15 Things to do when moving house
1.Hand in Your Notice
2.Declutter and Book a Removals Company
3.Think About the Kids and Pets
4.Update Your Details
5.Redirect your mail
6.Check Your Car and Route
7.Pack Up, Move boxes and Shut Down
8.Tell Your Friends
9.Officially Confirm With Your Solicitor/Estate Agent
10.Keep Your Valuables Close
11.The Day Before You Move Home
12.Prepare a list of the location of important items
13.Record Meter Readings For Your Utility Suppliers
14.One Last Walkthrough Before You Move House
15.Saying Goodbye To Your Old House
Moving house is rarely anyone’s favourite thing to do. It is known to be one of the most stressful events you can go through in your life – even if it’s a move for the better.
Whether you move around a lot or you’re moving house for the first time, the things to do when moving house can feel overwhelming.
Don’t let stress get the better of you!
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Download our comprehensive moving house checklist, you’ll be able to tick off the essentials easily and keep track of your progress, leading up to, including, and after the big day.
So, take a breath and dive in. You’ll be settling into your new home in no time.
1. Hand in Your Notice
If you’re renting, you need to remember to hand in your notice of intent to leave to your landlord or estate agent.
Check how long this period is – sometimes it’s one month, sometimes it might be two.
If you have been living in your current home for less than a year, you may be in a contract with a break clause.
Make sure of your preferred moving date before you give notice.
2. Declutter and Book a Removals Company
Use this as an opportunity to declutter your possessions.
When you book your removals company, you will need to give an estimate of how many items you’ll be moving.
If you're not sure where to begin with choosing a removal company you may want to check out British Association of Removers.
Donate things you don’t need – you can also begin packing those non-essential items, or putting some larger possessions into storage temporarily if necessary. Make sure you have enough boxes and packaging supplies.
3. Think About the Kids and Pets
If you’re moving small or furry family members, you may need to confirm new school placements, or at least inform the old school of the address change.
As for your pets, if you need to book kennels or a cattery for your moving dates, do this well in advance.
Think about how they will be moved and arrange for the care of pets and children on your moving day(s).
For more information on moving with kids please see 'How to keep your kids safer on moving day!'
4. Update Your Details
There are many places where you will need to update your details. Think about who to notify.
When moving home who you should notify of an address change:
When moving to a new house, there's more to it than just packing boxes and arranging furniture. One crucial aspect often overlooked is notifying the relevant people, organizations, and companies about your change of address.
Ensuring that your updated contact information reaches the right hands is essential for a smooth transition and to maintain seamless communication with key entities.
By taking the time to inform them about your new address, you can avoid potential inconveniences, missed communications, and ensure that important documents and services continue to reach you without interruption.
Here's a comprehensive list of entities to notify when moving house, categorized into different sections:
- Employer or Human Resources department
- Professional associations or licensing boards (if applicable)
- Clients or customers (if you're self-employed)
- Department for Work and Pensions
Updating your address with government entities and authorities is necessary for legal and administrative purposes.
Organizations such as the post office, electoral registration office, and local council tax department need accurate information to ensure that important communications, voting materials, and tax-related documents reach you correctly.
- Internet service provider
- Cable or satellite TV provider
- Phone service provider
- Cleaning services
- Lawn care or gardening services
- Gyms or fitness clubs:
- Sports clubs or organizations
- Social clubs or memberships
- Landlord or property management company (if renting)
- Mortgage lender (if you have a mortgage)
- Homeowners association (if applicable)
- Home security or alarm companies
- Pest control services
Updating your address with healthcare providers and transportation agencies is necessary to ensure uninterrupted access to medical services and to update your information for transportation passes or services.
Notifying educational institutions is important for the seamless transition of your children's education. Providing the new address ensures that school records are updated, and important school-related communication reaches the right recipients.
- Schools or educational institutions (for your children or yourself)
- Universities or colleges (if you're a student)
Informing financial institutions, insurance providers, and utility companies about your new address is crucial to ensure that bills, statements, policies, and services are directed to the right location. This helps to prevent missed payments, policy lapses, and disruptions in essential services.
- Banks or financial institutions
- Credit card companies
- Investment or brokerage firms
- Loan providers
- Pension providers
- Home insurance provider
- Life insurance provider
- Health insurance provider
- Car insurance provider
- Any other insurance policies you have
- Gas provider
- Electricity provider
- Water and sewage authority
- Waste collection and recycling services
- Internet and broadband provider
Remember, it's always a good idea to double-check with each organization or entity to see if there are any specific processes or forms required for updating your address.
5. Redirect your mail
Moving to a new house can be an exciting yet daunting experience. Amidst the chaos of packing and organizing, it's crucial not to overlook the importance of redirecting your mail.
By setting up mail redirection, you can avoid missing out on important letters, bills, or business-related documents.
It also helps protect your sensitive information by minimizing the risk of confidential data falling into the wrong hands.
Royal Mail's mail redirection service simplifies the task by efficiently forwarding your mail from your old address to your new one.
Simply visit the Royal Mail website or a local post office to set up the redirection, providing the necessary details.
6. Check Your Car and Route
If you are going to be driving some distance on moving day, have your car serviced and car tyres checked.
Confirm your route and make sure there are places to stop off in needed, for fuel and breaks.
7. Pack Up, Move boxes and Shut Down
You will want to start packing more seriously about two weeks in advance. As the big day gets closer, you will want to make sure you’re nearly all packed up.
Doing this far in advance means you will be calm enough to mark up your boxes in a way that makes sense. You can take advantage of helpful tools such as the Evernote app, which is available on both Android and iPhone devices. Evernote allows you to create detailed lists for each of your boxes, ensuring that you have a clear record of the contents.
Begin thinking about clearing your kitchen cabinets and defrosting and drying out your fridge/freezer. Remember your loft and garage!
Try to move your boxes downstairs or to a convenient location the night before.
If you can collect as many of your possessions in one or two places, they will be easier to take to the van the next day.
8. Tell Your Friends
You will want to inform your friends and family of your new address, and also ask them for help and support if you need.
Make sure you have also notified your current neighbours, and check in with them to be certain there is room for your moving van to avoid any difficulties on the day.
9. Officially Confirm With Your Solicitor/Estate Agent
Be sure to confirm with your solicitor or estate agent that the move can go ahead as planned.
You will want to be aware of any delays well in advance. Check this a week before you are set to move.
10. Keep Your Valuables Close
Keep valuables, important documents and paperwork in a safe place away from the chaos of packing. Include any documents you need for moving.
You can keep this with you in the car on moving day.
Know where you've put all your important documents, such as:
- Tax paperwork
- Birth certificates
- Marriage certificate
- Driving licence
11. The Day Before You Move Home
The day before you move can feel a little high pressure.
Make certain that your mobile phone is charged and that your essential items are in a clearly marked box.
Confirm with your removal firm and double check your route.
What to pack for your first night in your new home
Ensure you have things for your first night in your new home with our First Night Essential Checklist
- Toilet paper
- Toiletries for the whole family: (toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner)
- Hand soap
- Towel for each family member
- Pyjamas for whole family
- Work clothes
- First aid kit
For the kids
- Bedding/travel cot
- Favourite toy if necessary
- Change of clothes
- Entertainment: iPad/laptop/charger, headphones, crayons/colouring book, few toys
- Night light
For the pets
- Pet food
- Food and water bowls
- Litter box/waste bags
- Any medication
- Paper plates/cups
- Basic cutlery
- Dinner (or takeaway menu!)
- Breakfast items
- Kettle, tea/coffee, filters, mugs, milk, squash
- Corskcrew/bottle opener/something bubbly
For Cleaning & DIY
- Basic cleaning supplies/rubber gloves
- Bin liners
- Phone charger
- Extension cable
- Pen and paper
- Paper towels/wet wipes
12. Prepare a list of the location of important items
Hopefully, those that live in your new home will do the same for you, but if you have time, put together a list of the whereabouts of essential items in your home for the new occupants.
- Instructions for operating the appliances
- Gas and electricity meters, thermostat and fuse box
- CO Detector
- House-side gas valve
By providing this helpful document to the new occupants, you can demonstrate thoughtfulness and go the extra mile.
Additionally, such a list is beneficial to you in the future, especially if you need to request a favour from the new residents, such as forwarding misplaced online purchases.
13. Record Meter Readings For Your Utility Suppliers
On the day itself, record your utility meter readings. This includes water, gas and electricity.
It's important to take meter readings when you move out for a number of reasons:
- Accurate Billing: Meter readings are used to calculate your utility bills, such as electricity, gas, or water. By providing the correct meter readings when you move out, you ensure that you are only charged for the utilities you consumed during your occupancy. It helps to avoid overcharging and ensures a fair billing process.
- Avoid Disputes: Recording meter reads provides documented evidence of the utility usage at the time of your departure. This helps to prevent disputes with the utility providers or the new occupants of the property regarding the consumption and subsequent billing. Clear and accurate records can resolve any discrepancies and protect you from unwarranted financial liabilities.
- Financial Responsibility: When you move out, you want to ensure that you are no longer responsible for the utility costs of the property. By providing the final meter readings, you establish the cutoff point for your financial responsibility. It allows the utility providers to start billing the new occupants accurately from that point forward.
- Closing Accounts: Meter readings are often required by utility companies to close your accounts properly. By providing the final readings, you can facilitate the process of closing your utility accounts and ensure a smooth transition for both yourself and the incoming residents.
- Legal Obligations: In some jurisdictions, there may be legal obligations to provide accurate meter readings when moving out. Failing to fulfill this requirement could result in penalties or legal complications. It is always best to comply with the relevant regulations and fulfill your obligations as a responsible tenant or homeowner.
Recording meter reads when you move out of a property is crucial for ensuring fair billing, avoiding disputes, clarifying financial responsibility, facilitating the account closure process, and complying with legal requirements. It is a prudent practice that protects your interests and contributes to a smooth transition for all parties involved.
14. One Last Walkthrough Before You Move House
Check over your house one final time.
Have you forgotten to strip your beds or left toiletries in the bathrooms?
Are any greenhouses or garages fully clear?
Collect all of this up and clear down completely.
Loading the Van
Try to load your van logically if you’re doing it yourself, grouping by room.
If you have movers, be sure they know what is going with you and what is staying.
15. Saying Goodbye To Your Old House
On your final goodbye to your house, you will want to check everywhere is clear.
Clean down your house from top to bottom and remove any trash. Don’t forget to leave all your sets of keys for the new owners, as you have arranged.
Remember to leave keys to any outbuildings or interior doors if necessary.
We hope that these things to remember when moving house make the process less stressful.
Planning ahead is sure to make these difficult tasks go more smoothly.
Enjoy the experience and if you need more information, don’t forget to use our handy downloadable moving list.
Article last updated Nov 2023
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If you need further help with your house move, you can download the following for use:
Additional Info & Moving House Checklist Download
House moving checklist - top tips including utility bills, removal companies and redirecting mail
First night essentials checklist - a list of what to have handy on moving day
‘We have moved’ cards - let family and friends know your new address when you’ve moved
Packing labels - get organised and use these to help label your boxes for the big move
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