Moving Day: A Guide to Beating the Stress

moving house stress free

Moving day can be a stressful time and there is plenty to think about both beforehand and for the day itself. We’ve put together some useful ideas to help make the big day as stress-free as possible.

Moving house doesn’t have to be stressful. Being organised can help alleviate the headaches. Image via Flickr.

Organising the Removals

When it comes to moving to a new house, it pays to hire professionals to do this for you. Obviously, your budget will dictate whether you can afford to hire people to do the packing for you and the level of service they offer At the very least, a professional removals company will collect and load your furniture and boxed belongings and deliver these to your new home. They should also provide adequate insurance to include for any accidental damage along the way.

Get a couple of quotes from a few local removals companies and make sure you compare like for like before appointing one. Some companies charge extra for garden equipment or supplying boxes for packing so always check the small print.

If you have any specialist, delicate or bulky equipment such as pianos, garden outbuildings or antiques then it is worth ensuring that these are included in the quote, as well as their insurance.

If you are intent on doing the move yourself then make sure that you organise a suitably sized vehicle and have enough willing volunteers to help on the day; remember that moving days occur during the working week so this may require people taking time off to assist. There are plenty of self-hire van companies to choose from but you will need to ensure that:

  • Your driving license is valid for the size of van you require and that you are happy to drive a large vehicle. Most people can hire up to a 7.5t truck on a full license but driving one can be tricky.
  • You can return the vehicle at your new destination. If you are moving out of area then you may need to include for returning the van at the original hire centre. Bear in mind that your completion may not occur until later in the day, meaning you may not collect the keys to your new home until after 5pm.
  • You have a valid credit card. Most van hire companies only rent their vehicles if you have a credit card to pay a security deposit with.


When packing up your old home, ensure that you write the name of the room on each box that the contents contained within belong to. This will make unpacking easier and help you to locate the things you need in a hurry when you arrive at your new house. Always write on the sides of the boxes and not the top; it seems obvious when you think about it but a wall of stacked boxes with their contents written on the top is not going to help you find which box the pillowcases are in.

packing for moving day

Packing for the big day can be a headache but make it easier at the other end by labeling boxes. Image via Flickr.

If you are using a removals company, it can useful to give them a floor plan of the new house with each room clearly numbered. Use this number system to code your boxes so there is no confusion about which box belongs where.

A good tip for packing flatpack furniture that you need to reassemble is to take photos on your phone as you dismantle it. Keep screws, bolts and nuts in a sandwich bag and tape this securely to the furniture it came from.

Always pack one (or two) boxes as your ‘essentials’. Take these in your car with you instead of the removals van and include things like the kettle, the toaster, a first aid kit and a handy selection of things like paper, pen, packing tape and scissors. You might also want to include a couple of different lightbulbs just in case the new place doesn’t have any as well as bin liners, toilet roll and a basic selection of cups, plates, cutlery, teabags, UHT milk etc. Cleaning products are also useful in case the new house hasn’t been left in a state you would like it to be in. At the very least, washing up liquid and a tea towel is always useful.

This should be in addition to your moving day bag.

A Few Days Before Moving Day

On the approach to the big day, you should start clearing down your fridge and freezer. Yes, now is the time to either eat that mystery box of food at the back of the frozen compartment or bin it. You should defrost and give them a clean at least 24 hours before they are due to be moved.

If you have animals and/or young children then last minute arrangements should be checked to ensure that they are being taken care of on the day of the move.

With cats and dogs, you will want to have them out of the way before the removal and up to a few days after unpacking. It is an unsettling time for all and having the new house in some semblance of order with familiar belongings unpacked can help animals to adjust to a new environment.

what to do with pets on moving day

Make sure that your pets are out of the way whilst the move is happening. Image via Flickr.

Now is a good time to do any last-minute research you need to do whilst you still have WiFi access including checking around your new postcode for late night shops, a good takeaway restaurant as well as the closest petrol station, ATM and parking facilities. On the day of the move, your removal van will want to be on the drive or directly outside the property so you will need to find somewhere to park the family car.

If you can, use the online delivery service of a local supermarket to deliver a basic shop to your new house on the day after your arrival (afternoon) so you don’t have to worry about an essentials shop.

When it comes to packing those last bits and pieces remember to take photos of any complicated wiring set-up likes your TV/DVD/Console/Sound System. This will make it easier to plug back in when you arrive at your new home.

Lastly, if your new home is a distance away, check your car to ensure that it has fuel and oil as well as the tyre pressures; heavy loads may require you to adjust the psi volume of your tyres.

check your car on moving day

It might not be top of your list but checking your car is good for a long journey with a heavy load should be on your list. Image via Flickr.

Moving Day Bag

On moving day, your belongings should all be packed up ready for loading on the van; all except for the ‘essentials’ box and your moving day bag. Because you never know exactly when the completion will happen, it’s important to be prepared for any eventuality and it’s a good idea to have all of your house related paperwork, contact telephone numbers, mobile phone (and charger) as well as enough cash to pay for lunch and dinner; in a new location, it might be tricky to find a cashpoint.

We would also recommend packing a single suitcase or individual smaller bags for every person in your family which has your overnight things, toiletries and a change of clothes.

Moving Day Itself

Make sure that your phone is charged and that you have cash, paperwork and contact numbers.

Professional removals companies know exactly how stressful moving day can be and they are usually renowned for being on time to start loading their van as early as possible.

It is likely that you won’t get confirmation of the contract completion until later in the day so your focus should be on loading up for the move and then getting lunch. With any luck, you will have the keys to the new house early afternoon and can get unloading and unpacking.

When you leave your home, make sure to take a last check of your electricity, gas and water meter; ideally, take a digital photo. This will help with all those final bills you will need to deal with.

On rare occasions, the transfer of money can get held up and may not occur until the close of play at around 5pm. Again, removals companies are used to dealing with this and are known for their patience.

Finally, take a deep breath and remember that moving day is the start of an exciting new stage in your life; your new home awaits.

At Property Assistant, we go out of our way to help our clients prepare for their moving day and always make sure we are on hand to make things go as smoothly as possible. We even make sure that every client has something to welcome them to their new homes…

To find out more about how we can help make moving day less stressful when selling or buying a home, contact us on 0118 912 2370.

And don’t forget to check out our Moving House Checklist for some additional help.