15 Things to do when moving 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! 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.

Download our moving house checklist

moving house checklist uk 2020

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. If you’re moving to a new area, you will need to register with a new doctor and dentist. If not, include your current care providers in the list of places you need to change your address.

Who you should notify of change of address:

  • The local council for council tax purposes
  • Your employer
  • Your utility companies (Gas & Electric)
  • Your GP & Dentist
  • Your phone and internet providers
  • Your bank(s)
  • The DVLA
  • TV licensing
  • Inland Revenue
  • Electoral Roll (updating your registration)
  • your insurance providers (including pets, car and travel insurance)

Make sure you have home insurance at your new address. 

5. 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.

6. Pack Up 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. Begin thinking about clearing out your kitchen cabinets and defrosting and drying out your fridge/freezer. Remember your loft and garage!

7. 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.

8. Officially Confirm

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. 

9. 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
  • Passport
  • Driving licence

10. The Day Before 

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 (to download).

For you

  • Bedding 
  • 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
  • Lead/collar
  • Toys
  • Food and water bowls
  • Litter box/waste bags
  • Crate
  • Any medication

To Eat

  • Paper plates/cups
  • Basic cutlery
  • Dinner (or takeaway menu!)
  • Breakfast items
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Kettle, tea/coffee, filters, mugs, milk, squash
  • Corskcrew/bottle opener/something bubbly

For Cleaning & DIY

  • Basic cleaning supplies/rubber gloves
  • Bin liners
  • Screwdriver/hammer/pliers/scissors
  • Torch/lightbulbs
  • Phone charger
  • Extension cable
  • Pen and paper
  • Paper towels/wet wipes

11. Move Your Boxes

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.

12. Record Meter Readings 

On the day itself, record your utility meter readings. This includes water, gas and electricity. Photograph each of these so you can contact your providers to confirm your move. 

13. One Last Walkthrough 

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. 

14. 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

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 on the 27 October 2020

Additional Info & Moving House Checklist Download

If you need further help with your house move, you can download the following for use:

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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