Moving home is supposed to be fun and exciting, however, it does come with a great amount of difficulty and often you might end up feeling overwhelmed with the number of things you need to get done in such a short period of time. Therefore, we have put together a checklist for all the things important and less important – to make sure that you are fully prepared for your next big step.
Here’s a breakdown of points we are going to cover in this moving home guide for quicker access:
- Plan Ahead
- Notify the essential institutions
- Arrange a removal service
- Pack for a house move
- Organise bills and notify utility providers
- Lock up and move out
- Get comfortable in your new home
1. Plan Ahead
Moving date is one of the most important factors to consider when moving house due to the fact that you will have to adjust everything else based on this one date – so choose wisely! However, setting a moving date will differ for buyers and renters, but the idea is to give yourself plenty of time to help ensure the move is as stress-free as possible. We would recommend choosing a date at least a month in advance before moving home, otherwise, you might run into problems like:
- Canceling your broadband contract too late and getting charged for the upcoming month
- Having to organize too many things at once
- Failing to arrange a day off with your employer
- Limited availability for services like removals etc.
- Breaching your move out notice period
To be on the safe side we suggest you:
- prioritise the things that need to be done first and focus on them
- be flexible because even the best plans tend to go wrong
- plan ahead and stay organised, as that will help you lots on your moving day
Interesting fact: a study carried out by Compare My Move shows that 34% of home movers in the UK tend to set their moving date on a Friday for obvious reasons.
2. Notify the essential institutions
In this case, we’re not referring to your friends and relatives (however, you should notify them too), what we are referring to are institutions that could be trying to provide important information to you by post. These institutions include, but are not limited to:
- Your bank, credit card, and insurance
- Your GP and any other doctors or dentists
- Your mortgage provider
- Your council (about electoral roll)
- National Insurance and pension scheme provider
- DVLA (about your driver’s licence, otherwise you can get a hefty fine)
- Monthly subscriptions (a beer/wine subscription, a magazine, or any other scheduled deliveries)
A great life-hack that many don’t know, is redirecting your mail via Royal Mail. It starts from only £33.99 per person for 3 months and you can add an extra person for extra £8. This can save you from a lot of headache and actually reveal which institutions still need to be updated regarding your home move.
3. Arrange a removal service
If you live in a small apartment or practice a minimalist lifestyle, or simply don’t have many belongings you could always just rent out a van, grab a friend and move your stuff yourself. However, in most cases, we own so many things, that it’s actually a lot easier to hire a professional removals company that will do all the heavy lifting for us. Believe us, when we say that there’s an art to packing fragile items and making sure they reach their destination in one piece, in addition, you definitely wouldn’t want to hurt yourself by carrying too much weight.
How to choose the right removals company?
There are so many removals companies out there, that it gets complicated when trying to choose the right one to fit your needs, here are some criteria to find a reliable and reputable removal service:
- Reviews from other home movers (look for Trustpilot or Google)
- A fully functioning website with all the necessary contact information
- The quote for your removal
- Their blog (if they seem competent and trustworthy in what they do)
- If they are accredited to a professional moving association like BAR or NGRS
- If they also provide storage service
If this sounds like a lot of work, don’t worry, we’ve done the research and found one of the leading removal companies in the UK called White and Co, who have been in the removal business for more than 145 years and have proven their service to be one of a kind. Visit their website for more information.
4. Pack for your house move
First things first, before you start packing all your stuff into boxes, you should go through it all and determine which items will be useful for your new home and which should go to the bin or be donated to a local charity. An important factor we tend to forget is that you’re packing for your new home, not the old one, so this is a great chance to declutter from the stuff that you won’t need anymore.
Once you have decluttered your belongings, the next big step is dividing items into groups based on their priority:
- “last on, first off”, items that are important and should be found easily after your move is complete
- “don’t pack”, items that possess a high financial/sentimental value i.e. jewelry, documents, etc.
- “the essentials pack”, items like toilet roll, snacks, phone charger, a laptop, hygiene products, etc.
- “caretaker pack”, items that are essential for your children and pets
- “non-essentials”, items that you can assure you won’t need right away when you move in, and they will be at the very bottom of your unpacking list
And now the fun part – actually packing your stuff into boxes, here are some helpful tips to make this process as simple and organised as possible:
- Fully pack one room and only then move on to the next one, this will make the whole process a lot quicker rather than constantly going back and forth from one room to another
- Label your boxes and create an inventory list to help you prioritize which boxes to pack/unpack first
- Use towels and clothes to pack dishes and other fragile items like vases, bowls, cups, etc.
- Leave items in drawers and other containers and use plastic wrap to keep them all in place
5. Organise bills and notify utility providers
When moving home, it is important you cancel all the utilities that can’t be transferred to your new property and reconnect them at your new home. Here’s a guide on how to sort out every service individually:
Gas and Electricity
When you’ve confirmed your moving date, you should go ahead and notify your gas and electricity suppliers. They will usually have a cancellation notice period of 2 days, and in most cases, there will be no cancellation fee if you’re moving home, even if you’re still locked in a contract. Although, that can differ based on your supplier.
Make sure to write down your electricity and gas meter readings on the day you’re moving out, as your supplier might need them to issue a final bill for the last supply period.
Once you move into your new property, you will never be cut off from gas nor electricity, however, you will be put on a standard variable rate tariff (on average 30% more expensive than a fixed rate tariff) with the suppliers that currently supply gas and electricity to that property.
To save money, we suggest you switch your energy providers as soon as you move in. Switching to a fixed-rate energy tariff can save you up to £300 annually. In order to switch, it’s best to first notify the current suppliers about your move in – this will make the switchover process a lot easier both for you and the supplier.
Broadband and TV
Depends, whether you’re still in contract with your broadband supplier:
- if you’re not locked in a contract, it means that you’re free to cancel whenever, however, broadband providers usually have a 30 day cancellation notice period, so make sure to ring them up as soon as you’ve confirmed your move out date.
- if you’re still in contract, it will make things a lot more difficult. You can choose either of the following options:
- Call up your broadband provider and let them know that you’re moving, quite often they will be able to transfer your contract to your new address if they supply the property. If that’s not the case, they could even let you go without having to pay an exit fee.
- Cancel your contract and pay an exit fee for every month that’s still left on your contract, the exit fees will vary on your monthly payment and your broadband provider.
Once canceled, it’s time to set up broadband and TV in your new home. The easiest way to get connected is to use Please Connect Me – we will analyse your property, and present you with the best deals available for your address, then it comes down to you to choose the option that suits you the best. To sign up, fill out our application form and one of our friendly connections experts will reach out to you within one business day.
Council Tax and Water Supply
Two bills that home movers forget either to cancel or set up are council tax and water. Here’s a full run-through on how to deal with both of these services.
The easiest way to make the administrative side of moving less stressful is to notify your local council ahead of time. Get in touch with your local council before moving day so that they can stop charging you council tax on your existing home.
If you’re moving locally and your new home is within the same local authority, you may be able to set up your council tax account for your new home at the same time as you close your old one.
If your new home isn’t located within the same local authority, setting up your new account is as simple as making a quick call to your new council and informing them of your new address.
You can also report a change of address online. Here’s how to find your local council. Search for your local council website and find the change of address form in the Residential section. Some councils have an online form for people moving into or within their council area. It’s important to know that your old council will continue charging you until they’re notified that you’ve left the area. Avoid paying more council tax than you need to by informing them of your moving date ahead of time.
When moving out of your house, it’s best to let your water supplier know as soon as possible, as that will greatly improve the chance of getting an accurate final bill and not overpaying. In general, water suppliers usually accept a move-out notice 2 weeks prior to your move.
When moving into your new property, you are typically restricted to the water company that operates in your area. But fear not! Although water companies offer different tariffs, they are all regulated to ensure customers have a fair deal.
UK water bills comprise two charges: one charge for the water you consume, and another charge for the treatment of sewerage and waste water. This is the easiest way to find the local water supplier in your area.
Set up all your utilities at once
With so much else to organise, the good news is that Please Connect Me can provide free and efficient assistance with setting up all your utilities at once. Gone are the days of spending countless hours either on hold or looking for the “right” supplier. A quick call to one of our helpful Connections Experts is all it takes. To apply fill out this short utility assistance application form and we will reach out to you within one business day.
6. Lock up and move out
On a day where emotions can run high, you can feel calm and in control with a plan, meaning you’ll know what you need to do in your final morning at the property. Be ready for when your removal company arrives so they can begin promptly. 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!
- Start early in the morning because moving to a new home takes a lot more time than you could expect
- Record all utility meter readings for water, electricity, and gas. We recommend taking a photo of the meters on your mobile phone.
- Strip the beds and pack your bedding and curtains
- Identify fragile boxes and items going with you in the car, so your removals team doesn’t pack them
- 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
- Make sure your movers have your contact details and confirm the address of the new property
- Keep copies of contact details for your conveyancer, estate agent and removal company
7. Get comfortable in your new home
When you arrive at your new home, it’s 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 – find your kettle!
- Get the kettle, cups and supplies from your “essentials pack”. You can set up a coffee and tea station with water and snacks for when you need a break.
- Confirm what is going 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. You could also stick a coloured piece of paper on each door to make it easier.
- Account for each item on your inventory and check for any damaged or missing items. Only sign it when you’re happy
- Place moving and other important documents in a safe place where you can easily find them in a sea of boxes – it sounds strange, but in the bath is a good option!
- Read utility meters in your new home – take photos on your phone to keep them safe
- Check that all the keys for the property work. If you’ve hired a locksmith to put new locks in, keep new keys separate from old ones.
- Inspect the garden – make sure it is child/pet-proof if applicable (check for hidden ponds, broken fencing or access points that need securing)
- Sweep for items – if the previous owners have left anything put it in a box and arrange for them to collect it later