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Moving into a New House Checklist

Martha Lott

Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

31st Jan 2022 (Last updated on 17th Nov 2022) 8 minute read

Many people experience moving house stress before, during and after a house move. But by using our checklist for moving into a new house, you’re ensuring a much smoother, efficient and organised experience.

Whilst an exciting milestone, moving house can be overwhelming at times. To ensure you have a simpler experience, it's important to break down the process into more manageable steps. The following list details everything you need to do when preparing for a house move. It includes the more obvious tasks such as booking a removal company, but also the vital but easily forgotten details such as changing the locks and pet-proofing the garden.

Whether you're rushing through a last-minute relocation or preparing for a bigger task such as a long-distance house move, this moving into a new house checklist has everything you need to know to ensure an organised removal.

This article will cover the following:
  1. 1. Locate Your Box of Essentials
  2. 2. Inspect and Measure the Home
  3. 3. Deep Clean
  4. 4. Change the Locks
  5. 5. Check the Boiler and Plumbing
  6. 6. Find the Gas and Electricity Meters
  7. 7. Check and Replace Smoke, Carbon Monoxide and Security Alarms if Needed
  8. 8. Locate Fusebox and Water Valve
  9. 9. Inspect Attic and Basement
  10. 10. Plan What is Going Where
  11. 11. Child and Pet Proof the House and Garden
  12. 12. Change Address
  13. 13. Redirect Post
  14. 14. Consider Your Electric Gas and Water Bills
  15. 15. Contact Internet and TV Suppliers
  16. 16. Arrange Council Tax
  17. 17. Register to Vote
  18. 18. Update TV Licence
  19. 19. Changing Doctors and Dentists or Updating Address
  20. 20. Find the Best Schools in your Area
  21. 21. Create a Checklist of Repairs
  22. 22. Create a Priority Project Plan

1. Locate Your Box of Essentials

Before your moving date, it’s vital to pack a box full of the things you'll need as soon as you arrive. This could include medication, phone chargers, cups and plates. Label it as moving house essentials and make sure it’s one of the first boxes you unpack.

We often forget about things like glasses and cutlery - all essential items you’ll need on hand. If the move is longer than expected, make sure you have fresh bedding in case you haven’t got the energy to put the beds together. This is an important step that should be at the top of your checklist for moving into a new home.

2. Inspect and Measure the Home

When the property is empty, take a quick walkthrough of all the rooms before setting up any furniture. Make sure all the agreed repairs were made and that everything is working as normal.

Now would also be a good time to measure any empty spaces to help you plan where to place your furniture. This should be done after exchanging contracts as you know the property is now legally yours, ensuring you don’t waste money buying new items.

3. Deep Clean

Unless you’re moving into a brand new home, the most important thing to do first is a deep clean. While sellers typically clean their home before you move in, they might have been rushed on their completion day.

Make sure you know where your cleaning products are when loading the van or tell the removal company which boxes need to be unpacked right away. If you’re using storage for moving house, make sure you clean before you have your furniture items delivered.

4. Change the Locks

While it’s not a requirement to change your locks, it puts many people’s minds at ease. It’s always recommended as you never know who has spare keys to your new home. By changing your locks, you can relax knowing only you and your family have the keys.

If you’re not confident with completing this task yourself, you have the option of hiring a local locksmith to do so for you, ticking another thing off of your moving into a new house checklist.

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5. Check the Boiler and Plumbing

It should say in your conveyancing documents when the boiler was last serviced. If you can smell gas anywhere, you can get someone out right away to check, usually free of charge.

Make sure you have hot and cold running water. It’s always important to check this right away, otherwise, you’ll have to get someone out to fix this urgently.

6. Find the Gas and Electricity Meters

You should’ve already made a note of your gas and electric meter readings in your old home. But you also have to do this as soon as you move.

You'll have to let your new provider know the readings to avoid paying for gas and electricity that the previous owners used. The meters are typically found in the hallway or kitchen and they’ll be inside a cupboard or a meter box.

7. Check and Replace Smoke, Carbon Monoxide and Security Alarms if Needed

Next, you’ll want to locate any smoke, carbon monoxide and security alarms and ensure they’re working. There’s usually a tester button that will indicate whether they need to be replaced.

While security alarms aren’t a requirement, you’ll need a working smoke and carbon monoxide alarm in your new home.

8. Locate Fusebox and Water Valve

You’ll need to locate your fuse box and water valve (stopcock) when you move into a new home. A water valve/stopcock can be used to shut off the water or gas supply if you have a leak.

It’s usually found under or near the sink or near your gas meter. They can also be installed outside, so if you have no luck inside the property, check outside.

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9. Inspect Attic and Basement

Your seller might have left items in the attic or basement if you have one, so it’s always worth checking. The fittings and fixtures form will detail what the seller will leave behind.

You’ll have to inform the seller in writing that they’ve left items and that you’ll keep them for a period of time. If they don’t respond, you will have to tell them you’re keeping or removing them.

10. Plan What is Going Where

Once you’ve found where everything is and run safety checks, you can begin unpacking. Work out which boxes belong in each room and unpack room by room. Ideally, you want to start in the most used rooms such as the kitchen and bedroom. Creating an inventory of everything you have on an app like Packing Pro is useful to keep track of what you want to have in each room.

11. Child and Pet Proof the House and Garden

Once you’ve got an idea of the general layout, the next step on the moving to a new house checklist is to pet or child-proof the property. Cover up any holes in the fencing or boundaries of your garden and check the locks on all relevant doors and gates.

Sharp corners should be covered and wiring out of reach. If you have baby gates to install, now would be the time to do so.

12. Change Address

You’ll need to change your address with important services such as the bank so you don’t miss any letters. Don’t forget to change your address on things like your driving licence and subscriptions.

It’s only natural to enter your old address if you’re online shopping, so it’s important to set your new one as the default.

13. Redirect Post

You can redirect your post with the Royal Mail for a fee. By using their redirection services, you won’t miss any important letters. You will also avoid having your personal details such as bank details fall into the wrong hands.

You might still get post that’s addressed to previous owners. You should write on the envelopes “return to sender, not known at this address” and post them back.

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14. Consider Your Electric Gas and Water Bills

You need to contact your old electric, gas and water suppliers to tell them you’ve moved house and to cancel your bills.

You’ll then need to let your new home’s current supplier know that you’ve moved in and give them the meter readings.

15. Contact Internet and TV Suppliers

When changing broadband or TV when moving home, you’ll have to arrange for an internet and TV provider to visit your new home to install the router and TV box. This should be done right away, especially if you rely on the internet for work.

16. Arrange Council Tax

Another bill to set up is Council Tax via the council. You’ll have to let them know that you’re the new owner of the property so they can update the system. You’ll set up a direct debit with them and be charged based on the band of your area. You can also challenge the band if you believe it’s wrong.

17. Register to Vote

Don’t forget to register to vote if you’ve moved out of your previous constituency. We added this step to our checklist for moving into a new house as it's often overlooked by movers.

You can be fined if you don’t add yourself to the electoral register and you also won’t be able to vote in local or national elections.

18. Update TV Licence

If you had a TV licence in your old home, you’ll have to update your address so the licence moves over to your new home. If you don’t have a TV licence and are using your television, you could be fined up to £1,000.

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19. Changing Doctors and Dentists or Updating Address

Once you’ve settled into your new home, you can start to think about registering with the doctors. If you’re staying with the same doctors and dentist, you’ll have to let them know of your change of address. If you’ve moved to a new area, you’ll have to find your closest doctors and dentist and register with them.

20. Find the Best Schools in your Area

You should have applied for a new school place in advance if you’re moving with children. Each school will have different policies and enrollment dates so it’s important you don’t miss them. You’ll need to prove that you’re in the catchment area with proof of address.

21. Create a Checklist of Repairs

Make a list of any urgent repair work needed done on the house and order them by priority. You might need to order new kitchen appliances such as washing machines or dishwashers. This should be a priority.

22. Create a Priority Project Plan

If your new home needs some TLC, create a plan of the projects that need doing and order them by priority. You should paint a room before getting new carpets or sofas. The kitchen and living room are the most used and seen rooms, so consider starting here over bedrooms.

Additional Tips

For a full breakdown of everything you need to do before moving into your new home, read our moving house checklist.

We’ve listed some extra tips so you don’t forget anything when moving house:

  • Find a new vet
  • Settle in your pet
  • Meet your new neighbours
  • Child and pet-proof the house and garden
  • Find the local amenities

Don't forget to post a review about any of our partners who helped you during your moving house process. This will help other customers learn about the steps involved and what helped you.

Martha Lott

Written by Martha Lott

Having guest authored for many property websites, Martha now researches and writes articles for everything moving house related, from remortgages to conveyancing costs.

Dave Sayce

Reviewed by Dave Sayce

Owner & Managing Director, Compare My Move

Dave Sayce is the owner and managing director of Compare My Move and has over 10 years of experience in the house removals industry.

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