One of the best parts of our job, after matchmaking people with their dream homes, is helping to make the move-in process as stress-free as humanly possible. It can be a bit overwhelming when it feels like you have a neverending list of things to do and organise.
Whether it’s your first time moving, you haven’t done it in some years, or you’re just feeling a little apprehensive, we’ve created a handy guide to make your day that much easier.
If you can, we recommend starting to think about your move-in day about 4-6 weeks beforehand. It’s not too far in advance that you find you have to keep rejigging your plans, but it won’t be leaving it until last minute.
It is possible that friends and family could help move your belongings from your old house to the new house, but you might find navigating this a little tricky currently with Covid-19 guidelines still in place. Hiring a professional removal company may be easier and safer: they’re professionals, and will have carried out all the relevant health and safety requirements in order for them to continue trading. Use Rightmove’s useful removal quotes service to get quotes from professional removal companies by clicking here.
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’s also 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 desperately need to move in time for.
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 – especially at the moment when they might be running on a reduced workforce, meaning things take a little bit longer. Other key contacts include: The DVLA, TV license, store/loyalty cards, broadband, doctors, dentist, opticians, electoral register, library and breakdown services.
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 and the Money Savings Expert website usually has in depth advice on this if you’re not sure where to start.
Have a good clear out before the move to ensure that you do not waste time packing items that you don’t need. Ask yourself – when was the last time I used this item? If you haven’t used or worn something for a few years, you might prefer making the space. At the moment lots of charity shops are only accepting donations on certain days, so before you turn up with your donations it’s worth checking their website or social media to make sure they’ll be accepted.
Start getting excited! Find out where local shops etc are. At the moment if you’re shielding or you don’t want to walk where there might be quite a few other people, you can use Street View on Google maps.
To reduce packing and the worry of getting stuff in the fridge quick enough on moving day, run down your cupboards and do a food shop when you get there. You could even order a shop to be delivered at the end of the day.
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 if you ask nicely or they can be found in most stationery shops or ordered online along with other packaging supplies.
Take pictures of the arrangements in your current home. You might want to use them for inspiration in your new house – even if you don’t use them for this, they can be fun to look back on!
Start by packing things you don’t use very often, remembering to label each box with the contents. 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 to try and find that important thing you need.
Fitted items can include mirrors, shelves and light fittings. If your house is rented, make sure that you don’t accidentally pack anything that is owned by the landlord! If you are renting, check your inventory requirements – you might be required to fill holes in the wall and add a lick of paint, or engage professional cleaners. Another tip, don’t just paint over the filled holes, even if it’s the same colour the paint will never match the rest of the wall and will stand out like a sore thumb!
Register your new address with the Post Office for their mail redirect service. Any post that gets sent to your old address with your name on it, will automatically be forwarded to your new address for a maximum of three months. This gives you time to change your address for anywhere you may have forgotten.
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 don’t 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 to allow time for everyone’s money to have been transferred.
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.
Also, if you’re moving things like garden planters most removal companies will stipulate that they need to be empty, so in some cases you may need to make other arrangements for those.
Having a list of numbers you might need to put your hands on quickly is a really good idea. Your list might include things like out of hours doctors, taxi numbers, vets, local hospitals etc.
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.
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, mugs, toilet roll, washing up liquid, tea towel, phone charger and scissors.
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 taken down and packed.
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.
Top-tip: Take a quick photo of your meters when you read them, you’ll have lots of things on your mind and this will help you remember what they were later.
Move your furniture into the new house first. This means that you wont end up moving boxes around again to make room for it. 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 the following day.
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.
Becoming friends with the neighbours is always a good idea – even if it needs to be done from a distance at the moment with a wave over a fence, especially if you have moved into a new area. Locals are invaluable for giving tips on when the dustmen come, if there is a local milkman or the best dog-walking routes, child-minders etc.
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 an entirely different area.