By Ellie Mae Johnson, Deputy Conveyancing Manager.
So, you’ve finally found your new home? How exciting! The moving process can be a bit stressful, there’s so many things to sort through. And while we can help find you a conveyancer, there are other tasks which you’ll need to complete yourself. To help you understand what tasks you’ll have to complete, we’ve created a handy moving home checklist. Read through this to understand what you’ll need to do when moving house, so that your move runs as smoothly as possible, and you settle into your new place quickly and comfortably.
Download our moving home checklist
On this page:
- Plan ahead
- Update your details
- Make the necessary bookings
- Get organised and ready to move home
- Prepare to leave your old house
Step 1: Plan ahead
Though the conveyancing process may be progressing well, nothing’s certain until you’ve exchanged contracts. This means that your moving date might change, and there’s still a chance the sale or purchase falls through. However, the time after completion will be hectic, so planning ahead is necessary.
Here’s what you can do to plan ahead of your move:
- Confirm your moving date. Ask your solicitor and the house sellers’ to confirm your official moving date. Renting your house? Plan to move in and out across several days to avoid unnecessary stress and have more time to prepare your new place.
- Hand in your notice. Check how far in advance you need to notify your landlord and estate agent that you’re moving out. Your moving date should ideally coincide with the end of your tenancy.
- Declutter. While you don’t need to start putting your entire life into boxes this early, you can save effort deciding what you don’t need in your new place. Go through your old clothes and furniture and donate unnecessary items to charity shops, sell them online or throw them away.
- Check your holiday availability. Think about potential moving dates and check if you’ll be able to take some days off. Don’t book anything until your deal is official but discuss your future plans with your employer, letting them know some last-minute leave may be in the pipeline.
- Get quotes on your removal costs. The entire process of moving might be pricey, so get a house removals quote so you’re aware of the costs. Check the references of removal companies and their insurance limits, but hold off booking until you exchange contacts.
- Shop around for utility suppliers. Moving house is a great opportunity to get a better deal on your gas and electric. Shop around for quotes, haggle and use comparison sites to check if you could cut down on your living costs.
Step 2: Update your details
Now that you’ve exchanged contracts and set your moving date you will need to notify a few organisations and companies about your new address (as well as your family and friends):
- Financial institutions. Update your bank, and credit card and pension providers with your new address, as well as any direct debits or standing orders that will be affected by your move.
- Existing utility companies. Inform your water supplier, gas and electric provider about your moving date. Start to plan for settling the meter readings and bills – and remember to take photos of your old and new home meters on moving day.
- Other providers. You may want to transfer some services – such as your broadband and telephone provider – so take steps with them to arrange this as soon as possible.
- Health services. Contact your local NHS doctor’s surgery and register with your new GP. This will avoid any delays if you need treatment.
- Employer. Let your employer know about your move and get your leave booked and confirmed as soon as possible. Remember to get your address updated on your company’s records as well as educational institutions such as your children’s school or college.
- Landlord. You’re free to move out of a rental property anytime you like, but you’ll still be expected to serve your notice period and fulfil any other contractual obligations.
- Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). Not having your current address on your driving licence is an offence, so make sure you update your personal information online. However, don’t complete the process before you move as you might need your licence for identification during the moving process.
- Car insurance provider. To calculate your premium, car insurers take your address into account. Moving without updating them could invalidate your insurance, so let them know your new address. Make sure you also notify your life, health, home and content insurance providers.
- Council tax. Both your new and old local authorities need to know about the move, for council tax and electoral services. You mustn’t do this until you’ve completed, otherwise it could interfere with the sellers’ own council tax bill if the council is prematurely given notice of a new occupier.
- TV licence. Updating your TV licence is easy and can be done online in minutes.
- Any subscriptions and services. Keep any mail-order services up-to-date, as well as magazines, gym membership or any other subscriptions. If you have microchipped pets remember to share your new address with database companies.
To make it easier, there are services that will update your details with all of the providers and suppliers, from utilities to broadband and storage. Find out more about home setup services.
Step 3: Make the necessary bookings
Stay in control of the big day ahead, by making bookings in plenty of time:
- Get your house removals company booked. If you’ve been prepared you should have a few quotes to hand, so booking should be quick and easy. Remember to clarify their insurance cover and the duration of their service, as some may charge extra after a certain period.
- Book any child or pet care you need. If friends and family are helping you, let them know as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
- Book storage space for any items you don’t want to bring to your new house.
Step 4: Get organised and ready to move home
On the lead up to your moving day, it’s a good idea to get some final bits sorted:
- Speak to your conveyancer to check that everything is in place and they don’t need any more documents or details from you.
- Check your home insurance policy to make sure it covers you to moving day and until you’re out of the house. Review what your contents insurance covers in relation to moving items out of the home and transit. If you’re moving your belongings yourself, consider that you might not be covered for breakages or loss.
- Pack everything and label boxes. Consider what your non-essential items are and pack these first. Label your boxes, listing their contents and what room they need to be in. Remember that you mustn’t simply ‘strip’ your home; check your fittings and contents form to make sure you’re only taking items that you’ve notified the buyer of.
- Have your mail forwarded so you don’t miss out on any important letters once you lock up your old place. Set up mail forwarding online with Royal Mail once you know your moving date; they only need five days’ notice – so don’t complete the process far in advance as your mail could end up through the letter box of a house you don’t have access to.
Step 5: Prepare to leave your old house
At this point you need to finalise your moving day plans. Here’s what you need to do:
- Get in touch with your removal company to confirm timings. It might be a good idea to run through the directions to the new house with them, avoiding any potential issues on the day. Double-check the estate agents’ opening hours and make sure they have your mobile number so they can call you to collect keys.
- Speak to your conveyancer to check they’ve got your mobile contact details. Consider giving them an alternative number for a friend or relative in case you can’t be reached on the day.
- Get the essentials for moving day. Put together everything you’ll need for your first night in your new home. This should include toilet roll, spare light bulbs, tea, coffee, milk, sugar, scissors, toiletries, plates and a few bits of cutlery. You can also pack an overnight bag, containing the next day’s clothes and some basic toiletries, as well as phone chargers.
- Have your phone fully charged as you’ll need to be in contact with your conveyancer and the estate agents throughout the day.
- Make sure you have all key documents. Collate your new and old home insurance policy documents, car insurance documents and passports in a folder.
- Walk around the house and do a final check. Look in every cupboard and corner of your home to check everything’s accounted for.
Step 6: On the day of your move
Moving day can be quite hectic, to help reduce the stress of moving, you can take the following steps:
- Greet your house removal team. Give them instructions, guiding them through the process, showing them which boxes are fragile and what needs to be prioritised.
- Make a note of your meter readings for water, electric and gas.
- Arrange drop-off and pick up for your children and pets.
- Lock all windows and doors. Once the final load is ready to go, fully secure the home. Why not leave a welcome note with any useful information?
Step 7: Settle into your new home
You’re finally in. The job of making the house truly yours lies in the days and weeks ahead, however from the moment you’ve got the keys, there’s some steps you can take to make sure you’re all set:
- Check all the services are working and take meter readings. Test your electric, gas and water have been switched on – and if not, chase this up with the relevant provider immediately. This information should be on your Property Information Form, filled in by the seller, so try to keep a copy of this to hand.
- Ensure the removal company has done its job. Look inside the van to make sure everything’s been picked up and glance over essential items to check or any damage.
- Review your copy of the seller’s fittings and contents form, checking that all items mentioned are in your new house. If anything’s missing or the property is in a poor state, contact your conveyancer for guidance.
Put the kettle on, crack open the champagne and order a takeaway. Welcome to your new home!
Disclaimer: The lists detailed above are only a rough guide to give you some idea of the sequence in which you need to do things. Hopefully, your move will proceed quickly, in which case you will have less time to do these things. It Is important not to commit yourself to any expense until contracts have been exchanged, unless you are confident that the move will go ahead.