Moving Home: Checklist

2 months before you move

  • Select a Conveyancing Solicitor to attend to all legal aspects of the move
  • Arrange your mortgage
  • Research the facilities and amenities of the area you're moving to so that you're familiar with their location as soon as you move in
  • If you rent your current home, notify your landlord of the date you intend to move
  • Notify your insurance company, make sure your policy covers your move and all valuable possessions. If your insurance provider won't cover your move you might find that your removals company can provide cover.
  • If you have children, transfer their school records and order new school uniforms
  • Place all important documents (E.G. passports, birth certificates, etc) in a secure folder for ease of access if required
  • Purchase a notebook in which you can keep notes, to-do lists, phone numbers, etc.

6 weeks before you move

  • Get removals quotations
  • Select a RICS surveyor to carry out your home survey
  • Compile a complete inventory of your possessions
  • Decide which items you won't be taking with you – and be ruthless: removal companies charge by volume, so the less you take, the less you pay
  • Decide where everything will go in your new home – your estate agent might be able to provide you with a floor plan, or you could use an app like Roomle
  • Start cleaning out cupboards, and place possessions in usable piles or larger rooms
  • Begin collecting packaging materials
  • If you're moving house due to a job move, enquire whether your employer will contribute to some of the cost of the move
  • If you're planning to buy new carpets and furnishings, now is the time to order them to ensure they are ready when you move in. Don't forget to book carpet fitters to fit any new carpets.
  • Check parking restrictions outside your new home; if space is limited, your removals company might need to apply to the local Council for a permit for large removal vehicles

1 month before you move

  • Contact your solicitor to arrange exchange of contracts and to finalise your moving date
  • Confirm your booking with your removals firm. It might be worth asking for a discount at this stage as many firms charge a premium for moving on bank holidays and weekends, or during the summer
  • Work out the route from your old house to your new one, keeping in mind any low bridges or weight restrictions your removals firm need to be made aware of
  • Find suitable storage facilities if required – your removals firm might be able to offer or recommend somewhere.
  • Arrange for your new house to be cleaned during the period between the old owners moving out and your moving in date
  • Star packing non-essential items and any rooms that aren't in frequent use
  • Clear out the attic, garden shed, garage and any other storage areas
  • Notify utilities companies of the date of your move. If you are moving to a new area, register with a new doctor and dentist and de-register from your current ones.
  • Make sure that everything you plan to take in the car will actually fit in the car
  • If the move is a long one, consider booking overnight hotel accommodation

2 weeks before you move

  • Finalise details of the move with your removals company, confirming times, emergency numbers, parking and directions. Also, enquire about any services they might offer for disassembling and reassembling furniture, or un-plumbing washing machines if you need them. If your removal company is unable to provide this service you will need to book elsewhere
  • Ensure you have enough medication for the moving period
  • Make arrangements for someone to care for your children and pets on removal day
  • Safely dispose of flammable materials and liquids as removal companies are not permitted to move dangerous liquids
  • Cancel local services such as gardeners, cleaners, window cleaners, newspaper deliveries, and settle any outstanding bills
  • Begin running down your stock of frozen and perishable food

1 week before you move

  • Put important items (e.g. passports, house deeds, insurance documents, driving licences, wills and jewellery in a sturdy (and preferably lockable) box for safe-keeping
  • Prepare a Moving Day Survival Kit containing everything you need to get you through the day
  • Finish as much of your packing as possible so that everything is ready to go on the day. Be sure to label boxes with the room in which they are to be placed.
  • Collect all the keys for your current property ready to hand over to the new owners
  • Notify the post office of your new address and arrange for your mail to be redirected
  • Defrost the fridge and freezer so that they are completely dry when you move
  • Return any borrowed items
    • Give away any plants and flowers you won't be taking with you
  • Make sure your washing is up to date, and pack your clothing and linen in labelled boxes ready for unpacking in your new house
  • Arrange to pay for your move and ensure you have sufficient funds in the bank for emergencies
    • Distribute change of address cards to friends and relatives
  • Arrange a time to collect the keys to your new home

1 day before you move

  • Walk around your house for a final check to make sure it is clean and that you haven't forgotten anything
  • Pack a night bag with toothbrush, pyjamas, wash-bag and towels
  • Have a few small tools handy for opening boxes upon arrival in your new home
  • Ensure you have the keys to your new home, or can collect them in advance of the move
  • Ensure your mobile phone is fully charged
  • Inform friends and relatives of the time of your move, and make sure someone is available to help with any unforeseen emergencies at short notice if necessary

Moving day

  • Take photographs of all meter readings with your mobile phone
  • Strip the beds and pack the bedding together with any curtains you might be taking
  • Identify boxes that contain fragile items and any boxes going with you in your car to the removals team
  • Ensure one person stays with the movers until they have finished packing to check the packing inventory, and make sure everything is accounted for before signing the confirmation
  • Leave all sets of keys as agreed with the new owners
  • Check that all windows are locked and all power is off
  • Give your movers a list of emergency contact numbers and directions to your new house
  • Keep copies of contact details for your conveyancer, estate agent and removal company

In your new home

  • Confirm with the movers what is to be placed where and any other special instructions. Make sure one person is available to guide them around the house.
  • Account for each item on your inventory. Check for any damaged or missing items before signing that all is well
  • Place the moving and any other important documents in a safe place
  • Take photos of all meter readings upon your arrival
  • Check all the keys for your property work
  • Inspect the garden to ensure it is safe for your children and pets
  • Check to ensure the previous owners haven't left anything behind. Place anything you find in a box and arrange for delivery at a later date
  • Don't try unpacking everything at once – just do a quick clean and tidy and make the beds
  • Plug in telephones and home appliances
  • Make sure you know how to use the boiler and heating system so that you can have a hot shower in a warm house
  • Settle younger children in a room with their favourite toys and some treats
  • If possible, keep pets away until you're settled in
  • Order a takeaway

Remember that your belongings don't need to be unpacked immediately, and it is better to begin the process after a relaxing night's sleep. Allow older children to organise their own rooms to give them something to do and speed up the process.

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