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When it comes to moving house, being prepared counts. Save money on your home removals by avoiding a last minute booking, or just save yourself from the stress of forgetting something vital. It pays to be prepared.
Luckily, Compare My Move helps more than 70,000 people move each year, so we know all the details that go into a stress-free moving day. We've put together this Moving House Checklist to get you fully ready for moving day, including a downloadable and printer friendly checklist to use on the day.
It's time to choose the area you want to live in. Consider local amenities, the commute to work, and public transport links. If you’re moving as a family, search your new postcode in the local authority website to find which schools cover the area. Create a shortlist of schools and study the admissions policies.
Once you’ve decided on an area the search for a property can begin. Set up online alerts for particular house types, and contact local estate agents. Research general house prices through online estate agents such as Zoopla or Rightmove. Use our cost of moving house calculator to understand the extra costs involved in moving into your new home, including Stamp Duty, conveyancing fees and removal costs.
Explore your options, using independent mortgage brokers to find the best mortgage offer to suit your needs. Agree to your mortgage ‘in principle’ when you’ve found an offer and interest rate that suits you.
The property solicitor or licensed conveyancer will take care of all of the legal aspects of the home purchase including the contract, transfer funds between the buyer and seller, and arrange to pay fees such as Stamp Duty. You can use Compare My Move to get connected with up to 4 regulated conveyancers.
Once you've found your dream home, make an offer to the seller or estate agent. Once your offer is accepted, the countdown to moving day begins.
Work out your budget for monthly rent, which should be a maximum of 30% of take-home pay. Factor in utility bills and council tax. Budget in the cost of getting set up in your new rented house. Use property websites such as Zoopla to get an idea of the average rent costs in the area.
Spend this time researching different areas, keeping in mind your budget as well as local amenities and standards of life. If you’re moving as a family, create a shortlist of schools. Use Ofsted or Estyn reports to understand the quality of teaching, recent results, and information such as student to teacher ratios.
Whether you’re on a fixed term tenancy or a more flexible situation, consider when your preferred moving date will be. You’ll want to start arranging viewings from around 2 months before this date.
Work out how much you’ll need to get set up. You’ll likely have to pay your first month’s rent up front to take the property off the market, and around 6 weeks rent as your damage deposit. Add to this estate agent fees, which could be anything between £200-£300 per tenant.
Our research shows that Friday is the most popular day to move house, as movers can take advantage of a weekend to unpack. If you’re buying and selling, your moving day will depend on the arranged day of completion. If you’re renting, moving day will be fixed to the end of your tenancy.
Not sure what to ask? You’ll want to make sure the removal company is fully insured and professional, and a rundown of the different services they offer. Check out our guide to what to ask a removal company for more information. Compare removal quotes to get the best price.
For a fixed, accurate quote, your removal company will need to know the volume of contents that needs moving, and any access issues. Always request a home survey for any large move. Read our guide on home removal surveys for more information.
Book both a day before and after your moving day.
Moving is an exciting time, so be sure to research all the local amenities and community groups through online forums and social media.
If you’re selling a house, create an inventory to include in the contract so the buyer is fully aware of the fixtures that will remain. Our guide on moving house etiquette explores the fittings, fixtures and more that you should leave behind.
Whether you get a snagging survey for your new build or a Full Building Survey for your Listed Property, it’s vital that your property is independently surveyed. A survey will highlight any defects, which can be used to renegotiate the cost and help prepare you for any future maintenance. You should compare surveyors. Get connected with up to 5 RICS accredited surveyors with Compare My Move.
Request an inventory from the seller’s solicitor, detailing the fittings and fixtures to remain in the property.
Your conveyancer will go through the contracts, and you’ll usually pay a holding deposit. After the exchange of contracts, you’ll be legally committed to the sale, so make sure all is in order.
Arrange a day of completion, which as the name suggests is the point when the house purchase is completed. Remember to change your removal date to reflect this. Read more on our guide to the day of completion.
See as many properties as you can that fit your budget and search criteria. Request moving in dates and a full rundown of any estate agent fees. Use our House Viewing Checklist so you know exactly what to look for on the day.
This will take the property off the market, and will usually be your first month’s rent.
Get a full rundown on what furniture is remaining in the property, and request information about heating and parking.
The deposit against damages is usually the sum of 6 weeks rent, and should be kept in an independent protection scheme. Agency fees could be anything between £200 to £300 per tenant.
Most removal companies will provide packing materials and boxes for your move. However, if you’re sourcing them yourself you’ll have to buy them online or ask for excess boxes from supermarkets. Find out where to find packing boxes here.
Start with your garage and shed, then move room-by-room through the house. You don’t want to bring anything unwanted to your new home, but remember it takes time to donate and recycle your belongings. Check out our guide to decluttering for tips on how to separate yourself from your clutter. Remember to completely clear your loft before moving day.
Potted plants tend to be heavy and relatively fragile, so donate any and all unwanted shrubbery. Moving larger plants, especially trees is difficult but not impossible. You’ll have to consider a range of factors such as season and different soil types. For detailed information check out our guide on how to move plants.
From packing and dismantling services, to storage and unpacking, your removal company will offer a whole range of services. The services will of course alter the price, so make sure you have an open conversation about your needs and your budget. You can read more about removal company services here.
Generally you’ll need to apply at least 6 weeks before the start date. Apply to a range of schools from your shortlist, and keep in mind admission criteria. Read our guide to applying to a new school for more information.
Find out vital information such as: bin collection day; location of gas, electricity and water meters; names of the current utility providers; and location of the boiler and thermostat.
If you haven’t already collected your vital documents, you’ll want to collect them all together and keep them close at hand throughout your moving day.
Check out who you’ll need to notify with your new address below, or for a detailed rundown read our change of address checklist.
Find out the provider in your new home, shop around for the best deals.
You’ll need to ensure access to your property for your removal company, which may mean applying for a parking permit to your local authority.
Removal companies will offer a range of packing materials, with some companies offering to collect any used packaging after you have unpacked.
Get top tips on packing every room with our house moving tips.
Removal companies won’t move perishable food or still-defrosting fridges, so you’ll need to use up all of your frozen and chilled food in good time to minimise wastage.
Keep in mind that you’re legally liable for your new home from the exchange of contracts, so should arrange home insurance to reflect this. Moving house is the perfect time for a change of home insurance, as you’ll have an up-to-date inventory of items, and the likelihood of a changing insurance premium.
You’ll need to leave the property in a respectable state, so organising a professional cleaner to perform a deep clean will save you from last minute hassle.
Get all findings in writing, and consult the inventory you filled out when you first moved in.
Dealing with any issues that are highlighted at this point will significantly lower the chance of money coming out of your deposit.
You can download our moving box labels to keep on top of your belongings while you pack.
Discuss your moving day with your removal company for final confirmation of all arrangements.
To make sure your moving day goes smoothly, confirm times and details with all relevant parties.
Don’t forget to cancel local subscriptions such as newspaper deliveries or milk deliveries, and to pay any outstanding balance.
Remember to only move fixtures and fittings that have been agreed on.
Get tips on how to move large potted plants in our guide on moving plants.
You can redirect for 3, 6 or 12 months, and costs start from £31.99 per person. It'll take around a week to process, and can be done online.
There are a range of common items that cannot be legally transported by your removal company. From cleaning solvents to fireworks, find a list of common items that can’t be moved below, or read our guide to non-removable items.
You’ll need to plan how the removal company will access your property, whether you’ll need to source an elevator key or keep in mind parking restriction.
If you’re moving with any pets, keep them contained to one room while you pack away your belongings to ease any distress. Let your pet explore the carrier that it'll be transported in, and remember to update the address registered to your pet's microchip. For more information on moving your pets, check out our guide on moving a family pet.
Your new license will take around a week to arrive at your new address, and will cost around £14. You can tell the DVLA you’ve changed your address online.
Netflix, Amazon, game console networks. Update any and all online subscriptions which will hold your previous address.
Ensure your folder of important documents is safe in a lockable hardbox, and make sure it is packed with you in your car.
Get tips on moving special items like how to pack pianos and everyday items like how to pack shoes with our guides. Remember to keep clothes, tools, and cleaning supplies unpacked for moving day.
Get tips on how to move your fridge and freezer in our guide to moving a kitchen.
Remember to keep spare warm clothes available if it’s likely to rain or be cold, or durable shorts for the summer months.
Find out how to move your dishwasher and washing machine with our kitchen moving guide.
For how to clean your home room-by-room, check out our guide to cleaning a house ahead of moving day.
Passports, title deeds, and other vital contracts should all be kept close to hand on moving day.
Your essentials kit is everything you need for moving day and your first day in your new home. These include moving day essentials such as tools, a kettle and tea, and a fresh change of clothes. It should be packed separately in a bag you’ll be transporting yourself. Our moving house essentials tips will ensure you’re fully prepared for moving day.
A removal company will usually pack your items the day before moving day. Be on hand to explain what’s to be packed, and where it should be placed in your new home.
This is good moving house etiquette, and will help the next residents settle in your old home.
As you move large pieces of furniture you’ll likely unearth dust and hidden grime, so remember to clean as you go.
Write down emergency contact details for your estate agent, removal company and solicitor.
Keep important documents in one folder and transport these yourself. Take down any curtains, strip all mattresses.
Bag up all the bedding you used on your last night.
Highlight valuable or delicate items, and point out the boxes you’ll be transporting yourself.
Note down readings and remember to take photographs of the meter.
Sign off the final inventory check with your removal company.
Confirm all directions and details with your removal company on the day.
Ensure all utilities are shut off if the property will be vacant, and check all windows and doors are locked.
To lower any chance of waiting, ensure your keys are collected before the removal vehicle arrives.
Get your labeled boxes dropped off in the correct room to make unpacking much simpler.
Reconnect your washing machine, dishwasher, fridge, freezer and oven.
Take your time checking all items are present and undamaged, before signing off the inventory.
Using the cleaning products in your essentials kit, wipe down your furniture as it’s placed in your new home.
Turn on all utilities if they’ve been switched off, and test the central heating.
Prepare a place to sleep as early as possible so it’s not a hassle at the end of a very long day.
You’ll generally have to complete and return the inventory within two days of moving in. Be as detailed as possible.
Photograph all blemishes and furniture condition across both properties. This will be vital evidence in any deposit disputes.
You can register to vote in your new area online.
You’ll likely have to drop in to the GP surgery to register by filling in a simple form.