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20 Things to do When Moving House

Martha Lott

Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

31st Jan 2022 (Last updated on 22nd Feb 2022) 7 minute read

Many people experience moving house stress before, during and after a house move - it can be daunting, with endless utilities to sort out and boxes to unpack. By using our moving to a new home checklist, you’re ensuring a smooth moving experience.

We work with industry experts to ensure you’re reading the most accurate and insightful moving content. In this article, we take a look at everything you should do once you’ve moved into your new home, from deep cleaning to changing alarms, we’ve covered everything.

Moving into a New House Checklist
  1. 1. Locate Your Box of Essentials
  2. 2. Deep Clean
  3. 3. Change Locks
  4. 4. Check Boiler and Plumbing
  5. 5. Find the Gas and Electricity Meters
  6. 6. Check and Replace Smoke, Carbon Monoxide and Security Alarms if Needed
  7. 7. Locate Fusebox and Water Valve
  8. 8. Inspect Attic and Basement
  9. 9. Find out What is Going Where
  10. 10. Change Address
  11. 11. Redirect Post
  12. 12. Electric Gas and Water Bills
  13. 13. Internet and TV Suppliers
  14. 14. Council Tax
  15. 15. Register to Vote
  16. 16. Tv Licence
  17. 17. Changing Doctors and Dentist or Updating Address
  18. 18. Finding the Best Schools in your Area
  19. 19. Checklist of Repairs
  20. 20. Create a Project Plan by Priority

1. Locate Your Box of Essentials

The first thing on your new house checklist should be unpacking essential items only. Before your moving date, it’s vital to pack a box full of the things that you'll need as soon as you arrive. This could be medication, phone chargers, cups and plates etc. Label it as moving house essentials and make sure it’s one of the first boxes you unpack.

We often forget about items like glasses and cutlery. Even if you’re having a takeaway while you set up the oven, you’ll need these essential items on hand. Make sure you know where you'll be sleeping that night. If the move goes on to the night, it’s important you’ve got fresh bedding to use on your mattress if you haven’t the energy to put the beds together.

2. 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 will clean their home before you move in, they might have been rushed on completion day and the clean might not be as thorough.

Make sure you know where your box of cleaning products is 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.

3. Change Locks

While it’s not a requirement to change your locks, it puts many peoples’ minds at ease to do so. 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 keys to your home.

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4. Check Boiler and Plumbing

Locate and 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. This should be reported in your conveyancing documents too, but it’s always important to check this right away, otherwise, you’ll have to get someone out to fix this urgently.

5. Find the Gas and Electricity Meters

You should have already made a note of your gas and electric meter readings in your old home, but you have to do this as soon as you move in too.

You'll have to let your new provider know the readings to avoid you paying for gas and electricity 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.

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

Next, you’ll want to locate the smoke, carbon monoxide and security alarms if any 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 tested and working smoke and carbon monoxide alarm in your new home.

7. 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 in the property, check outside.

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8. 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 in both. The fittings and fixtures form completed by the seller will detail what will be left in the property, so you should be aware of any items.

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 after that time, you will have to tell them you’re keeping them or removing them.

9. Find out 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.

10. 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 license and any subscriptions you have.

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.

11. Redirect Post

You can redirect all your post with the Royal Mail for a fee. By using their redirection services, you won’t miss any important letters and 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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12. 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 you noted down when you first moved in.

13. Internet and TV Suppliers

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.

14. 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.

15. Register to Vote

Don’t forget to register to vote if you’ve moved out of your previous constituency. You can be fined if you don’t add yourself to the electoral register and you won’t be able to vote in local or national elections.

16. 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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17. Changing Doctors and Dentist 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

18. Finding 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.

19. 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.

20. Create a Project Plan by Priority

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 as it’ll help other customers learn about the process and what helped you.

Martha Lott

Written by Martha Lott

Having written for Huffington Post and Film Criticism Journal, Martha now regularly researches and writes advice articles for everything moving house related.

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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