Moving home is an exciting time but it can feel incredibly overwhelming. With all the packing, organising and paperwork, it can be hard to know where to start.
That’s why we’ve compiled this list of our top tips, learnt from 20 years in the industry. Whether it’s guides, lists or advice, we’ve got all the information you need to keep stress at bay.
1. Get organised
Moving house takes organisation, and with so many things on your mind at once, it can be easy to forget things. And whilst forgetting some things might just be nuisance, forgetting others can be detrimental to having a smooth move. Write a to-do list to make sure you're not missing anything out. Keep a notebook handy or have a list on your phone so that you can capture those little jobs as and when they occur to you. There's a lot to remember, and writing them down can help control your stresses.
Have a look at our moving guides for help and advice, and download our moving home checklist.
2. Coordinate with new housemates
If you're moving in with other people, including a partner, you'll probably find there's some overlap in what you own, especially with things like kitchen equipment. It's worth getting together beforehand and making lists of what you own between you. This means you can donate, recycle or sell unnecessary second items, and by minimising your stuff you can save on moving costs.
Another thing to consider, especially if you're moving in with a partner, is getting a joint bank account for things like bills, household expenses and rent/mortgage payments.
3. Choose your moving date wisely
The date of completion day is determined in the contracts. Before exchanging, check the agreed date is suitable for you. Common choices include:
- Friday - this gives you the whole weekend to unpack, but remember to ensure all your services will be switched on. A weekend without power and heating is a poor way to start life in your new property!
- School holidays - allows the kids to get used to an area before starting a new school
- End of the month - which means there is usually a bit of spare cash around for those extra expenses
- Bank holiday - the extra day can be invaluable
Solidify your plans for the move as soon as you know the date. Confirm the date with your removal firm, book in any cleaners you're hiring, and get started with swithcing your bills over and sorting things like WiFi for your new home.
4. Choose a good removals company
Choosing a good, reliable removals company will make a huge difference to your moving day. Spend time doing some research and looking at user reviews of companies, and always make sure you compare quotes to get the best price
You can have a look at our guide on how to choose a great removals company
and don’t forget that many removals teams offer a packing service. So if you’d rather pay a little extra to have your items packed professionally and efficiently, especially if you’re on a deadline with your move, this can be a life saver.
5. Clear out before you pack
The best way to save money and time during your move is to clear out as much of your junk as you can! The fewer items you have to transport, the cheaper your move will be.
If you are trying to move on a budget, you can have a look at more top tips to save money on your move.
Clearing out can not only be cathartic, and make way for necessary new items, but it helps you assess what you have and what you need. It also means unpacking at your new home is likely to be more pleasant (and it’ll stay tidy for longer!) as transporting items you’re not really sure about means they’ll inevitably sit around taking up space and creating clutter.
We have some great advice on how to purge your possessions.
Remember, you can sell, donate or recycle unwanted items, but it’s also worth asking friends and family if they need any of the things you’re clearing out. One man’s rubbish, after all…
6. Pack smartly
Good packing comes down to organisation, and the first step is to make sure you have all the packing materials and boxes you'll need. If you can't source any for free, we recommend buying these at a great price from BAR Services
You can check our ultimate packing guide
for all your packing questions and concerns, breaking it down by room so you know when and how to pack, as well as the best way to label and organise them once you’re done.
7. Clean thoroughly
Whether you’re leaving rented accommodation or a previously owned property, you’re going to want to leave it in a good, clean condition.
If you don’t clean your rented property, you may not get your deposit back in full, and if you have sold your property and leave it in a state, your buyers may complain or ask for the cost of professional cleaning.
The more time you give yourself, the less time will be spent furiously cleaning on moving day. If you’re particularly busy, you could hire a professional to clean once your boxes are all out of the way, which will be easier than trying to clean around items.
8. Stagger your move
Coinciding the purchase and sale of a house move - or ending a lease on the purchase date - is popular, but you may want to think about staggering this by completing your purchase a few days before you have to be out of your old property. Even just a couple of days can make a world of difference, as it can give you time to:
- Get urgent deliveries - you may wish to get new items, such as washing machines, installed before you bring the rest of your belongings
- Get connected - you can ensure your phone, broadband, electricity and gas are connected before you move in
- Carry out home improvements - a few extra days can give you time to do things like repaint the walls, deep clean the property or get the locks changed
If you do need to stagger the dates, you may need to get a bridging loan - you should talk to your mortgage provider about this.
9. Be organised on the day
The more prepared you are, the less you’ll have to worry about on the day of your move. We know that your moving day can be busy, tiring and stressful, so have a look at our Moving Day Survival Guide infographic with lots of reminders for what to pack to keep kids distracted, and to make sure you have everything you need.
Pack a case for your first few days, so you know you have the clothes you’ll need for work, along with any chargers, electronics, medication, toiletries, and personal valuables that you’d be worried about losing.
Paperwork is another one that gets easily forgotten, but on the day of your move the last thing you want is to be scrabbling around to find certain files or documents. Keep any important documents (especially ones related to your move) close at hand, whether that's in a physical folder or in cloud storage accessible from your phone.
It's also good to keep a box aside with the kettle, cups, coffee, tea, and some snacks - moving is tiring work, and you absolutely do not want to be pulling open random ‘kitchen’ boxes looking for things to keep you going. If you’re incredibly organised and know you’re likely to be hungry, you could prepare a cooler with sandwiches, cold drinks or other items. Making sure your moving team are fed and watered is likely to make the process go a lot more smoothly too!
10. Be kind to yourself
Don't put too much pressure on yourself in the run up to moving day - things happen that are out of your control, and sometimes you just have to let go and accept you've done everything you can.
Be kind to yourself once you're in the new property, too - unpacking can be a tiresome task, and if you’re moving into a larger property it can feel even more overwhelming. Know that it’s not all going to be done in one day, and always make sure to get your bed put together first (and keep bedding aside, as well as curtains for your bedroom), so at least you’ll know you’ll have a good nights’ sleep in your new home.
Updated March 2020