Moving house doesn’t have to be stressful. Compare My Move have compiled the ultimate moving guide featuring 15 of the best moving tips to successfully move house, the main do's and don'ts to remember, and a room by room packing guide.
Decluttering is an essential task every now and then, but it’s even more important before moving house. Before even attempting to pack, you should decide what to sell, donate or throw out. By decluttering, you'll also keep your house removal costs down as there’ll be fewer boxes to move.
Throw out or donate anything you no longer use and check to see if any items are broken and worth leaving behind. You’ll be glad of it come moving day and so will the removals team.
Once you’ve decluttered your personal belongings and have a rough idea of what you’ll be taking, you should book your removals company. You could attempt to do it yourself, but it would be a lot of added stress and time.
The removal company will have many years’ experience of carefully packing, handling and loading delicate and heavy items so they arrive safely at your new house.
Creating an inventory helps you keep an eye on all your belongings to make sure nothing is lost throughout the whole moving house process. Following a moving house checklist will also help during this stage.
Your removal company can create an inventory for you if they have been hired to pack your belongings so this is also worth considering.
Create a plan of action with a room by room checklist of how you will pack along with all of the packing material you’ll need. Some removal companies will also offer professional packing services to help you.
A good starting point will be rooms and items you use the least. The spare bedroom, garage or attic are usually easy places to start.
Leave everyday items until the day before the move and keep any essentials items such as medication separately.
It’s important to set up your utilities such as council tax, gas and home insurance early when moving house. Not only will this save you a lot of stress once you’re moved in, but you will have more time to settle in and relax in your new home.
To save valuable time and money sorting your utilities out, make sure you use Just Move In. They will save you up to 8 hours of administration time setting up utility services. Arrange your utilities here.
Usually, you’ll be able to buy quality packaging materials from your removal company, but you’ll be surprised what you can get for free. Don't forget to mention it when you request a removal quote.
There are a plethora of different boxes you can get from removal companies along with the correct packing materials. You will also need packing tape, bubble wrap, zip tie bags, labels and marker pens.
You should label boxes with the room it’s going to and a brief summary of what’s inside so there’s no confusion when you’re unpacking. This will also help the removals team know where any and all fragile items are kept.
If you don’t want to write a short novella on the boxes you could consider using coloured stickers/labels to help categorise rooms.
By keeping your cupboard and cabinet doors open in the days up to and on moving day will give you the chance to see that you have packed everything.
This way, you will be able to see that you have everything or if you have left anything inside. You can do the same with the kitchen drawers.
Pack the things you use every day and night in a separate bag and keep this with you at all times. Items such as medicine, face cream, toothbrush, toilet roll, change of clothes, phone chargers etc will all come in handy.
Photograph the wires at the back of your television or any other electronic sets ups. This is a great way to keep track of what goes where when you’re putting everything back together in your new house.
You can also take photos of any wall displays, ornament placement, or shelving setups in your current home that you are fond of and wish to recreate in your new place.
You'll know your new home inside and out after your property survey, but what about the neighbourhood? Once the removal company is booked and you’ve started packing, go and spend the weekend in your new area, checking out the local pubs and shops.
It’s a good idea to start changing your address with companies or organisations like the bank, the doctor’s surgery, car insurance company, local authority and post office 2 weeks before you move. Don’t forget to inform friends and family too.
It would be wise to begin with the most essential organisations such as the bank, doctor's surgery and dentist. You can also divert any mail going to your old address with the Royal Mail for a small fee.
Many people will forget about taking care of their council tax when moving house. If you’re moving to a new area, you’ll need to set up a new account. Check with your local authority for more details about your council tax band.
Another important factor when moving house is staying on the electoral register. You will have to update your address and ensure you’re still able to vote. Luckily, it’s a fairly simple process and can be done via the government website.
If you have any items that need extra care when handling, such as antiques, pianos or valuable artwork, then your removal company will be trained to help.
Professional movers have the experience needed to transport these items safely.
One of the most common mistakes when packing is overloading boxes. If you reach a point where the box is half-full and starting to get heavy, then top it off with pillows or towels or simply move onto the next task.
If you are using a packing service from the removal company, they will supply the boxes and materials. If you’re doing the packing yourself, get creative. Use laundry baskets, suitcases and large hold all bags to make the most of space.
Use packing paper, small items or towels to fill empty gaps in boxes. You could even use kitchen paper, tea towels or old rags. The idea is to keep your items securely in place during transit.
A logical way to pack is doing room by room. Start with the rooms you use the least such as the garage, shed and spare bedroom. Pack items that are out of season first and keep out any items you know you’ll use up until moving day.
It’s important to know what your removal company will class as non-allowable items. Hazardous items like propane cylinders, paints, paint thinners and fireworks will not be allowed on the removals truck.
Tape an ‘x’ onto the glass using packing tape to prevent shattering
Use corner protectors to guard the edges from damage
Cover the surface with a layer of cardboard
Keep mirrors and glass upright with no items stacked during transit
Backup your important files and documents
Check if you have the item’s original packaging to easily pack
Use bubble wrap, blankets and towels for added protection
Remove any temperature-sensitive items from inside your electronics
Clean the rug before you start to pack it up
Roll and tie each end with twine or string to secure it
Don’t wrap your area rug in plastic as this will cause mould and mildew
Wrap the rug in sheets of thick paper and tape it closed
Dismantle furniture if it can be easily put back together
Cover furniture with protective covers or blankets for the move
Wrap tape or plastic wrap around the covers to further secure the item
Take off chair/sofa covers and pillows and pack them separately in plastic covers
Tape everything closed to avoid swinging doors
Don’t forget to defrost fridge/freezer before moving day
Keep items such as kettles and toasters handy as they are essential for your first day
To pack your toaster without making a mess, empty it upside down
Stack your plates with polystyrene plates in between to avoid damage
Don’t wrap plates in newspaper, this won’t stop a break in the removal van
Pack items that are least used first, such as cookbooks and big mixing bowls
Create a ‘cushion’ at the bottom of the box to safely pack your plates
Don’t overload on the packing of glass, the box won’t be able to take the weight
Pad the box in between glasses with bubble wrap and tea towels
Stack the cups in polystyrene cups to avoid breakages
Do not stack heavy items on top of your glasses, mugs, cups or any fragile items
Don’t do a food shop the week before moving as it’ll likely be wasted
Take your tinned food and other cupboard foods with you or to a homeless shelter
Make sure you have packed a lunch for moving day
Have milk, bread and any other essential food ready for once you’ve moved in
Dismantle beds ahead of moving day and sleep in sleeping bags or a blow-up bed
Put all of the nuts, bolts and allen keys into bags and tape them to main frame of bed
Use protective mattress covers to ensure no damage is done during the move
If you’re not using a removal company, place the mattress in between furniture
Empty your wardrobe - this will help you get rid of all your unwanted clothes
To use space wisely, keep the clothes and items in your drawers, taping them closed
Dismantle your wardrobe carefully, or ask the removal company if they can do it
If the wardrobe isn’t too big, it likely won’t need to be dismantled
Pack your clothes in vacuum compression bags to save room
If it’s summer, start packing winter clothes or clothes you know you won’t need
Make a wardrobe by getting a tall box with a pole inserted through with cable ties
Packing clothes into a suitcase is an easy method to transport clothes during the move
Pack chained necklaces through a plastic straw to avoid tangling
Pack jewellery in a large egg box to avoid damage
Small dainty earrings can be transported in pill/medication boxes
Any valuable items should be kept with you, just in case it gets misplaced
Try and use up all toiletries before the move to avoid taking up valuable space
Wrap tape around opened toiletry lids to avoid spillages
Pack toiletries in zip lock bags once the lids are taped
Do not pack away medicine or tablets you’ll need daily
Put cotton-wool on top of compressed powders to stop it cracking
Cover eyeshadow palettes with bubble wrap and wrap tape around
Pack nail-varnishes in newspaper and then place them in a plastic zip bag
Separate make-up in to liquids, creams & powders.
Towels act as a great protector for most items, combining packing and protection in one
Use towels to fill any empty spaces when packing
Ensure all towels are washed before using as padding
For the remaining towels, simply fold and pack on top of clothes in suitcase
Limit the amount of straighteners and dryers you’ll take with you
Pack appliances by wrapping the wire around the appliance
When packing into the box, place the heavier appliances at the bottom
Keep all of your hair appliances, brushes, hair ties and clips together in a labelled box
Our advice hub features everything you need to know about moving house. Need a helping hand with your planning and packing? Check out the articles and advice from the property experts at Compare My Move for everything you need to know about moving.