Woohoo, you’re moving house!
You’ve had an offer accepted on an amazing house. In your mind you’ve already unpacked your belongings, put you feet up and made yourself a hard earned cup of tea. But in reality, there is so much to do!
Where the heck do you start?
Having been in that very position myself last year, don’t worry, I’ve got you! Moving house can be so stressful, especially if you’ve never done it before or recently. I thought I would share some tips that I found incredibly useful and made our move go as smoothly as possible. Hopefully yours will too.
1# Cut the crap
If you haven’t already, the best place to start is having an epic clear out. Purge every room of your house and make 4 piles – keep, trash, donate & sell. Start fresh in your new home, without the clutter.
When it comes to your wardrobe, think about whether you’ve worn clothes in the last year. If not, you probably won’t – why not sell the clothes and make a little money to furnish your new home?
2# Find a removal company or hire vehicle
If you plan to book a removal company or hire a van for moving house, it’s best to get at least 3 quotes to compare. Don’t forget to add VAT on to the quote if they haven’t already.
What to ask removal companies:
- Are they available on your moving date, if known?
- What’s included in their service, as this varies from company to company?
- What are their costs for additional services, such as packing?
- What insurance do they have?
- Do they have any references?
3# Consider a packing service
Packing up your whole house can be overwhelming and most removal companies offer a packing service, to make the process less stressful. Imagine going out for the day and when you come back your whole house is all neatly packed up and ready in the moving van. Sounds amazing, huh? Well it is! Just don’t forget to pack an overnight bag with all your essentials because they will pack absolutely everything.
Whether you go for this option comes down time, money and how you feel about people going through all your belongings. It took my husband and I 4 solid days of packing until midnight, to pack a 2 bedroom house. We ran out of space to put the boxes. I’m not going to lie, it was hell, BUT I was pleased to save several hundred pounds that I could spend in the new place.
Still going to pack your own boxes? I admire your spirit! Don’t say I didn’t warn you though.
4# Pack your boxes the right way
- Don’t pack too soon, just in case the move falls through.
- Start by packing all the non essential items that you won’t need before the move.
- Boxes can be surprisingly expensive, save money by asking in stores or checking freecycle.
- You’ll need a mixture of box sizes, as you’ll want to put heavy items in smaller boxes.
- Don’t make the boxes too heavy, if you’re hiring a removal service they will tell you maximum weight.
- Use soft furnishing such as cushions and throws to pad out larger boxes.
- Cut handles in the side of the boxes for easier lifting.
- Pack all rooms in separate boxes for easier unpacking.
- Label the boxes clearly with which room and floor they will need to go to.
- Label the top and the side of the boxes, so that this can be seen no matter how the boxes are stacked.
- Ensure you have fragile tape, to put on the boxes with breakables.
- Check out this video for tips on how to pack kitchen items, I found it really helpful.
- Count all the boxes and make a note of how many you have for each room, then you can check they have all arrived safely and in the right place.
- Our moving company told us to leave clothes in drawers and wardrobe, they also packaged the TV for us, so check with your removal company which services are included.
5# Make an open me first box and pack an overnight bag
Pack a box with all the things you will need the minute you arrive in your new home and take it with you in your car. My suggestions are:
- House documents
- Cleaning supplies
- Phone charger
- Toilet roll
- Hand towel
- Kids toys (if you have children)
- Pet food (if you have pets)
- Remote controls
- Tools for putting furniture back together
- Champagne (celebrate – you just bought a freakin house!)
It’s probably a good idea to pack an overnight bag too, in case you haven’t finished unpacking everything you need.
6# Arrange care for kids and pets
There’s no doubt about it, if you have friends or relatives that can look after your children and pets on moving day, this will be an enormous help. It can be a pretty unsafe environment and you certainly wouldn’t want your pets to escape (or children for that matter).
7# Notify relevant companies of your new address
Just in case you forget to update your postal details, it’s worth redirecting your post. You can do this on the Royal Mail website, starting at £31.99 for 3 months. You can notify many utility companies of your move online and where relevant specify if you wish to continue service in your new house.
Who to notify when you’re moving house:
- Credit Cards
- TV license
- Cable TV
- Line rental
- Internet provider
- Store cards
- Council Tax
- Insurance policies
- Breakdown Cover
- Amazon account
- Electoral Register
If you’re moving out of the area don’t forget to register with a local Doctors, Dentist, School and Vet, otherwise just let them know your updated address.
8# Have a quick clean up
Keep your vacuum cleaner and cleaning supplies with you. Once the house has been packed up, it’s likely to be dusty, dirty and not very welcoming for the new owners. You can quickly vacuum up and whizz around with the duster, before the new vendors arrive and you wave goodbye to your house for the final time. Obviously you don’t have to do this, but it’s the nice thing to do!
9#Show me the money
This may vary between countries, but certainly in England, make sure that you have confirmation from your solicitor that the payment for your house has cleared. From personal experience, over keen Estate Agents may tell you that the sale has completed to try and speed the process up, but you need to confirm this with your solicitor not Estate Agent. To protect yourself legally, do not hand over your keys before you have received this information. Even if it means an awkward 70 minute wait on the drive of your old house, with the new owners absolutely champing at the bit to get in to their new pad. True story.
10# Signpost rooms
When you finally get the keys to your new place, there will be a moment of pure elation, when you finally sink that key in to the lock. Then, utter chaos.
Try to slightly organise that chaos, with a little pre-planning. Write signs for less obvious rooms, such as bedrooms, so that the removal team know where to take your boxes. If your new house is quite big, it might be worth giving the removal company a floor plan too.
11# Orderly unpacking
Time to make your new abode feel like home and unpack all your things. Start with your overnight bag and then get the all the beds ready. The last thing you want to do at midnight, when you’re completely exhausted, is realise that you haven’t rebuilt your bed yet. Then work through unpacking room by room, starting with the most used ones such as the living room, bathroom and kitchen.
Make sure you don’t over do it. There’s no pressure to unpack everything on the day you move in. So if you’re feeling exhausted, call it quits, call in a take out and start afresh in the morning buddy.
I hope these tips are helpful and that moving house goes super smoothly. Be sure to check out my tips for decorating on a budget if your new home needs a little work.
What’s the best tip you’ve ever been given for moving house? Let me know in the comments below.
Why not pin this for later?