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The Ultimate Moving House Checklist
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It might feel like you have plenty of time before your move, but there are lots of things you can do straight away. Don’t leave things until the last minute – even if your move is several months away there’s no reason not to get started now. Here’s some things you can be getting on with:
- Great! You’ve already found our online moving house checklist, but what about when you’re not online? Download the printable version of the checklist and tick off each item as it is completed.
- Search Google to get rough estimated removals quotes from a range of local and national removals companies.
- View each firm’s record of reviews and testimonials to inform your choice.
- Don’t go for the cheapest option over the one that offers most value. Man and van teams might sound like a good idea, but they probably won’t have the support or back-up that good companies provide. What happens if the van breaks down? What if the driver is ill? Don’t risk getting left in the lurch just to cut costs.
- Be aware that national removals firms and those based in London are sometimes quite pricey for what you get. Local firms have lower costs and usually offer better rates for the same service.
- Ask for customer reviews, get information on how your possessions will be protected, and make sure you establish a solid line of communication.
- Read the terms and conditions, ask to see insurance documents, and get detailed documentation in order to avoid hidden charges and extras.
- Research your new area for information about local news and facilities.
- If you have children at school, now is a good time to update school records and order new uniforms.
- If you are planning to do the packing yourself then book time off work and make sure you’re free either side of the move.
- Get organised. Keep notes in your moving house checklist and keep it together with any quotes and receipts, as well as those handy bits of information you may need later.
- Find out the proposed completion date and check if the removals company you’ve chosen can guarantee that date. All your other preparations might be thrown out if this changes.
The Month Before
It’s getting closer to crunch time, which means that if you haven’t chosen a removals company that is available on the day of your move, you need to do it NOW without delay. You also need to think about the following:
- Cancel memberships that are tied to your current location, such as gyms and cinemas.
- Notify your insurance company that you’re moving and arrange for any modifications.
- Change your address with Royal Mail, electric, water, gas, banks, telephone and online services. You’ll need inform the DVLA as well as car insurance and breakdown cover agencies.
- Notify your GP, dentist and health insurance company about your change of address. Let your accountant know and tell HM Revenue & Customs.
- Check your home insurance policy to make sure you have cover from the day you move in to your new house, or even from the day you exchange contracts.
- Notify the council to suspend parking bays outside both your new property and your old one.
- Cancel local deliveries and services, such as newspapers and milk.
- Have a clear-out of old possessions that are no longer wanted. It’s a chance for a fresh start, so don’t be shy of getting rid of items you don’t know what to do with.
- Get a folder together full of important information for the next tenant/buyer. That way, they won’t get in touch with you with annoying questions once you’ve left!
- Choose your removals company and inform them of your moving date, any parking restrictions and any awkward items – i.e. pianos, fish tanks and large gardening equipment.
- Get an accurate guaranteed quote that’s tailored to your specific situation.
- If you’re using storage space, check that’s open when you need it.
- Request boxes, bubblewrap, paper and tape be delivered along with any other packing materials you need if you’re planning pack to your belongings yourself.
Forgotten to sign a contract with a removals company? Whoops! It’s not a tragedy, though. Good companies are able to plan and implement quickly and with short notice, so do some digging and you’ll find what you’re looking for. Remember, any moving company worth its salt can be flexible and will work hard to meet your requirements.
One Week To Go – Get Packing!
Wow, just one week to go? Time flies, but before you stop to ponder just how quickly it’s breezed by, ensure you get the next items done:
- Go over the moving plan with your chosen removals company.
- Make doubly sure that everything has been accounted for and that both of you are happy with the arrangements.
- Print out copies of all the paperwork you’ll need for the move.
- Think about expensive items – will you pack and deliver them personally?
- If you have pets and family travelling with you, ensure you’ve made suitable arrangements. Remember that your car may be full of precious or last-minute items.
- Tell the neighbours when you are moving, so they don’t park somewhere inconvenient (or have them help you guard the closest parking spaces on the day).
- Ensure you’ve collected all old keys (e.g. spare sets) from family and neighbours.
- Removals companies are generally not insured to transport flammable materials such as gas bottles, used paint containers or BBQ fuel. Keep some space free in the boot of your car if you wish to take these with you (check with the company if you are unsure), but drain oil and gas from heaters and garden grills.
- Defrost your fridge but only if your move will take more than one day to complete. There is no need to throw away food or eat it all before you move, it will be back in the fridge by the end of the day.
- Start the ‘serious’ packing process. Label each box by its contents and the room it is to be delivered to in the new property.
- Start packing things you don’t use regularly. Empty the garage and shed.
- Move large items such as TVs and beds to the walls and pack one room at a time.
- Clear passageways and corridors and assign an area in each room to store your boxes.
- Pack books, crockery and fragile items standing upright to avoid damage. Use plenty of bubble wrap, wadding and padding.
- Don’t overfill boxes so that it’s not easy for one person to lift.
- Rather than using bin bags for linen, curtains and bedding pack them in stackable boxes.
- Keep a handy collection of screwdrivers and tools to disassemble beds, tables and wardrobes, etc.
- Think how best to use garden bins, buckets and containers to transport other items. Tie up garden tools with tape.
The Big Day
Unless your removals company has been assigned the job of packing your belongings before the move, you should now have everything packed and ready to be loaded into the vans. Don’t forget to tick these off your list on the day itself:
- Strip the beds.
- Let your removals team help out; you’ll probably have enough on your plate collecting keys or moving children and pets.
- Make sure you have the keys to your new home, or have arranged to collect them.
- Empty and disconnect the fridge, but remember there’s no need to defrost it.
- Do all the final water, gas and electricity meter readings.
- Make a box of moving essentials such as coffee, tea, milk, biscuits and a kettle (there’s nothing like the first brew in a new home). Other handy items include things like your mobile phone (doh!), money, toiletries (toilet roll, towels, soap, toothbrush), basic cutlery, crockery, light bulbs, a can opener, torch, pen, some paper and scissors. Just in case.
- Put padding or wadding on stair banisters if heavy items are coming down from upstairs. Use floor protection blankets to save the carpets.
- Assist your removals team by keeping out of the way, but being on hand.
Clean the rooms one by one, once they are cleared.
- Check that all windows are secure and water, gas and electricity supplies are switched off.
- Check every nook and cranny to ensure you haven’t forgotten anything.
- On arrival at your new home do a reconnaissance of each room of the house and establish which is bedroom 1, 2, 3. But first…
- It’s time to get the kettle on – your family and removals team will appreciate it!
- Allow the removals team to unpack everything in the correct rooms and reassemble beds, tables and furniture.
- Let the removals team disassemble empty boxes and take used packing materials out of your way.
- Once everything is in place you will be able to wave goodbye to your movers and take your first water, electricity and gas meter readings.
- Introduce your pets to their new home and say hello to your new neighbours…
- And be sure to thank your removals team by writing a review on their website or on Checkatrade.
Now, if all is running as planned, and your belongings are packed into the removals vans your job is to deliver the keys to the relevant agency, sign the forms and collect the new keys. Your removals team will be at your new property ready to check access and deliver your boxes and furniture to each room.
You, your family and possessions are finally in your new place. Hooray! But there’s still plenty to do. Run down this list to make sure you settle in without any major hiccups:
All done! Congratulate yourself on making it through the day. Even if everything is in order and has run smoothly, the chances are you’ll be too shattered to do much by the end of the day, so collapse on the sofa, order a takeaway and crack open a bottle of champagne.