Moving home can be very exciting, but also very stressful at the same time. If you are methodical and organised you can make the transition much more easily and save time too.
Once you have exchanged contracts, you can decide on a completion and moving date. In this interim period, begin throwing away all that junk from the attic, shed and garage you haven’t seen for years. Go through your possessions and use the opportunity to discard or sell the items you never use. Clean cupboards and pack systematically as you sort.
Decide if you are going to undertake the move yourself with a van and friends or use professional removers. Obtain quotes and book the van or removal firm. Make sure a firm is a member of the British Association of Removers and ascertain what level of insurance is available and who is going to be responsible for the packing, especially if you have any precious or valuable items.
Seal boxes as you pack, and then label them on the outside with marker pen. You can use a simple number system with each number corresponding to a number on a room plan which you can give to the movers on the day. Alternatively a more sophisticated plan is to construct a spreadsheet with a list of individual items, or types of items, to correspond to different numbers or symbols.
Make arrangements with the post office to have your mail redirected for a specified period of time.
Compile a list of all the people you will have to contact when you move house. In order that you can do this soon after moving without actually having to hunt out the paperwork, the list should include provider policy numbers and telephone numbers, so you can just tick off the list as you speak or write to car insurers, banks, DVLA etc.
Make arrangements for your children and pets to be looked after on the day- you won’t have time to give them any attention at all.
Find all the hidden keys to your home and outbuildings and give these to your estate agent just before you move- you won’t have time on the day.
On the day
- Pack some items in your car so you don’t have to wait for them or wonder where they are.
- Keep aside tea, coffee, kettle, milk and biscuits so you can motivate the movers. If this is safe you can access it at the other end as soon as you get there.
- If you pack a box of cleaning materials, you can clean up each room as the movers empty it and you will be ready to use it in the new house.
- Also keep aside a few plates, knives and forks so you can eat your first takeaway later on in your new house.
- Have your bedding with you too so you can at least make up the beds.
- Pack towels, personal toiletries and a change of clothes.
When you arrive
- Take meter readings when you leave and also read the meters at the new house.
- When you first arrive, quickly check everything works, then open the windows to air the property because a great deal of dust will be generated when you start unpacking.
- Ideally you would clean the house thoroughly before moving in, but if this is not possible, do not unpack everything until you can clean the cupboards etc.
- Change the locks as soon as possible because you don’t know if anyone still has access to the keys.
- Investigate if it is cost effective to remain with the current energy supplier.
- Organise new telephone and broadband services if you have not been able to do so in advance. In the meantime find out where free WiFi services are available.
- Speak to neighbours and find out where the best GP and dentists are and register the family.
- Find out where the local tip is and continue to declutter as you unpack.