The ultimate moving checklist for heading to your new home

Sophie Thompson
·6-min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

Moving house is the most exciting of stressful experiences anyone will face. Thoughts of lighting that first scented candle, or even the first night in your new bed on fresh sheets can be overshadowed by the idea of packing up your current place (and discovering just how many pairs of shoes you actually own).

But once you’ve finally settled on which house plant is going to take prime position in your new living space, there are a few things you need to make sure you’ve done in order to be fully prepared for leaving your current nest.

Forgetting to do the admin tasks such as changing over addresses for your mail, or even swapping the TV licence over, can actually land you in hot water - and who needs that kind of stress after the 2020 we’ve had?

So get your notepads at the ready because we’ve listed, simplified and broken down exactly what steps you need to be taking before the big day. Trust us, it’ll be worth it.

Who do I need to tell I'm moving?

Aside from your friends and family of course, there are a lot of documents you’ll need to get your address changed on, to make sure you’re not only super organised, but also don’t have bills or important letters sent over to your previous place.

Make sure you’ve contacted the following:

  • Bank accounts

The last thing any of us want is to move home, not change the address connected to our bank accounts, and have a statement turn up for the next people that move in. Particularly if it’s not too close to payday. It’ll open you up to fraud, particularly if you get any new cards or pin numbers sent there. This one is super important.

  • TV License

Or you might just get an awkward knock at the door when you’re trying to binge-watch Fleabag. Not Ideal.

  • The Electoral Roll

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!

  • Council Tax

It’s worth getting a final council tax statement from your local council, because if you’re leaving the area, you could even be due some money back (which will of course pay for that rug you’ve been eyeing up). Kerching.

  • Utility bills

The ball is in your court when it comes to utility bills such as water, gas and electric. You can simply ring to get the address changed, or you can haggle your way into a better deal if you tell them you’re going to find a different provider for your new home. Either way, be sure to let your current provider know exactly what date you’ll be moving, and take date-stamped snaps of your meters to avoid any unwanted bills once you’re gone.

  • Other bills

This includes your phone contract, broadband, and any TV packages you might have. Similarly to before, this is to stop bills going to the wrong place, or even the new tenants of your current home accidentally getting their hands on your iPhone 12 when it’s delivered.

  • Healthcare services

Make sure to tell your GP or any other healthcare specialists you’re moving home. Mostly because GPs do operate on a postcode basis, so if you’re going further afield, it could well be the case that you’ll also be changing surgeries. The earlier you do this, the less likely there are to be delays when you do need an appointment.

Also remember to get in touch with any dentists or opticians that have your medical records on file too, even if you’re not choosing to switch to a new one.

Other things to think about include:

  • Your employer/Education

  • Insurance Companies (including home, pet, life, health and car insurance)

  • In-store loyalty cards

  • Pension plans (if you have them)

  • The DVLA (if you own a car)

  • Subscriptions to magazines/newsletters

  • Leisure activities including sports teams or gyms

  • Microchips (if you have pets!)

When should I start packing?

It may seem like an obvious choice, but the earlier the better. A few weeks in advance of moving, try and pack as many non-essentials as you can. This is also a good time to start thinking about where you're going to position all of the furniture in your new home, so you can arrange to sell or clear out anything that you won't need to take with you.

Think about buying storage boxes and carefully work out which of your belongings could be at risk of breaking during the move. It's also worth leaving valuables until last so you can keep them close to you during the transition if possible, in a bag kept on you at all times.

But, who's going to move all of my stuff?

Spoiler alert, that huge selfie mirror you bought won't fit in the car. Depending on the size of the property you're moving into, you may be able to get away with just hiring a van yourself. Or you can opt for a removals company.

Using a removals company will lighten your workload as they help you pack up, and ensure your stuff gets transported safely. When it comes to choosing which removal company to use, Which? have a list of trusted traders that have been thoroughly vetted - and it also means you're covered if something were to go wrong.

They add that a good removal company will always have adequate insurance, try and lower your costs, and should also visit your current home directly to work out how to get larger items such as wardrobes and beds out efficiently.

Then ask for the quote you're given to be broken down to see how much you're paying for insurance, packing, hourly rate, mileage and storage costs.

What should I be doing at my current property before I move out?

One of the best actions you can take is preparing a briefing book for your home's new owner. Make sure you include documents such as instructions on how to operate the boiler and alarm, and the location of meters and fuse boxes. Yes, this is also a helpful thing to do if you're renting.

It's also best to label your keys if there are a number of them (think the garage and shed as well as house keys), and leave them all together.

How about after I've moved?

While there are usually a few odd jobs that need doing once moved, your main priority if you've bought the property should be to get the locks changed (no need to worry about this when renting). It means that if anyone has a key to the property that you aren't aware of, they can no longer gain access.

If you have recently bought a house, this period of time is when you need to look at paying your stamp duty bill, and it needs to be completed within 30 days.

Lastly, enjoy your new home! It's finally time to get settled down in your new space and begin to make memories. Where exactly should that new rug go?

Happy moving!

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