Moving House Checklist: 14 Things To Do

From booking a removal firm to the move-in day itself, our checklist rounds up 14 ways to make the moving process simpler and to ensure you don’t miss anything.

John Ellmore, Brean Horne Last updated on 22 March 2022.
Moving House Checklist: 14 Things To Do

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or climbing up the property ladder, moving to a new home can feel overwhelming at times.

But, there are many simple steps you can take to help things run as smoothly as possible. Follow our moving house checklist to find out everything you need to do, from confirming your moving date to settling into your new place.

Moving house checklist

Before you start planning your move, take a look at our moving house checklist below to find out all of the steps involved. Then read on for more details about each stage.

  1. Confirm your moving date.
  2. Book a removal company.
  3. Give notice to your landlord (if you’re renting).
  4. Redirect your mail.
  5. Inform utility companies and other organisations that you’re moving.
  6. Book time off of work.
  7. Declutter and pack.
  8. Do a final check of your old property.
  9. Take meter readings.
  10. Keep essential documents with you.
  11. Move to your new home.
  12. Get to know the property.
  13. Take meter readings.
  14. Clean and settle in.

Things to do before you move home

Getting everything in order before you move home can help you save time and money. The following steps can help you organise your move quickly and easily:

Confirm your moving date

Before you buy a property, you’ll need to have an agreed move-in date that the seller and the conveyancers have approved.

If you are part of a long property chain, confirming your move-in date can take quite a while and may be likely to change. So trying to arrange this quickly will give you a bit of wiggle room if you find out that the chain is taking longer to resolve than expected.

If you are renting, you may have more flexibility as you could move your belongings into your new home over a number of days or weeks if the rental period on your previous property isn’t up until after your move-in date. This can remove a lot of moving day stress and means you can make home improvements to your new property and unpack properly before you start living there.

» COMPARE: First-time buyer mortgage

Book a removal company

Before you book a removal company, try to get a few quotes from local firms to get an idea of how much it’s likely to cost.

If you don’t have lots of personal belongings, or you have friends and family who are willing to help, you could transport your possessions in cars and hire a van to carry the bulkier items.

The British Association of Removers (BAR) is a good place to look for quotes from reliable movers. Its members are monitored by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, and BAR also offers a free dispute resolution service if you have a falling-out with one of its member firms.

Another benefit of using a firm with BAR membership is that any money you have paid in advance will be protected should your removal firm get into financial difficulties ahead of your move. A professional firm should also have insurance in case of damages, which you should gather details on. You may find it useful to ask about things like the amount of cover this provides along with any terms and conditions.

If you choose to move your own belongings, then there is no cover if they are damaged or broken in transit. Unless you have your own household removal cover in place. It’s worth checking what your policy covers before moving.

» MORE: What you should know about house removal

Give notice to your landlord

If you’re renting, you’ll need to let your landlord know that you’re planning on moving out so that they can arrange to have new tenants move in.

Try to arrange your move-in date as close to the end of your tenancy as possible, to avoid paying rent on two properties, or rent and a mortgage, at the same time.

» MORE: Should I rent or buy a house?

Redirect your mail

One of the most important things to do when you move house is to redirect your mail. You can redirect your mail to any UK or overseas address for up to 12 months for a fee at the Post Office, or online.

Making sure your post is diverted to your new address will give you more time to change your address with your bank, as well as other companies you need to inform. It can also help keep important documents safe and offer more protection against identity fraud.

Inform utility companies and other organisations

Before moving home, you’ll need to let utility companies, such as your energy and water providers, know that you’re changing address. This helps you to settle any outstanding balances on your bills and to avoid getting charged for utilities that you haven’t used. Be sure to take meter readings for gas, electricity and water on the day you move out and also from your new property when you move in.

If you’re moving your broadband and phone deal across to your new property, give your suppliers as much notice as possible to ensure the service is up and running on moving day.

And just in case there are delays to getting the internet set up at your new property, make sure you have all the information you need to hand for when you’ve moved in, including details on local services and instructions on how to set up your appliances.

Other companies you may need to notify about your move include:

  • your bank and credit card companies
  • your employer
  • insurance companies
  • DVLA
  • TV licensing
  • electoral roll
  • local council (for your council tax payments)

Ensuring your address is updated across your accounts can help manage your credit score. Out-of-date details can negatively affect your credit score because they make it harder for lenders to confirm your identity. This can increase the chance of your application for new credit being rejected.

» MORE: 15 ways to improve your credit score

Book time off work

You’ll likely need at least a few days to make a start on unpacking your many boxes. Book this time off work about a month in advance to give your employer enough notice in case they need to cover for your absence. It could also help ensure you get the time off even if it is a busy period.

Declutter your house and pack

Moving to a new place is a great opportunity to declutter your home. Take some time to look through your belongings and decide how much you really need to take with you.

You might even be able to make a bit of money by selling stuff online. This could help you raise funds to cover other moving expenses, such as removals or arranging home insurance for your new place.

Once you’ve decided what you’re taking to your new home, it’s time to get packing. Writing a checklist can help make sure you don’t forget anything. When you’re decluttering, it’s a good time to make an action plan for packing up your home.

Try to start packing non-essentials two weeks ahead. If you’ve had time to declutter, you’ll have an idea of what these items are. It also helps to start packing belongings that are stored outside your property first.

For example, if you have a garden or garage, start packing up the items there before packing up your possessions from the rooms in your home.

When you’re a week from moving, you can begin packing the essentials. It is also a good idea to label the boxes as you pack, so you know the contents of each container when you get to your new place.

Things to do on the day you move home

Although your move day is likely to be very busy, keep the following steps in mind to help things run smoothly:

Do a final check over the property

On the day of your move, it’s important to leave enough time to check over the property. Have a look in storage places, such as cupboards, the shed and the loft, in case you may have left anything behind. It’s also vital to check that your windows and doors are secure and locked before moving.

Take final meter readings

Before leaving your home, you will need to make a note of the gas and electricity readings to send off to your supplier. They will use your readings to calculate your final bill.

» MORE: How to save money on energy bills

Keep essential documents with you

Be sure to have all of your important documents to hand just in case you need them at any point during your move. This includes your passport, mortgage paperwork and tenancy agreement if you have one.

It also helps to have hard copies of contact details for the following in case you have any urgent queries on the day:

  • mortgage provider
  • mortgage adviser
  • conveyancer
  • estate agent

Move to your new home

Try to keep all of your boxes well labelled and organised to help make moving them to your new home as easy as possible. This will also help you find your essential items quickly, once you’ve settled in.

You’ll want to be able to find the following easily:

  • duvet, bedding and pillows
  • dishes and cutlery for food and drink
  • tea, coffee, mugs and kettle
  • computers and electronic devices – don’t forget chargers!
  • soap, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrush
  • household cleaning products

Things to do after you move home

The following steps can help you get settled into your new home quickly:

Get to know the property

Soon after moving in, you should check your property is secure and that you have all the keys for the doors and windows, and confirm that there are no problems with your utilities.

It is also useful to familiarise yourself with how the boiler works and where the stopcock is, so you aren't caught out if you encounter a problem later on.

Take meter readings

It’s worth taking the meter readings as soon as you move into your new home so that it’s out of the way. If you don’t already know the energy supplier at the new property you can check online using the Energy Network Association’s tool. You’ll just need to provide your postcode and it will show who supplies the gas and electricity to your property.

Clean and settle in

Try to tackle the floors, carpets and kitchen tiles before you start unpacking as it will be the easiest time to do a big clean.

When you’re ready to start unpacking, begin in the bedrooms and kitchen so you have somewhere to sleep and prepare food.

Finally, breathe a sigh of relief! Most of the hard work is over and you can now start to enjoy your new home.

About the authors:

John Ellmore is a director of NerdWallet UK and is a company spokesperson for consumer finance issues. John is committed to providing clear, accurate and transparent financial information. Read more

Brean is a personal finance writer at NerdWallet. She covers a range of financial topics and has written for consumer titles including Which?, Moneywise and The Motley Fool. Read more

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