The ultimate checklist for moving house

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Once you have decided to move, the task in itself can appear overwhelming. In this article, we break down what you should be doing before, during and after your move so you stay organised and don’t miss out on anything.

By following this guide, the process should appear clearer and you won’t be stressed throughout the process and can even use this time as an opportunity to get organised.

Moving house checklist

Things you should do one month before you’re due to move

About a month in advance is when you should start making the right changes. Begin looking at removal websites, redirecting mail from the date that you move and also use the time to conduct a deep cleaning – especially if you are renting and your landlord has asked you to do an end of tenancy cleaning.

1. Change your postal address

Don’t forget to officially update your address with the postal service when you move. Fill out a change of address form with Royal Mail to forward your mail to the new address. Also inform your bank, utility companies, subscription services etc about the address change.

Even so, some letters may still arrive at your old address for a while. Speak to the new occupants and neighbours and let them know to return anything delivered there incorrectly. Check if the new home occasionally receives mail for past residents too. 

Returning any mail at new address  

You can write “Return to Sender – Not at this address” and pop any misdelivered letters back in the post box. When you first move in, it may take a couple of weeks for all your mail to successfully reach you. So check in with the old and new residents periodically about any errant post. This can ensure your postal address change is smooth and no important letters go astray.

returning mail after moving house

2. Clean before moving out

Don’t leave cleaning to the last minute when moving out of your old place. Thoroughly cleaning the property yourself or with a house cleaning service before you vacate allows you to tackle any stubborn stains or grime buildup when you still have access to all your supplies. 

Schedule time to clean the oven, fridge, walls, carpets, windows, and any other areas prone to dirt and spills. This also enables you to spot and remedy any damage beyond typical wear-and-tear. Doing a deep clean before the move helps ensure you get your full security deposit back too.

Property Size Estimate of the price of cleaning
Studio £80
One bed £120
Two bed £150
Three bed £180
Four bed £220
Five bed £260

3. Confirm the date you’re moving out

To start, nail down your moving date with your conveyancers and the sellers. If renting, explore staggering your move-out and move-in over multiple days. This allows you to settle into your new place and spruce it up stress-free. 

This way, you have more time to do more things like organising the electricity in your home and things like that. However, if you stagger and you’re at the chain’s end, brace yourself for possible delays as the other deals close. Know your place in the chain so you can plan for hitches that slow things down.

4. Change your gas and energy supplier

When moving house in the UK, don’t forget to close or transfer your utility accounts, update your driver’s licence, register to vote at your new address, and redirect your mail through Royal Mail’s relocation service. 

Also remember to notify the TV licensing body about your address change so your TV licence can remain valid at the new residence. Taking care of these administrative tasks in advance ensures a smooth transition to your new home.

gas-and-energy-in-the-UK

5. Familiarise yourself with your new borough

Next, stay on top of the new area in which you are moving. There are new rules, new council tax bands and even individual rules around waste management depending on where you live in the UK. You may even find you’re in a happy place to live so may want to get used to a slight change in culture or demographic of people too.

6. Get the right removal costs

Moving house can be expensive, with removal fees often being one of the largest costs. Getting quotes from different removal companies is wise to find the best deal. Removal prices in the UK depend on factors like the distance you’re moving, the amount and size of possessions being moved, and whether you need packing services too. 

For small local moves within the same town, removal costs often start from around £200 – £400, while long distance moves can be £800-£1500 plus. Full packing services tend to add a few hundred pounds too. Getting in-home quotes rather than just online estimates can help get a more accurate price. 

Comparing reviews of removal firms can help find a reputable one too. Doing research ahead of time on typical removal costs in the UK for the size of home and distance being moved can help budget and prepare for this major expense when moving house.

A-van-for-a-woman-moving-house

Challenge your new council tax band

First of all, find your council here, and then check the current council tax band for your new property, which you can find on the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) website. Do not hesitate to email or call your local council to discuss your concerns if you have any.

Keep in mind that you may need to request a review of council tax within six months of moving into a new property or if there has been a significant change in circumstances.

Register to vote

Registering to vote may not seem like something important but it affects your credit score and other formalities of being a citizen in the UK. Register to vote here as it needs updating when you move boroughs.

What other things should you do a week before you move out?

So, the date is getting closer and it will be just week before you’re able to move into your new home

1. Find opportunities to make some extra money

Moving house is a time when you may feel the pinch! Make sure you’re taking advantage of these smart saving money tips below as you move house

Free insulations and boilers

Insulations and boilers you hope are set up correctly when moving in somewhere new. However, to deal with gas when moving, speak to your energy supplier as they may be able to transition for a good deal and it may also be worthwhile picking up some gas and boiler insurance while you’re at it.

Get free furniture from Freecycle

Sites like Freecylce or Freegle are great options for finding free furniture for your new pad and are excellent options for selling the old furniture you no longer need or will not fit in the space you are moving.

On top of this, consider that there are also more popular sites like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist and also Gumtree that can help with buying and selling second-hand items to help offset the cost of moving.

A sofa in a room that is free

Rent out the spare room

As you move, costs may get on top of you. Nonetheless, if you don’t mind a lodger staying in your property for a while, you can make some of this cost back by renting out a spare room. The best part of this is the income from a lodger is tax free in the beginning.

Deduct moving expenses if you’re a landlord

Business expenses should always be thought about as a business owner and that means using the cost of moving around tenants as a business expense where you can. While you cannot totally avoid taxes, being savvy with what you can write off will help you out in the long term.

2. Label boxes

Start packing about a week or two prior to move day. As it draws near, ensure nearly everything is packed so you stay calm enough to label boxes while still being organised. 

Helpful apps like Evernote for Android and iPhone let you catalogue box contents thoroughly. Start clearing kitchen cabinets and defrosting the fridge/freezer. Don’t forget the loft and garage! 

The night before, move boxes someplace convenient like downstairs to make loading the boxes easier. Collecting items in one or two central locations streamlines taking them to the van. Advance preparation and organisation keeps your move orderly.

3. Get boiler cover

If your new place has a central heating boiler, strongly consider coverage for it. Few things are worse than coming home to a busted boiler and no hot water when it’s freezing. In that panicked state, you may shell out more than needed for repairs. Consider the options for boiler cover below:

Provider Excess Monthly cost Link to cover
Hometree £95 £3.45 More details
British Gas £99 £3.50 More details
Scottish Power £95 £3.45 More details
EDF Energy £95 £3.45 More details

4. Let friends and family know

About a week before is an ideal time to let the people closest in your life know you’re moving. This can include neighbours too. Return anything you have borrowed, say your well wishes and give them your new address that you’re moving to if you care to.

5. Use the opportunity to get organised 

The process of packing up your entire home for a move gives you a perfect chance to pare down and streamline possessions. As you decide what to bring along, be ruthless about donating, selling, or recycling items you no longer need. 

Make your new living space clutter-free by only moving essentials. You can apply the same organisational mentality to personal finances. Catalogue all monthly expenses and see where you can cut back on subscriptions, memberships, or other non-crucial costs. Explore lower rates on utilities, insurance, or services in your new location. 

Consolidate scattered accounts to simplify money management. Moving’s disruption prods you to minimise, optimise, and establish tidy, efficient systems to oversee belongings and finances. Embrace this motivation to start fresh in your new home with orderliness.

What should you do once you have moved out?

Once you are settled into your new property, there are some things you should do that are a bit more exciting than when you were moving. By now, you should be unpacking the boxes you moved with and making your new place your home. Along the way, here are some things you may want to do to get settled in.

1. Explore your new neighbourhood

Moving to a new neighbourhood can be an exciting opportunity to discover local gems. Take time when you first move in to wander the streets and get the lay of the land. Walk or drive around the surrounding blocks. You may find shops, cafés, parks, or restaurants that you’ll want to revisit. 

Chat with neighbours and ask for their recommendations on places to check out too and use this as an opportunity to meet and build relationships too. 

A nice quiet neighbourhood someone has moved into

2. Meet and build relationships with your neighbours

Asking long-time residents about the neighbourhood history and for recommendations to help you get settled are organic and natural ways to get to know the people you live with. Also, if there are any local events like block parties or homeowners’ association meetings to meet more people this could be great too. 

Depending on how your living situation is set up, you may want to also bring over baked goods or host a barbecue to continue nurturing relationships too. But in general, keep your door open and reach out. Developing strong ties with those who live around you can make your new location truly feel like home.

3. Register with new services in the area

Settling into a new town means finding all the amenities you need when you move in. Check out our useful area guide to find the necessary amenities where you are moving to.

Don’t feel pressured into sticking with the first one you try either. Take your time making selections. Finding service providers you genuinely like and connecting with them will make your new community feel like you’re settling in. And don’t forget to update your records so the services you left behind no longer contact you either.

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