Moving House Checklist: 10 Things you Need to Think About

Moving home is a complex process, involving solicitors, buyers, sellers, estate agents and that’s just scratching the surface. There’s a big list of admin tasks you’ll need to be on top of before you can pick up the keys and move into your new home. Find out more in our moving house checklist.

John Ellmore 13 November 2020

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Whether you’re about to move into a new home or you’re a first-time buyer, there is a long to-do list of essential tasks you’ll need to tick off before you can move in.

You might have exchanged contracts already and think the hard work is over, but there are still some jobs to do to ensure the transition to your new home is as painless as possible.

Get prepared now and leave some room for creating good memories as you move into your new home.

Here’s our complete list of what to do when moving house.

Your moving house checklist

From those researching information about mortgages to homebuyers that have already exchanged contracts, it’s never too early to start planning your house move.

1. Confirm your moving date

Before you can move you’ll need to have an agreed moving in date which has been approved by both the sellers and conveyancers.

If you are part of a long chain, confirming your moving date can take quite a while and may be likely to change. Trying to ensure everything is in place to arrange a moving-in date is essential; if you find out that the chain is taking longer to resolve than expected, you will at least be prepared ahead of time.

For renters it’s possible to move things into your new home over a number of days or weeks, if your rental period is up after your move-in date. This can remove a lot of moving day stress and mean you can make home improvements to your new property and unpack properly before you move in.

2. Book a removal company

Before you book a removals company, get a few quotes from local firms to get a grasp on the deals you can secure.

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

Most movers opt for a professional moving service. The British Association of Removers is a good place to look for quotes from reliable movers. They are monitored by the Trading Standards Institute, so you should be covered in the event of a dispute and a professional firm will have insurance in case of damages.

If you choose to move your own belongings, then there is no cover if they are damaged or broken in transit.

3. Give notice to your landlord

If you’re a renter, you’ll need to alert your landlord that you’re planning on moving out so that they can arrange to have new tenants move in to your property. If you can, try to arrange your moving in date close to the end of your tenancy so you avoid paying both rent and a mortgage at the same time.

4. Redirect your mail

For a fee you can instruct the Royal Mail to put a temporary redirect onto your mail. This is important for many reasons: it will give you some time to inform companies of your address change; it can protect you from fraud; you’ll receive all the important documents needed when moving to a new home, and you’ll be sent home mover offers.

5. Inform your utility companies and other organisations

When you’re moving home you’ll need to let the utility companies that have been providing your electricity, water, gas, internet and phone line know your change of address. To ensure you are not faced with the annoyance of settling bills which you don’t owe, make sure you take meter readings of all utilities on the day you move out and from your new property as 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.

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 will 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)

You may also need to register with a new GP if you move to a new area.

6. Book time off work

You’ll 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 for if they need to cover for your absence, and to ensure you can get the time off in busy periods.

7. Declutter your house

Just because you’re moving home, that doesn’t mean that everything you own needs to move with you. In fact moving home is a good time to take stock of what you really need.

Take inventory of the things you own and how much you need them, or how attached to them you are. Anything that you’ve been holding onto for the sake of it can be thrown away, donated, or better yet, sold to make some extra money.

With a new mortgage to pay and associated moving costs like removals and home insurance, you’re going to need all the extra money you can get together.

8. Pack

You now need to put together your checklist for packing. When you’re decluttering it’s a good time to make an action plan for packing up your home.

Start packing non-essentials two weeks ahead- your decluttering will have given you a good idea what these items are. Start this process outside, then work your way toward the front door from the top of the house.

When you’re a week from moving you can begin packing in earnest, and be sure to keep boxes out of the way to give easy access to removal men.

9. Moving day

Ensure you have labelled essential boxes, so you can have a few home comforts immediately accessible after you have moved 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 and mugs
  • Important documents: passport, mortgage documents
  • TV and electronic devices- don’t forget chargers!
  • Soap, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Household cleaning products

10. After moving in

If you get the chance to clean the floors, carpets and kitchen tiles, do so first as this is the easiest time to clean.

Then start unpacking- beginning with the kitchen and bedrooms (so you have somewhere to sleep!).

Soon after moving in, you should check your property is secure and that you have all the keys for the doors and windows, as well as confirming 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.

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

Compare mortgages

If you’re currently in the early stages of moving home, our mortgage calculator can help you find out if you can afford the property you have your heart set on. Using a budget planning app could enable you to save for a larger deposit, which can save you thousands over the course of your mortgage term.

About the author:

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

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