Moving house

Our moving house checklist provides an overview of important things to remember when organising your move, from the moment your mortgage offer is accepted to the day you get the keys.

8 weeks before moving house

Your offer has been accepted and moving day is on the horizon. Hurrah!

At this point, it’s time to make sure the legal side of things is covered so that when it comes to exchanging contracts and setting a moving date, everything goes smoothly.

Be sure to organise a chartered surveyor to inspect the property first for any issues before signing the final agreement and sealing the deal. There’s no set timescale when it comes to establishing a moving date.

Your moving date will depend on a number of things, including what stage of the mortgage journey the person you’re buying from is at, as well as the person you’re selling to. In mortgage-speak, this is often referred to as as the ‘chain’.

At this stage, it’s a good idea to start researching (and possibly visiting) some of the facilities and amenities in your new local area to get a real feel for what it’ll be like to live there.

  • Arrange a solicitor/conveyancer and a survey for your new property.
  • Make sure you have buildings and contents insurance as soon as you exchange contracts.
  • Once you have a moving date, confirm it with your current landlord if you’re renting.
  • Check to see if your contents insurance will cover items during the move (your removals company might provide cover).
  • Book time off work for the move and arrange a school transfer if you have kids.

6 weeks before moving house

With just over a month until moving day, it’s time to start thinking about the items you want to keep and those you want to dispose of, as well as things like life insurance and parking permits.

  • Research removal companies to find the best quote and book ahead.
  • Make lists of the items you want to keep and those you want to sell or donate.
  • Review your buildings and contents insurance and consider taking out life insurance - this may well be a requirement of your mortgage anyway.
  • Check the parking regulations for large vehicles at your current and new home as there’s a chance you may need to arrange permits.

4 weeks before moving house

You’ll most likely have exchanged contracts at this point, had a thorough survey done, and finalised your moving date.

With all the legal bits done and dusted, it’s time to focus on the practicalities! Start packing up large items you don’t need in the immediate future and confirm your transport plans for the big day.

  • Confirm your booking with the removals company.
  • Research TV, phone, and broadband deals for your home and find the most cost-effective energy tariffs.
  • Notify your current utility and internet companies of the move.
  • Locate storage facilities if you need them and consider giving away unwanted goods to Freecycle or charity.
  • Order important furnishings for your new home and start packing up non-essential belongings ready for the move.

2 weeks before moving house

It’s getting close, so now’s the time to organise all your bills and notify your TV licence, bank, insurer, pension, investments, and any other organisation you can remember of your change of address.

Ask your removals company if they include additional services on the day such as dissembling furniture and unplumbing washing machines so you can prepare in advance if need be.

  • Finalise details with your removals company such as the pick-up time.
  • Organise house cleaning for when you leave.
  • Cancel or redirect regular subscriptions and services such as newspapers and window cleaning.
  • Raid the freezer and use up perishables that won’t last or can’t be taken with you on the day.

1 week before moving house

With just a week left to go, it’s time to plan your moving day ‘survival kit’. This should consist of a box file containing all of your important documents (financial, ID and personal), and everything you’ll need easy access to on moving day such as medication, keys, and a portable phone charger.

It’s worth thinking about what you’ll need on the first night in your new home as you’re unlikely to be able to locate everything when the time comes! To keep stress to a minimum, pack an overnight bag with the essentials.

  • Pack as much as you can so you don’t have to frantically finish on the day.
  • Register to pay Council Tax for your new property so it’s set up on time.
  • Make sure boxes are labelled or colour coded according to what’s inside, e.g. books=blue, food=green, kitchenware=yellow.
  • Arrange a mail redirection service with the Post Office - after all, it’s near impossible to remember everyone you’ve given your address to over the years.
  • Organise a time to pick up the keys from the estate agent.

1 day before moving house

Tomorrow is the big day, which means it’s time to look in every nook and cranny and double check that everything’s packed up and ready to go.

Finish packing your overnight bag and make sure it contains everything you’ll need the following day and evening. It’s a good idea to include water, snacks, and something to open boxes with too.

After everything’s ready, try to get a good night’s sleep so you’re fresh as a daisy for moving day.

  • Check every corner of your house or flat for missed items and unsealed boxes.
  • Check your overnight bag: does it contain everything you need?
  • Make sure you’ve got the keys to your new home; if you’re picking them up en route, call ahead to confirm.
  • Enlist the help of friends who are available to be ‘on call’ if extra assistance is required.

The day you move house

It’s time! Hopefully all of your prior planning and organisation will pay off and the day will go smoothly.

It’s important to make sure everything is accounted for before you leave and remember to make the removals company aware of any specific requirements when they arrive.

  • Make sure all the windows and doors are locked and the heating and lights are off.
  • Be there to guide the removals staff.
  • Take a note of all the meter readings and store them in a safe place (or take a picture on your phone).
  • Inspect your new home for any items left by the previous occupiers who might be picking them up at a later date.
  • Check for any hazards in the house and garden, especially if you have young children or pets.
  • Unpack your overnight bag and unwind in your new space.

After you’ve moved in

You’ve officially moved house - congratulations - but before you can really start to make it feel like home, you’ll need to unpack. Remember, there’s no need to rush. If you’ve packed in an organised way by labelling your boxes, you’ll be able to find things easily.

Some people like to get everything done in one go, but don’t be afraid to allow yourself some time. Dedicate one or two hours per day to unpacking, and get some help from friends and family if you can.

After a hectic few days of moving your life, it’s time to take a break. Put the kettle on, put your feet up, and start arranging the housewarming party! (Cream carpets permitting...)