At Northfields Estate Agents, we want to ensure that your move-in day is as stress-free as possible, so we have created a handy guide to make your day that much easier. We recommend that you start preparing for the big day at least one month beforehand.
Initial steps (4-6 weeks before the move):
Organise a removal method – It is possible that friends and family could help move your belongings from your old house to the new house. However, hiring a professional removal company may be easier and safer: you would not want to risk a friend dropping an item that is precious to you. Use Rightmove’s useful removal quotes service to get quotes from professional removal companies by clicking here.
Communicate – Ensure that your Conveyancing Solicitor and Estate Agent are all prepared for move-in day by keeping in touch with them. To ensure a smooth transaction, it is important to notify your Conveyancing Solicitor of any potential problems, such as dates you definitely cannot move on, holidays planned, or, of course, dates you must move in time for!
Change of address – Let key contacts know you are planning to move home, e.g. friends, family, your employer and utility suppliers. A minimum of a month’s notice is required for most utility contracts, so make sure that you do not leave it too late. Other key contacts include: The DVLA, TV license, store/loyalty cards, broadband, doctors, dentist, opticians, electoral register, library and breakdown services.
Set up new utility suppliers – By setting up utility suppliers for your new house (e.g. broadband and gas) you can feel settled the minute you move in. Research is important; you may find that there are suppliers offering better deals than that of your current suppliers. There are a number of price comparison websites that you can use including: uSwitch, ComparetheMarket and MoneySuperMarket.
Declutter – Have a good clear out before the move to ensure that you do not waste time packing items that you do not need. Ask yourself – when was the last time I used this item? If you have not worn a certain top in 3 years then you probably no longer need it. Donate your belongings to charity, or earn cash by selling items on Ebay,Gumtree or by having a boot sale.
Learn and prepare – Explore and/or research the area around your new home, find out where local shops etc are. You could reduce packing by doing a food shop when you get there, and have it delivered later in the afternoon, once you have tired yourself out and fancy a bite to eat or maybe a glass of champagne to celebrate.
Nearer to the move (2-4 weeks before):
Collect packaging supplies – Including: empty cardboard boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, old newspapers, stretch wrap for furniture, markers and labels. Empty cardboard boxes can be picked up from supermarkets and other packaging supplies can be found at stationary shops, the post office etc.
Take pictures – Take pictures of the arrangements in your current house. You may want to try to keep some of the room layouts similar in your new house and they will also be good keep-sakes to remind you of the good times.
Start packing – Start by packing your non-essentials, remembering to make inventories of each box and labelling them all. This will make unpacking far less stressful as it will be easy to know what is in each box without tearing them all open at once. If you are using large boxes, try to put items in order of how you need them, so that the more urgent items are on the top.
Take down fitted items – Fitted items can include mirrors, shelves and light fittings. If your house is rented, make sure that you do not pack anything that is owned by the landlord. It is a good idea to fill holes and paint over the wall with a couple of coats of emulsion, so that it is lovely and fresh for the new occupants. Of course, if you are renting, this will probably be part of your inventory requirements. Another tip, don’t just paint over the filled holes, the paint will never match the rest of the wall and will stand out like a sore thumb!
Move-in day arrangements – Confirm arrangements for move in day at least two weeks before. Ask your removal company what time they will arrive and if they provide boxes (if you do not have any.) Also, phone your estate agent to find out when you can pick up the keys for your new house, it will usually be after lunch.
Non-allowable Items – It’s important to know what your removal company won’t transport for you. Hazardous items like propane cylinders, paints, paint thinners and fireworks will not be allowed on the removals truck. Check out the full list of non-allowable items here.
Closer to the move (the day before to the last week):
Make a list of emergency contact numbers such as out of hours doctors, taxi numbers, vets, local hospitals etc.
Prepare the new house – If you can, clean your new house before you move in. A new house may have wood chippings etc on the floor and an old one may not have been cleaned properly. It is a good idea to do this before moving all your belongings in as the rooms will be empty. Ultimately, an empty house is easier to clean than one already packed with your belongings. Why not organise a professional cleaning company to blitz the house in a few hours while you have lunch?
Find out details about your new house by asking the seller or give a list of questions to your estate agent to pass on. Read MoneySavingExpert’s list of the ‘Top 10 last-ditch questions to ask sellers’ here.
Pack the essentials – To save unpacking everything in one go, pack a box of essentials for use on the first day in the new house. Essentials could include: a kettle, tea and coffee, toilet roll, phone charger and scissors.
Final steps – Move as many boxes as possible downstairs the day before move-in day so they can be easily loaded into cars/vans. Make sure you also double check each room to make sure everything has been packed.
Move in day:
Take Meter Readings – Take final meter readings before you leave your old house, and let your utility suppliers know what numbers you have come up with. This then means that you can settle up the closing balance and shut down the account ready for moving. If you do not remember to do this, it could instigate a dispute with the new owners. Likewise, you should also take all the appropriate meter readings at your new house.
First things to do/unpack – Move your furniture into the new house first. This means that you wont end up moving boxes around again to make room. Following this, make your beds in the new house first. When you become tired of unpacking you can fall straight into bed and rest up to carry on unpacking the following day.
Home insurance – Ensure that your policy has begun and everything in your new home is covered. You will feel safer in your new home if you are covered from the very beginning.
Introduce yourselves to the neighbours – Becoming friends with the neighbours can improve your social life, especially if you have moved into a new area and they will be invaluable for giving tips on when the dustmen come, if there is a local milkman or the best dog-walkers, child-minder etc. Neighbours can also keep an eye on your house and collect packages when you are not in.
After the move:
Remember to change your delivery address when online shopping as your online accounts may still be storing your old address.
Register with a new doctor, dentist and optician if necessary if you have moved into a different area.