Making the move

Preparing for the move ahead

Careful organisation and forward planning can minimise the stress of moving house. It feels like there are a million and one things to do when arranging a house move, but with a bit of organisation you can reduce the job into manageable chunks.

This information is intended to give a guide to timescales, please consult with your solicitor before you incur any costs or cancel any existing tenancy arrangements.

When selling your property, making your home as appealing as possible is vital. In a market with more properties available than buyers, it’s important that the potential sale from any viewing is maximised. The large number of properties available means home buyers have become more discerning and demand a higher level of quality from any potential house purchase. Where do you start? The best place is to put your self in the mindset of a potential buyer, what would you expect?

To help as much as possible, we’ve put this guide together to give you some pointers on what you can do. You may need to spend time and money in raising the presentation of your home, but a little effort now can lead to a better price and quicker sale.


Even though a sale might not be set in stone, it’s still worth getting prepared well in advance.

  • Firstly make sure your new accommodation is sorted, ensure you have a mortgage in principle and solicitor lined up.
  • Check out removal firms, get quotes and check what their insurance covers as they may not cover what you have packed yourself. If you have any high value items, make sure insurance covers these, speak to an expert if you’re unsure of an items value. Obtain at least 3 quotes, and check references.
    If you’re not using a professional removal company, now will be the time to start notifying friends and family you might need their help, especially if you have children and pets.
  • Start emptying your existing property of clutter, don’t take things that you don’t need or have little emotional value. Don’t forget your attic which may contain more than you think. You may want to consider hiring a skip. It’s also a good idea to start using up and emptying your food stocks from your cupboards, fridge and freezer.
  • Collect appropriate material for packing I.e. boxes, newspaper, bags etc.

The sale should be more certain, and you should have a good idea when the move will take place.

  • You should have finished decluttering, now you’ll have an idea if you need any additional storage space. Your chosen removal firm will probably be able to help, but it could be cheaper to source your own storage space.
  • If you’re renting you’ll need to notify your landlord of your moving date.
  • Order essential items for your new home, such as carpets or new furniture.
  • Check your home insurance covers you from the moment you enter your new home.
  • With a firm date in mind, confirm which friends and family will be able to help.

If contracts have now been exchanged, the move is definitely going ahead.

  • Double check moving date, as everything needs to be coordinated.
  • Get all items to be moved organised. Draw up a floor plan and label or colour code every room. All boxes can then be labelled or coded appropriately, so the removals company or helping friends know which room a box belongs in.
  • Ensure any other insurance policies you may have (life, medical, motor, pets) have been notified of the new address and move date.
  • Notify all service providers – Electricity, Gas, Water, Phone, Internet, Cable/Satellite TV
  • Notify relevant government agencies – Council Tax, Benefits, TV License, Schools / Colleges
  • Notify your place of work of your new address.
  • If required, you may wish to book a lock smith to change the locks on your new home.

Time to start packing

  • You should have received your moving date from your solicitors, if not check and find out when.
  • If you’re packing yourself, start now with all non-essential items – books, ornaments, clothes, toys. Remember to mark the boxes according to your labelled / colour coded plan.
  • Notify all friends and family of your new address, either by mail or online.
  • Arrange the time to collect the keys to your new home from the estate agents, then double check your booking details with your removals company.
  • Notify all appropriate financial bodies, banks and credit card companies.
  • Stop all regular deliveries, such as milk or newspapers. Ensure all postal deliveries are received by putting a redirect in place with the post office at least 5 days before the move.
  • Notify other organisations such as Doctors and Dentists, also non-essential organisations such as gym memberships, charities, internet mail order companies etc.

The big day has almost arrived, besides last minute packing there’s a few other things you can do that will make the day go smoother.

  • Pack a box with kitchen essentials – kettle, cups, cutlery, tea, coffee and milk. Will you be able to cook? Perhaps think about getting some takeaway menus for when you get peckish. Don’t forget a few glasses and a bottle opener in case you want to celebrate.
  • A bag of essentials for each member of the family, change of clothes, toiletries, towels, bedding and any medication.
  • If friends or family are looking after children or pets during the move, confirm times when they will be collected or dropped off.
  • Assemble a box of cleaning products and a vacuum cleaner. You may have time to give the house a clean before all the boxes and furniture arrive and fill up your new home.
  • Make a list of all important numbers on your mobile phone and make sure it’s fully charged. Consider having a tradesmen directory to hand, you never know if you might need a plumber or electrician.
  • Decide what tools you may need for the task of unpacking or re-assembling furniture – screwdrivers, allen keys, stanley knives, tape.
  • Empty your fridge and defrost the freezer.
  • Put all valuable items and documents in a safe place.
  • Call the Estate Agents you are buying from to double check the arrangements and the time to collect the keys to your new home.
  • Double check the removal company know the full addresses for the forthcoming move.
  • Get a good night’s sleep.

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