Moving house can be a very stressful affair; planning and organising well in advance can help to ease the pressure and take away some of the stress of the actual day.
Moving is not something which you would expect to do very often, and as such, you are unlikely to be an expert on the subject. Below is a collection of useful tips to help prepare for the move, to help with packing, and to help with the day itself.
Tips on moving house – getting prepared
Notify your gas, water and electricity suppliers well in advance of the move. You should also contact broadband and telephone providers to arrange for services to be switched to your new home.
Contact all companies with which you hold accounts and inform them of your change of address. These include Banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, savings accounts, mobile telephone companies, pension providers and mail order companies.
Inform the relevant authorities of your new address. You will need to be registered correctly on the electoral role to retain your right to vote, and you should also inform the local council in regards to council tax, and the DVLA to amend ownership details of your vehicles.
Set up a mail forwarding service via the Post Office, and send moving cards out to friends and family.
Obtain quotes from several removal companies before settling on one, and book the moving date well in advance to ensure they are available.
Collect boxes and packing materials if you intend to pack up the house yourself.
Check the details of your buildings and contents insurance and arrange for a change of address to commence from the day you move in to the new property.
Go through your possessions and be ruthless; get rid of anything that you do not need to take with you.
If you need new carpets, furniture or beds at the new house, order them well in advance and try to arrange delivery as close to the moving day as possible.
De-register from doctors and dentists and contact surgeries in your new area.
Cancel milk deliveries and newspaper subscriptions.
Arrange child-care and pet-care if necessary.
Tips for moving house – packing
Get together all the items you will need to do the packing: Boxes, bubble wrap, newspaper, tissue, polystyrene, strong tape, marker pen, scissors or sharp knife, tape measure.
Acquire or purchase a selection of very strong boxes for breakables such as crockery, electrical items, and delicate possessions.
If you still have them, pack audio and T.V. equipment in their original boxes. Label up any cables so you can re-connect your equipment easily. If you need to remove any screws put them in a sealed bag and tape the bag to the unit they were removed from.
Avoid loading more than 20-30kg into each box, so they are not too difficult to carry.
Mark each box clearly with its contents, which room it should go to in the new house, and whether it is fragile.
Pack books tightly on end in small boxes; don’t underestimate the weight of several books when they are packed together.
Cushion the contents of each box with bubble wrap, polystyrene, newspaper or tissue. You can also save on materials by using towels and clothes to ‘fill out’ your boxes.
Pack all your precious items and important paperwork separately and keep the boxes with you when you move.
Start to pack as early as you can and pack all the belongings that you will not need in the few weeks leading up to the move.
Ensure that all your boxes are filled to the top, whether with your possessions or with packing materials; this will stop the boxes collapsing when they are stacked on the van.
Try to pack heavier items at the bottom of the box with lighter items at the top. Small heavy items like DVD’s, books and CD’s should be packed in small boxes, while large lightweight items can be packed in larger boxes.
Put extra tape on the bottom of boxes to reinforce them and avoid them breaking open when being carried.
Mark boxes in the order to be loaded onto the van. Put the boxes you want to be unloaded last on the van first, so they are the last to come off at the new house.
Pack a box of things you will need for the moving day: Kettle, saucepan, teas and coffee, sugar, milk, Paper plates and cups, cutlery, change of clothes, toiletries, prescription medicines and so on.
Pack a ‘survival kit’ should anything go wrong once you move in: Torch, candles, light bulbs, screwdriver, matches, cash etc.
Tips for the moving day
If you have hired a removal firm, make sure the foreman has a layout of the new house so he can arrange for furniture to be placed in the correct room.
Make sure the removal company has access to the new property, and parking is available.
Take a final tour of your house to make sure nothing has been left behind, and that everything is left in good order.
If you have hired a van, collect it as early as possible and fill it with enough fuel for the day.
Take children and pets to their carers if necessary.
Lock all the doors and windows and turn off all switches before returning the keys to the vendor/estate agent.
Take final meter readings for gas and electricity before you leave and inform your utility company as soon as possible so they can calculate your final bill. Take meter readings at the new property as soon as you arrive to ensure you are billed correctly.
Collect your new keys as soon as you can and check the entire house to confirm that it is as agreed in the sale, including any furnishings or fittings which were included.
Moving house is a daunting prospect at any time in your life, take advantage of the experiences of others by following the moving house tips above; they will help to make your move much less stressful.