Moving Home Checklist

 

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Six weeks before you move home…

The legal process should be well underway by now and hopefully, your survey has taken place too (or is booked in) and searches have been applied for by your conveyancer. With a little over a month until your moving day, it is time to start clearing out anything you don’t want to move to your new home. Removal companies usually quote on volume so the less you have to move to your new property the cheaper it will be.

If you are currently renting give some thought to the notice period required by your landlord. Remember, moving dates can change so DO NOT put yourself in a position where you are committed to moving out and you have nowhere to move to! Why not consider having an overlap? It will certainly ease the strain of moving everything in one day and prevent any stress if delays occur.

Begin to get quotes from removal firms. If you are moving a short distance it might be worth considering a local firm who knows the area and may be familiar with the best route to take. Should you be relocating you may need to consider storage facilities. Certain firms offer this within their services. As move dates can so often change do not commit yourself to a large, non-refundable deposit which you will lose if you have to change the date. Most firms are very understanding of the moving process. However, this is always worth checking.

Things to do:

  • Get removal quotes - speak to several removal firms so you have a good idea of the going rate and then decide on one.
  • Consider having a gas engineer and electrician visit the property to test the services.
  • Make a full inventory of your possessions.
  • Start to clean out cupboards and drawers. Declutter!
  • Enquire with your chosen removal firm whether they can provide packaging materials.
  • Check the parking restrictions for large removal vehicles at your current home and at your new property. Your removal firm may need to apply to the council for special permits.
  • Advise your employer you are moving house and may need a day off at relatively short notice.
  • Print off a floorplan of your new home so you can begin to plan where everything is going to go and what extras you may need.

 

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One month before you move home…

No doubt you have been working to a certain timescale, however, with the end drawing near you should begin to discuss a completion date. Trying to get the whole chain to agree on an exact move date can sometimes prove ‘easier said than done’ so do not leave this to the last minute!

Need to replace flooring in your new property? Sometimes it can take a few weeks before you get a fitting date so be ready with the measurements and your choice of carpet so you can order as soon as contracts are exchanged.

Further things to do:

  • Clear out the loft, garage and outbuildings. Sometimes these are ‘out of sight, out of mind’, so do not leave it to the last minute.
  • Start packing up non-essential items and least used rooms.
  • Label boxes accordingly so your removal firm know exactly where everything goes.
  • Notify telephone and internet providers and transfer your television license to your new address.

 

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Two weeks before you move home

Not long left! It is at this stage that you may start to feel anxious and a little excited. You are probably pestering the solicitors and estate agent every other day but don't worry. In a couple of weeks, your dream home will be yours and you will be able to look back and laugh. Ensure any last minute enquiries are being dealt with by your solicitors and in turn, they are drawing up your final report.

Extra things to do:

  • Update your employer on developments and the likely day you will need off.
  • If you are a first-time buyer consider not having the day off at all. Completion can take place anywhere between 9am and 5pm, so it can be a long day of waiting around if the money is not received until the end of the day.
  • Notify relevant utility companies and switch home insurance to your new home.
  • Inform your bank or building society of your change of address. Update your contact details with all other providers such as pension, benefits, healthcare and insurance companies.
  • Update your driving license and vehicle registration with your new address.
  • Arrange a mail redirection service - this can take up to 10 days to put in place.
  • Finalise details with the removals company – confirm times, emergency numbers, parking and directions.
  • Cancel local services you receive and settle any outstanding bills e.g. newspapers, gardeners, cleaners, window cleaner, oil deliveries.
  • Arrange child and pet care for your moving day.
  • Run down or dispose of food in the freezer.

 

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One week before you move home…

Most moves take place one week after the exchange. It would be nice to have longer but by the time exchange arrives everyone is desperate to move.

It’s your final week at your old address before moving into your new home. During this week you should be organising all important documents and ensuring 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 removal firm can start promptly.

Final things to do:

  • Put important items somewhere safe and accessible, for example, passports, driving licenses, house deeds, wills, insurance papers, jewellery and cash.
  • Finish as much of your packing as possible so you have everything ready to go.
  • Cross-reference boxes to rooms. If you colour code the rooms on the floor plan of your new property to correspond with boxes this will make it easier for both you and your removal firm.
  • Gather together keys for your current property.
  • Arrange with the vendors of the property you are purchasing to pick up the keys from the house as opposed to the estate agent as this will avoid another stop unless of course, the property you are buying is empty.
  • Defrost the fridge and freezer.
  • Make sure any additional funds the solicitor needs for the day of completion are transferred and received.
  • The house you are moving into may not be as ‘spick and span’ as you expect when you move in so why not arrange a cleaner to come the day after completion?
  • Send out a change of address cards to friends and relatives.

 

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One day before you move home…

  • Time for a final check and walk around the property to ensure nothing will be left behind and everything is packed and ready.
  • Don’t forget to check all rooms, cupboards, loft, garage and outbuildings one last time!
  • Ensure that outstanding deliveries are sent to your new address.
  • Ensure all services you are using have your contact numbers.
  • Pack an overnight bag for the family. That way you have your toothbrush, pyjamas, washbag, towels and bed linen handy once you’ve moved into your new home.
  • Ensure your mobile phone is charged.

 

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Moving day!

Today will be a busy day and it is hard to say when it will all kick off! Every solicitor is dependent on receiving the funds from the buyer lower down the chain. Each property will complete as those funds arrive and your solicitor will call you when the transaction is complete.

Final things to do before you say goodbye is:

  • Record all utility meter readings for water, electricity and gas. We recommend taking a photo of the meters with your mobile phone.
  • Identify fragile boxes and items going with you in the car to your removals team.
  • If your removal firm has not finished by the time you receive the call, ensure one person stays until they 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.
  • Give your movers copies of emergency contact details and directions to your new house along with your colour coded plan for the rooms in the new property and corresponding packing boxes.
  • Check all windows are secure and utilities are switched off.
  • Leave all the sets of keys as arranged for the new owners.
  • Keep copies of contact details for your conveyancer, estate agent and removal company to hand. You never know when they might be needed.

Organising and settling in your new home:

  • After months of preparation, you have done it. You’re in your new home! Try not to rush to unpack everything at once. You may need a few days to settle in and get to know your surroundings.
  • 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.
  • Account for each item on your inventory. Check for any damaged and missing items. Only sign it once you are happy.
  • Read utility meters in your new home. The camera on your phone is a good way to record them.
  • Sweep for items. If the previous owners have left anything put it in a box and arrange for delivery at a later date.
  • Do a quick inventory of items the previous owner suggested they would leave or you have agreed to purchase.
  • Plug in your appliances such as fridges and freezers, get the boiler and the heating up and running, and finally, make the beds. You will be ready for a good night's sleep!

 

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Enjoy your first night in your new home

 

Order a takeaway and put your feet up.
The unpacking can wait until tomorrow!

 

Order a takeaway from Justeat, grab a drink and put your feet up for a well-deserved rest! After months of preparation, you have finally done it. Now is the time you can sit back and laugh about all the ups and downs of the last few months.

 

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About the author

Steven Goovaerts avatar

Steven Goovaerts

Steven is a Graduate Surveyor and versatile member of the team, currently undertaking an MSc in Real Estate Management at the University of the West of England and enrolled on the Assessment of Professional Competence.

Read more about Steven Goovaerts

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