Moving house? This is one of the most exciting times in life, but it can also be one of the most stressful. We have created this handy guide and checklist to help ease the stress of moving, and make the whole process a breeze.
We’ll focus on three main areas - the bit between buying and moving, the moving day itself, and what to do in those first heady days after you have the keys. Packed with tips, tricks and handy checklists, we’re happy to offer a helping hand throughout the moving process.
To make things easy, you can simply download the moving house checklist at the bottom of the page, so you can be ready for your big move.
Before The Move
So you’ve found your dream home, your offer has been accepted and now you work through the sales process... and you wait. While you’re waiting, what are the things to do when moving house? When do you start packing? Well, in truth, as soon as you like really. If you’re reading this and eager to get going, then go for it. Now’s the perfect time to sort through cupboards, draws, and your attic if you’ve hidden a load of stuff up there. Ticking off these bigger organisational tasks will leave you with areas of your home organised and ready for when the time comes to ramp up the packing or to show your own home to sell.
A top tip would be to find four large bags or boxes, label each one - keep, throw, donate, and sell. Not only is this handy for organisation (you can easily get rid of your rubbish, box up what is being kept, or know what is going in the car for the charity shop), but it can also keep you from burning out. All four boxes full? Have a cup of tea and recharge before carrying on. This can also be a useful process if you are encouraging all members of your household to have a sort out ahead of the move. Children can sort out their rooms while following the same process as you.
Around a month before your move, you’ll want to look at investing in packing materials, and starting to pack away those seasonal or rarely used items. Think summer or winter clothes, Christmas items, that special kitchenware that only comes out once in a blue moon. Anything you are unlikely to use within the next few weeks, start packing it away. Now is also a good time to start arranging moving day plans. For example, plans for any kids or pets. The day can be chaotic, so you may want to book in for a family member/friend or registered daycare (or kennel/cattery for your pets) to look after them for the day, or even overnight to allow for the smoothest transition. You’ll also want to assemble your moving day team. This may be hiring seasoned professionals, just hiring a van and pulling in some favours from family and friends, or asking if you’ll be able to borrow a van off someone you know. You may not know the exact date yet, but gathering any prices and putting any requests for help out there will leave you in a better position than scrambling a few days before. Also pencil in any time off at work, whether it’s a day or a week, remember to actually put in for any holiday you need.
You will need to purchase building insurance ahead of your move (if you haven’t already), be sure the policy starts on your exchange date, this is a necessity from most major mortgage providers. You can speak to your mortgage provider for help, or shop around for quotes and have them ready for when you have your official exchange date. Make sure that if you have separate policies for your contents that that policy starts on your move in date.
Also at the one month to move mark, you should speak to your internet provider and book-in a connection date for when you are in your new home. As this can take a few weeks, it’s best to arrange this ahead of time if you can.
If you are moving into a new build house (such as a Jelson home), you should also speak to your local council authority around ordering bins, to Royal Mail to ensure your postcode and new address are registered, and maybe order a door number or sign for your brand new home.
A few weeks before, you want to really ramp up your packing. Now is the time to put aside things you know you’ll need between now and your moving day and packing everything else. Where you can make do, just pack it up out the way.
Our top moving house packing tips?
● Invest in a mix of coloured stickers, tape, paper or markers. Assign a colour to each room in your new home, including things like the garage, attic, etc. As you pack up boxes, mark each box with the colour for the new room, and add a note of what is inside (you could also add a star for priority loading boxes). By colour coding everything, it makes it far easier when you get to your new home to assign boxes to rooms quickly and confidently. It’s also a life saver if you’ve packed something you shouldn’t, so you can easily locate the right box.
● Took the time to organise a drawer? Then just remove the drawer (if you can), and wrap directly. Saves time both packing and unpacking.
● Packing materials can be pricey, so if you’re looking to keep costs down, consider using things like plastic bags (because everyone has a stash of those knocking around!) or, tea towels, or even old clothing to help pad breakables, or pad out boxes in general to make items less likely to move in transit.
● If you take any furniture apart, tape any screws directly to the furniture so they don’t get lost or misplaced on the journey.
● Keep a box, bag or small suitcase to the side for last minute packing. As things are being loaded into vans and cars, you’ll find bits left around your house that just somehow escaped your notice. If you have an empty box or case spare, you can just fling these bits in easily without scrounging for a box, bag or having pockets full of bits and pieces.
On The Day
Which leads us nicely to the day itself. When you’re packing to move house you’ll also want to make yourself a moving day box or two that contains the essentials you will need easy access to on the day. If you’re planning on moving over several days, you may want to have more than one set of essentials, one for the old house and one for the new.
The moving day box will help you and any of your moving team on the day. Anything can go into these, but a good place to start would be:
Essentials - You’ll need somewhere safe in the chaos for your keys, phone, purse/wallet, phone charger, essential paperwork and any medications. You’ll also want to include some toilet paper, soap/hand wash, a screwdriver, scissors, tape, some cleaning spray and a cloth, and some bin bags. If you have room, you may also want to include some sticky notes, a pen, a list of useful numbers and maybe a pack of cards (for if you have a bit of a wait for keys once the van is loaded).
Food and drink - In all the rushing around, you are bound to want a drink at some point. You may want to have a couple of travel mugs and reusable water bottles handy, as well as a few paper plates and napkins. If you know you will need a hot drink, either pack your kettle in this box, or have a travel kettle handy. Juice or squash and snacks are also always appreciated!
Other considerations - If you have any pets, then you should include their food and something that smells nice and familiar to them. If you won’t have a chance to do much unpacking before the first night, consider preparing an overnight bag for each member of the family that contains some pjs, toiletries and a change of clothes and anything else to make that first night and morning easier.
Now if you are selling your home, and are expecting the new owners to arrive after you leave, it may be nice to leave them a few bits too. A loo roll, some hand wash and a card congratulating them on their new home (and maybe telling them when bin day is and where the meters are) are small gestures that can go a long way.
Once you arrive at your new home, take a minute to take it in. You did it! After months of stress and planning and waiting, the time is here! It’s all yours.
A minor detail you may need to know at this point is if there is an alarm in place, and if so, what is the code to disarm and arm it? It is unlikely the alarm for your new home will have been left on during the move, but just in case you should make sure you have the correct alarm code prior to entering the property. For those of you buying a Jelson home, you can find your alarm code within your online pack using your My Jelson Home login.
Now, if you followed our tip on colour coding, you may want to put a bit of paper with the colour for each room on the room’s door or floor, and then any unloading can go straight to the designated room.
Our advice is to get your sleeping areas set up first before you really start to unpack, you will be so grateful to be able to fall into a freshly made bed at the end of the day. If you have children, it is wise to get their bedrooms set up as much as possible before they come to the house so they can feel excited and at home from the get go. It should also help with a more peaceful first night’s sleep adding the familiar to their new room.
The Days After You Have The Keys
This part will look different to everyone. Some of you will be given the keys and will be straight in the door. Others will have a bit of a grace period, and have a few days or weeks where you can be between your old house and your new home. But, no matter what your situation, there will be a few essential tasks that need to be completed (in amongst any decorating or unpacking).
Firstly, you’ll want to take readings from the gas and electric meters. You will then need to contact the house’s current provider for gas and electric to tell them the readings so they know when to charge you from.
If you’re moving into an existing property and not a new build home, you may also want to consider changing the locks, or at least getting some more keys cut for the current locks, so your family can each have one.
If you are moving into a brand new home, you will also need to complete a snagging list (if you haven’t already). For Jelson home owners, this is available on the online My Jelson Home platform (along with loads of other useful information including your gas and electric provider, and your warranties). Though it’s rare, if you do have any problems or queries in your first few weeks, you can usually go back to the site manager and their team, and after that it will go to a customer care team.
The biggest list for after your move comes from updating your address, and it can be something that continues to crop up for months to come if you don’t remember everything. You can put on a redirect through Royal Mail, so that they still deliver all of your mail addressed to your old address, to your new home instead (though there are costs associated with this). When you do look to update your address, this is who to inform when moving house:
❏ Friends and family
❏ Your employer
❏ HMRC (your employer may be able to do this for you).
❏ DVLA (get your driving license updated).
❏ Vehicle log book V5C (the paper that shows you own the vehicle and where it is registered to)
❏ Vehicle breakdown cover
❏ Car insurance
❏ Council tax
❏ Electoral roll
❏ Newspaper/Magazine subscriptions
❏ TV cable
❏ TV license
❏ Pet insurance
❏ Life insurance
❏ Loan companies (including student loans)
❏ Store cards
❏ Online groceries
❏ Regular online deliveries such as Amazon
If you’ve made it to the bottom of this list, then it means it is time to relax. You are now in your new home and have ticked off the essential jobs.
To make it nice and easy for you to tick your way through this process, you can download the simple to follow moving house checklist here. Which includes what to do when you move house, packing tips and who to notify when moving.