It is always a great feeling when you get the keys to your new home. But whether this is your first flat or the dream house you have been working your way up the property ladder towards for years, moving in to it requires some organisation. That's why we have come up with a list of top tips for anyone moving house.
Forward planning is the key to a stress-free move. So it is a good idea to make some initial preparations in the weeks leading up to the day you plan to move.
Useful steps that will save you both time and money include starting to collect cardboard boxes from supermarkets and other local shops and keeping old newspapers that can be used to protect fragile belongings.
Once you have a few boxes or bags to hand, it also makes sense to start sorting your belongings to work out what you will take with you and what can be thrown away or go to the charity shop, for example.
This is also the time to decide whether you want to pay a removal company to help with the move
While it is an extra cost, it can make the experience much less stressful and can prove particularly invaluable if you have lots of heavy or precious items to transport. And by shopping around, you can make sure that you do not pay over the odds.
Whether or not you decide to invest in the services of a removal company, it is also useful to decide where large items will go and labelling them accordingly – for example by sticking a note saying “back bedroom” on a wardrobe or chest of drawers.
How to pack
Panic packing can lead to valuables getting damaged or mislaid and essentials getting stuck at the bottom of an unmarked box. So to avoid confusion, try to think logically about how you pack up your stuff.
Top tips include packing an essentials kit and an overnight bag for the day that you arrive so that items such as the kettle and your toothbrush are easy to find.
As with furniture, it also makes sense to label boxes with both the contents and the room you want the box to go in. And remember not to overload boxes with heavy items that will make them nigh impossible to carry on the day.
Wrap any valuables in tissue, padding or bubble wrap to avoid breakages, and don't forget to keep any important documents in a separate folder that you keep with your essential items.
Finally, remember that anything you can throw or give away is another item that will not need carrying or storing in your new home. Being ruthless is therefore the name of the game.
You need to inform a whole range of companies when you move home. Otherwise, important mail could end up going to the wrong address, or you could even end up paying for the new inhabitants' electricity.
Once you know your new address and moving date, it therefore makes sense to inform the following companies:
Utility providers: Make sure you do this at least two days before moving to ensure you pay no more than necessary on either home. Remember to take meter readings on the day and let the new owners know the current supply details.
Local council: To cancel your old council tax and register at your new property.
Car insurance provider: A change of address can affect your motor insurance premium.
Home insurance provider: You will need house insurance cover in place from the day you exchange contracts on your new property to protect against storm damage or fire, for example.
The DVLA: Your driving license and vehicle registration will need updating to your new address.
And don't forget these either:
Mobile phone provider
Digital/satellite/cable television provider
If you require a moving home checklist, see our guide to ensure you have a smooth moving process.