Our moving house checklist will make moving house easy during COVID-19
This is our moving house checklist with 16 key points to remember with experts helping you every step of the way. Download it to your phone or print it out, put it on the fridge, and check it off!
Moving house can be one of the most expensive and stressful times of your life. With added pressure from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, amongst juggling other factors like sales falling through, your dream house being snapped up by someone else, and finding buyers for your own property are sometimes out of your control: what you can control is making your move go well.
So, to help you remember everything you need, we have put together the ultimate moving house checklist with expert help from cleaners, wellbeing counsellors, to locksmiths and removers and our very own expert agents to make sure you don’t miss a thing and complete your house move in the safest way possible.
1. Ensure you are fit to move
This is first on the list for our moving house checklist. It’s essential that everyone knows how to stay alert, contain the virus and save lives.
During this period, the process of finding and moving into a new home will be different and those involved in the process will have to adapt practices and procedures. Ensuring that the risk of spreading the coronavirus is reduced as far as possible. For example, if someone becomes ill with coronavirus during the moving process or has to self-isolate.
All parties involved need to be as flexible as possible over this period and be prepared to delay moves. Consider whether you need to make provisions in contracts to manage these risks. You shouldn’t expect to move into any home where people have coronavirus or are self-isolating.
Those who are vulnerable, or shielding may also have pressing needs to move home; however, this should be balanced with the increased risks presented by coronavirus. In line with the government’s advice, those who are shielding or otherwise clinically vulnerable should ensure they are aware of the medical advice. All parties involved in home buying and selling should prioritise agreeing amicable arrangements to change move dates for individuals in this group, or where someone in a chain is in this group.
Moving home is not appropriate whilst you pose a direct risk of transmitting coronavirus. People who have coronavirus or are self-isolating with their family members should not leave their home to either move home, or undertake property viewings.
If you are contractually committed to move home, you should delay your move until all members of your household have come to the end of their self-isolation period.
Remember to keep a 2m distance from anyone who is not part of your household.
For more advice on home moving during the visit the UK government website.
2. Finalise your contracts:
By this point a long your moving house checklist, you’ll have an offer accepted on your new house and you’ll be going through the motions to be a homeowner. There can be a few pitfalls here and it’s important no matter which solicitors you’re with, to do the following:
- You don’t have to use the estate agent’s solicitors
No matter what the estate agents say, you can use your own solicitors if it makes sense to do so. Sometimes estate agents can give you a good deal on using their recommended solicitors, sometimes it makes sense to find your own. Do your due diligence.
- Keep in regular contact with your solicitor and make sure you have important documents to hand Birth certificate and documents at your parents, not with you? Or have you misplaced it? Make sure you can find everything you need. Time is of the essence when purchasing a house.
- If you’re buying a property with leasehold, check when the leasehold runs out
You may be in for additional charges if your ownership of a leasehold property coincides with the leasehold expiring. They usually last between 99 years (for older properties) or 125 years (for newer blocks of flats). Find out how much it is by asking your solicitor. Plus allow for additional time to process a leasehold ownership transfer and money if you need to renew it. Bear in mind the time left on a leasehold flat reduces its value too, which you may need to consider before selling it on again in the future.
- If you’re renting, make sure you read the contract thoroughly
Renters often get caught out with small print around deposit returns at the end of their tenancy. Read up on everything you need to. Make sure you look after the property and clean the property during and at the end of the tenancy and find out what the consequences are if you don’t.
3. Confirm the date of your move
After searching for your new home, you’ve finally found a property and your offer has been accepted, the home moving process starts now! What needs to be in place before this happens? And what are the common pitfalls you need to be aware of?
- Once all enquiries have been dealt with and all parties are satisfied, the solicitors can begin discussing dates for the exchange.
- Keep in mind that the moving date needs to be approved by the whole chain, this will be confirmed by your solicitor.
- Moving can take longer due to the coronavirus, all parties to be as flexible as possible over this period and be prepared to delay moves if needed.
- If someone becomes ill with coronavirus during the moving process or has to self-isolate. You shouldn’t expect to move into any home where people are ill or self-isolating.
- Removal firms are able to operate, although they may need to adjust usual procedures in order to ensure moves happen as safely as possible.
- Contact your removal company as early as possible in advance of your move, double check that they have the availability to help you move on the preferred date.
- Ensure you confirm with your solicitor where deposit money needs to be sent prior to that date, keep in mind you can’t exchange before you have sent your deposit money. Deposit money not reaching solicitors on time can be a common pitfall, so ensure you are aware ahead of time where funds need to be sent to.
- Whilst you are discussing dates it is essential that you arrange a time to sign the contract and transfer documents with your solicitor.
- Another handy top tip is to ensure your advised where to collect your keys from, contact your estate agent to find out.
4. Check in on your mental and physical health before, during and after moving
We’ve included this in our moving house checklist, because we think it’s really important. Now you know the date of your move, getting organised now with your moving house checklist will go a long way to maintaining manageable stress levels during your move. But also make sure you check in with yourself and encourage household members to do the same. If you begin to feel unwell and are concerned about your symptoms and need medical advice, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you have symptoms you will need to self-isolate, notify all necessary parties in the moving process by phone or email that you have become ill and will need to postpone the move.
Moving house before a pandemic was stressful enough it is easy to feel overwhelmed, but if you follow these three top tips from Author and wellbeing expert Jayne Morris then it can be a breeze. Jayne has herself moved house internationally four times with her husband and two young children.
Jayne’s Expert tips:
- Eat that frog
The hardest part is always getting started. The sooner you start the better. Begin by identifying all of the things that are not needed in the short-term, for example next seasons clothing and items that you only pull out once or twice a year. Pack those first and set them aside somewhere altogether. Mark the boxes with the name of the room you finally want them to end up in with bold marker pen, this will reduce stress on the other side of the move. Box by box you will instantly feel a sense of achievement at making progress and this will act as a catalyst for packing the rest of your possessions.
- Take outside breaks
If you feel your momentum starting to flag at any time, then go easy on yourself and take a short break. Try and get outside for some fresh air if it is safe to do so, even if just for a brisk walk around the block. As you walk positively affirm to yourself ‘I can do this, mountains are climbed by many small steps’, then think about the next three small steps that you can take as soon as you return home.
- Get good sleep
Wake early and remember to breathe! When moving day comes, do what you can to help you get a good nights’ sleep. Wake up early to ensure all the last little bits and pieces are accounted for. Often all of the small things that can’t be done until the final day take longer than you anticipate. Remember to breathe! It sounds simple, but it is easy to forget when removal men start rushing around you. Approach each moment as calmly as you can, taking deep breaths. Affirm to yourself that everything will get done in good time without any rush.
If you’re moving long distance to a new county for example and are concerned about keeping in touch with friends and family in line with the government coronavirus advice remember that there’s a number of ways you can keep in contact: pick up the phone and give them a call, send them a text message and check in with them, organise a Zoom, Skype, Facetime, Facebook Messenger, or WhatsApp video call. There are so many ways to stay connected without having to leave your home.
5. Give notice to your landlord (if you’re renting)
Make sure you liaise with your landlord or managing agent regarding check out. As per your assured short-haul tenancy agreement, you must ensure you give your landlord/ managing agent 4 weeks’ written notice on or before your rent due date. Providing you are not within a fixed-term contract.
We asked Lucy Wilton Hub Manager here at easyProperty what you should look out for:
easyProperty Expert tips:
Remember to always keep a copy of your tenancy agreement and refer back to this when needing to serve notice to your landlord/managing agent.
6. Who to notify of your change of address
This is a crucial step in our moving house checklist. You will need to notify your energy suppliers if you move and you must give them at least 48 hours’ notice that you will be moving house. It’s a good idea to do this as soon as you get your move in date.
Whilst notifying of a change of address is important, make sure you set up mail forwarding just in case. New owners may not pass on important mail, even though they should.
Make sure you don’t miss any out:
- Electricity supplier
- Gas supplier
- Water supplier
- Internet/phone line
- Council tax
- Any shared maintenance costs if you live in a flat/shared accommodation
- TV license
- Department for Work and Pensions
- HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
- Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA)
- Electoral roll
- Your local authority banking and savings account providers
- Mobile phone service providers and device plans/contracts
- Credit card companies
- Investment funds
- Store loyalty card providers
- Pension services
- Car insurance
- Breakdown cover
- Home insurance
- Mobile phone insurance
- Pet insurance
- Life insurance
- Health insurance and dental insurance
Work and education:
- Your employers
- Colleagues and alumni networks
- Professional associations
- Schools, colleges, and educational institutions
7. Register to vote in your new area
Changing your address on the electoral role is a simple process that can be done via the UK government website.
Once you’ve moved you’ll need to visit https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote and have your national insurance number to hand. You will need to fill in a bit of information about yourself such as your name, date of birth and nationality but it won’t take too long.
8. Register for GP, dentist, and opticians in your new area ASAP
If you’re moving to a new area you’ll need to register at a new GP, dentist, and optician as soon as possible. You may not think you need to go to the doctors now, but if you really need to see a doctor or a dentist after your move, you won’t want to waste time having to register first.
- Before registering for your new GP, it is worthwhile comparing GP Practices according to facilities, services, access, and performance before you decide, to best suit your needs.
- To change your GP, you’ll need to contact the surgery you want to join and ask them to register you as a patient. For more information visit the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/gps/how-to-register-with-a-gp-practice/
- As for your dental practice you can also use the NHS website to find a practice that’s convenient for you: https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/dentists/how-to-find-an-nhs-dentist/
- Registering for a new optician is straight forward too, simply head to the NHS website and find an optician in your area: https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-an-optician
9. Get quotes for removals
Remember that although removal companies are able to operate, they will need to adjust their procedures, meaning that they may be unable to offer their regular service.
If you’re wondering how many quotes to get whilst looking for removals, we believe 3 is the magic number.
Don’t just go by price and location, make sure you read reviews and do your research into the services that they offer. Some removal companies offer a selection of packing and unpacking options which can come with additional costs. There can also be hidden costs such as late key releases and cancelation charges, ensure this is something you consider before choosing your removal company.
Using a removal company during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic:
- During the coronavirus pandemic you and your household should also try and do as much of the packing yourself as possible. However, where you are using a removals firm, you may wish to talk to them in advance to discuss packing and in particular, the arrangements for packing fragile items.
- Where possible, you clean your belongings, with standard domestic cleaning products before they are handled by others, including removal firms.
- Whilst the removers are in your home, you should ensure any internal doors are open and seek to minimise your contact with the crew, maintaining a distance of at least 2 metres where possible.
- All parties should wash their hands and avoid touching surfaces where possible to reduce the risk of transmitting the coronavirus.
- You should not provide refreshments, but you should ensure they have access to hand washing facilities, using separate towels or paper towels if possible, which should be washed or disposed of safely afterwards.
How to select a reputable removal company:
Choose a BAR (British Association of Removers) Member removal company. They offer the utmost standards and protection to ensure your move goes smoothly. We asked Scott at BAR what you should do to make sure your moving day goes smoothly.
- BAR Members provide free, no obligation, clear and fair quotes. As professional removers, they can explain to you exactly what they offer and the areas you need to think about. This way you can plan your time and concentrate on the essentials.
- BAR Members are professional companies committed to a high standard of service required by the BAR TSI Code of Practice.
- BAR Members are also insured in case of any damages to your belongings in transit.
- Reassurance. BAR Members must comply with annual inspections during their membership.
- Customer prepayments are protected in the event the BAR Member cancels or experiences financial difficulties (subject to the BAR prepayment protection plan terms and conditions).
- A free, independent alternative dispute resolution service (ADR).
BAR’s Expert tips:
“Choosing a BAR (British Association of Removers) Member removal will mean your move will go as smoothly as possible, but there are things you should also think about too:
- Before you get a quote, decide what you want to take early on.
- Check your contents insurance for valuable items before you move, like your TV, appliances, and valuable items.
- Do not put everything together in one room or area; this makes it very difficult for the crew to work and it will slow them down. If you can, try to remove anything that is not going to your new home before the moving day. If you can’t, then just identify the items clearly, usually by using labels provided by your mover.
- If you have something unusual to take with you, let your mover know. They will make special arrangements for plants, fine art, antiques, wine collections, IT equipment, or anything else about which you are particularly concerned.
- Arrange the date as far ahead as possible, but don’t guess. Keep your mover informed if you think they might need to react at short notice. We advise you to contact your chosen BAR Member at least one month in advance even if you don’t know when the big day will be.
- Freezers are not designed to be moved whilst loaded. To avoid compressor failure, freezers should be completely emptied and defrosted before the move. For short trips, the contents may be temporarily packed in boxes and reloaded at the new home. However, please note that neither the mover nor most insurers will accept responsibility for any deterioration of the contents.
- Your mover will take down curtains and take up carpets by special arrangement (check your Service Specification), but will not fit them again in your new home.
- You should remove light fittings before the moving day as your mover is not qualified to do so.
- System Furniture is not designed to be moved in its assembled form. You should discuss this with your mover who will be responsible for dismantling it. Generally, removers would not expect to reassemble such furniture although they may, under certain circumstances, be prepared to quote separately for such work.
- Clothes and other light items may be left in drawers, but heavier items such as books, files or tools should be removed and packed separately.
- Tell your mover if there are parking restrictions at either location. Your mover will make arrangements with the authorities for permission to park if required. Please also inform them if they are likely to face any difficulties getting access to your new home. These might include narrow streets, overhanging trees, unmade roads, small doorways, spiral staircases, etc.
- Tell your mover if you are moving to a flat or a multi-storey building and whether or not there is a lift (and how big it is!). Where possible we recommend that you make arrangements for priority use of the lift for the day.
- Sometimes the removal vehicle will arrive at your new home before you do. If you can, give the foreman a spare key so they won’t lose any time waiting for you.
- Please give the driver clear directions to your new home and a street map if possible. Also, draw a floor plan of your new home and give it to the foreman so that everything can be put in the correct room. Colour coded labels can also help to identify the correct location for items.
- Older children may enjoy the excitement of the move and should be included as much as possible, both during the planning and the move itself, to help them understand the reasons for moving and reduce homesickness. “You might consider having younger children and pets looked after by a relative or a friend while the move is taking place.” – Scott Buist, British Association of Removers
10. Have a big clear out before you move and get packing.
One of the most important points on our moving house checklist! Moving to a new house presents the perfect opportunity to declutter, not only will it help you get more organised but will save you moving unnecessary, unwanted items and cut costs with removals.
To get started set a date to start packing. Give yourself enough time, it may take you a few days to get everything in order depending on how much or how little stuff you have.
Unpacking your stuff can be pretty soul-destroying, especially if you haven’t organised your boxes properly and labeled them with what’s inside. Ever had the experience of losing something important in between house moves, never to be seen again?
Here’s how to avoid that:
Packing supplies you’ll need:
- Packing paper, you can get recycled and biodegradable versions from sites such as Amazon to make your move eco-friendlier
- If you still have the original boxes for your appliances use them. If not, you’ll need to get boxes, ask at your local supermarket to see if they have any available for you to take away for little or no cost. Or look at sites such as Amazon and Argos.
- Soft blankets, socks, or t-shirts
- For packing fragile items use biodegradable bubble wrap or ‘cushion paper’
- Packing tape & biodegradable bin liners
- Standard domestic cleaning products — to clean your belongings before they are handled by others, including removal firms.
Top tip – there may be appliances such as your kettle that you may want to pack separately with a couple of cups, teabags and a teaspoon so you can pop the kettle on after arriving for a much-needed cup of tea.
Make a list of all the rooms you need to cover; this will ensure you don’t forget any essentials. We asked organisation expert Chrissy at organisemyhouse.com to impart her wisdom as to why you should declutter before you move.
Chrissy’s Expert tips:
1. Moving costs a lot – and your clutter will add to the costs
When getting packed up for the move, ask yourself this telling question – “Are you prepared to pay someone to move all these items?” 9 times out of 10 when people see the items in question, they realise that the time, effort and money to move everything they own is not a sensible choice. Removals companies quote on space required, and charge based on the size of the transport required for the move, therefore it makes sense to move only what you actually need, and to declutter prior to moving.
2. You are motivated more than ever because of the promise of what’s to come
When you take time to visualise your new life in your new home it can give you the motivation to declutter more than at any other time. What do you see yourself doing each day? What do you want the house to look like? The answers to these types of questions will really help you to see what will and will not belong in your new home. It’s a true fresh start – so you will want to declutter before you get there!
3. You won’t get round to it afterwards.
People tend therefore to say that they will sort out as they unpack at the new house, and only keep what they really need. This is just delaying the inevitable (and procrastinating in the process) – and people usually find that once they have moved into the new house, it’s just too easy to fill up a room/garage/shed with items that you will get round to sorting out “one day” and then you are left with the same issues as before. After all – there’s more things to deal with once you move, and once again, sorting your stuff becomes last on the priorities. I’ve lost count of times that I’ve heard people say that they still have boxes to open from their move – often several months if not years ago!”
How to pack for moving house:
- Before packing make sure each appliance is clean and dry, ensure you have cleaned each appliance appropriately with standard domestic cleaning products, remove any small parts or fragile items that could get damaged whilst being transported.
- If you have the instruction manual add this into the box just in case, you need to change any of the settings once you arrive.
- Wrap all the fragile pieces in bubble wrap and use a double layer of newspaper to cushion the item.
- Ensure you put the heaviest part of the item in first and the fragile pieces on the top.
- Use packing paper between each plate and stack them on top of each other by placing a plate over a sheet of paper. Wrap the loose ends and place in the box vertically. Fill any gaps in the box and label it “FRAGILE”.
- For glasses and cups place a soft cloth on the bottom of the box and separate by shape and size. Like with the plates, place one over the other, and wrap in packing paper. Stack from the edges to the middle of the box, fill available gaps.
- Separate utensils out into categories and wrap them with a soft cloth. Secure with packing tape use the bundle of utensils to fill in any gaps of another box.
Pots and pans
- Stack your pots and place them in the box, for glass lids wrap in bubble wrap and newspaper and place in the box.
- Get rid of anything that is past its expiration date. Food that’s useable that you can be donated to a local food bank. For the food you want to keep, use shopping bags such as ‘bags for life’ to carry it to your new home.
- Keep all the clothes on hangers, segment them and place them into biodegradable bin liner bags. Instead of taking clothes and other items out of dresser drawers and packing them into boxes, take the drawers out of the dresser, leave the items in there, and secure them by wrapping up the drawer in bubble wrap.
- To avoid the most common risks of damage to shoes while moving, such as scuff marks or smashed shoes, use packing paper, avoid using newspaper as this can stain. Wrap each shoe individually, for more delicate shoes you may want to add bubble wrap, adding packing paper to the inside of the shoe will also help keep the shape of the shoe during the move. Store them in a plastic shoe container, keep each pair together so you don’t end up losing a shoe in the process.
- Take out the mattress and make sure it is 100% dry. Place it in a thick mattress storage bag. If you do not have a storage bag you could use bubble wrap instead.
Bed and frame
- It’s time to disassemble the bed frame. Tape all the parts together. Place any screws in a bag and tape the screws to the bed frame. You may also want take photos or a video of the way you disassembled the bed frame in order to see how to put it back together again.
Linen, bedding and curtains
- Line boxes with packing paper. Put all linen in a large bag, the bedding in another bag and the curtains in a third bag. Shut the bags tightly and place each in the cardboard boxes.
- For lamps, remove the shade and light bulb, wrap with bubble wrap and newspaper and place into box.
Living Room/ Dining Area
- Unplug your television and place all detachable cords, wires, and remotes in a single bag. If you have the original television box and foam, use this to transport the TV. If not use a large box and line with a soft blanket.
- Cover furniture surfaces with paper, or bubble wrap to protect them from becoming damaged. You can also use a soft blanket.
- If you’re taking your sofa apart, put all the fittings into a bag and tape it firmly to the inside frame of your sofa.
Table and chairs
- Disassemble anything that can be taken apart, place screws into bags and label them, place into the same box. It may also be helpful to take a picture of the item of furniture so you can refer to it.
- Take each picture frame and wrap it three times in the shape of a six-pointed star. Place a soft cloth on the bottom of the box and place the frames in the box.
- Roll each rug and secure with packing tape. You can also wrap with a blanket or stretch wrap to prevent it from getting dirty.
Books and bookcases
- Line a box with newspapers. Pack the books flat. Don’t overfill the box, leave a gap between the books and the top. Fill the gaps with more newspaper.
- Toiletries are best packed in plastic boxes too in case of spillages, you can use reusable food containers for this. Additionally, you can avoid spillage by using a small piece of the packing tape when closing the lids of each bottle or container.
- If you have a cupboard mirror in the bathroom, the best way to pack it is by finding a small cardboard box approximately the same size. Line up the box with a soft cloth and place the mirror inside. Cover the upside with another cloth and close the box. Label the box “FRAGILE”.
11. Give your old home and new home a good clean
When you move from a rented home, it’s really important to make sure you protect your deposit and give everything a good clean. And even if you’re not moving from rented accommodation, cleaning your old home and your new one will make sure you aren’t putting your furniture onto dirty and dusty carpets and floors, making it difficult to deep clean it properly afterwards. Also, by giving your old and new home a thorough clean you can lower the risk of coronavirus being spread, ensure all ensure surfaces, such as door handles, are cleaned with standard domestic cleaning products.
We asked the expert cleaners at housekeep.com for their advice on how to thoroughly and effectively clean your house:
Housekeep.com’s Expert Tips:
Cleaning before moving out of a rented home
If you’re moving between rental properties, it’s important to check your landlord or estate agents’ requirements for cleaning in the contract. Some tenancy agreements require you to have a full, end of tenancy clean before you leave the property. Failure to meet these cleaning requirements will likely lead to deductions from your deposit, so it’s definitely worth checking.
End of tenancy cleaning differs from regular domestic cleaning, with greater focus on deep cleaning tasks, such as the cleaning of appliances and the removal of limescale. If your tenancy agreement requires an end of tenancy clean be carried out, you should look into local cleaning companies who can help with this. A local cleaning company will send multiple cleaners to complete the clean, with the correct equipment for the job.
If your contract doesn’t require a full end of tenancy clean, you’ll still want to give a thorough clean before you move out. It’s easiest to do this once you have finished packing and, ideally, once your boxes have been removed.
How to deep clean before moving:
- A long-handled duster
- A hoover
- Microfibre dusters
- Mop/bucket and floor cleaner if you have hard floors
- Bathroom cleaner and de-limescaler
- Sponge and scourer
- Rubber gloves
Clean the property methodically, room-by-room, to ensure that you don’t miss anywhere. It’s always best to start cleaning high and finish low. Begin by dusting the corners of the room, as well as any light fittings and extractor fans with a long-handled duster. Once the ceiling has been dusted, work down towards ground level. Make sure that all furniture and surfaces are cleaned and disinfected, including the inside and outsides of your cupboards. Where you can, you should also move your beds, sofas and drawers and make sure you clean beneath them. You should also be ensuring that appliances like the oven, fridge/freezer and microwave are all thoroughly cleaned. As with any clean, you should finish by vacuuming the floors throughout the property, and mopping hard flooring.
In the bathrooms and the kitchen, look out for any limescale or mould that has built up. There are a wide range of easy to apply household cleaning products that can help you to remove limescale and mould.
To check that you’re cleaning to the correct standard, refer to the inventory you were provided when you moved in. You should be cleaning to at least the standard of cleanliness of the property when you moved in.
When moving into a new home
You should expect that the property has been well cleaned prior to your move-in. Sadly, this isn’t always the case though. If the property has been poorly cleaned and you’re renting, it’s worth following up with your landlord or estate agent to see if they can send a cleaner in to rectify this. If moving into a property you’ve bought, this won’t be an option. In that case, you should clean to the same high standards you left your previous home in. It’s best to do this early though, before you have unpacked.
Booking end of tenancy cleaning
Sometimes your rental agreement will state you need an end of tenancy cleaner. Make sure you book this in time and make sure your belongings are packed up before you get a cleaner in. If not, hard-to-reach areas of your house will remain dusty/dirty after you have moved.
Sometimes you may want to add bulky items you want to sell or don’t have the room for in the meantime. Make sure you pick a convenient location near to your new house to make moving in easy.
easyStorage, part of the easyGroup, offers pick up and drop off of your items and store them for you, you don’t have to lift a finger!
We’ve complied a few easy top tips to help you store your items:
- Use quality boxes and always pack them completely so they don’t collapse when stacked. Check the strength of your boxes first too. They should say on the outside how strong they are.
- Label your boxes for easy identification, you’ll want to do this on the top, and sides of your boxes so you can see clearly what the box contains from any angle.
- Ensure you leave some air space between the walls for ventilation.
- Make sure all items are cleaned thoroughly before storing them.
- Place the items you’re going to need to access the most at the front of the storage container.
- Always put heavy items on the bottom and the lightest on the top.
- Double check with your storage company what you can and can’t store, it can vary between different businesses.
We also asked the experts at Titan Storage too to help you cover everything off:
Titan Storage Expert Tips:
Before choosing a storage facility make sure you also consider these other features to make your moving day completely stress free:
- On-site parking – Does the storage facility have on-site parking. Is the parking big enough to turn a van or lorry around in? Some movers will be trying to do this themselves, turning around a large 3.5 tonne van in a small area isn’t easy. Most facilities will offer a car park, but make sure this suits your needs. If you can’t get out to see your facility in person use Google Maps street view to scope it out.
- Loading bays – A loading bay makes it easier for you to load and unload your possessions. Often not considered is whether the loading bay is covered. Moving days aren’t like films, you can’t expect it to always be sunny.
- Trollies – A staple of many self-storage facilities. Trollies make it easier to move your boxes in and out of storage. These are usually offered, but give the facility a call before making the move just to check.
- 24/7 access – We’re not saying you are going to be going in and out at 3am. But 24/7 access and extended hours are important to some of us. On moving day think of the time you can save by having the van packed up and ready to be on the move by 7am.
- Kitchen Facilities – Not the top of everyone’s list. If you are anything like us, then an early morning start with a long day ahead equals caffeine required. Some facilities offer kitchen areas with tea and coffee available. Take a break whilst you can, you’re going to be on the move for longer than you think!
Remember that moving doesn’t last and if you are lucky, you’ll only have to go through it a few times in your life. Our overall advice is plan, plan, plan. If that means doing a dry run, then so be it.
13. Create a list of where everything important is in your house
Top tip – sellers, why not leave your new buyer a handy guide to the property? Including need to know information such as where the water, gas and mains are, where the boiler is and fuse box.
Where is the main stopcock/ stop valve to shut off the water supply?
Each property varies but typically you have an internal stopcock and external stopcock. The internal stopcock normally can be found under the sink. If it is not located under the sink, try looking in the bathroom, by the gas meter, in a utility room or in a cupboard.
Your external stopcock is usually in the street outside your home, it should be clearly marked with a metal cover marked ‘water’, ‘stopcock’ or a simple ‘w’.
If you can’t locate your stopcock, it is worth asking a neighbour where theirs is located, as often they will be in similar places.
Where are the gas and electricity meters located in my property?
In most properties though, the gas meter will either be in the kitchen, in the hallway or outside in a cupboard or meter box.
Do any of the surfaces in my home need special cleaning products or considerations?
When it comes to cleaning your home ensure you’re using the correct cleaning products for each surface, so you do not cause any damage. For example, can you put hot things on your work surfaces or not?
Which day are the bins collected?
You can find out which day your bins are collected by accessing your local council website, this should provide you with the correct information. Or ask your new neighbours this question when you move in.
What to do with old tins of paint that match the walls when moving home?
There are a few things that you can do with old tins of paint.
If they match the walls and you have no desire to keep them you may want to see if your buyer would like them to retouch any parts of the property after the move. Or offer them to friends and family.
You could take the paint with you, ensure that the lid is firmly sealed shut you can use tape to do this for extra security. You may want to wrap the tin in newspaper in case of spillages.
If your buyer doesn’t wish to have the paint and you no longer need it, you can recycle it. Community RePaint is a UK wide network of over 75 schemes who collect surplus and leftover paint and then make it available to individuals and families in social need and every form of community group and charity, so that they are able to re-use household paints for projects such as decorating community centres and creating colourful playground murals. For more information: https://communityrepaint.org.uk/
How to find instruction manuals or warranties on electrical items?
The odds are you’ve lost some your instruction manuals over the years. Perhaps they’re in a drawer somewhere or long ago ended up in a recycling bin. Fortunately, many of those manuals are available online.
Device manufacturers often release manuals through their websites—sometimes readable online, sometimes downloadable as a PDF. If you’re unable to see it on the website, try searching Google, to get the most specific search results use this method:
Enter “site:[manufacturerswebsite.com] [Device Name] Instruction Manual”
As for the warranty, check your receipt or, check your online purchase history, was there a specific site that you purchased the item from?
You can also check the manufacturer’s website. Did you purchase any additional warranties? You could also get in contact with the retailer and see if they have your purchase recorded. Looking at your bank history may also highlight the purchase date.
How can I find out where the kitchen/bathroom tiles came from in my new house?
Due to the sheer mass of tile suppliers within the UK this may be an impossible task. But what you can do is find a tile company who will match your existing tiles. Take a picture of the tiles and take it in store or submit it online and see if they can match it. If you know the name and manufacturer of the tile you can use the Tile Association Website to find your nearest stockist: https://www.tiles.org.uk/your-home/find-a-tile-manufacturer/
How to find out where fixed furniture has come from?
A tell-tale sign of the furniture’s maker is a manufacturing tag, label or stamp bearing the name of the creator. Such a marking or label may have been placed on the inside of the furniture.
Why not ask an expert? Find a company that specialises in furniture and ask for their help.
Which company supplies my energy?
You can find out who your gas supplier is by calling the Meter Number Helpline. To find out who supplies your electricity you can call your regional electricity distribution telephone number.
What should you do with your broadband if you’re moving house?
You’ll need to check the availability of the broadband upon your move.
Are you still in contract with your current Internet Service Provider (ISP)?
Has your ISP raised prices mid-contract? If so, a change in the law means you’re free to leave without penalty.
Are you happy with your current package and broadband provider?
Does your current provider operate in the area you are moving to?
Can your current provider bundle products like TV, phone and internet together?
If your current ISP doesn’t have coverage in the area you’re moving to, which providers do have coverage?
In order to change, you will need to set a cancellation date for when you want your current package to end. You can then look at which new packages are on offer in the area you’re moving to.
You can then either transfer your connection to your new address or cancel your account, depending upon what best suits your new area.
Time is of the essence when it comes to setting up your broadband connection in your new property. Plan ahead and minimise inconvenient waiting times and get your internet connection up and running as quickly as possible.
Where is the thermostat located in my property?
You’ll most likely be able to find the property’s thermostat located on an interior wall, usually away from your kitchen, hallways, windows, doors as well as direct sunlight and air vents. Check towards the centre of the property.
Depending on your circumstance, if you receive certain benefits you may be able to have loft or cavity wall insulation installed for free. This can help reduce the cost of your bills by around £300 per year. To have this installed it normally costs around £150 but some firms will do this for free in order to fulfil energy efficiency requirements.
In order for this to be free you would usually have to be receiving child tax credit and have an income of £16,010 or under, additional benefits such as pension credit may also qualify you for this service.
To check if you qualify call Simple Energy Advice (for those in England) on 0800 444 202, Home Energy Scotland on 0808 808 2282, or Nest (for those in Wales) on 0808 808 2244.
14. Check and pay for outstanding bills, and schedule payments for new bills
You should have already contacted your existing suppliers to say you’re moving. Now’s the time to sort payments for your new bills if you’ve switched.
It’s always a good idea to make sure your bills come out of your account early on in the month after payday. That way you know where you stand with your food shops and disposable income the for the remainder of the month. Some banks like Monzo add pots for things like bills so money is automatically added and paid from this pot to make sure you can meet all your bills on time for you.
- Council tax
You will need to inform the Local Authority of where you are moving from and where you are moving to, around a month before you move. You will find a ‘change of address’ page on your Local Authority’s website. You’ll need to include the forwarding addresses for every adult in the property that pays council tax
Check your tax band is correct in your new home too. Around 400,000 homes in England and Scotland may have been in the wrong council tax band since the early 90’s. If you live in one of those properties, get your band lowered and a backdated payment. Start by seeing if neighbours in identical or similar properties are in lower bands via the Valuation Office Agency or Scottish Assessors Association.
You can use the web to value your house for free, and to convert it back its 1991 price. See the council tax reclaiming guide for the full process: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/council-tax-bands-change/
- Buildings/contents insurance
- Mortgage repayments
- Utility bills (electricity, gas and water)
- Telecoms (phone, internet and TV)
- TV licence
- Service charges and ground rent in flats
- Home repairs and maintenance costs (boiler servicing)
- Parking charges if you live on a permitted road/area
- Transport costs
15. Change the locks on your new house as soon as possible
With all of the excitement of a new home, many things can occupy your mind. Filled with thoughts of packing, setting up new bills and redecorating, it comes as no surprise that one can often forget about making a new home secure.
The most important reason to change the locks on your new property is to eliminate the risk of anyone else being able to access your home. Many people will have spare keys that they give out to friends and family members in case of emergency.
While contracts will stipulate that all keys should be handed over at the point of sale, it’s impossible to know whether every single copy of the key has been surrendered.
A key advantage of installing new locks when moving home is the peace of mind it provides.
This is a key milestone in your life and one that should be enjoyed without worrying about security risks.
We asked the experts at Keytek to give you golden advice for making your new home secure the day you move in:
Keytek’s Expert Tips:
There are a few different things we suggest doing on moving day to ensure that your new home is safe:
- Our most important tip and something we highly recommend is to change the locks as soon as possible. Most keys can be easily copied, lost and even stolen leaving the possibility of them ending up in the wrong hands. Unfortunately, you can never know who might have a key to your property when you move into a new home so it is always better to be safe than sorry.
- Another important thing to remember is that changing your locks might actually be a requirement of your home insurance policy, so you could actually invalidate it should you not do so. So it is always a good idea to thoroughly read and check your policy to help guide decisions.
- If you are intending to store items in a shed or garage, thoroughly check the locks and any doors and windows to ensure they are secure, we would also suggest getting these locks changed as soon as possible.
- Install curtains and blinds to be able to keep your valuables out of sight from prying eyes. Moving house is no small process and people will be able to see what valuables you are moving in and out of the house, by installing all blinds/curtains first it allows you to shield your valuables.
- Do a perimeter check of the property to ensure that there are no damages or weak spots. Are all the fences intact? Is the shrubbery neat, groomed and not overgrown? Having a secure perimeter will not only give you more privacy but will make it harder for someone to gain access to your property.
- Check the quality of the doors and windows, are these secure? If you are unsure it is always worth getting expert advice.
16. Make a priority list of immediate expenses for your new home
Finally – you’re in your new house, you’ve unpacked, made it secure and you’re finally enjoying your new home. Buying or renting, you may have lots of ideas for new homeware and décor you want to spend money on.
After spending the most amount of money in your life in one go, make sure you prioritise the things you need. You may want to rip out the old kitchen and get a new one, but actually the boiler is on it’s last legs from the results of your survey and you need to allocate £3,000 for a new one.
Make a list of everything you want to change, buy and decorate, and prioritise. Hot water, heating and a working kitchen are priorities. As is making sure the leak in your roof if properly dealt with.
Finally, you’re ready to move! We hope we’ve helped you navigate the home moving process. If you’d like expert advice or support get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.