Moving house is one of the most stressful things you will ever have to do and with so much going on, it can be easy to forget something essential. As soon as you get the date for your move and the time for the exchanging of keys you can start to get organised. Take some time to make a list of small tasks and tick them off as you go.
Avoid leaving anything until the last minute. As a starting point, consider putting together a to-do list to help you prioritise tasks. An inventory of what you want to keep and take with you will also be a big help when it comes to packing for the move itself.
Book time off work
Make sure you allocate time off work for moving day.
Prepare kids and pets for the move
Do you have young children or pets? Arrange to have them stay somewhere on the day of the move, ask if a family member, friend or neighbour can help you out and look after them whilst you are moving.
Get multiple quotes from removal companies
Once you are clear about your move in date, it is worth beginning to research removal costs. Hiring a removal firm can certainly ease the burden, but don't settle for the first one you come across. Many offer different levels of service including simple transportation of items right through to packing them for you, so it is worth shopping around. If you are downsizing to a smaller property, look at storage space rental costs too. Remember, it might work out cheaper sourcing this service independently from the company you choose to transport your items.
We would recommend using a removal firm that is a member of the British Association of Removers (BAR), the trade association that maintains professional standards within the industry.
Don't rule out moving yourself
Not all moves require hiring the services of a removal company.
Work out the distance to your new property and most importantly the size of vehicle you require to transport your possessions. If you are willing to put the work in yourself, it can save a lot of money. That said, special furniture might well require experienced removers to pack and protect it so as to avoid damage during transit so don't be over-ambitious. Should you decide to do it yourself, research self-hire services in the same way, being careful to check you have the correct vehicle license for the type of vehicle you end up selecting.
Make a 'change of address' list
When it comes to moving home, there are a number of companies and people you will need to inform of your change of address, so it pays to draw up a list. But if you can't remember them all, don't worry, the Royal Mail's redirection service forwards all the post sent to your old house to your new home. It's really easy to sign up, and you have the option to redirect your mail for 3, 6 or 12 months.
Set up services ASAP
It is frustrating to move into a new property only to find the electricity and broadband isn't working. It is worth checking with the agent for the previous providers so you can call them to change the name on the contract or set up new accounts. Make sure to contact service providers prior to moving in as these can often take a number of weeks to become active.
Check who holds the key
This might sound like an obvious step but it is surprising how many new homeowners forget to check the date for when the keys will be released for the property. Ensure you clarify whether your new keys will be released by your solicitor/conveyancer or your Propertymark agent, and when. Often it will be on moving day, not before.
Research access points on the day
Logistical considerations are often overlooked but making sure there is adequate access to the property for large vehicles will ensure no hidden surprises on the day of the move. It is always good to check that access will still be available to neighbours and other vehicles using the road outside the property whilst you are offloading.
Plan your packing in advance
Packing up your old house may appear a daunting task, but it needn't be. Many people make the mistake of packing up rooms according to what will fit best into boxes but it makes much more sense to plan where you want to put items in the new property. Labelling goes without saying, but working on a floor plan for where you want everything to end up will help you to work out whether it will fit or not at the other end.
Dismantle heavy furniture first
It's very tempting to focus on packing the smaller items that can be easily put into boxes first but tackling larger furniture like cabinets and wardrobes should be made a priority as this usually takes longer. It is worth transferring these items to the front of the house in the days leading up to the move so they can be loaded first.
Pack a 'basics' box
It is very easy to forget the essentials when moving house but ensuring that you have a spare change of clothes, a wash bag and a charger for your phone can be very helpful. You want to avoid a situation where you have to search through boxes on the day you move in to find the basics. Pack a bag of essentials for your first twenty-four hours so you don't have to root through boxes for your toothbrush.
Compile a fact file for the people who have bought your home
Include things like the rubbish collection day, recycling arrangements and heating instructions. On the day of the move, defrost your fridge and freezer and make sure you leave any instruction booklets for appliances you agreed to leave.
Make sure your old home is clean
No one wants to move into an unclean house, if you don’t have time to do it yourself, hire professional cleaners to clean the house for you, it will be one less thing for you to worry about.
Source: ARLA Propertymark, 2018