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Moving House Checklist

Katie Cullen
Written by Katie Cullen
19th January 2017 (Last updated on Wednesday 10th April 2019)

When you are moving house, it is important that you don’t allow yourself to succumb to unnecessary stress. No one ever said that moving was a walk in the park but it doesn’t need to be the horrendous period of stress, turmoil and emotional torment that some would have you believe. 

As with anything that needs doing properly, the key is in the preparation and the organising. Here, we have put together a foolproof moving house checklist that even the most scatter-brained people can follow.

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Your Quick-fire Moving House Checklist

Research Planning Declutter Admin Packing Final Checks Moving Day Unpacking

Follow this moving checklist as closely as you can. The checklist can be adapted to suit you and your removals needs.

Research – Preparation

So, the early stages of the moving house process will naturally involve some extensive research such as your new area, the legal processes involved in your move, local removal companies. It’s important to really look into these topics in plenty of time before your move. It’s good to know what to expect.

It’s important when you are moving that you don’t get bogged down by the workload and the admin. You can do this by keeping the excitement going. Although moving house is a disruptive time, it’s exhilarating too. Researching and understanding what to expect can help to put you at ease. Why not look into:

  • Your new area
  • The local amenities
  • All there is to do in the local area for your children if you have them
  • Join community groups on Facebook
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Two Months Before The Move – Planning

Get your removal quotes and book your removal company

The best time to get a removal company secured is with about two months to go. When you compare removal companies with Compare My Move, you can save up to 70% on your removal costs. The removal companies usually book up in advance so it is best to book your company as early as possible especially in the spring and summer as these are peak moving times.

Book time off work

As much as ‘Compare My Move’ aims to save you time, moving house is still a pretty time-consuming affair. You are going to need to book sufficient time off either side of moving day. The day before your move is usually a busy day but it can also be exciting. Having the day off before moving day is loads of fun. The excitement is building and you may even be spending the night sleeping on a mattress on the floor because the bed has been dismantled... It may be tough on your back but it’s all part of the excitement… It’s especially great if you have kids. It will help make what could be an unsettling time for them into something more fun. Order pizza the night before and eat it on the floor. You’ll be up bright and early the next day raring to go!

Gather important documents

To save yourself from running around like a headless chicken looking for all your important documents the week before your move or suffering uncontrollable heart palpitations contemplating the nightmare of losing your passport in the move, it’s a good idea to gather all of your important and personal/private documents together into a folder and keep them in a safe place. On the day of the move or the night before, you can pack this folder with the personal items you will be carrying with you or put them in your moving house survival kit.

New Schools

If you are moving house with children, finding a school in your new area is something you are sure to be considering plenty of time ahead of your move. If you reach the ‘two months before’ point and you haven’t yet looked into the process of school admissions then now is the time. Speak to your child’s current school about transferring school files and chase up any applications you have put in. The local authority in your new area will assist you with the admissions process.

Buy Boxes

Depending on whether you will be using packing services from your removal company, you might need to get hold of your own packing materials. Even if you are not going to use a packing service, the removal company you book may still provide packing materials or you will have the opportunity to buy professional packing materials from them. It is a good idea to think about gathering packing materials at this stage so you can start packing away the odds and ends.

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Six Weeks Before The Move - Operation Declutter

Your removal costs will depend very much on the volume of your belongings. You don’t need to lug all your unwanted, un-needed items with you to your new home. Having a good old fashioned clear out will save you some pennies, and let’s face it when you’re moving house, every single penny counts! Check out the Compare My Move guide to decluttering your home before moving.

The basic declutter rules:

  1. If you haven’t used it for 6 months, toss it
  2. If you find something you forgot you had, toss it
  3. If it’s broken, toss it
  4. If you are placing unnecessary sentimental value on it, toss it
  5. If it’s of no use to man nor beast…. toss it.

It’s a good time to consider a skip hire. This can be a therapeutic exercise. Start fresh in your new home.

One Month Before The Move – The Administration Phase


Hire a chartered surveyor to inspect your new property and inform you of the structural condition and any problems. You should compare surveyors to get the best deal.


Solidify an official moving date and exchange contracts! Yay!


Notify utility companies of your moving day. It is worth thinking about cutting off some of your amenities early so that you’re not paying until well after you have moved. You can probably cope for a week or two without broadband or a landline. Now is also the time to research the best utility providers at what will soon be your new address. 

Our partner Just Move In can help you with all your utilities. Get In touch with them today and save time and money by having them arrange all your utilities.

Arrange your utilities.

Change Address

Don’t worry… ‘Compare My Move’ have your back again on this one. Follow our change of address checklist to make sure you get this one right.

Two Weeks Before The Move – Training

Start Packing

If your removal company will be providing a full packing service then you won’t need to do anything… But you may wish to pack some of your personal items yourself. Now is the time to do that and you can use our packing tips to help!

Eat Up

Get creative with dinner ideas as you use up all your frozen food and perishable goods. There’s no use taking them with you and ‘waste not, want not’.

The Day Before – The Penultimate

The day before moving day is the calm before the storm. It is a great opportunity to run through the moving house checklist and make sure everything is done.

Moving Day Survival Kit

Put together a Moving Day Kit containing:

  • Pyjamas
  • Bedding
  • Change of clothes
  • Phone charger
  • Toilet Paper
  • Cleaning Products
  • Toolkit
  • Soap
  • Kettle
  • Tea, Coffee, Sugar
  • Milk

Don’t forget to pack a separate special bag for the kids too.

Your final moving checklist:

  • Ensure there is suitable access for the removal van to your current and your new address
  • Double check you have all your important documents together
  • Do a final check around the house making sure it’s clean
  • Write notes for the new occupants explaining any tricks, fiddly doors or instructions for appliances
  • Order pizza for your last night
Claire Watson, 28th January 2019
"Quick, efficient and friendly service. Everything was moved with care. Great value for money."

Moving Day – The Final Battle

The day is finally here. It’s been a long time in the planning and now you’re ready.

A quick-fire moving day checklist

  • Be up and ready for your removal company so you can get started straight away
  • Strip your beds and take down any curtains you left up for your last night
  • Communicate with the movers so they know which items are going with you in your car and which items/boxes require special care
  • Check all windows are secure before you leave
  • Check all utilities are switched off
  • Give your removal company all your emergency contacts

Once all your possessions are safely in your new home, check out our Moving In Checklist and Change of Address Checklist to ensure you've not left anything out.

In Your New House – Rest and Recuperation

Depending on how well you have labelled the boxes, you may need to let the removal company know where everything goes. Some supervising is always necessary. You’ll be amazed how quickly the team will unload everything. Here are a few extra tips for day 1 in your new home:

  • Make your beds up first. This will help make you feel at home and you’ll want to crash nice and early
  • Put up curtains as soon as you can, especially in the bedrooms
  • Clean as you go along. Dust and dirt will accumulate while everything is being carried in
  • Plug the fridge in straight away
  • Ensure the hot water is on and the central heating is fired up
  • Relax! You’re in – You did it… Now you can take your time getting settled
  • Have a well-earned glass of wine

Parting note…

This moving house checklist would be a lot more comprehensive and a heck of a lot longer if you weren’t using a removal company. So many people think that using a professional mover is an added luxury but really, it’s a must. The process will undoubtedly be a lot smoother if you hire the experts.