moving house checklist

Moving House Checklist: A Handy Guide to Moving Day

You might not think you need a moving house checklist. However, when you consider that planning a stress free move starts as soon as you accept an offer and continues long after you’ve picked up the keys to your new home, you may thank us for putting this together in the long run.

Moving House Checklist: A Month Before the Move

  • If you haven’t already done so, now is the time research your new area for information about local facilities, schools, doctor’s and dentist’s surgeries and commuting routes. Think about any of the places you frequent in your current area and try to find new local alternatives. Think about libraries, play parks, gyms and things like cash points and petrol stations.
  • Start a file in which to keep important documents including a journal to record conversations with your conveyancing solicitor and estate agent.
  • If you have children then you will need to contact schools local to your new property to arrange a new admission. You’ll need to order new school uniforms to be delivered to your current address so they arrive in plenty of time. Talk to your children’s current school about transferring records and advise them of your proposed move date. Depending on the stage of education your children’s teachers may suggest some home work or revision to be completed in the changeover period.
  • Get removals quotes and book a company for the intended date. You should ensure that any high value items such as antiques or speciality goods are covered by the firms insurance policy. Some companies may have a general household removals policy only. It is a good idea to make a list of your possessions so if anything happens during the move that you have a comprehensive list of what you own.
  • Make a plan of what furniture will be going where in your new home. Not only will this help the removals company on the big day but can help you to avoid having to rearrange furniture after they have gone.
  • Start to clean out cupboards and begin packing those items which you won’t need for the next 4-6 weeks. Part of this process is to de-clutter and avoid having to unpack unwanted possessions in your new home. You should make a start on the shed, garage and loft first as these are often left until the last minute. This isn’t ideal as these spaces often have hazardous materials that many removals companies will not transport.
  • Find out what parking restrictions there are at your new address for the date of the move. If you have a large removals van and you are moving to a busy main road with limited off-street access then you may need to arrange a permit with the local council. Likewise this may apply to your current address.
  • Serve notice to your utilities companies and service providers such as satellite/cable TV, telephone, gas, electricity and water companies. Advise them or your intended removal date and confirm (where applicable) that you will provide meter readings. This may seem early but it is worth doing in advance as some companies have longer termination procedures for their accounts.
  • Arrange a redirection on your mail commencing from the date of completion.
redirect your mail moving house check list

The Royal Mail suggests arranging a redirection at least 3 weeks before it is needed. Image via website.

Moving House Checklist: Two Weeks Before You Move

  • Confirm details with the removals company including any information on access and parking at the new property. Confirm the time of their arrival and provide them with a couple of contact numbers in case of problems.
  • Arrange childcare and pet care for the day of removal. If you have older children then they can certainly help but moving day for young children can be hazardous. Pets should be clear of your home before the removals company arrives.
  • Make contact with a doctor’s surgery in your new area and register your family as new patients. It can take a few weeks to transfer patient records so ensure that any repeat prescriptions that are needed before the move are ordered now.
  • Cancel any remaining services that you receive at your current address such as gardeners, cleaners, window cleaners and newspaper, milk or food deliveries.
  • Start to run down the food in your freezer.
  • Continue packing up your belongings but be sure to label each box with a guide to its contents as well as an indicator of which room it belongs to in your new home.
  • Arrange insurance on your new property and cancel the insurance on your existing home from the date of your move. It is best to check with your current provider if they cover you for the move and until what time on the date of cancellation this applies.
pets on moving day

Moving day can be stressful for animals so make sure you have arrangements in place for their care. Image via Pixabay.

Moving House Checklist: 1 Week Before the Move

  • Most of your packing should now be done with the exception of some clothes, essential cooking supplies and important documents. You should transport the latter in your own vehicle and it should contain anything of value or that would be difficult to replace including driving license, passport, insurance papers etc. If you are transporting cash and/or jewellery then be sure that your home insurance covers you for doing so.
  • Put together a moving day box which has a quickly accessible package of the basics you will need on arrival. Things like cups, teabags, toilet paper, torch, spare bulbs and hand towels are all useful. Don’t forget a mini first aid kit in case of any mishaps and things like scissors and a few tools (very useful when assembling beds if your removal company isn’t doing this for you). Items like phone chargers and the kettle can all be added on the day of the move.
  • Collect all of the spare keys to your house and put them together for the new owners. This should include any spares given to neighbours, window keys, keys for any outbuildings including padlocks. If you have documents relating to any appliances or security alarms, then you should put these together as well.
  • As soon as your freezer is empty get it defrosted so it can be cleaned before the move.
  • Write or print out your change of address cards so you can send these to your family and friends. You could do this by email once you are settled in but it’s a nice opportunity to drop people you may not have spoken to in a while a handwritten note.
  • Any plants that you want to take with you from the garden should be put into pots and be ready for moving.
  • Contact the estate agent through which your purchase has been arranged and check on the process for collecting the keys for your new home.
  • Let your neighbours know of the big day so they can expect a bit of disruption with the removals van.
  • Make a list of the total number of boxes you have packed to go on the removal van so you can ensure that everything has been delivered correctly on moving day. If you are ultra-organised, you could make a plan of how many boxes per room you are expecting. Remember that this may change slightly if you pack any more so do adjust accordingly.
  • Research a local takeaway (possibly one that delivers to your new address) so you can eat on the night of the move.
collecting keys on moving day

Check on the arrangements for collecting key on the big day. Image via Pixabay.

Moving House Checklist: The Day Before the Move

  • By now, with the exception of the bare essentials, all of your belongings should be packed (unless your removals firms is doing this for you) so do a thorough check in the places you won’t have chance to on moving day. Get in the loft and look around thoroughly. Check inside the airing cupboard and behind radiators.
  • Pack an overnight bag for when you arrive at your new home. Include a wash bag (you can add toothbrushes in the morning) and sleep wear plus a change of clothes for the day after the move.
  • Make sure to charge your phone fully.
  • Make sure you have all of the contact details for anyone you will need on moving day either stored in your phone or written down on a piece of paper. Include the removals company, the estate agents and the conveyancing team.
  • Keep your moving house checklist in a safe place so you can refer to it when you arrive in your new home.
  • Check that you have enough petrol in the car and, if you are travelling some distance, that your oil, water and tyre pressure are all at safe levels. Remember that a heavy load can affect the required PSI for your tyres.
  • Check again with the estate agents and conveyancing team to ensure that the completion will happen as planned and you have confirmed details for collecting the keys.
  • Double check on any arrangements that you have made for child care on the day.
  • Drop pets off with your friends or family so they are out of the way in advance of the move.

Moving House Checklist: Removal Day

  • Pack away those last few items including the bedding from the previous night and your curtains. Add essential items (phone charger and kettle etc) to the moving day survival kit and place the bedding in a laundry bag to deal with when you are settled in.
  • Take meter readings from the utility cupboards using a digital camera or your smartphone.
  • Place all of the keys and documents for the new owners in a visible spot in the kitchen.
  • Place all of the personal effects that are not going with the removals company in your car (be sure to lock it when you leave it).
  • Make sure the removals personnel have the confirmed address and your contact details. This may have been arranged with the office but it is a good idea to double check this with the operatives directly.
  • Once the removals company has finished loading the van, do a last sweep of your old home to ensure that everything has been collected.
  • Make sure that all appliances and taps are switched off and that windows and doors are securely locked before locking up the house and delivering the keys to your estate agent.
read the meters on moving day

Record the meter readings when you move out and move in. Image via Flickr.

Moving House Checklist: Arriving in Your New Home

  • On arrival, and before you allow the removals company into the house, it is a good idea to check the house to ensure that everything belonging to the previous owners has been removed. If there are any items then collect these up and place them out of the way so that collection can be arranged at a later date. Also inspect for any damage to the property which may have been caused as a result of their moving out. Record this using a digital camera/smartphone. This will exonerate any blame on your removals company and allow you recourse with the insurers to claim remedial costs.
  • As packing boxes arrive, have them placed in the rooms to which they belong using any coding system you may have used in your planning stages.
  • Unpack your moving day survival kit and get the kettle on.
  • Check large items for damage once they are in position and ensure you have received the correct number of boxes per room before signing off on the removals company.
  • Read the utility meters at your new address and record these with a digital camera/smartphone.
  • If applicable, check the garden is pet and child friendly including hidden ponds, gaps in fences etc.
  • Check that all the keys you have been provided with work.
  • Place any garden plants you have moved in suitable surroundings ready to plant as the season dictates. Water and feed as necessary.

Once you have collected your children and pets, the family should now be safely moved in to the new home and all that’s left is to ensure that your new address is updated on all your contact records and to establish new roots.  Don’t forget to keep an eye on the post that is redirected to ensure that nothing is missed and remember to renew this if necessary.

Lastly, save your moving house checklist somewhere safe; you never know when a friend or neighbour may need it! Even better, bookmark this page.

unpacking boxes moving house

Good luck with your unpacking! Image via Flickr.

As well as this useful moving house checklist, you can find more practical guides on buying, selling or renting a property on our blog or by staying in touch via our newsletter. Property Assistant is an estate agent that prides itself on seeing things differently and we believe that our journey doesn’t end when a contract is signed. If you need help exploring a new area, finding a suitable property or selling your home fast then contact us today on 0118 912 2370.

Featured image via Flickr.

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