Moving checklist

We understand moving home can be a stressful and trying time. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive moving checklist, designed to help you cope with the entire moving process from the second you decide to move until the moment you’re settled in your new property.

Please scroll down to view some handy quick links in addition to our full moving home checklist.

Our checklist is also available to download for free.

2 months before you move

You’ve found a home, your offer has been accepted. With two months until you move, it is time to compare quotes and reviews and select your Conveyancing Solicitor. It is essential to get the legal side in place early on to ensure a smooth legal transaction of your property sale/purchase. It is also worth taking some time to research the facilities and amenities of your new area to help the location feel like home to you.
  • Get a Conveyancing Solicitor

  • Arrange your mortgage

  • Research your new area for information about local news and facilities

  • Transfer children’s school records and order new uniform

  • If you are currently renting, confirm your moving date with your landlord

  • Get valuable possessions assessed for insurance and check if your insurance policy will cover your move. If not, your removals company should be able to provide cover – get it early to avoid any complications

  • Purchase a journal or file to keep documents and notes on your move – include to-do lists, important numbers, dates and details of conversations

6 weeks before you move

With a little over a month until your moving day, it is time to start clearing out anything you don’t want to be moved to your new home. It’s always best to start by making a full list of all your major items so you know what you will be moving and anything that will need to be disposed of before the big day. It will also help your removal company get an idea of the volume of items you will need moved before they visit for a pre-move survey. Remember, the less furniture you move, the cheaper your move will be. But first, get up to 5 quotes from local removal companies for your moving service.
  • Get removals quotes

  • Find a RICS surveyor for your home survey

  • Make a full inventory of your possessions

  • Decide what to take to your new home and where you’ll put them – a floor plan of your new home may help; your seller or estate agent should have one

  • Start to clean out cupboards and place possessions in usable piles/larger rooms

  • Find out the best ways to purge your unwanted possessions. Remember, removal companies quote on volume so the less you have to move, the cheaper your move will be

  • Collect packaging materials – your removal company may be able to supply you with them

  • If you’re relocating due to a job move, find out what costs your employer will cover

  • Check the parking restrictions for large removals vehicles at your current home and at your new home.  Your removals firm may need to apply to the Council for permits

1 month before you move

With 1 month left before you move, you should have had a Chartered Surveyor inspect your new property and inform you of its structural condition. You will now be able to talk to your solicitor about exchanging contracts and finalising your moving date so you can appoint your selected removal company and organise parking arrangements and permits for the removals vehicle at both addresses. You should also consider the travel route to your new home and whether it is suitable for a large removals lorry.
  • Speak to your solicitor about exchanging contracts and finalise your moving date

  • Confirm your booking with your removals company; check their feedback through reallymoving.com. Ask if they offer discounts, as many companies will charge a premium for moves on bank holidays, weekends, and in the summer

  • Work out a route for your moving day - consider the route for the removals truck and if there are any low bridges or weight restricted areas

  • Find storage facilities if required – your removals company may be able to offer or recommend facilities

  • Organise to have your new house cleaned in between the old owners moving out and you moving in

  • Order furnishings for your new home and book carpet fitters if any carpets need replacing – visit the property to find out the floor size required

  • Start packing non-essential items and least used rooms – for information on when to pack which items check out our moving home guide

  • Clear out the loft, shed, and other storage and outside spaces

  • Notify relevant utilities companies and switch home insurance to your new home

  • Check that everything you are taking with you in the car fits in the car

  • Book overnight hotel accommodation if the journey is a long one - many hotel chains offer regular promotions where rooms in less popular locations can be booked relatively cheaply

2 weeks before you move

It is now two weeks left until your moving date, where you should be confirming all important details and contact numbers with your removal company and estate agent, schools etc in preparation for your move. If your removal company cannot provide additional services such as un-plumbing washing machines, disassembling/reassembling furniture and packing, it would be a good time to organise these too. On your moving day, it would be useful to have children and pets cared for at a different location if possible – familiar family and friends would be the best option, so begin to ask appropriate people to see if they are available.
  • Finalise details with the removals company – confirm times, emergency numbers, parking and directions

  • Check you have sufficient medication for the moving period

  • Arrange child and pet care for your moving day – don’t be afraid to ask friends and family

  • Book people to carry out services if your removal company is not providing them e.g. house cleaning, dismantling of flat pack furniture, plumber for the dishwasher and washing machines

  • Safely dispose of all flammable materials and liquids that require specialist treatment – your removal company cannot move dangerous liquids

  • Cancel local services you receive and settle outstanding bills e.g. newspapers, gardeners, cleaners, window cleaner, oil deliveries

  • Run down freezer foods and other perishables

1 week before you move

It’s your final week at your old address before moving into your new home, and during this week you should be organising all important documents and ensure they are stored somewhere safe but accessible. Your packing should be almost finished so you’ll be ready to go on the day and your removals firm can start promptly, but make sure you have left out all items necessary for your Moving Day Survival Kit of essentials to get you through your move unscathed.
  • Put important items and documents in a plain, sturdy box for safe keeping e.g. passports, driving licenses, house deeds, wills, insurance papers, jewellery and cash

  • Prepare a Moving Day Survival Kit containing everything you need to get you through the day unscathed

  • Finish as much of your packing as possible so you have everything ready to go – make sure you do this systematically and don’t forget about outdoor toys and equipment

  • Cross-reference boxes to rooms – check out our advice on colour labelling boxes here

  • Gather together keys for your current property

  • Give the post office your new address and arrange mail redirection service – you can start the process here

  • Defrost the fridge and freezer – ensure they are completely dry before moving

  • Return any borrowed items

  • Give away plants and flowers you won’t be taking with you – it is not easy for removal companies to move potted plants

  • Wash and dry all linen and clothing – box up and label so it’s ready to be unpacked at your new house

  • Make arrangements to pay for your move and ensure you have sufficient cash assets in the bank for emergencies

  • Send out change of address cards to friends and relatives - for a full list of who to notify when moving house take a look at our Change of Address Checklist

  • Book a time to collect keys to your new home from the Estate Agent

1 day before you move

It’s your last 24 hours at your old address; it’s time for a final check and walk round the property to ensure nothing will be left behind and everything is packed and ready for transit. You should have a night bag for all members of your family packed to help you all settle in to your new home and have a good night’s sleep, make sure that this is separate from the items going with the removal lorry. Don’t forget to fully charge your mobile phone!
  • Walk around your house for a final, thorough check – take your time doing this to ensure you leave nothing

  • Pack a night bag for the family so you have your toothbrush, pyjamas, washbag and towels handy

  • Put together a mini-toolkit including a sharp knife for opening boxes on arrival

  • Ensure you have the keys to your new house, or have arranged to collect them in advance and gather together keys for all locks from you old home

  • Ensure your mobile phone is fully charged

  • Inform friends and relatives of the time of your move and have several ‘on call’ to help you if needed

On the day you move

On a day where emotions can run high, it is important to have a plan and know what you need to do on your final morning at the property. Be ready for when your removal company arrives so they can begin promptly and identify whether any boxes need special care or are not to be taken by them. Make sure you take the meter readings for you to give to your providers and leave the keys for the new owner. It’s now time to move to your new home.
  • Record all utility meter readings for water, electricity and gas. We recommend taking a photo of the meters with your mobile phone

  • Strip the beds and pack your bedding and curtains

  • Identify fragile boxes and items going with you in the car to your removals team

  • Ensure one person stays until your movers have finished packing to check the packing inventory – make sure you are happy everything is accounted for as you will have to sign as confirmation

  • Leave all the sets of  keys as arranged for the new owners

  • Check all windows are secure and utilities are switched off

  • Give your movers several copies of emergency contact details and directions to your new house

  • Keep copies of contact details for your conveyancer, estate agent and removal company

Once you are in your new home

Upon arrival at your new home it is important to make your removal company aware of any special instructions and that they know which room the boxes are headed to. Make sure you are happy that everything on your inventory is accounted for before your moving company leaves. But first things first – it’s time to get the kettle on; your family and removals team will appreciate it!
  • Get the kettle going for teas and coffees and unpack the biscuits for the moving company and your family

  • Confirm what is to be moved where and any special instructions to your removal company – make sure you have one person ready and available at the new property to guide them around the house. If you colour code the rooms on the floor plan to correspond with boxes this will make it easier for them

  • Account for each item on your inventory – check for any damaged and missing items only sign it once you are happy

  • Unpack your ‘survival kit’

  • Place moving and other important documents in a safe place where they won’t get disturbed – in the bath is quite a useful place!

  • Read utility meters in your new home – the camera on your phone is a good way to record them

  • Check all the keys for the property work before the locksmith leaves

  • Inspect the garden – make sure it is child/pet-proof if applicable (check for hidden ponds)

  • Sweep for items – if the previous owners have left anything put it in a box and arrange for delivery at a later date

After you have moved in

After months of preparation and planning, you and your family are in your new home. It is important to make sure everyone is comfortable in their new surroundings and start feeling settled in at home as soon as possible. After a busy moving day, don’t try to unpack everything at once, make up the beds and then spend the evening relaxing with loved ones and a celebratory takeaway, and congratulate yourself on making it through the day.
  • Do a quick clean and tidy, then make the beds so you can fall straight into them tonight

  • Plug in your telephones, mobile phones and larger appliances such as fridges and freezers

  • Use the boiler and heating – ensure you know how to use it so you can have a hot shower and a warm house this evening

  • Settle younger children in a room with some toys and treats

  • If possible, keep pets away until you’re settled in

  • Make a note of emergency contact numbers e.g. out of hours doctors, taxi numbers, vets, local hospitals etc

  • Relax – everyone knows that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your new house won’t get sorted within a week. Just order a takeaway and leave the unpacking for tomorrow

Here are some things you may wish to do:

  • Let older children organise their own rooms – you may want to rearrange things in the future but it will help them feel at home

  • Rearrange deliveries - talk to the milkman to have your milk delivered and arrange to get your daily newspaper again

  • Talk to neighbours - don’t be a stranger or you’ll quickly feel isolated. Invite neighbours round for coffee

  • Sort your bedroom – not permanently, but give it a once over and put up some photos. You need a safe, comfortable haven to retire to at the end of the long day

  • Leave feedback reviews for your solicitor, surveyor and removal company on reallymoving.com – you could win £500 of Amazon Vouchers!

Our checklist is also available to download for free.

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