Moving house is notorious for being one of the most stressful experiences you can go through; the effort that goes into it, along with it being a huge life change, can feel incredibly overwhelming.
That said, with some careful planning and preparation, moving house doesn’t need to be so scary. The best course of action is to follow a checklist. Tick off each task one at a time, and you will find yourself feeling prepared and on top of things.
The following step by step guide has been created by Comparemymove.com, and will take you through every stage of the moving house process.
Some things to consider
You need to be aware that the house sale is not legally binding until the exchange of contracts has taken place. Neither side is legally obligated to buy or sell, and can pull out of the deal until the contracts are exchanged. Exchange of contracts usually takes place between seven and 28 days before the completion day, although you can exchange and complete on the same day however this is not advisable as it will cause you and all parties in the chain far more stress as there is no certainty that the transaction will complete on that day. You will have to make arrangements with your removals company with no guarantee exchange and completion will take place and it is for this reason that it is important whenever possible to have a minimum of a week between exchange and completion.
Make sure your removal company allow for some flexibility when booking removals for moving day in case it needs to be changed at any point before the exchange of contracts. Many removal companies charge you for changing the moving day, so make sure to find out before booking them. This also applies when you notify people of the move; try not to inform anyone until contracts have been exchanged. This again reinforces the need for a reasonable period of time between exchange and completion to enable you to confirm your arrangements.
Step one: book a removal company
When you know your approximate moving date, you should start looking for a removal company. Don’t pick the first company you find, as it is easy to be pulled in by scams. In general, most reputable removal companies will:
- Agree to visit your home and carry out a survey before the move
- Provide an easy-to-understand quotation
- Have trained and uniformed staff
- Have insurance
- Provide quality customer service
Step two: start organising
Look through all your items and decide what you are going to keep or get rid of. Decluttering will lighten your load and give you the opportunity to donate or sell any unwanted items. A good rule of thumb is to sell or donate anything you haven’t used or needed in over six months.
Unless your removal company is providing equipment, you should also start stocking up on packing materials such as boxes, bubble wrap and permanent markers.
Step three: start packing
You can pack non-essential items and large furniture that isn’t necessary for daily use. Make sure to keep similar items packed together and label boxes so you can keep track of where everything is.
While you pack, it’s recommended that you keep an inventory so you know exactly what has been packed and where, to minimise the likelihood of your items going missing.
Keep in mind, your packing doesn’t need to be done in a day, so take your time with it and avoid becoming stressed.
Step four: notify everyone
You need to inform the right people (other than friends and family) of your house move. You should update your records of your address, so make sure to:
- Redirect your mail
- Inform your bank
- Change your car’s address
- Change your details on the electoral role
- Inform your GP
- Inform your children’s school
- Change delivery addresses
- Change your driving licence address
Step five: use up your food
Eat up your perishable food; moving food will just add unnecessary weight to your move, and you will risk jars and bottle breaking and causing a mess. Make sure that your fridge and freezer are emptied and cleaned as you will also need to defrost these before moving day.
Step six: finish packing
Finish packing your last few items. Check each room in the house, including under the beds and inside wardrobes to make sure nothing is left behind.
Valuables like jewellery, birth certificates and passports should be kept with you on moving day, don’t put them in the removal van.
Step seven: pack your essentials
You will need easy access to a few things in the days leading up to and just after moving day. Pack a separate bag full of your essentials, such as:
- Pillows and bed sheets
- Phone/laptop charger
- Towels and toiletries
- A kettle, mug, coffee and tea
- Paper plates and plastic cutlery
- Bin liners
- Mini toolbox
- Cleaning supplies
Step eight: defrost and empty your fridge and freezer
Defrost your fridge and freezer and ensure they are both empty and clean.
Step nine: final checks
Do a lap around the house and make sure nothing has been left behind. Check each bedroom and make sure all the lights are switched off, all cupboards empty and that windows, and back doors are closed and locked. Now you can finally set off for your new home!
Moving house takes a lot of preparation and hard work, but following these steps and sticking to the time frame will make the whole process much easier and less chaotic. Hiring a removal company will mean the hard work is done for you. Comparemymove.com have a network of reputable removal companies that can help you save up to 70% on your moving costs, and they provide a range of services, including dismantling, packing and reassembling your items.
About the author
Compare My Move is an online comparison website providing reliable and efficient comparison service for home and office movers looking for quality removal companies in the UK.
At Comparemymove.com, we help movers all over the country save money on their removals. We maintain a hands-on approach when we engage with our customers to ensure they receive a service tailored to their individual needs. We want you to have a fantastic moving experience by helping you with any removal queries and concerns, as well as offer any hints or tips about house removals.