Your Ultimate Checklist for Moving Home in the UK
By Anna Roberts
Published 1 month ago
You’ve made the decision to move house in the UK and we’re delighted for you. Here at Explorage we know how daunting the prospect of moving home can be, so we’re here to help you through it all with our ultimate checklist for moving house.
If we could hold your hand through it all, we would. We’re a friendly team, after all.
Organisation is the key word when you move home and even if you were never a Scout, the motto “Be Prepared” is a good one.
There may be lots of things to remember, but with help from our moving home checklist, and our guide on what to do and when, we’re confident you’ll get through it.
Right, here we go:
Two Months Before Moving Day:
Start decluttering and packing
It’s never too early to start packing, especially if you’re on your own (trust us, we’ve been there). So while two months may seem a long way away, you’ll be grateful you’ve started sorting through your stuff.
Of course, if you’re renting a studio flat and don’t have too much to pack, then you can breathe more easily. But if you’re moving from a bigger property and KNOW the attic is full to the rafters, then the earlier the better.
Remember: don’t pack anything yet that you’ll need for the next eight weeks.
When it comes to decluttering, be ruthless. Do you REALLY need the toy donkey your Aunty Susan bought you from Marbella, all those years ago? No. We didn’t think so.
When you’re going through your things put them into four piles:
You will come across things that you’ve forgotten you have and you’ll definitely find things you’ll want to pour over, re-read (yup, all those letters and books) and reminisce about.
That’s all well and good, just factor in the TIME it will take you to go on that trip down Memory Lane.
You’ve kept the things you love for a reason: so keep them. Just remember to ask yourself if you still need it and/or love it. Remember, moving home is a great time to get organised and get rid.
Charities will love your quality cast-offs, and they’ll take small homeware, kitchenware and accessories as well as your clothes. Some will even pick up bulkier, saleable items. To make things easy for you here’s a useful step-by-step guide on how and what to donate from the Charity Retail Association: 'Donating to Charity Shops' which represents lots of UK charities.
The Recycle website is a great way to find out how and where to recycle your unwanted items.
You may well need to store things you want to keep but have no room for. Plenty of us are downsizing, but still want to hang on to stuff we may not need right now but don’t want to let go of.
So while we’re holding your hand through the moving process, Explorage is happy to help you through the storage process, too. We make it our business to help you find, reserve and store what you need, where you need to.
If you need a little extra guidance on what you CAN store, the following expert advice comes from the Self Storage Association UK (SSAUK):
“You can store most items, however UK Self Storage facilities operate under British law and as such it is illegal to store objects such as firearms, illegal substances (drugs, explosives), dangerous weapons or anything else that is illegal or that could be harmful to public health. Depending on the operator and facilities being used, it is also not advised to store food stuffs and other perishable items.”
Remember, self storage is a secure space where you can store both large and small items: from cars and caravans to locker-sized units for keepsakes and mementos.
If you’re renting...
Now’s the time to check your notice period so you can tell the property-owner you’re moving, and when. Try your best to time it so that you’re moving when your lease ends so you’re not paying rent or mortgage twice over.
One Month Before Moving Day:
Book time off work
If you’re usually at work on the day you want to move, remember to book time off, even if it’s only for the day of the move. Some people take up to a week to prepare for moving home and to ease themselves into their new house.
Choose and book a removal company
Do your research. It always pays to shop around. Only you know what you need and what you can afford. Decide, too, what it is you actually want from them. Many removal companies offer a packing service so if you can’t face doing yours, you can get them to pack for you.
They’ll need to know the exact time and date of your move and where you’re moving to. Remember, prices will vary depending on the day and distance.
If you really need to watch your budget and find you can fit your belongings into a mate’s van or pick-up, then book them in! If you’re not moving far you can make multiple trips.
You may already have cover, but if you don’t, buy moving insurance for the day to give you peace of mind. The British Insurance Brokers’ Association is a reputable place to start looking for house move insurance.
Set up a redirect for your post
If you don’t want to miss anything important and you don’t want anyone to steal your identity then arrange for your post to be redirected to your new address. It’s simple to do: just input your new details into the Royal Mail redirection service. You can redirect your mail to any UK or overseas address for three, six or 12 months from £33.99.
Start clearing your garden
This could take longer than you think, especially if you’re clearing out a shed or a summerhouse (or even both).
Again, get rid of anything you don’t want or need, but if you have tins of opened paint that the people moving into your house may find useful, keep them (and tell them about them). It’s a nice thing to do and they’ll thank you for it.
Do you really want to take all those heavy planters? What about the composter? The water butt? Think carefully about what needs moving and what can happily stay. You may find the current owners of your new house are leaving behind their composter and water butt, so you can, too.
If the shed and/or summerhouse has a key, either leave them in the locks or label them and place them inside the house along with the rest of the keys you’ll be leaving behind.
Order items for the new house
If your new house needs new carpets and curtains now’s the time to order them. It’s always much, much easier to fit carpets when the rooms are empty. Make sure you know the sizes you need before you order anything.
Eat your way through your freezer
It can take a long time to work your way through a well-stocked freezer, especially if it’s just you that has to eat everything. On the upside, if our experience is anything to go by, you’ll find heaps of exciting, great-tasting goodies you’d totally forgotten about!
Two Weeks Before Moving Day:
Pack, pack... and pack some more
You will need to be on top of your packing, by now. Remember to LABEL EVERY BOX: even if you think you’ll remember where things are, you really won’t. Make sure you have enough boxes, too. Check with your removal firm – they can often give you some.
Many people find self storage an essential part of their move. If you are using a self storage unit or container self storage then be sure to check out the Explorage.com guide to packing for self storage so you make the most of the storage unit.
Decide who’s going to have the children/dog/cat/ for the day
It really is best to have small children out from under your feet on moving day. The same goes for your beloved dog or cat. Older children can be useful, of course, and they’ll find it fun, mucking in. Just remember to give them direction. If you don’t want any of them around on the day then now’s the time to get a sitter sorted.
Sort out your house insurance
This can be done in advance of the move. Just tie it in with your moving day so you’re covered from the start. You can find out more information on what you’ll need from the Association of British Insurers.
Just Before You Move:
Keep your utility companies in the loop
This means the gas, electricity and water companies. Let them know exactly when you’re leaving and where you’re going. You can usually stay with the same suppliers, but it could also be a great time to shop around for better, cheaper deals. Google Shopping is a useful place to start comparing prices.
Update your details
That means giving out your new address to the organisations that REALLY need to know as well as your extended family and mates.
- Your bank: you don’t want your new credit card to go to the wrong address, do you?
- The DVLA: You MUST tell the DVLA your new address when you move. You will also need to amend the address on your vehicle log book (V5C). You could be fined £1,000 if you fail to notify them.
- Your car insurer: policies are often based on your location so when you move house in the UK you need to tell your car insurer. If you’ve moving to a safer area, your premium could be less.
- TV licencing: they’ll need to know you’ve moved too.
- The electoral roll: if you don’t register your new address you may not be able to vote.
- The council: if you pay council tax telling your local authority is a must.
Don’t forget to pass on your new contact details to your doctor, pharmacist and dentist, too.
Put together a box of essential items
We’re talking loo rolls, snacks and drinks, phone and laptop charges and the TV remote (you’ll thank us for that one). Cleaning cloths, bin bags, a washbag and overnight clothing will also come in handy.
Don’t forget important documents, driving licences, passports, wallets and purses as well as valuable items of jewellery. You could put these into a separate bag in your ‘essentials’ box.
On The Day You Move
- Turn off and disconnect the appliances that are moving with you.
- Take meter readings. You can always take a quick snap on your mobile.
- Clean your house! It will really make a massive difference to the new owners, trust us. No-one likes moving into other people’s mess.
- Write a checklist for the new owners, telling them things they’ll find really useful, such as where the meter/stopcock/fusebox is, which day is bin day and anything else you see fit.
- Leave out the instructions and guarantees for the appliances you’re leaving behind.
- Check each and every room. You won’t want to leave anything behind.
- Leave the spare keys for the people moving into your home. Check with your estate agent the key swapping process: you may need to leave your old house key to pick up the key to the new one.
So, that’s it! We hope our moving home checklist has helped make things easier for you, and all of us here at Explorage wish you every happiness in your new home!
If you want to read more check out our interview with the Queen of Moving herself Lisa from Help for Movers in this article.
For free and impartial self storage advice just call our helpline on 0800 0988864 or email email@example.com.