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How to Choose Your Moving Date

Owain Banfield
Written by Owain Banfield
26th January 2018 (Last updated on Monday 19th November 2018)

So, you have found your perfect new home, made an offer and it has been accepted. This is a massively exciting time for anyone, new beginnings and a new area to explore and benefit from. Amongst all the excitement you will undoubtedly find yourself asked “so when do you move?”.

This may seem like a simple question, but when you consider all the various element that make up a move such as packing up your belongings and making all the arrangements, then it can be a bit of a technically complex task to decide on a final move date. You'll need to decide on your moving date as soon as possible so that you can begin organising, packing and book your removal company in enough time.

But worry not. As always Compare My Move are here with some top advice on choosing your move date. Whether you are buying or renting, we highlight tips and considerations below which should be taken when deciding when to move. 

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This article will cover the following points

Renters Buyers Employment Education Timing Deciding On Your Move Date

Renters

Arguably, renting will make deciding your move date a lot simpler than if you are buying and selling your property. However, there are some aspects that should be taken into consideration to make deciding on your final move date a lot easier.

For example, thoroughly reading and understanding your rental agreement will give you an idea of any notice you will need to give on moving out of the property. It will also help you understand any work that may need to be done in order to qualify to receive your deposit back in full once you have moved.

For example, it may state that the house or flat needs to be professionally cleaned with no stains, marks or scuffs on flooring and any cosmetic alterations such as paint or hooks for pictures needing to be put back to their original state.

Once you have read through your agreement and understood the timelines in terms of your commitment, as well as any waiting time in terms of moving into your new property, you will be able to select a move date that fits accordingly. 

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Buyers

When buying a property or moving from a property you own it can be a little more tricky to find a suitable date to secure as your official day of moving. This is especially true when you are part of a chain of movers waiting for properties to become available to move, therefore having an external force which dictates when you will be able to physically move. 

Much of the timing in this situation will be down to the terms of agreement between yourselves and current home owner. For example, they may have not found a new home and therefore will not agree to move out until they have found one. This can mean a very long time to wait before being able to set a date. Equally, if the current home owner has any other issue with their new home or other challenges such as a large amount of contents to pack and move, then this can equally delay the process.

Once the current owner of your new home has decided they can move they are likely to give a date on which they will be vacating the property. It makes sense to plan your move as soon as possible after this date, however there is usually nothing stopping you from delaying this. Of course, this does depend on your agreement with those that are purchasing your current property from you. 

Employment

One of the other major factors which will impact your moving date is whether you are also moving your job. This can impact in two ways. Firstly, if you are moving far away, the start date of your new and finish date of your old job may well dictate exactly when you are able to move. For example, if you are able to move immediately, but your working contract does not end for a month then either you will have to wait to move or accept that there will be a long commute. 

Equally it is likely that you will need some time off in order to move and settle into your new home. Of course, if your new employer is understanding and flexible they may allow you a few days to undertake the effort involved in moving. Yet in many cases this isn’t possible, so communicating well with your employer your moving plans and requesting some leave or unpaid leave will give you some time to get this done. 

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Education

Do any members of your household attend school or local college? 

If you're moving house with children securing a moving date can be even more of a challenge. This does depend at which stage the individual in question is at in their education. For example, if they are at a crucial point during their school career, such as close to exams, then it is unlikely that a school will let them leave until their exams are over or there is a natural break such as a major holiday break.

At other times this can be easier, with many school moves taking place during term time, as long as there isn’t too much of an impact on the individual given the amount of time they will take out of the educational system.

It is also worth considering how emotionally difficult this process may be for those within education. It is likely that they will have created a friend group and will be familiar with the school environment and those that work there. Pulling them out of this without much warning or time to adjust can be upsetting. For this reason, where possible it is best to move during a natural school break, in order to provide a natural process of leaving. This will also benefit with starting at the new place of education as most syllabuses will be gently broken back into after a break. 

Timing

Timing can also come into play for a number of reasons. In this section we will explore how this can impact your move and how to mitigate these issues. 

Time to pack

How long will it take you pack?

We might as well ask “how long is a piece of string?”. It can be very difficult to estimate how long it will take you pack up your belongings ready to ship out. But taking a systematic approach can really help you tackle this mammoth task.

It is a good idea to walk through your house, make a note of each room and items in that room that will need packing to move. This will start to give you a good idea of how much work there is to be done, it also acts as a plan that you can tick off as you move through each room and pack away the items.

As a general rule, taking a best guess at packing time and then times it by 2 will give you a fair chance at getting the room packed away in time, as well as a little extra time in case you find items that were not previously considered.

Also, factor in other tasks such as physically going to buy the packing boxes that are needed to pack into and moving boxes from hard to reach spaces such as lofts and cellars so that they are easier for the removal companies to access, and so they don’t get forgotten.

If you have a lot of items to pack for the move it may be worth considering using the removal companies packing service. This can provide you with a few pairs of expert hands in helping you get this job done. Doing this could make all the difference in moving into your new home quickly or having to wait even longer for that exciting time.

For more advice on packing, read our packing tips.

Removals availability 

Finally, it is important to consider the availability of the removals companies and how that will impact the move date. For example, many removals firms will be very busy around Christmas and at peak times such as the summer holidays, and during the weekends. This is not to say that these times and dates are out of question if you can secure your moving date as soon as possible. 

Communicating the date you intend to move as soon as possible with your movers will give you the best chance of securing a date of choice. It will also give the company enough time to arrange a visit to your home to survey the contents and give a much better idea of time required as well as a more accurate quote. 

Oliver Flowers, 6th June 2018
"Speedy service, great team and a completely seemless move"

Deciding On Your Move Date

So, deciding on your moving date is a lot easier when you know what to think about first. Taking into consideration elements such as any chain that is in place, your new and existing work commitments, any individuals within your household that are in education and of course the timing required to pack will allow you to have an informed conversation with the removals company about the best time to undertake your move.