So you’re about to move to your brand new home, how exciting! Now you’re into the final stages of moving, you may be faced with a number of questions you hadn’t considered previously. Now most of your stuff is packed up, what about everything else? How does this differ if you’re selling your property or if you're moving from rented accommodation? If you’ve found yourself wondering what you should take with you, and if you need to leave anything for the new owners, we’ve put together a guide on moving house etiquette.

What can I take with me? 

When selling, it goes without saying that you should leave all of the fixtures and fittings that have been agreed upon in your TA10 form. 

You should then think about what you would expect to find in a home when you move in. Things like light switches, bulbs, plug covers etc. should be left in place. As a general rule, if it’s going to cause unnecessary hassle to remove, then it’s advised to leave it. 

When moving from rental, this is a lot simpler, as you should leave everything that was there when you arrived. 

Whether you are renting or are selling, you should also remember to take metre readings so you have a record of what they were at when you left. 

What do I do with items I don’t want to take? 

A general rule of thumb when selling is to leave the house as you would expect to find it, so don’t leave a load of clutter for the new owner to deal with. If you decide you want to buy new furniture for your new home, you need to ensure that all of the old items are disposed of before the new owners move in. 

You could sell the items on (to the new owners possibly or advertise in the local community), donate them to a charity or take them to a recycling centre. Some charities offer a collection service so you don’t have to worry about transporting large and bulky items. Your local council may offer a removal service too, although this may incur a small fee. 

When renting, you should speak to the landlord about anything you may want to leave. If you have left clutter or a number of items without consulting them, you may find you don’t receive your damages deposit back as the landlord has to spend time and money ensuring the place is ready for the next tennant.

What should I leave for the new owners?

When selling you should leave a note of anything specific about the house they should know. For example, when bins are collected, which key is for which lock and where to find the gas and electric metres. If you have any manuals or warranties for appliances being left (oven, bolier, dishwasher, washing machine etc.) these should be left in an easy to find place. When renting, this should be covered by the landlord. 

With the stress of moving home, the essentials can often be overlooked (or packed away!) so leaving a toilet roll and some hand wash can be thoughtful for the new owners. 

This isn’t needed, but you may want to leave something for the new owners as a nice gesture to welcome them to their new home. You could consider leaving a bottle of prosecco or a box of chocolates as a welcome gift. 

Should I clean? 

Before you move out, you may want to consider a bit of a clean if you are selling. It can be a tricky task whilst you’re moving around boxes and arranging removals but it’s generally considered the right thing to do, and can really go a long way with the new owners. 

Once you have a clear space free of boxes, run the vacuum around and do some light dusting to ensure the rooms are free of any debris or built-up dust from large items that don’t get moved much, like beds and sofas. If you have the time, wipe surfaces with an antibacterial wipe. You don’t need to go all out but a clean environment creates a welcoming space for the new occupiers. 

If you are moving from rented, you should try and clean before you go. Remember to check your contract to see what was agreed, as you may be expected to do an extensive clean before you leave. 

Update your address

Once you have your new permanent address confirmed, it’s important to update your address with your employer, the DVLA etc, we have a comprehensive list of who you should notify. 

To save the new homeowner from receiving your post, you might want to think about setting up a redirect service, you can arrange this online with Royal Mail or in your local Post Office, although this does incur a small fee.

For more moving house advice and helpful tips and tricks, check out our advice on moving house