9 mins read

Moving day is equal parts exciting and scary. You’ve been waiting to move into your new home for what feels like an age, and you’re ready to get settled in. But, moving to a new place takes time, mountains of boxes, and a scarily long ‘to-do’ list.

In this article we look at what you should expect when moving in to your new home, and share some tips on how you can make the whole process a lot less stressful - so you can focus on the exciting start to life in your new house.

What happens on moving day?

At the most basic level, moving day is the day you transfer all your things to your new house. But, usually a lot more things happen on the day you move in too.

  • If you’re moving in on the day that your home sale ‘completes’, you’ll need to officially pay for the property before you can pick up the keys. Once your solicitor has sent your mortgage lender the ‘Certificate of Title’, they will release the funds. Your solicitor will then use this money to pay for the property on your behalf.

  • Once the seller’s lawyer has received the money, you will officially own the property. All that’s left is to pick up the keys from either your estate agent or conveyancer.

  • Now, you’re all set to move in!

If you’re currently living in a rental, or owned home (rather than a hotel, or with friends) moving day is also ‘moving out’ day.

This is the time to do a last check around for any items that might have been left out of the packing, as this might be your last proper chance to make sure you’ve got everything. You should also make sure to take some final electricity, gas, and water meter readings, so you only pay for the utilities you’ve actually used.

Once you’re happy you’ve got everything, and all you’re belongings are now safely at your new home, the next step is to give your house a thorough clean. Normally you’ll need to leave the property in the state you received it. In most cases it’s usually a good idea to have the property cleaned by a professional cleaning company.

After that’s done and you’ve officially moved out, don’t forget to drop off your old house keys to the estate agent, or management company, before your contract comes to an end.

Do I have to do it all in one day?

Moving out of one house and into another all in one day can be a lot. If you decide that you don’t want to do all this in one day, you have two options:

  • Move out of your current home and into temporary accommodation (such as a hotel or with friends) until you’re fully moved into your new house. Bear in mind that with this option you’re likely to have to pay for storage if you have furniture or lots of belongings you need to move.

Or…

  • Keep your old house for a few days after you ‘complete’ on your new home. This will give you time to do multiple trips between your old and new house, and thoroughly check your old property before you officially leave. The main downside is you’ll have to keep up any mortgage or rent payments on both properties.

If you’re unsure what’s best for your move, weigh up all the pros and cons. Consider the: cost of removal, distance you’re moving, and how it might impact your work schedule - or your children’s schooling.

How can I make moving day easier?

Some of the best things you can do to make moving day much easier start with preparation. A little bit of prep work can go a long way.

  • Start packing early

It seems almost too obvious to mention, but starting packing early can really take the stress out of moving. Starting early means you’ll be able to sort through your things at a pace suited to your schedule. And give you the time to make sure everything is packed properly and carefully. There will of course some things that will need to be packed last minute, but if you can avoid rapidly wrapping up glasses, or folding winter coats on moving day, you’ll have much less to worry about.

  • Declutter as much as possible

The other benefit of starting to pack early is having time to thoroughly sort through your things and decide what you actually want to take with you to your new home. Moving house is a chance for a fresh start, and the process of decluttering can be very therapeutic. Moreover, there’s a logistical benefit too. Donating or throwing away things you no longer use, want, or need will mean you’ll have less to carry to your new place.

  • Labels and Lists

Being obsessive with your labelling of boxes will save you huge amounts of time in the long run.

It might seem like common sense to pack things room by room and put the name of the room on the box. But, we think it helps to go one step further. Consider writing a vague list of the actual contents on the box too. For example a box for the kitchen might have a label that reads: ‘Kitchen: cutlery, plates, blender’.

If you have several boxes intended for the same room, these little lists will stop you having to root through them all to find the items you’re looking for.

Top tip: Write a checklist of items that you’re taking with you, so you’ll know straight away whether anything has been left behind.

  • Call your utilities providers before you move

You’ll need to inform your utilities providers (things like internet, phone, water, gas, and electricity) that you’re changing address, so that you don’t continue paying once you’ve moved.

It’s also a good idea to get set up with utilities for your new address, so you don’t have to wait as long for your phone or internet to be set up after you arrive.

For a comprehensive checklist of people you need to get in touch with when you change address head here.

  • Pack an essentials bag

It’s unlikely that you’ll get all your unpacking done on one day. To make it easier to find the things you might want on the first couple of nights, pack a small bag of essentials that you can keep to hand.

You may want to include: a change of clothes, toothbrush, toilet roll, any medications, towels, bedding, snacks, deodorant, glasses or mugs, a set of plates or cutlery. You may also want to include some ‘luxuries’ like your laptop, a book, or toys, so that you have some ‘home comforts’ to help you settle in.

There are a few things you can do to make the day logistically easier too:

  • Ask for help from friends and family

Moving house is a huge task to do on your own. Sharing the load with your friends or family can make the whole process significantly quicker and easier. Having help to move, lift, or pack items - or even look after your children and pets - will make a huge difference.

Moving with children? Read our guide to making moving day less stressful for them here.

  • Hire a removal company

A removal company can be particularly helpful if you need to move lots of furniture, or if you have children.

Movers are able to pack and take things over to your new place quickly and professionally, allowing you time and space to deal with other important things - like cleaning, or looking after your children’s wellbeing.

Many removal companies also have insurance in place, so you can be assured that your items will be protected during the move.

Finally, moving house can be both emotionally and physically draining; that’s natural.

Looking after your emotional well being throughout the first days in your new house is incredibly important for making your move easier.

Try as much as you can to remember to look after yourself. Some good places to start include:

  • Stay hydrated

  • Try and get a full night’s sleep

  • Don’t expect to get everything moved and unpacked in one day

  • Take breaks, and go at your own pace

  • Remember: It’s normal to feel stressed - give yourself space to process your emotions

Our top tips for taking the stress out of moving day:

  • Label everything

Lists and labels will be your (slightly boring, but very important) saviour.

Make sure to label all your boxes and bags with more information than you think you’ll need. It might take a bit longer, but it’ll save you running around looking for the cutlery, if you’ve already labelled exactly which box it’s in.

  • Include some luxuries in your essentials box

Loo roll is vital; scissors and cleaning supplies will make your life easier. But, your favourite mug, bedding, or snacks will help you feel at home much faster.

It can also be a good idea to have a list of contact information for people who can help out if anything doesn’t go to plan. For example, movers, utilities providers, child minders, or local council information. It’s unlikely that you’ll need to use them, but it can be reassuring to have them to hand just in case.

  • Divide and conquer

Trying to unpack everything at once can be overwhelming.

Divide your work up and tackle each bit as a separate task. For example, by room, or even by individual box.

Completing each section will feel like a little achievement, as you tick it off your list, and, focusing on discrete tasks can help everything feel a bit more manageable.

  • Know what’s for dinner

There’s almost nothing worse than coming to the end of a long, exhausting day of moving to remember there’s nothing for dinner, and the nearest supermarket has closed for the day.

Plan in advance to make sure you don’t go hungry. Research local takeaways or shops, and have a little cash on hand just in case.

Top tip: Takeaways are also a great way to reward your helper friends and family after a hard day of lifting and unpacking.