Sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start when moving home. How soon should you cancel your broadband, and when is the best time to start packing up all your worldly possessions?
The best way to tackle a move is to do it in stages. Our moving home checklists break everything down into bitesize chunks that will turn a mammoth task into something much more digestible. Starting at two months ahead of the move, these checklists will guide you through what to expect and when.
Two months before
- Make a note of important dates: If you’re buying a property, ask your solicitor for estimated exchange and completion dates. This will give you a date to work towards.
- Plan your moving costs: Make a list of all your moving costs and an estimation of what that cost will be, so you can avoid any nasty surprises. The main costs to think about are solicitors’ fees, your mortgage deposit, stamp duty, estate agent’s fees and removal costs. Our handy guide How to calculate the cost of buying your first home will help you tot up your costs. If you’re renting you should check if there are any letting agency fees to pay.
- Inform your landlord you are leaving: If you’re renting a home, you normally need to give your landlord two months’ notice that you are moving out, so put this in writing.
- Have a clear-out: There’s no point moving stuff you don’t need. You might be able to sell some of your unwanted things, or donate items to charity. If you decide to throw anything away, make sure you find out where your local dump is or if your council will collect bulky items.
One month before
- Get quotes from removals companies: Prices will vary depending on whether you want them to provide boxes or pack your stuff, and the distance between your old and new homes. Our moving costs guide provides some helpful suggestions on how to use credit effectively to help with the expense of moving.
- Work out the logistics: If you don’t need a removal firm, think about how you will move your stuff. Will it all fit in your car? Do you need to enlist friends to help?
- Start packing non-essential items: Label boxes with their contents and which room in the new house the box should go in. Don't forget to clear out lofts, sheds, and storage rooms and to take artwork off your walls.
- Update your mailing preferences: Arrange for your mail to be redirected using the Royal Mail's Redirection service.
- Check your insurance: Read your existing home insurance policy to see if your possessions are covered while you move. Our moving home guide provides helpful tips on what you should look out for when sorting out your house admin.
Two weeks before
- Make a checklist of all the ‘little’ things: If you’re buying a home, you’ll normally exchange contracts two weeks before completion (when you get the keys). Once you’ve exchanged, you can start scheduling the ins and outs of your moving day.
- Inform your landlord of your moving date: If you’re renting, confirm your move date with both your old and new landlord. You may want to book a cleaner to give your old property a deep clean to ensure you get your full deposit back.
- Inform your removal firm of your moving date: Confirm the moving date with your removal firm and agree what time they’ll start work. Arrange a parking permit for outside your old and new home if necessary.
- Arrange child or pet care for your moving day.
- Start eating all your freezer food: To limit wastage, you might want to start planning your meals around all the frozen and perishable food you have in your household.
- Cancel your phone and broadband contracts: Contact your broadband and phone company to arrange for services to be cut off at your old address and connected at your new home. If you’re not tied in to a contract, shop around for a better deal. Make sure you use your new postcode when you compare broadband deals as offers and suppliers vary by location.
- Shop around for cover: If your policy is up for renewal, shop around for cheaper home insurance to see if you could save on your premium.
- Notify every company you deal with of your new address: This includes informing banks, building societies, the council, HMRC, sports clubs, children’s schools, dentist, doctor, DVLA, TV licencing, etc.
MoneySuperMarket data. Correct as of August 2017.
One week before
- Check dates and timings are still on track: Check with your solicitor and estate agent that everything is going to plan. Agree a time you’ll collect the keys on your agreed moving day.
- Defrost the fridge and the freezer: They should be completely empty and dry before moving.
- Pack everything including a first-night box and bag: The box should contain some kitchen essentials such as the kettle, tea/coffee and snacks. Your bag should contain a change of clothes plus important documents such as your passport and driving license – keep these with you on moving day.
On moving day – before you go
- Take final meter readings for gas and electricity: Give these to your energy company and ask for a final bill.
- Walk around the house for one final check: Make sure everything is packed and all windows and doors are locked so your home is safe and secure after you leave.
- Hand over any sets of keys: Give all the sets of keys to your old house to the letting agent/landlord/estate agent.
When you get there
- Check each box is where it’s supposed to be: Once you’ve got the keys to your new place you can start unpacking. If you’re using a removals firm, make sure they put things in the right room and haven’t damaged anything.
- Find out where the important parts of your home are: Make sure you know where the stopcock, gas isolation valve and electricity, gas and water meters are in your new home.
- Take electricity and gas meter readings: There’s no obligation to stay with the previous occupier’s energy supplier so shop around for the best energy deal.
- Enjoy your moving in day: Check out your new local pubs and restaurants for some well-earned refreshments.
After you move in
- Get the locks changed: You won’t know who has keys to your home, so be on the safe side and change your locks.
- Register to vote: You can get on the electoral roll at Your Vote Matters. Also register with a local doctor and dentist, and find a vet if you have pets.
- Check everything is in working order: Check all carbon monoxide and smoke alarms are functioning properly and are in good working order.
For more tips, visit our dedicated homemovers’ hub where you’ll find lots of handy suggestions and advice for a stress-free move.