Moving house can be a stressful time. There’s so much to do and often very little time to do it alongside the demands of a busy, modern life. This year presents further challenges for house movers as every aspect of our lives continues to be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Planning ahead and staying organised is one of the best ways to feel in control and make the process as hassle-free as possible.
Our team of property experts have created this handy moving house checklist to help things run smoothly in the build-up to moving day.
COVID-19 Moving House Information
England is under a national lockdown until at least mid-February when the government will review the restrictions in place and create a “route map” out of lockdown. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will review their restrictions independently.
People are allowed to move house during lockdown throughout the UK, provided they adhere to the government’s social distancing measures. You should only involve people outside your support bubble if “absolutely necessary”.
Check out our COVID-19 Safe House Selling Checklist.
8 Weeks to Go
- Organise your paperwork.
Moving house involves a lot of paperwork — both hard copy and digital documents. As soon as you start the process of moving house, establish a system for collecting and filing everything so you can access the information you need quickly. Keep a list of important contacts with your documents — the landlord, your mortgage advisor (if you have one), the estate agent etc.
- Give notice on your rental property.
If you’re renting, most landlords require at least a month’s notice of your planned departure. Check the terms of your contract as soon as you decide to move and ensure that you give the required notice, correctly — some landlords may require notice in writing.
- Declutter and organise.
Moving house provides the perfect opportunity for getting rid of household items and clothing that you no longer use. Decluttering before you move means you can start afresh in your new home. Don’t leave this until the last minute when you’ll be too busy to declutter — you’ll end up taking all your old junk to your new home where it will take up precious space.
- Collect packing boxes.
Ask friends, family and the local community to donate any boxes you can use for packing. Think carefully about the items you need to transport — do you need any special packaging to accommodate large, fragile or valuable items? If you can’t collect enough boxes via donations, there are plenty of packaging companies selling what you need.
- Notify service providers of your move.
There is a long list of businesses and service providers you will need to register your change of address with, from utility providers to your employer. Not all of them will need several months’ notice and you can only change your address with some organisations when you are in your new home. But it’s a good idea to notify companies that provide services such as your landline and internet, as soon as possible to avoid being charged after you move out.
- Get quotes from removal companies.
Request quotes from two or three companies to give you an idea of how much to budget for moving your belongings to the new property. If you’re keen to keep costs down, consider self-drive options or ask the removal companies to quote for different days and times. Many people move around lunchtime on a Friday or a Monday. Avoiding these peak times could result in more affordable quotes. Some companies book up months in advance, so it’s wise to secure your slot as soon as you know your moving date.
4 Weeks to Go
- Book time off work.
If your new home isn’t far away, it may be possible to move without using any annual leave. But squeezing such a big event into a weekend is a sure-fire way of ramping up your stress levels and those of the people around you. Some employers offer one “moving day” — a paid day of leave in addition to your annual entitlement. If this isn’t an option, it’s worth using some of your holiday time to make the process less time-pressured.
- Start packing.
With a month to go? Surely that’s too early? Not at all! It’s easy to underestimate how much stuff you have accumulated and how long it will take to pack everything up. Start by packing items you don’t use regularly and allocate an area for storing the packed and labelled boxes until moving day. Some companies provide a packing service. If you have the budget for this, you can afford to leave packing until the professionals arrive to do it for you on moving day.
- Book the removal company or self-drive van.
Use the research you did last month to choose a removal or van-hire company and book your slot. Make sure the company you select has appropriate insurance (you may need to take out your own), is well established and reviewed, can provide the service you need and provides a quote you can rely on. The best removal companies offer a wide range of services, from creating packing plans to boxing everything up for you. It’s worth shopping around for the option that suits your needs best. Remember to check the access to your new home — will a large van be able to pull up to the house? Will they need a permit for parking?
- Have your post redirected.
Contact Royal Mail to arrange post redirection to your new home. You can choose to have post redirected for three, six or 12 months and fees start at £33.99. The entire process can be completed online and it will give you the peace of mind that you won’t miss important documents.
- Notify your child’s school.
If you have a child or children, let the school know about your move. If you are taking your children to a different school, your current one will arrange for their pupil records to be sent on. If your children are staying at their current school, it’s important that your new address is recorded and that the staff are aware of this brief period of change and upheaval so they can provide the support your children need.
- Arrange child and pet care for moving day.
Make moving day as easy as possible by treating your children and pets to a day being cared for by professionals. It will be a lot quicker and less stressful to pack boxes, clean and manage any last-minute problems that arise without small people or pets under your feet.
2 Weeks to Go
- Pack everything you can.
Now’s the time to do the bulk of your packing. Carefully package and label everything ready for moving day — except essential items you use daily. If some items are being placed in storage, keep these separate to the belongings you will be taking with you to your new home and clearly label them.
- Eat up food and empty the freezer.
You won’t be able to take frozen food with you, so plan meals carefully in these final weeks. Eat up what you can and avoid buying too much perishable food. Moving house is expensive, why spend money on wasted food?
- Service your car.
Make sure your car is in tip-top condition for moving day. If there is anything that needs attention, a service a few weeks before the big day will give you time to complete any repairs.
- Change the address on your driving licence.
Every driver in the UK is legally required to have the correct address on their driving licence. If you fail to update your address when you move, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) can fine you up to £1,000. It’s free to change your address and you can still drive while you wait for your new licence.
- Book storage if necessary.
If you need to put some furniture in storage, assess how much space you need and book a unit. Also, consider whether you will transport these items or ask the removal company to make two drops.
1 Week to Go
- Request a council tax statement.
Make sure you pay the correct amount of council tax on your current home and your new property by informing the council of your change of address. The council will send you a statement that shows how much you have paid while living at your current address and any sum still owing up to the time you move.
- Inform the insurance companies.
You will need to let any home or car insurers you are currently with know about your new address. Where you live can impact how much insurance you pay. If you fail to notify your insurer of your move, this could invalidate any future claims.
- Send change of address cards to friends and family.
Let your friends and family know your new contact details by sending out change of address cards or an email. If they don’t know your new address, how can they send you a lovely housewarming gift?
- Dismantle furniture.
If you have furniture that needs to be taken apart before it is transported, get this done before the chaos of moving day. Many pieces of modern furniture are designed to be disassembled and reconstructed relatively easily.
- Confirm the arrangements for moving day.
Contact any companies that you have booked for the big day — removal companies, storage unit providers, doggy daycare, childcare — and confirm that everything is booked in.
- Arrange for a final inspection of your rental property.
If you’re moving from a rental property, contact the landlord to arrange a final inspection. Most landlords will insist on checking the property’s condition and its contents before authorising the release of your deposit.
- Booking parking.
If you or your removal van needs parking permits for moving day, book these now. Even if there is free parking outside your new home, it may be necessary to speak to the neighbours to ask for extra spaces to be kept clear, especially if there is on-road parking only, to ensure that the removal van has somewhere to unload.
1 Day to Go
- Clean the house.
Whether you’re leaving a rental property or selling a house, you should give it a thorough clean before vacating. Some companies specialise in “deep cleans” for this specific purpose.
- Pack the essentials.
Create one or two “moving day boxes” and fill them with anything you will need almost immediately when you arrive at your new home. Unpacking will be much less fun without a hot cup of tea to keep you going, so don’t forget the kettle!
- Contact the removal company.
Keep in touch with any companies you have booked for moving day. Be sure you all have the same information — times, addresses etc. — and make sure you have all the contacts you need stored in your phone.
- Charge your mobile phone.
You will need to contact and be contacted by multiple people and organisations on moving day. Make sure that your phone is fully charged and if possible, have a back-up battery pack to hand, especially if you are travelling a long distance.
- Set the alarm.
Don’t add stress to the day by waking up late and feeling rushed. There will be plenty for you still to do on moving day, no matter how organised you have been up to this point. Err on the side of caution and allow yourself plenty of time.
House Moving Day
- Eat a hearty breakfast.
It’s likely to be a long day and you’ll need to be well fuelled for what lies ahead. Allow enough time to eat a hearty breakfast.
- Drop off pets and children with their carers.
Do this as early as possible — moving day will be a lot easier without tiny people or furry ones under your feet.
- Take meter readings in your current home.
Make a note of the readings on your gas and electric meters to make sure you only pay what you owe. If you have smart meters, this will be done automatically.
- Check that the utilities are connected in your new home.
When you arrive in your new home, check the meter readings and make sure that you are connected.
- Clean your new home.
The previous owner or tenant should have left the place clean and tidy, but you may want to do some cleaning too.
Place boxes in the rooms where they belong and unpack the essentials. Don’t worry about unpacking everything on day one.
- Meet the neighbours.
Your relationship with the neighbours could make your new home a pleasure to live in or a nightmare. Take a few minutes to introduce yourselves.
- Collect the kids and pets.
Let your children and pets explore their new home and get comfortable in it.
- Put your feet up.
Phew! After a hectic couple of months, it’s time to put your feet up with a cuppa and relax. There’s plenty of time to finish the unpacking and get settled.
Are you looking to sell your house? For a fast, stress-free house move, contact House Buyer Bureau for your free cash quote today. We can buy your house in as little as 7-days. There is no need for viewings and there are no estate agent or solicitor’s fees to pay.