Moving house checklist

Moving house is exciting. But it’s also a mammoth task that can feel overwhelming at times. Follow our checklist to help make your relocation easier.

Kim Jones
Kim Jones
Updated 20 September 2022  | 4 mins read

Key points

  • Let your current energy suppliers know that you’re moving and take final meter readings as evidence, so you don’t get overcharged
  • Arrange buildings cover to start when you exchange contracts and contents cover for the day you move in
  • Let your car insurer know where you’re moving to, you may find that your premium changes
  • If you have a microchipped pet, make sure you update the database with your new address

1. Finalise your moving date

Talk to your conveyancing solicitor about dates for exchanging contracts and to confirm a moving day, so you can start researching removal companies and book them in.

Give your landlord notice if you’re renting and - if your new property is not a great distance away - you could time your leaving date so that you get the keys to your new home a few days before you have to vacate your rental property. That way, you can complete the move over several days rather than doing it all in one go. It’ll leave you with time to get your new home ready.

2. Declutter

With a few weeks to go before the move, it could be a great time to offload items you can do without.

Decluttering means there’s less to pack, less to load onto the removal van and less to offload and unpack at the other end, too.

Go through one room in the house per day, plus the garden shed and garage, and bag up things for charity and car boot sales. You could also sell things online or give them away for free.

3. Research removal companies

Get quotes from a few different removal companies. Ensure they have goods in transit insurance, so you’re protected if there’s any damage to your personal belongings. You may want to arrange extra cover with your own home contents insurance company too.

As well as loading and unloading the vans, some removal companies offer additional services like providing packaging materials, packing and unpacking your belongings, dismantling and reassembling furniture.

If you don’t use a removal company, but instead hire a van and move your furniture, valuables and breakables yourself, bear in mind that your home contents insurance policy probably won’t cover you.

Home insurance that includes goods in transit cover usually only covers your possessions during a move if you’re using a professional removals company.

4. Get essential info from your sellers

Ask your sellers in advance to provide practical facts about how things work in your new home, so your first few days go smoothly. It’s good to know where things like the gas and electric meters, boiler, water stopcocks and electrical fuse box are situated. Plus, how the central heating and alarm systems work. Ask also if they can supply manuals or warranties for fitted electrical appliances.

Do the same for your buyers. Write up relevant information for them. It’s also helpful to label what all the keys are for.

5. Notify your utility suppliers

Before you move out, you need to let your water, gas and electric suppliers know you’re changing address. You can usually do this up to 28 days before your move date, but you should give them at least 48-hours’ notice.

Remember to read your meters on moving day. Take photos and keep notes of readings and the date you took them so you can be sure you’re not overcharged when you get your final bill. You’ll need to inform the utility providers of your new address so they can send you this bill.

Ask your sellers who provides their gas and electricity - or find out yourself in advance.

Use the Find my Supplier online tool to see who supplies the gas to your new home - simply key in your new address.

To find the electricity supplier, you’ll first need to know the network operator for the region. For this, key in your new postcode on the energy networks association website. Once you know the operator, go onto their website and click through to the ‘who is my supplier?’ section.

When you move into your new place, read the meters (and take photos). Share these with your new energy suppliers and they can start billing you from these readings, so you don’t pay for any usage that’s not yours.

Your new supplier will usually put you on its standard variable rate. While normally this is the most expensive rate and it’s wise to shop around, in the current climate it’s likely you won’t be able to get any better deals.

6. Organise your broadband

You’ll want your internet connection up and running as soon as possible in your new home. But bear in mind that some broadband providers require notice of up to a month, sometimes more, to get you connected. So, it can pay to plan ahead.

First, you need to decide if you want to stay with your current provider, or switch to another company.

If you’re happy with your current provider’s service and package, (and they operate in the area you’re moving to) then you can ask to take your service with you.

There’s also the option to cancel, if you’re out of your initial contract period, otherwise you’ll have to pay an early exit fee.

If you cancel, you’re then free to look for deals from other providers that operate in your new neighbourhood.

7. Cancel the milk..

…and other local services and subscriptions you use, such as window cleaners, gardeners and vegetable box deliveries.

8. Update your home insurance

Be sure to organise buildings cover ahead of time so that it’s scheduled to be in place for your new address on the date you’ll be exchanging contracts. Don’t wait until you move in. When you exchange contracts, you become legally responsible for the property. So if there was any damage to your new home from that date and you have no buildings cover, you’ll be liable to pay for it.

Ensure you arrange for contents insurance to be in place from the day your possessions are in your new property.

The cost of home insurance for your new home could be more or less than you currently pay because premiums are calculated on the value of the property and postcode.

9. Notify your car insurer

You’ll also need to update your car insurance. Insurers calculate premiums based on your postcode and any risks associated with it.

10. Make pet provisions

You may want to arrange for someone to look after your pet on moving day. And don’t forget to let your pet insurance provider know your change of address too. It’s a condition of cover that the pet must live at the address shown on their certificate of insurance. Updating your address may affect your premium at renewal because vets’ fees differ from area to area.

You’ll also need to update your pet’s microchip database with your new address, so they have the correct details to contact you should your pet go missing.

11. Get mail redirected

You can request that your mail be forwarded to your new address for either three months, six months or a year.

Apply via the Post Office website or download and print a form and take it to a local branch. There’ll usually be application forms available there too.

There’s a fee for the service, starting at £33.99

12. Other address updates to make

You’ll need to inform various organisations and companies of your move and new address including:

  • Health services - your GP, dentist, optician and vet. You may also want to register at a new local GP if you have ongoing treatment and prescriptions that you’ll need quickly
  • Financial services - your bank, credit card company and pension provider
  • TV Licensing
  • Government departments – HMRC and DVSA (you’ll need to update the address on your driving licence)

13. Pack and label your boxes

Pack everything carefully and make sure fragile items are well-padded and protected.

Clearly label each and every box with the room they need to be unloaded in, as well as its contents, so you instantly know what goes where and what needs unpacking first.

Mark fragile boxes clearly, so extra care is taken when moving them.

14. Pack a ‘holiday’ bag and essentials box for moving day

For moving day, it’s a good idea to pack an overnight bag containing things like:

  • Necessary toiletries, including toilet roll, towels, shower gel and a toothbrush
  • Nightwear and clothes for the next day

Also pack an essentials box, containing:

  • Kettle, tea, coffee, sugar and milk, plus mugs and plates
  • Duvets and bedding
  • Phone chargers

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