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Moving house checklist: 21 ways to prepare

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It’s true what they say: moving house can be one of the most stressful things you’ll ever do. Trying to organise all of your worldly belongings to be moved from one location to another can be exhausting, time-consuming and laborious. While we can do the majority of the work for you with our removal service— the heavy lifting and unloading — there is still plenty to do before the day of the move to ensure that you have tied up all of your loose ends.Unfortunately there’s no way around that, but there are certainly things that you can do to minimise the hassle for yourself.
Here are 21 ways you can prepare yourself, your belongings, your new home and your soon-to-be old home for the big move:

Let people know you’re moving out

1. Make a list of everyone who needs to be notified
Think of everyone who is reliant on your current address. As well as friends and family you'll need to tell your employer, your childrens' schools, your doctor, dentist, optician, bank, building society, insurance companies, and so on. Consider all the people and organisations who call on you or send you post, and let them know you're moving.
2. Inform your landlord or property owner

Where applicable, write to your landlord or owner of your property to let them know when you are planning on moving. Although you may have already notified them that you wish to bring your lease or rental agreement to an end, an official letter or email detailing the day you'll be moving out would be helpful for all parties, and will also offer you protection if a rental dispute arises. 

3. Notify utility providers and subscription services

For all utility bills, as well as any subscription services such as magazines or food parcels, you should be proactive and change your address with the service provider directly. You may have to battle call queues, but it will be easier to sort it out in advance than trying to locate a missing bill when it urgently needs to be paid. Only do this a week in advance to reduce the risk of post turning up at your new address before you get there.

4. Re-register to vote from your new address

While it may not sit atop your list of priorities, re-registering to vote from your new address is worth doing to ensure your details on the electoral register are up to date. It isn’t difficult to do, and you can amend your registered voting address online on the Government's website.

5. Arrange for your mail to be redirected at the Post Office

While you may have already changed your address with your utility and service providers, there will still be plenty of databases where you are down as your old address. This redirect service acts as a backup plan to receive mail from those who don’t know you’ve changed addresses. Be sure to place a redirect on all the mail to your address — you can do this at the Post Office. A charge will be incurred for this service, but it is far more convenient than depending on the new residents of your home to forward your mail.

6. Change your TV Licence address

Your TV Licence does not automatically change when you move house, so you should notify them of your change of address or risk having to pay a fine of up to £1,000. If you are unsure of whether you need to be paying a TV Licence, please read the TV Licence criteria here.

Organise your belongings

7. Find out what packing materials your removals firm supplies

Speak to your removal company as early as you can to see what type of packing materials they will provide you. Those more conscious of how their belongings are organised could pack certain items, but it is recommended that you leave the packing to the experts at your removals firm.

8. If in doubt, throw it out (or donate or recycle it)

It’s only when you come to move home that you discover how much of a hoarder you are! As nice as it would be to keep all of the bits and bobs you’ve acquired over the years, you will have to be disciplined when sorting through your items. If you don’t use it now, consider whether you’ll ever use it. If the answer is no then get rid of it. For everything you don't wish to take with you, make a box for items that can be donated to charity, items that can be recycled and items to be disposed of.

9. Arrange storage for items wanted but not needed

For belongings that you don’t use now but can anticipate yourself using in the future, such as seasonal patio furniture or camping equipment, you may wish to consider placing those items into storage. Pickfords' declutter service helps you sort through your items to find those that aren’t essential to you, and then place them into storage.

10. Pack non-essentials such as books and out-of-season clothes

Items such as DVDs, books and seasonal clothes should be gathered together to be packed. These are the type of items that you might not use daily but like to have them accessible in case you want them. If you’re concerned about any items breaking, you should leave them to one side and explain this to your professional packer.

11. Arrange for the council to pick up large, unwanted items

If you are more interested in cutting your losses on old furniture and wardrobes, you may have to arrange for the local council to come out and remove these unwanted items. This could come at a charge, depending on your council and the type of items, but it is something you will have to take care of, or you could be subject to a fine. Another option would be to sell or donate these items. Try Gumtree for selling old furniture, or see if you can donate it to a local charity if you're not concerned about making money on them.

12. Dismantle non-essential furniture and cabinets

Always look to dismantle furniture and cabinets you want to take with you, providing they can be reassembled. This will make them much easier to move, and they also have far less chance of being damaged if packed flat.

Take care of the formalities

13. Arrange final meter readings/bills

It is important to get your final meter reading for your electric, gas, and water meters. This ensures that no dispute will arise between you and the new owner of your house. You should also take meter readings as soon as you move into your new property, and check them against those provided by the previous residents.

14. Check your home insurance covers you from the day of the move

Consult your home insurance documents to be sure they cover property as part of the moving process. With a lot of heavy lifting in your old and new home, there is a possibility that property may be damaged, so find out what your liability will be should this happen. Alternatively, contact your insurers for personal advice and information, especially if you are considering changing insurance providers, as you may be able to push for a better deal.

15. Confirm your child’s last day of school, and first day of new school

Getting your child into a new school is not easy, so be sure to make this a priority before you move. It would be a good idea to find out when your child is able to finish at their current school, and when they can join their new one. This means they are missing as little education as possible and the move won’t leave them falling behind.

Think ahead

16. If possible, clean your new house before you move in

On the day of the move, your goal will be to transport your belongings and unload them into your new house as quickly and efficiently as possible. You won’t have time to clean your new home on the day of the move, especially before items start being loaded into it. Therefore, you should steam-clean carpets and walls before you move in if necessary.

Alternatively, to save yourself the time and hassle, hire a home cleaning service to tackle the hard work for you.

17. If you need accommodation for the lag period, book it sooner rather than later

If there's going to be a period where you are caught between houses, or are unable to move into your new home due to renovation work, you should try to arrange temporary accommodation as soon as you can. Hotels are cheaper if you book in advance, and you won’t face the same demand for rooms as you would if you left it until the last minute. If you are looking to put some belongings into storage in the meantime, contact your nearest goods storage facility to find out what's available. 

18. Make the most of your Wi-Fi

The Wi-Fi might not be set up at your new home for a few days, so take full advantage of working wireless internet in your current home while you can. It might be a good idea to print out any directions you need to follow, or any instruction manuals for new electronic products for your new property. You could always look for a local café or use your mobile data if you need urgent internet access.

19. Make a helpful factsheet for your home’s new owner

It would be extremely helpful for your home’s new owner if you make a factsheet that details all of the essential information about your house. This will also make it less likely for the new owners to keep contacting you andasking questions when you’re trying to set up your new house. You should include where the stopcock is, where the gas and electric meters are, when the bins are collected and who supplies the energy, broadband and landline.

Make moving day easier

20. Arrange child and pet care for the day of the move

The day of the big move is usually quite hectic and busy, so the last thing you want is to have a little one (whether that be a child or a pet) running around to make the day even more complicated. Try to arrange for family or a registered childminder to look after your little ones while you move house. For pets, you could take advantage of a pet shipping service to make sure they reach your new home safely.  

21. Pack a moving-day survival kit

When the big day comes, you may not have time to pop to the shop if you need something essential. This is why you should make up a box of items that will be of use to you in a near-empty house. It should include: a kettle, milk, tea, coffee, mugs, bread, bottled water, toilet roll, toiletries, cutlery, and plates.

When you get your new home, there’s a chance the water and electricity may not be switched on yet, particularly if your home is a new build, so try to pack items that will make your life easier in a world without amenities.

Moving home will take a lot of organisation and planning, but with help from an expert team of movers, the stress really can be lifted from you. Pickfords offers a comprehensive moving service, whether you are moving domestically or abroad. We have the facilities to declutter your belongings, before organising and packing them, and then transporting them to your new home. Once there, we will help unload the items and be sure that everything is where you want it before we leave. It really is the easiest way to move home.

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