want to note down if the box contains fragile items.

Inform the relevant people of your change of address:

There are quite a few companies and organisations that you will need to tell about moving to a new address. You will need to get in contact with:

  • DVLA
  • GP and dentist
  • Local council/electoral roll
  • TV licensing
  • National insurance
  • Your bank
  • Utility companies
  • Phone and internet providers
  • Insurance providers
Don’t forget to redirect your mail

To redirect your mail you can use the redirection service provided by Royal Mail. You can choose the length of time you would like your post to be redirected to your new address. You can choose from three months, six months or 12 months. If you need to direct more than one person’s mail you will have to pay an extra person fee. It is £8 extra per person for three months, £9 extra for six months and £10 extra for 12 months.

Cost of redirecting your mail
Cost of redirecting your mail

If you would like to read in more detail about who to inform of your new address and how to do it then you can read our ultimate checklist blog here.

Order packing and moving supplies:

To pack your items securely, you’ll need packing materials. Depending on what you’re packing, this might include different sizes of boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap for fragile items, markers for labelling, and possibly specialty boxes for things like dishes or wardrobe items. It’s better to overestimate the amount of packing supplies you’ll need rather than running out in the middle of packing.

Schedule disconnection of all utility services:

You’ll need to arrange for services to be turned off at your old home and turned on at your new home. This includes electricity, water, gas, internet, and cable. Try to arrange for services at your new home to start the day before you move in order to ensure everything is working when you arrive.

Two weeks before move

Begin packing the rest of your items, leaving out only essentials:

As moving day approaches, start packing up everything that you won’t need until after you’ve moved. This might include most of your clothes, dishes, and decor. Leave out only what you’ll need for the last few days in your old home and the first day in your new home, like a few changes of clothes, toiletries, important documents, and basic cooking utensils.

Arrange for pet and child care on moving day:

Moving day can be chaotic and stressful, which can be hard on children and pets. If possible, arrange for a friend, family member, or professional service to look after them on moving day. This will keep them safe and reduce their stress, as well as allowing you to focus on the move.

One week before move

Pack an essentials box:

This box should contain everything you’ll need for your first night and morning in your new home. You should include:

  • Tea, coffee, sugar, drinks for children
  • Mugs and Kettle
  • kitchen roll and toilet roll
  • Bin bags and a few cleaning products
  • Your bedding
  • Laptop, phone and the charges
  • Television
  • Food for your pets if you have one
  • Pyjamas and change of clothes for the next day
  • Food and basic cutlery

Having these items easily accessible will make your first night in your new home much more comfortable.

Confirm all arrangements:

As the moving day approaches, it’s a good idea to re-confirm all your arrangements. Check in with your removal company to confirm the date and time of the move and any other details. Make sure that utility companies have been notified of the move and that services will be switched over on the correct date. If you’ve arranged for a cleaning service to clean your old home after you leave, confirm this appointment as well.

Drain fuel from lawnmowers and other power equipment:

If you’re moving power equipment like lawnmowers or BBQ’s, it’s important to drain the fuel from these items before the move. Moving companies are prohibited by law from transporting flammable substances, which includes the gasoline in your lawnmower or propane in your BBQ. Additionally, moving these items with fuel in them can be dangerous. If you’re not sure how to properly drain fuel from your equipment, you might be able to find instructions online or ask a local professional for help. Be sure to dispose of the fuel safely and in accordance with local regulations.

Day/ night before move

Defrost, clean and dry your friddge:

Moving a fridge requires some preparation. If your fridge has a freezer, you’ll need to defrost it, which can take up to 24 hours. Once defrosted, clean the interior surfaces to remove any food residue or spills. Secure or remove any internal components like shelves or drawers to prevent them from moving around while the fridge is being transported.

Make sure all items are packed and labelled:

By the day before your move, almost everything should be packed and ready to go. Check each room to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. Make sure each box is clearly labeled with its contents and the room it will be going to in the new house. This will make unpacking and organising your new home easier.

Charge your phone:

On the day of the move, your phone will be a crucial tool. You’ll need it for communication with your removal team, any last-minute coordination, finding directions to your new home, and possibly for entertainment during any downtime. It’s important to start the day with a full battery. If you have a portable charger, it’s a good idea to charge that as well so you can recharge your phone on the go if needed. Also, ensure that you have any necessary phone chargers easily accessible during the move.

Pack your essentials box in the car:

If you’re driving to your new home, pack your car with the essentials you’ll need immediately upon arrival. If you’re not driving, make sure your essential box is clearly marked and easily accessible when you reach your new home.

Try and get a good night’s sleep:

Moving day will be busy and possibly stressful, so it’s important to start the day feeling well-rested and refreshed. Try to finish any last-minute tasks a few days before the move so you’re not up late the night before. It might be difficult to sleep well due to nerves or excitement, but try to create a calm and relaxing environment. Avoid caffeine or heavy meals late in the day, and create a calm atmosphere in your bedroom. Some people find that activities like reading, listening to calm music, or practicing deep breathing exercises can help them relax and fall asleep.

Remember that while moving is often stressful, it’s also the start of a new chapter in your life. Try to stay positive and look forward to the exciting changes ahead!

Moving day

Verify that the removal company that turns up is the one you hired:

When the removal van arrives, make sure that it belongs to the company you hired. You can do this by checking the company name and logo on the side of the truck and asking the movers for identification if necessary.

Oversea all loading and unloading of your items:

It’s important to be present when your items are being loaded onto and unloaded from the moving truck. This allows you to ensure that items are being handled carefully and that nothing is being left behind. It also gives you the chance to give the movers any special instructions about specific items.

Have a little clean around:

Even though you might have done a thorough clean before packing, there are likely to be some areas that need a final touch-up on moving day. This could include floors that have become dirty during the move, or areas where furniture or boxes were sitting. You might also want to clean the kitchen and bathroom one last time. This not only leaves the house nice and clean for the next occupants but also gives you a chance to double-check that nothing has been forgotten in these areas.

Take the bins out:

Empty all the rubbish bins in the house and take the rubbish out. This includes checking the kitchen, bathrooms, and any rooms where bins might be hiding. If you have recycling or compost, make sure these are taken care of as well. Again, this leaves the house cleaner for the next occupants and also ensures you don’t leave anything behind in the bins.

Have all the keys ready to hand over:

Gather up all the keys to the house, including any spares that might be hiding in drawers or on key hooks. Don’t forget about keys to garages, sheds, or other outbuildings. These will need to be handed over to the estate agent.

Check you meter readings in you need to:

You may need to take final readings from your electricity, gas, and water meters. These readings should be provided to your utility companies so that they can calculate your final bills. It’s a good idea to take a photo of each meter showing the reading for your records.

Conduct a final walk-through:

After all your belongings have been loaded onto the moving van, do a final walk-through of your old home. Check all rooms, wardrobes, the garage, the loft, and any outdoor spaces to make sure nothing has been forgotten. Don’t forget to check the washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, and similar appliances.

Lock all windows, doors and turn off all switches:

Once you’re sure everything has been packed and the house is empty, secure the home by locking all windows and doors. Also, check that all light switches are turned off and that any appliances that are staying behind are unplugged to prevent any potential fire hazards.

Arrive at your new home before the removal company:

If possible, try to get to your new home before the removal arrive. This way, you can direct them where to place furniture and boxes, which will save time and effort later. It’s a good idea to have a plan for where you want each piece of furniture in your new home.

Inspect all your items after they have been put into your new home:

Once all your items have been unloaded, try to do a quick inspection of the boxes and furniture. If you notice any damage that wasn’t there before the move, report it to the removal company immediately. Most companies have a process for reporting and compensating for damage that occurs during the move, but it’s generally easier to handle this on the day of the move rather than after the movers have left.

After moving:

Unpack essential items first:

Once you’ve arrived at your new home, start by unpacking the items you’ll need right away. Hopefully you will have done an essential box which will make it easier. But if not then typically you will need to find your bedding so you have somewhere comfortable to sleep; kitchen items like plates, cutlery, a kettle or coffee maker, and some basic cooking utensils; and bathroom items such as towels, toiletries, and toilet paper. Having these essentials unpacked first will make your first few days in your new home more comfortable and will give you more time to unpack the rest of your belongings.

Check all keys work and change the locks if you wish:

Ensure all the keys you’ve received for the property work properly in their respective locks. This includes front and back door keys, as well as any keys for windows, sheds or garages. If you find any keys that don’t work, contact your estate agent to resolve the issue.

It’s generally a good idea to change the locks when you move into a new home. This ensures that you are the only one who has access to your home, as you can’t be certain who else might have copies of the keys. You can either change the locks yourself or hire a locksmith to do it for you.

Work out how everything works in your new home:

Familiarise yourself with the heating system, hot water system, and any other utilities or appliances that came with the house. This may involve learning how to program thermostats, understanding the settings on the boiler, or figuring out how the cooker and washing machine work. If you’re having trouble, try searching for the manual online using the make and model number of the appliance.

Make sure appliances are plugged in:

Appliances like refrigerators and freezers need to be plugged in and given time to cool down before you can use them. As soon as possible, plug in these appliances and check that they’re working properly. If any appliances were included in your home purchase and they aren’t working, notify your estate agent immediately.

Unpack a room a day:

Unpacking can be an overwhelming task if you try to do it all at once. A more manageable approach might be to focus on unpacking one room per day. You might start with the most important rooms, like the kitchen and bedrooms, and then move on to less urgent areas like the living room or study. This approach lets you make steady progress without becoming overwhelmed.

Explore the neighbourhood and introduce yourself to your neighbours:

Once you’ve settled in a bit, take some time to explore your new neighbourhood. Find out where the closest shop, pharmacy, bank, post office, and other essential services are. If you feel comfortable doing so, you might also want to introduce yourself to your neighbours. This can help you feel more at home and can also be useful for learning more about the area.

Enjoy your new home

After following all the steps above you are now ready to relax and enjoy your new home.