Moving house doesn’t need to be a stressful affair. If you pre-plan and organise everything well in advance, there is every chance that you might see the exciting side of the process. Think new opportunities and change rather than seeing the move as a hassle or feeling an emotional strain. Start preparing early, a couple of months beforehand, and you will be surprised at how smooth the transition to your new life can be.
And to help you achieve just that, we’ve created an easy-to-follow moving house checklist. It may be exactly what you need, especially if you are moving house for the first time!
Checklist for Moving House
Two months before you move
So, the move is already on the cards but you feel that you have plenty of time before the Big Day. And despite the popular saying that moving houses is up in the league of most stressful events in life, a number of people would not think that they should be in “moving mood” so early in advance. Well, don’t risk to make this mistake and consider doing the following:
- Let your boss know about your plans – If you are not moving that far away and you are keeping the same job, book some time off work before and after move day. Or hand in your resignation notice if commuting to work from your new address is not viable.
- Organise your kids’ schooling – Research and choose your kids’ new school and make steps towards their smooth transition in the near future.
- Declutter now to pack less later – Donate and dispose of anything that you are not taking with you. Start with clothes that don’t fit and mementoes that no longer have a sentimental value. Give away or put for sale appliances that you intend to replace with new ones, once you relocate.
- Order packaging materials – Yes, packing can begin! And although most removal companies provide an array of different sized boxes and insulating materials, it doesn’t hurt if you get some yourself in advance. Let’s not forget that bedding and clothes are safe to be packed in bin bags.
- Do your homework on removal companies – Research online and check out all the service details of different removal companies. The British Association of Removalists is a good place to start.
- Research self-storage options – This applies if there is a substantial time gap between the moving-out and moving-in day. Still, most reputable removal companies offer convenient storage solutions, so don’t forget to check them out.
Five to six weeks before
Time is getting on and you start to feel a little panicky about all the “admin” stuff that needs doing. Just calm down and start up a new folder with all your important move-related paperwork in one place. Plan a day online and a day on the phone for those little tasks below:
- Reevaluate all your insurance policies – You may consider switching home insurance providers or taking out a life insurance. And if this is your first house buy, then ensure that you are covered from day one.
- Research GP clinics, banks and utility providers in your new area – Make a list and gradually contact every business and agency that will help you stay connected and facilitate your easy transition. After all, you are relocating your entire life, not just the furniture and your belongings.
- Make a list of all the entities you need to contact that need to know about your change of address – Keep the details in one place for an easier reference at a later date.
- Get several quotes from reputable removal companies and choose wisely – Call and get estimates from several short-listed removalist companies. Pay heed to what type of insurance they offer to cover your possessions during the move.
- Research removals insurance options – You may need to purchase extra removals insurance if your existing home insurance doesn’t cover every event during the transition, such as bad weather or delays. Read the small print, especially when it comes to packing stuff yourself. Damaged stuff, due to being unprofessionally packed, usually results in an invalid insurance claim. Moving artwork and other valuables also call for doing your homework on insurance policies.
- Start organising your belongings that are not in use – Out-of-season clothing, books, most toys and special occasion dinnerware can go in boxes now.
- Set up a label and colour code system for your packing – This is a must and everyone does it differently. Just find out what works for you.
Three to four weeks before
By this time, you should have already made a room-by-room packing plan. It is also a good idea if you give thought to where large furniture would go in your new place and draw a map to facilitate the removalists. You can also make things easier if you do as follows:
- Make a list of what goes first and what goes last in the removal truck – It makes sense that the baby crib goes last, doesn’t it?
- Start using up frozen food and anything that you don’t want to take with you – Prepare the frozen lamb you’ve kept for weeks for when the in-laws come for a visit or light up all those scented candles you got for Christmas from a friend.
- Carry on with the packing of non-essential stuff – All those vinyl records – your hubby’s pride – can be packed now.
- Spread the word around amongst neighbours and friends – You may have done this already but if you haven’t – now it’s the time to let colleagues and friends know that you are leaving.
- Contact your postal service and notify them about the date of address change – Redirecting your mail is a straightforward process.
- Consider approaching your bank to apply for a new credit card – If you can’t bear the thought of taking your stained and tired-looking couch to your new home, a credit card may be your little financial window of opportunity.
One to two weeks before
Not long to go now and still so much to do! Don’t fret, though, but keep on packing. By now, you should have also organised most “administrative” matters and tied up loose ends, such as cancelling local delivery services. It’s also about time to notify your window cleaner, the maid or the nanny that you are moving away. And if you haven’t registered with you new council and the tax office, leave this task for when you are settled into your new home. Also, to keep those stress levels down:
- Make a list of essential items that are not going in the removal vehicle – This can be labelled your “First night box”, which should contain all the things you can’t go without. Make that list using word checklist template.
- Clean thoroughly electrical appliances – Who wants to cook their first meal in a new home in a greasy oven?
- Consider reducing your grocery shopping – A shopping “diet” will go easy on your wallet, as well as help you keep things neat and simple in the kitchen.
- Prepare pack for the potential new owners of your home – This should include your contact details for any post that has turned up later or for any important queries that might arise. You can also leave some information that they will benefit from.
- Make plans on how you will access important information once your computer is packed – And we don’t mean your ability to check any emails on the go. You may have saved some vital contact details on your PC that you need to get to as soon as you arrive. Don’t pack those away before you make a copy or transfer the file to your mobile device.
- Get a couple of days pinned for friends and family gatherings or goodbye parties – And don’t forget to take pictures with uncle Gary’s dog!
- Create a no packing zone in the house – This could be the empty-by-now study, where you place stuff that you will take in the car with you.
- Book a professional cleaning company to clean the house – This is an important “maneuvre” that should be done 4 or 5 days before you leave, especially if you’ve been renting and you hope to get your security deposit back. Move out cleaning ensures you will get your deposit back, that is a guarantee.
The day before
Prepare for a late night tonight and a bit of tossing and turning. Only joking! Keep calm and smile on, while doing a last check on tasks that have not been done yet, such as:
- Perform a quick clean of the floor where boxes and furniture have been packed and moved – Remove all those paper off cuts, fluffy sellotape strips and sticky labels from the floor.
- Do a final check of what essentials you need to pack in your bag for the first night at your new place – Pyjamas, toothbrushes, story books or medication – they are the things you don’t want to be looking for.
- Draw some cash – Whether to tip the hard-working removalists or to purchase something on the way, some hard currency in your pocket is always useful.
- Pack some extra snacks for the family – You could be miles away from the nearest petrol station or stuck in traffic for some time when your kids suddenly decide to fight over the last pack of crisps.
- Now it is not the time to wash your car – You can do this when you get there. But do double check that your vehicle is in perfect order and that your AA cover is still valid.
- Where are the keys to your new house? – Do you know?
The day of the move – “Goodbye” old home!
It’s move day! Exciting times. Say goodbye to your old place and grab every memory of it with you. It is also a good idea if:
- You check every room in case if you have forgotten something – Did you leave a bag in the wardrobe that you meant to throw last in the movers’ truck?
- Ensure your kids are engaged for a bit – Ask if they can spend an hour with the neighbours, while the loading takes place. It’s basically dangerous for kids to run around while heavy lifting goes on.
- Double check that the kitty is well settled in its carrier – Yes. Make sure that you actually put the cat inside.
- Take a note of meter readings – Put those somewhere safe and then, turn off all the mains. Also, check that all windows are securely locked.
- Get involved in the loading process – Guide the removalists to ensure that the first-off and the last-off boxes go in the right place.
- Wave farewell to your old home – This may be the hard part.
The day of the move – “Hello” new home!
You’ve made it! You are here now but there is still plenty to do. You are possibly feeling tired from the long drive and the lack of proper sleep. So, take it easy and try not to worry about doing everything at once. The last thing you want is to commemorate the first day at your new place with stress, crying kids and arguments with your partner.
- Have a quick flask of coffee in the garden – And breathe in the new positive feel of the place. It’s your home now!
- Let the pet out for a good look around – It’s so easy to forget that you still have a cat in the car.
- Ask your kids to keep an eye on the pet – Urge your children to explore their surroundings and the house itself by following the cat.
- Calmly check for any damages to your furniture – Well, this will take its time over the next few days, but ensure to take note if any.
- Set up beds for your first night and venture out for a take away – The two king-size inflatable mattresses you packed in the boot, remember?
- Make a mental list of what needs to be done the next day – But don’t overdo it!
A new beginning
You are settled now. It took quicker than you thought, didn’t it?
Now you can organise things at your own pace even if you are back at work. Do so much per day and only what you can. Whether it is a little unpacking left to do, changing the key lock or you need to complete some final admin tasks, there is no rush. As long as the kids’ school records have been transferred, you’ve switched utility providers in time and the family has been registered with a doctor, dentist and a vet for the pet, most other registrations with local agencies can be done in the next few days to a week.
Just get the feel of your new area. Explore recreational opportunities, restaurants and parks. And why not bake some cookies and say hello to your new neighbours? Your kids need new friends, right?