I recently moved house and thought I would share some of my tips on moving with you. I’m focusing on the actual moving part of moving house as I’m in no way qualified or experienced enough to help you with mortgages etc.

Stack of cardboard boxes ready for house move

Before You Move

  • At least 2 weeks before you move you need to tell everyone you’re moving. Phone up all your utility companies and let them know – some will ask for you to get back in touch once you’ve moved, keep a note of this. It is especially important to let SKY and your broadband provider know so they have time to set up your internet and TV at your new house. Also, make use of the Royal Mails redirection service so you get all your mail.
  • If you are using a removal company get a few quotes. I recommend contacting at least 3 and go with what works for you – this isn’t always the cheapest. If you’re planning on doing it yourself arrange your hire van now.
  • Check you will have insurance cover for your move. Call your home insurance company and ask, most will cover you if you use a reputable removal company. You may have to increase your cover if you are doing the moving yourself.

Packing

  • Packing is hard and takes twice as long as you think it will. I recommend using your movers packing service which is what we did. It made the process completely stress free, they came round the day before the move and pack everything up into boxes and labelled them for us. It only worked out at around £150 more to add the packing service onto the cost of the move and if you ask me it worth every penny. It was a little awkward having strangers packing up my possessions but the advance is they aren’t emotionally attached so didn’t stop to look through old pictures or that cuddly toy your boyfriend gave you.
  • If you not using a packing service give yourself plenty of time to pack everything, it will take a lot longer than you think. Also, prepare to be surrounded by boxes for a few weeks. It’s also worth noting that packing materials can be expensive so shop around. Make you wrap everything and get a roll of bubble wrap for breakables. Using clothes and linen to pad out boxes to help prevent breakages. Don’t make boxes too, use smaller boxes for books to avoid over filling them.
  • Make sure every box is labelled include the room it belongs in and a short description of its contents. You will be thankful for this at the other end.
  • If you have to take apart any furniture put all the screws and bolts in a freezer bag (the kind with the zip top) and tape this to the item of furniture. You may want to take a picture with your phone to show how to fits together. This will help you remember how to reassemble at the other end.
  • Take a photo on your phone of the back of your TV or any other electronics so you know how everything is wired.

Essentials Kit

  • It’s a good idea to put together an essentials kit which you will keep with you during the move. In my essentials kit, I had my kettle, mugs, tea bags, coffee, a pint of milk, some basic cleaning products etc. I also keep all of our important paperwork (marriage certificate, car registration documents, passports etc) with me to reduce the risk of anything getting lost. I also decided to keep my jewellery with me, although it’s not particularly valuable some items are quite sentimental.
  • I recommend keeping an overnight bag for everyone in the back of the car. Even if your stuff is arriving on the same day, chances are you won’t have unpacked everything you need.

On the Day

  • Pack your valuables and overnight bags in your car before the movers arrive so they don’t get mixed up.
  • Give the removal men space to do their job. Keep the tea and coffee flowing and relax – you have a long day ahead.
  • I recommend cleaning each room as it’s emptied. Even if you don’t have to clean (eg for rental deposit) it’s just nice to leave the house clean for the new people. I would also be embarrassed if the house wasn’t clean. Give all the floors a quick hover and wipe down any surfaces. This also gives you something to do while the removal men clear out the furniture and boxes.
  • Once everything is in the van have a look in every room to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
  • Lastly, before you leave remember to take photos with your phone of your electricity and gas meter readings. You will need to give these to the provider so they can calculate your final bill.
  • Make sure your car is packed up and lock up for the last time.
  • It can sometimes take a while before you get into your new house. Even though you were out by 12noon the people leaving your new house might not be out until 2 pm. Money transfers can also slow the process down. It’s a good idea to have somewhere to go, I popped into my mums for a cup of tea.
  • Pick up your keys and start moving in.
  • Take photos on your phone of the electricity and gas meters as you will need to give these to the provider to open your account.
  • Check the central heating is working – any issues contact your solicitor.
  • We arranged for the movers to bring the furniture around the next day so there was much less pressure to collect the keys by a certain time. It also meant we had the whole of the following day to get sorted.

Cleaning

  • As I’ve said before it’s just polite to leave your house clean for anyone else moving in, however not everyone will do this so be prepared to clean once you move in. When we moved into our house it was filthy. The toilets were dirty, carpets hadn’t even been hovered, kitchen cupboards needed to be wiped, the oven was cover with baked on grease and there was a funny smell from the dishwasher. I had brought some basic cleaning products and my hover in the car with me. This meant that we could get most of it cleaned before the movers arrived. Definitely not the best way to spend the first night in your new house – scrubbing toilets.

Once You’re In

  • If the old owners receive any mail remember it’s illegal to open it so don’t. You also shouldn’t throw it away. If they have left contact number let them know and they can pick it up. If they have left a forwarding address it’s up to you whether or not the send it on to them, remember you will have to pay any postage costs up front. The best thing to do is to write ‘return to sender, not at this address’ on it and pop it back in the post.
  • The first thing you should do is get your bed set up. You don’t want to work until 9 pm and then realise you still need to put up your bed (I guarantee you will be exhausted by then)
  • I recommend unpacking boxes as soon as possible. The kitchen is the easiest room to start in as its normally a case of picking which cupboard you want everything. Go through the house room by room unpacking everything in that room. This means you wouldn’t be surrounded by boxes for weeks to come.
  • Removal companies will often collect your empty boxes from you as they can reuse them. If you didn’t use a removal company then you may have to make a few trips to the recycling centre. Try to do this as soon as possible
  • If you used a removal company you may want to tip the movers. We decided to give each of them £10 as they had worked really hard throughout the move. It’s up to you whether or not to tip so don’t feel any pressure to.
  • Take your time making changes, this is now your home and you should obviously want it to feel like it, but that doesn’t mean you have to redecorate the whole house straight away. Pick which changes are most important to you and plan what you can afford to do. We would like to knock through the wall between the kitchen and dining room to create a large dining kitchen, however, this is expensive so we need time to save up. Little things like putting up your pictures, changing light fittings and curtains can help make the house feel your own.
  • Now you’re settled in, it’s time to pop open the champagne and enjoy your new home.
Collie dog playing in a cardboard box

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