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Removals and Storage Our Home Moving Checklist

They say moving house can be one of the most stressful things you’ll ever do. Trying to organise removals all your worldly belongings to be moved from one location to another can sometimes be overwhelming, especially if you have never moved before. There is plenty to do before the day of the move to ensure that you have tied up all your loose ends. Unfortunately, there’s no way around that, but there are certainly things that you can do to minimise the hassle for yourself and make it as stress free as possible.
Stress Free
Stress Free
We have put together the ultimate moving home checklist to keep those stress levels to a minimum and make your move go as smoothly as possible. On average you can expect a move to take on average 8 weeks.  In this post, we will give you a rundown of what you can expect at different times during the move and how to navigate any problems that may arise.  Moving home can be difficult but this ultimate moving home guide will help.

Start Planning Early
We recommend getting as much as the legal work out of the way as soon as possible, which will then let you get on with the tasks that are important to you. If you are selling a property to purchase this one, then there will be all the work connected with that sale – that’s for another post as here we will concentrate on moving to your new home

If you are presently in rented accommodation, then you will need to write to your landlord or owner of your property to let them know when you are planning on moving. Although you may have already notified them that you wish to bring your rental agreement to an end, an official letter the day you'll be moving out would be helpful for all parties and will also offer you protection if a rental dispute arises.
Get a Legal Expert
Get a Legal Expert
When purchasing your new home, you will need Hire a conveyancing solicitor.
You may have heard the term conveyancing solicitor being mentioned but what does a conveyancing solicitor do, and do you need one? A conveyancing solicitor is a qualified solicitor that draws up legal contracts and will advise you when it comes to the contract, the mortgage offer and any potential issues that were brought up by the surveyor.

Legally nothing is stopping you from acting as a conveyancer, but we don’t recommend it, if you get a small detail wrong you could be liable for any issues with your land or home. Do some research and get yourself on what they do and who you might choose. Money Supermarket has a great conveyancing comparison tool worth checking out for companies offer excellent service.
 You will probably have had a Chartered Surveyor inspect your new property and inform you of its structural condition. If there are issues, you may want to renegotiate your offer. Figure out which survey you need and how to choose a surveyor  Compare costs on a RICS surveyor for your home survey

Hiring a professional Removals and storage Company:
If your budget allows it, it’s always worth hiring a professional moving company or at the very least hiring a removal van.  You may think that hiring a full removals service is overkill but packing your items in a way which keeps them protected is an art form. Reliable removals and packing services are worth considering.
Professional service moving companies will also know how much they can pack into their boxes without making moving difficult and will often have. a packing service with specialist tools for larger items like pianos. If you're looking for home removals and storage companies you can trust, check out Which? Trusted Traders. Before giving any removals service provider the official seal of approval by naming them a Which? Trusted Trader, they assess them in person, and make credit, reference, and administrative checks to ensure they are a reputable company. 
Research Removals Companies
Research Removals Companies

Look out for those offerings storage service as well as moving services and any other additional services. Some of the bigger commercial storage service providers also can offer student storage options which may be useful down the line. We have a useful blog on what you need to consider when picking storage services and the article highlights the factors influencing what storage costs and how to get the cheapest price. Self storage prices can vary hugely so understanding how self storage service unit prices can vary for different storage container units can help you save money by using self storage experts.
To get a free quote, make an initial enquiry follow the how to choose the best removals company to get competitive prices from a commercial removals and storage company.

If you are not sure whether an indoor or outdoor storage unit would be best then read this article for a more detailed look at the pros and cons

Here’s the all the details and information you’ll need to provide them with:
  • Date of the move: you’ll need to notify them of when you’ll be moving along with your preferred moving times. We’d always suggest picking an early morning time slot for your removal services as it’ll give you more time during the day to get everything sorted.
  • The addresses: your removal company will need to know the distance between the two addresses to give you an accurate estimate on cost.
  • An estimation of how much needs to be moved: therefore, it’s important to get your packing out of the way early on as your removals company will need a general estimate of the number of boxes you need transporting along with the amount of furniture you have.
  • What needs to be moved: while most removals companies will happily move all your furniture and general boxes, it’s important to highlight any fragile or easily damaged items along with any expensive equipment as some businesses will charge more for these.
  • Any other services you’re interested in: some commercial storage companies will offer additional extras such as assistance unloading boxes or furniture assembly to help your move go more smoothly.

Sorting out your home insurance
You will need to sort out insurance for your new home from when contracts have been exchanged to ensure you are fully insured.  When this has happened, you are legally bound to your new property and fully responsible for any damage that may occur. Check your home insurance covers you from the day of the move and the moving process. With a lot of heavy lifting in your old and new home, there is a possibility that property may be damaged, so find out what your liability will be should this happen. We strongly recommend purchasing home insurance the day that contracts are exchanged, some homeowners only purchase it for when they move in which means that their home has been uninsured for weeks.
Insure early on
Insure early on
Remember to store all your documents in a safe place.
One thing that will surprise most first-time buyers is the number of documents that you will need to keep safe, this can include contracts, to-do lists, important dates, legal documents and much more.
To keep these documents safe, you can either digitise them or put them into self storage.  You can find details of our business storage service here that is suitable for keeping your legal documents safe and organised.
Believe it or not, now is the time to start to sort out schooling for any children you may have.

Moving with children can make the process a little more difficult, not only will you have to factor in the distance from their friends, but you will also have to consider getting them enrolled in a new school.
If you contact your local council, they will be able to advise you on the course of action to take.  This will either be applying directly through the council or you may need to call up the school and ask them of their admissions process.
At this point, it’s worth noting that you should keep your child enrolled in their current school just in case something changes the moving date.

Two Months to moving day
With just over a month to move, you should have by now organised most of the legal work when it comes to moving home, if you haven’t, go above and work through the steps.  With only two months until your big move you should now start to concentrate on clearing out your home and getting any items that you may need for the move.

Find out what packing materials your removals and storage firm supplies. Speak to your removal company as early as you can to see what type of packing materials they will provide you. Those more conscious of how their belongings are organised could pack certain items, but it is recommended that you leave the packing to the experts at your removals and storage firm.  If they don’t supply any then you will need to purchase boxes suitable for carrying your items.  Many websites sell boxes, one that is good value for money is removalboxes.co.uk
Pack Carefully
Pack Carefully

If in doubt, throw it out (or donate or recycle it) It’s only when you come to move home that you discover how much of a hoarder you are! As nice as it would be to keep all the bits and bobs you’ve acquired over the years, you will have to be disciplined when sorting through your items. If you don’t use it now, consider whether you’ll ever use it. If the answer is no, then get rid of it. For everything you don't wish to take with you, make a box for items that can be donated to charity, Pickford’s removals and storage service have a useful list items that can be recycled and items to be disposed of. 
Arrange for the council to pick up large, unwanted items

If you would prefer to just get rid of any old furniture and wardrobes, you may have to arrange for the local council to come out and remove these unwanted items. This could come at a charge, depending on your council and the type of items, but it is something you will have to take care of, or you could be subject to a fine. Another option would be to sell or donate these items. Try Gumtree for selling old furniture, or see if you can donate it to a local charity if you're not concerned about making money on them.

Self Storage services
Consider arranging affordable storage for items wanted but not needed or have you have too much furniture to fit in your home, it could be worth investing in a household self storage unit until you need the items at a later date. Whether you’re storing items for a few days or are looking for a longer agreement whilst you decorate and revamp your new home, there are so many benefits to using a storage unit when moving house. Using your local self storage facility during the moving process allows you more time to prepare for your move. Not everyone is comfortable moving their whole life in one day, which can become pretty overwhelming. As with most tasks, it’s easier to break the moving process into more manageable chunks with a sensible removals storage period.

By investing in sone self storage space, you can gradually move your furniture, decor, and household items into safe and secure self-storage over a few months rather than trying to do it alone the same day. Letting some stuff go into your local storage unit earlier allows you to move out in stages – you can tackle things in an organised way – and there’s no reason why you can’t add a few more boxes each week as well – every little helps! There is some useful advice here on how to use furniture storage to look after your things for a short storage period and whether you might need to consider large storage units or small storage units.

When moving day arrives, you can transfer your necessities into your new house, gradually remove your other furniture from your self storage facility, and get your new home up and running in a controlled and organised way
A safe and convenient option when moving house, self-storage units provide a clean and secure space to store your belongings. Want to make the most of your space? Take a look at our blog now on how to pack a self storage unit.

This is a good time to ask any questions of the sellers. You may want to make a list of questions that you want to ask the existing owners so that when you move in you have a better understanding of your new home.  This list can then be forwarded from your estate agent to the sellers.
Questions such as “Where is the stopcock located” can save you time in an emergency if a pipe or radiator breaks.  You will also need to know where the gas and electricity meters are, what day the bins and recycling are collected on, who supplies the current gas and electricity and where is the thermostat in the house.
Secure Indoor Storage
Secure Indoor Storage

One Month until moving day
Only a month to go now, and by now you should have exchanged contracts and confirmed your move-in date with the estate agent and your home removals ands storage company if you are using one.  You should have also booked time off work.  At one month out here are some of the finer details of the tasks you will need to consider.

Plan your moving day
Consider the time it will take you to pack up your van as it will depend entirely on the size of your house and the number of belongings you are packing up. On average, if you have help from moving experts, these are the times you would be looking at:
  • For a one-bedroom flat, you would be looking at around four to five hours. However, this may increase depending on how many belongings and how far away your new address is.
  • For a two-bedroom house, we’d expect the packing and moving process to total around six to eight hours, depending on travel time.
  • For a three-bedroom house, the average time that movers will take to complete the move from the house to a new property is around eight to nine hours.
  • For a house with four bedrooms or more, you could see the moving time taking longer than a day
Make a Detailed Plan
Make a Detailed Plan

Order furniture and fittings to the new address
If you have never moved before you may not realise that some items such as beds, cabinets, cupboards, bathroom suites and larger furniture isn’t instantly available to buy and can take a few weeks to be delivered.  Therefore we recommend ordering any new furniture or fixtures at this point and having it delivered to your new home.

Now is a great time to take photos of any bulky items of existing furniture which could be damaged in transport.  This is for insurance purposes and can be used to show the condition of the items pre-travel.  If you have hired a moving company, it’s good to have a record of the condition of your items so you can hold the removal companies accountable if they damage them.
When you are done taking photos of your furniture, get them printed and store them in a secure place.  A folder, file system or small storage unit will be perfect for the job.

Notify your utility companies
With 4 weeks remaining before you move home, now is a good time to call your gas and electricity provider to tell them know the exact date you'll be moving. You should take meter readings and photographs of the meters on moving day in both your old and new home.
When you're settling in, don't forget to shop around to save money - Which? Switch can help you compare. Confused.com also has a gas and electricity utility comparison tool to check what deals are available to you.
Contact: your water supplier, gas provide, electricity provider and broadband supplier.
According to Ofgem, nearly two-thirds of UK Households are paying too much for their energy bills because they haven’t switched their supplier in some time.  New customers tend to get the best deals so before resigning with your old supplier save yourself some money and shop around for the best deals.
Shop Around
Shop Around

2 weeks until moving day
Moving day is getting very close now. With only 2 weeks until your move, make a list of everyone who needs to be notified Think of everyone who is reliant on your current address. As well as friends and family you'll need to tell your employer, your children’s schools, your doctor, dentist, optician, bank, building society, insurance companies, and so on. Consider all the people and organisations who call on you or send you post and let them know you're moving. 

This is where you will start to make final preparations for ending services at your old home and getting everything moved over to your new one.
You will need to update any bills or important information that you receive by post to your new location.  If you forget to do this, you can get fined, or it can damage your credit record because of unpaid bills which you never received. Letters being sent to an old address also increase the likelihood of ID theft.  Go through all your bills and subscriptions and change them over to your new address.
You'll need to update your address with the DVLA for both your driving licence and vehicle registration. Don't do this before you move, as you may need your driving licence for identification and van hire.
Depending on your circumstances, you may also need to contact HMRC or the Department for Work and Pensions.
You'll need to ask your local authority for a final council tax statement, and you may even get a refund. Finally, don't forget to update your details on the electoral roll.

Arrange postal redirection
While you may have already changed your address with your main utility and service providers, there will still be plenty of databases where you are down as your old address. This redirect service will ensure you receive mail from those who don’t know you’ve changed addresses. Be sure to place a redirect on all the mail to your address. Royal mail offer a forwarding service where you can redirect all of your post for 3, 6 or 12 months for a one-time fee.  Please bear in mind that the royal mail postal redirection service takes 5 days’ notice to set up. Cancel any subscriptions or move them 
Redirect Mail
Redirect Mail

Register to pay council tax
If you’re an adult and you’re not in full-time education or exempt, you will need to pay council tax in your new home.  To register and pay council tax visit their website and enter your postcode.  Your new home may not have a council tax band, if this is the case, you will need to contact the local council to have your property accessed.

One week till moving day
It’s your final week at your old home and now you can start to become excited thinking about living in your new home.  This week you will mostly be finalising the last details and getting everything ready for your big move.

Finish all the food in the freezer (and defrost) If you’re not replacing your furniture or electricals like your fridge or fridge freezer, now is a good time to use up all of that food so you can minimise on wastage and defrost the fridge freezer.  Most freezers can take up to 48 hours to defrost so make sure you do this in plenty of time as you won’t be able to move a freezer filled with ice as

Keep all documents safe
It’s easy enough to lose important documents when moving home, they can end up in one of the moving boxes or even worse that can be thrown out with the rubbish.  Your solicitor or surveyor may charge you for the reprinting of these documents so keep them safe. To keep your documents safe when moving we recommend the best solution is to contact local storage experts to hire a small self storage unit, at least until the move is complete.
Keep Documents Safe
Keep Documents Safe

Finish off packing (leave essentials, colour-coordinate boxes)
At this point you should be close to finishing off your packaging, just leaving the absolute essentials for the coming week.  Our advice would be to colour coordinate your boxes per room.  This way your removal men will know which rooms each box belongs to.  If you are doing the move yourself, it will also save you time when looking for certain items after moving in.

Collect your new keys
With one week until moving you should now be able to collect your new keys.  Check with your estate agent as having your keys early could allow you to move some of your small removals items in, or you could send a cleaning crew around to clean your new home ready for your arrival.

One thing that stresses people out when moving is having so much to do in so little time.  To keep yourself sane and to minimise your stress levels you should try to finish most of the big jobs as early as possible.
With one week to go, you should dismantle all the non-essential furniture such as shelving, tables and even your bed if you can sleep on the mattress on the floor for a week.  The last point is a bit extreme but the more you do now the less you will have to do the night before moving.
When you have dismantled your furniture, keep all the parts together.  Screws and bolts often go missing when moving, one tip we have for you is to get a food/sandwich bag and put the corresponding nuts and bolts into one and then tape it to the furniture.  This way there is less chance of them going missing and arriving together at the destination safely.

Make the most of your internet
Internet service providers can be hit and miss when moving home and we have heard countless stories of service providers not turning up when they are supposed to and taking an age to turn on people’s internet access.
Our point is you could be without the internet for a few days and seeing as we live in an online world this could be troublesome for most.  We recommend making the most out of your current internet by printing out any documents that you may need for the next few weeks, this could be anything from a moving checklist like this one, local maps or even takeaway menus from your new location.

Clean your old home and new home
Some buyers will leave their house in a messy state, but we believe it’s a basic courtesy to the new homeowners to leave it nice and clean.  If you don’t have time yourself, you could hire a cleaning company to help.
You may think that cleaning your old home is time-consuming or a waste of money, but it will put you in good standing with the new homeowners and you can use this to your advantage.  When the new homeowners move in you could welcome them with a bunch of flowers and a note welcoming them to their new home, and you can also put a request that any old mail to be forwarded to your new address.
Aim to clean your new house before you move in. On the day of the move, your will be working to transport your belongings and unload them into your new house as quickly and efficiently as possible. You won’t have time to clean your new home, especially before items start being loaded into it. Therefore, you should steam-clean carpets and walls before you move in if necessary. 
Deep Clean Now
Deep Clean Now

One day before moving day
Exciting times are ahead, only 24 hours left in your old home.  It’s now time to give your property the final check over to make sure you know where everything is for your move tomorrow.

An overnight bag will help you settle into your new home and have a good night’s sleep. Make sure that this is separate from the items going with the removal lorry.
  • Walk around your house for a final, thorough check – take your time doing this to ensure you leave nothing behind
  • Pack a night bag for the family essentials like pyjamas, toothbrushes, towels, underwear and any medication you may need into a bag and keep it separate from the items that are put into the moving van. 
  • Ensure you have the keys to your new house, or have arranged to collect them in advance and gather together keys for all locks from your old home
  • Ensure your mobile phone is fully charged (and you’ve got your charger handy on the day)
  • If you are arranging help from family and friends on moving day, confirm the details with them and that they have your new address if they need it
  • If you have hired a removal and storage company you will want to leave your kettle out for them including tea bags, milk, coffee and a few cups that you don’t mind leaving behind

Take final meter readings
With 24 hours left in your new home, it’s a good time to check all of your meters and make a note of them so you know exactly how much you have used and are responsible for.  Failure to do this could mean you end up paying for the new occupant’s utility bills.
Final Meter Readings
Final Meter Readings

Moving day
What to pack for your first night in your new home
Ensure you have things for your first night in your new home
·       Snacks and water (especially for kids and pets)
·       Any important documents, cash and cards
·       Phone and laptop chargers (along with the actual devices themselves)
·       Any medication and first aid kit
·       Toolbox, toilet paper and bin bags
·       Toiletries and change of clothes for everyone
When you get your new home, there’s a chance the water and electricity may not be switched on yet, particularly if your home is a new build, so try to pack items that will make your life easier in a world without amenities

Make sure nothing is left behind
Now is the time to make sure you haven’t left anything behind because if you have you will lose it forever.  Ok, maybe you can call back for it later, but it’s a massive inconvenience. Walk around your home one last time after all the boxes have been moved out of your home and check all the cupboards for something that may have been forgotten.
With 47% of burglaries happening in the spur of the moment, you must lock all the doors and windows in your home to deter any opportunist burglars.

Direct removal men to appropriate rooms
Have a House Plan
Have a House Plan

If you are paying for a house moving service, make sure to get your monies worth and direct the removal men into the right rooms.  Some removal companies will try and save time by dumping various sizes of items all in the first room they come to making it harder for you, make them go the extra mile!
If you have colour coded your boxes though it will make your life and theirs easy and they will be more than happy to take the correct items to your chosen rooms,
If any items get left in the removal van it will the customers fault legally and the removals and storage company won’t be liable for any losses or damages. The same day, just like you looked around your home before leaving, make sure to check the removal van for any smaller items that may have been left behind.
Safety/baby proof your new home

Give your new home a look over for any potential safety hazards.  If you have bought a home that needs a little doing up check to see if there are no wires on show or that all the bathroom fixtures are fitted securely.
Take a meter reading the same day. Record all the meter readings for your new home and put them in a safe location.  This will allow you to dispute any energy bills from the previous owners.

Once you have moved in 
Return old keys and change locks. If you haven’t already done so you should return your old keys to the estate agent, but if you haven’t, do it as soon as possible.
When moving into a new home you should also have your locks replaced as there is no telling how many keys could have been cut for your new home.  You can find a locksmith in your area at the locksmiths.co.uk website.  This may be an unexpected short notice cost but for a small fee, it can keep your family safe.

Register to vote
While it may not sit atop your list of priorities, re-registering to vote from your new address is worth doing to ensure your details on the electoral register are up to date. It isn’t difficult to do, and you can amend your registered voting address online on the Government's website. 

Update online shopping addresses
Ever placed an order online only to deliver it to the wrong address? I have and it’s a pain to chase up the order and get it redirected.  To save yourself the hassle take your time and think of all the places that you buy from online.  Go through each of these online stores and change your delivery address or temporarily divert it to your office business address.

Deal with old resident’s post
You may have paid the Royal Mail to redirect your post from your old house but the old residents in your new house probably haven’t.  Getting other people’s mail is annoying and if you accidentally open it you could be criminally convicted. When you receive the old homeowners mail write on the front of it “no longer at this address” or “return to sender, moved away” and this will stop their mail coming to your new address.

Register with local doctor and dentist 
Unless you want to keep your doctor and dentist you will need to register with your local ones.  Do this now because it may take months to get accepted into your new local clinic.
You can check for GP’s using the NHS service finder webpage.

Also, take a look at our FAQs Storage Prices