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  1. Guides
  2. Moving house checklist
Checklists
Checklists
Last Updated 01 December 2021

Moving house checklist

Sam Edwards
Writer
  1. 1
    Moving house checklist
  2. 2
    Questions to ask your conveyancing solicitor
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
Table of contents
  1. 1. Part 1: What to do before you move
  2. 2. Part 2: What to do on moving day
  3. 3. Part 3: When you get to your new house
  4. 4. Part 4: Get settled into your new home

Congratulations on finding your dream home. Hopefully by now, contracts have been exchanged, and you’ve sorted out your mortgage. Unfortunately, while most of the leg work is done, you’re not quite over the mountain.

Moving home is infamous for being one of life’s most stressful events. To succeed, you can’t go in blind. Timing is a huge factor, and you have to get through a lot of admin before you can truly put your feet up. However, the end is certainly in sight, and we’re going to help you get there with our useful moving checklist.

Split into three parts, our checklist will help you navigate the perils of moving, from useful tips before you move, to the big day itself.

Part 1: What to do before you move

In this section we’ll take you through the weeks before the big day.

1 - Confirm the date of your move

Get your moving date confirmed by your conveyancer and home seller. The date should have been made available after the exchange of contracts. If you’re at the bottom of a property chain and things are moving slowly, make sure you use this extra time to plan ahead.

If you’re currently renting, you should be able to spread the move out over a few days. This will cause much less stress in the long run, but could prove disruptive if moving becomes a protracted affair.

2 - If you’re renting, give notice to landlord

If you’re renting, you need to give enough notice to your landlord so they can find replacement tenants. Notices of intent are usually 1 - 2 months in standard Agreed Shorthold Tenancy (AST) Agreements, but make sure you know how long yours is. You can find these details in your contract.

If you’ve been living in your current room for less than a year, you may be able to get out of your contract early with a break clause. A break clause is a term in a contract that allows for early termination of your tenancy.

3 - Contact your utility suppliers & pay the bills

Electricity, gas, phone and broadband suppliers need to be notified of your change of address. It’s best practice to get these things taken care of early, because sometimes suppliers take longer to register your new address.

It’s also important to settle any bills or exit fees that are required before you leave the property. Unless you have a smart meter, you’ll need to take a final meter reading on the last day, so that you’re not overcharged by your provider.

You can learn more about moving or changing broadband here.

4 - Update important contact details

Your utility suppliers aren’t the only people that need to be informed about your move. There’s a multitude of important organisations/facilities you need to notify, from the electoral register to your TV licensors.

Here’s a full list of people you should inform of your new address:

  • GP & dentist
  • Your bank
  • Your employer
  • Your local council
  • Your phone provider
  • Electoral roll
  • Insurance providers

You can see our complete changes of address checklist here (we’ll add in the guide around the same time?)

5 - Plan ahead for your kids and pets

If you’re moving to a completely new area, your kids will likely need to move school. You should either confirm new school placements, or simply notify their current school of your new address.

With your pets, you need to decide whether you’re taking them with you, or putting them in care for the duration of the move. If the answer is care, then you will need to find a local pet sitter or a doggy daycare.

6 - Plan your route ahead of time

If you’re moving long distances, you need to forward plan your route. Knowing where to stop for fuel breaks will prevent any stress along the way. Planning your route in advance helps prevent any avoidable delays on the big day.

7 - Get quotes on removal costs

It’s important to sort out your removal van at least two weeks in advance. Unless you put down a deposit, your scheduled moving date might get forfeited for someone who has put one down.

Removal rates vary due to several factors:

  • The size of your house
  • The amount of furniture you want moved
  • How far it needs to be transported

8 - Officially confirm your move and tell your friends

It’s time to confirm with your conveyancer and estate agent that you’re in the process of officially moving. You can do this by making a call, sending an email, or updating your conveyancer through a smartphone app. Any delays from up the property chain should be made clear well in advance so you have time to prepare.

You’ll also want to inform friends and family that you’re finally moving! Let your current neighbours know that you’ll need a decent amount of parking space to facilitate your moving van.

9 - Clear out and declutter

Moving home is a great opportunity to declutter your possessions and throw away anything you don’t need. It’s a new chapter in your life and the perfect time to donate old possessions to charity. If you want to make a quick bit of cash, you could list them on local hubs like Facebook marketplace or Gumtree.

Before you start packing everything away, go through your belongings and decide what’s actually worth keeping. Letting go of old possessions is hard but it means less hassle in the long run when you’re unpacking.

10 - Start packing

Around two weeks before the big day, you should start packing. Two weeks should give you enough time to get everything stowed away into boxes. Here’s some hot tips:

  • Start with the non-essential items, like ornaments, games consoles, and specialist kitchenware.
  • Set aside 3 or 4 clothing changes for the last two weeks. That way, you can pack everything away and just wash these clothes over the weekend.
  • Label your boxes so you know what’s in there. This will help both you and your movers know which box contains fragile items. If you want to be super efficient, label boxes with the rooms their contents belong in.
  • Keep your valuables close by making sure all your important documents, like your passport, birth certificate and driving license are all accounted for.
  • Get some cardboard boxes from your local supermarket. They’re free and will get thrown out otherwise! You can also start saving newspapers for cushioning your fragile items.

11 - The big clean

You want to start the process of cleaning your house a week before the move. There’s a lot to do in a short amount of time, but if you plan everything in advance, you should be fine.

If you’ve sold your house, and have agreed with the buyer that certain fixtures and fittings need to be included or fixed beforehand, now is the time to either clean them or fix them!

One of the last things you should clean is your front garden or drive. This was the first impression your buyers had of your home, so keep them happy and give it one last good clean.

Remember: If you’re moving out of a rental place, you’ll likely need to book a professional cleaner and keep the receipt to get your deposit back. If you own the property, you can do this yourself, or hire a cleaner.

12 - Move your packed boxes to a convenient place

A night or so before the big day, move all your packed boxes to a convenient location in your house. Ideally this should be somewhere close to the front door. You don’t want to be moving up and down the stairs with your arms loaded with packed boxes.

13 - Make a ‘moving in night’ box with all the essentials

Make life much easier by packing all the essentials into a ‘first night’ box. We recommend packing the following:

Hot drinks

  • Kettle
  • Milk
  • Sugar
  • Tea bags
  • Coffee

Cleaning supplies

  • Handwash
  • Surface spray
  • Bin bags
  • Wipes

Toiletries

  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Bath mat
  • Shower gel and soap
  • Towel
  • Hand towel
  • Toilet roll
  • Bleach

Bedding

  • Duvet and cover
  • Bed sheets
  • Pillows and pillow cases

Electronics

  • Laptop, chargers
  • Phone, phone charger
  • TV, radio

Important documents

  • Mortgage paperwork
  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Title deeds

14 - 5 questions to ask the seller before you move

Knowing the essentials of your new home is a major key to success on moving day. If you ask your vendor these questions before moving day, you won’t be stuck later.

1 - Where’s the fuse box and stopcock?

Electrical problems and flooding can have serious consequences without a failsafe. Your fuse box and stopcock are essential for preventing the worst from these hazards.

2 - Where can I park? Will there be parking facilities nearby?

To prevent delays on moving day, it’s better to have a solid idea of where to park. The seller should try and facilitate your move as much as possible.

3 - When is bin day?

Recycling and rubbish are collected on different weeks over a fortnight. Ask your seller when these collections are. If you haven’t already, this is a good opportunity to check where the wheelie bins are actually located.

4 - What’s your forwarding address?

There’s nothing more annoying than receiving somebody else’s post. To prevent this from accumulating, ask the seller to provide an address you can forward their post to.

5 - Are there any local handymen, gardeners and plumbers that you use and trust?

If you’re moving to a completely new area, it can help to have someone on the inside with good local knowledge. There’s no better person to ask than the person you’re buying your house from!

Part 2: What to do on moving day

It’s the big day, which means you’re in for the long haul! Strap in and follow these key steps.

15 - Final day: meter readings

It’s time to take a final reading of your gas and electricity meters before you leave your house for the last time. We recommend taking a picture with your smartphone, because you will get a timestamp.

Remember: Turn off any heating timers and any plugs that don’t need to be on. This is especially important if your property’s new occupant isn’t moving in on the same day.

16 - The last minute check

Make sure everything is clean and tidy before you leave, and that nothing’s been left behind. Toiletries and garden trinkets are often the biggest culprits.

17 - Load the van

We recommend getting the van early to avoid unnecessary delays. You don’t want to make too many trips, because this can be both costly and stressful. As with everything on this list, give yourself more time than you think you’ll need.

While it might be tempting to just throw everything nearest you in the van, there’s a logical way to load - and that’s by room. If you have a good idea where everything’s going, you can fill the van accordingly.

18 - Make your farewells

If you’ve been renting, don’t forget to leave your keys with your landlord. If you’re selling, leave your keys with your estate agent or conveyancer so they can pass them on to the buyer. Make sure you leave keys to any outbuildings, side gates or conservatories too.

Part 3: When you get to your new house

The second half of the big day is moving everything into your new home. Get off to a great start by ensuring you take care of the following:

19 - Pick up your keys and get everything inside

Meet with the seller’s agent or conveyancer and pick up your new house keys. The next part is pretty straightforward - get everything inside. You could move boxes into their respective rooms, but we recommend just getting everything inside as fast as possible to save some time.

20 - Is everything there and in working order?

During your negotiations, you may have requested certain goods to be left behind. Or, you might have asked for a certain door or floorboard to be fixed. Is everything you agreed with the vendors there?

  • Fixtures and fittings
  • White goods
  • Repairs - is everything in working order?

If something is amiss that was agreed in negotiations, call your agent as soon as possible.

21 - Locate your fuse box and stopcock

Hopefully, you’ve checked with the seller about where these two are located. Follow their instructions and locate the fuse box and stopcock. If disaster strikes, you’ll be grateful you know where they are.

22 - Verify utilities are set up

If you’ve followed our checklist, you’ll have notified all of your providers of your new address a few weeks before the move. Now is the time to ring up and make sure your gas, electricity, water, heating and internet providers have all registered your new address.

23 - Check radiators work and set up heat timers

Ensure all your radiators are in working order, and if it's cold out, set up some heat timers with your boiler.

24 - Change locks

The previous homeowner likely has friends and family who still own keys to your new home. Set your mind at ease and change the locks. You’ll feel much better for it, plus you can get some new keys made for the rest of your family.

25 - Deep clean

A deep clean is probably the last thing you want to be doing after you’ve just moved in - but now is probably the best time to do it! You will never get this much of a chance to clean between the corners before you set your rugs and furniture down.

Part 4: Get settled into your new home

We saved the best till last. Get settled into your new home and put your feet up. You deserve it.

Free checklist: The complete moving house checklist

  1. Confirm the date of your move
  2. Give notice if you’re renting
  3. Change address with utility suppliers
  4. Update your address with bills, banks, and workplace
  5. Update your online delivery addresses
  6. Plan ahead for your kids and pets
  7. Get removal quotes
  8. Confirm your moving day
  9. Set up your forwarding address
  10. Clear out and declutter your current home
  11. Start packing non-essentials a week or two before
  12. Do a big clean
  13. Prep a ‘moving in night’ box
  14. Pack your essentials and mark boxes a few days before moving
  15. Get a good night's sleep before moving day
  16. Do a final removal check through
  17. Take final meter readings
  18. Load the van
  19. Move all the boxes into your new home
  20. Find the fuse box and stop cock
  21. Set up heating and timers
  22. Find and unpack your essentials box and enjoy a cup of tea
  23. Check when bin day is
  24. Change the locks and alarm codes
  25. Get settled in and relax
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