New & experienced renters alike may encounter unwelcome surprises in their property search. Learn the best actions to take & reduce costs & stress.
Moving home can be stressful for anyone, but being prepared can help reduce many of the difficult parts of the move. We’ve created a moving home checklist that you can reference in advance to help you mentally prepare for what’s to come, as well as helping you to create your own checklist. Here’s our moving home checklist to help your transition go as smoothly as possible.
- Confirm your move-in date
- Update your contact address
- Plan your packing regime
- Budget your move
- Set up mail redirection
- Virtual address service
- Create your own checklist
1. Confirm your move-in date
Knowing your move-in date is the first step, and without it, you won’t know when to start preparing or how long you’ve got to get organised. It’s helpful if you have some time between moving out of your property and moving into the next, but sometimes this happens within the same day, which is even more of a reason to make sure you’ve completed our checklist.
2. Update your address with important contacts
We’ll sign up for many providers for different services and reasons throughout our lives. While you should have a good idea of the providers you’re currently in contact with, it can be easy to forget a few during the process of the move. There may be extra steps you need to take for each one, such as taking meter readings and organising alternative means of service, but here are the different types of service providers you should contact when moving home:
- Broadband - contact your existing provider to let them know you’re moving. Hopefully you’ll be able to just plug in and get up and running, but sometimes additional works will need to be carried out, so the more time you give them, the less chance there is of having a period without internet.
- Gas, electric and water - let your current provider know that you’ll be moving. You might need to take a reading before you leave, and you may need to switch to a new provider.
- TV license - Stop your payments for your current address and switch over to your new address when you’re ready to move in.
- Dentist & GP - It’s important to let your dentist and GP know as you may receive correspondence by post, and you may no longer be within distance to use them so you may need to register with new practices.t.
- Health insurance - You should let your insurance provider know that you’re moving as this may affect your access to care.
- Gym membership - If your current gym membership is no longer within reach, cancel your membership or transfer to a new location if it’s a larger chain that operates from several locations.
- Physiotherapist - Let your physio know that you’re moving. They may be able to refer you to someone else and pass on any important notes relating to the care they’ve previously provided you with.
- Councillor - Your councillor may offer you the option to continue virtually seeing them, or they may recommend someone else in your new location.
- Bank - As banks send you sensitive information, such as statements and new cards, you should immediately let them know your new address.
- School - You should let your children’s school know that you’re moving, and if they’ll be attending somewhere new, getting in touch with them will help you organise their uniform, start date and any other information you’ll need.
- Employer - Your employer will need to update their records and other documents such as payslips to ensure they’re accurate to your new location.
- Pension provider - If your pension provider needs to contact you or your loved ones for any reason, it’s important they have the correct address for you.
- Credit cards - Keeping your address up to date for your credit cards ensures that you’ll receive any bills and won’t piss payments, and it may help to keep your credit score related to your current address rather than your previous location.
- Local tradesmen - You may have ongoing services with tradesmen such as window cleaners and gardeners who will need to know that you’re moving home.
- DVLA - Your driving licence must show your current living address, so you’ll need to contact the DVLA and let them know you’re moving so that they can issue you a new card.
- Life insurance - Your life insurance provider may send you important information from time to time, and making sure they know your current address may be a part of your policy guidelines.
- Pet Insurance - If you need to claim your pet insurance and your address isn’t accurate, this may cause complications when finding treatment that’s eligible under your plan.
- Contents Insurance - Moving your contents insurance policy to your new address will ensure that you’re covered in the event that you need to make a claim. It would be best if you also spoke to your insurer to find out whether your contents are covered during the move itself.
- Online websites - From food delivery to your favourite shopping sites, removing your old address will mean you’re never in a situation where you order something to the wrong house.
- Buildings Insurance - You may have the option to transfer your existing policy to your new property when you move, but this is up to the insurer, and there could be additional fees to pay. In either case, you need to let them know so that you can decide what to do next.
- HMRC - You may need to let HMRC know you’re moving as this can affect things such as your pension, self-assessment, tax rebate and NI number.
- Business address - If your business is registered to your home address, you’ll need to update this ASAP. We recommend that you consider a virtual business address service for less hassle.
- Car insurance - If your car insurance isn’t registered to the right address and you make a claim, this may void any compensation you’d be entitled to, so you must let them know your new address.
- Family & friends - You’ve probably let the people you’re closest to know you’re moving, but it’s easy to miss a few people off the list when it comes to letting them know your new address. You wouldn’t want to miss their annual Christmas card!
- Vets - You’ll need to find a new vets in your new location, and may even need to update your pet insurance information. If your pet is microchipped, their tags will also need to be updated with your new address details.
- Directors service address - If you’re a director of a company, keeping your information updated with HMRC is essential to ensure that you receive any relevant mail correspondence.
- Electoral roll - When moving to a new region, updating your information on the electoral register will ensure that you’re able to vote. Keeping your voters address updated is also an important part of credit applications.
- Member cards - Any membership cards, such as the National Trust, Clubcard, Nectar Card or other discount cards will need to be updated. You may be sent new cards from time to time as well as exclusive vouchers.
- Accountant - Let your accountant know you’re moving address as they may need to update your residential address across any documentation they handle on your behalf.
2a. Let your landlord and neighbours know that you’re moving home
If you’re renting, you have a legal obligation to let your landlord know you’ll be leaving the property. This gives them time to advertise their property and prepare for the next tenants to move in. You may also want to let your neighbours know that you’re moving, as they can keep an eye on things such as parcels or letters that arrive for you after you leave. If you own a share in a freehold, you may also have an obligation to let them know that new owners or tenants will enter the property.
3. Plan your packing regime
Perhaps one of the most important actions on your moving home checklist. Packing everything up can feel like a military operation, but it doesn’t have to be if you create a plan of action.
Create a list of the least to most important items you’ll need to survive between now and your move. Any of the least important items should be packed straight away, and then you can slowly make your way up the list until you reach your essentials. These essentials will likely make up the survival box (which we mention later on) and can be packed the night before.
3a. Review your clutter and have a clear-out
Anything that you can sell or giveaway will help you throughout the moving process. The fewer items you have, the easier it will be to clean, the less you’ll have to pack, and the fewer things you’ll need to pay to transport to your new home. You have multiple options when moving home and having a clear-out:
- Sell any unwanted goods on marketplaces, such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree.
- Give you items away for free to family or friends, or even through services such as Freecycle.
- Ask your landlord or new owners if they’d like to keep the furniture items for the next residents.
- Rent a storage container to hold any items you want to keep, but won’t have any room for.
- Take unwanted items to your local community recycling centre.
3b. Consider which items will be harder to pack
Some items are trickier to pack than others, and a moving home checklist that doesn’t give you a heads up could leave you in an awkward situation come move-in day. Here are some of the things you’ll need to pack that can’t just be placed in a cardboard box:
- Plants - They’ll need full protection during transit, and they might be a good contender for joining you in the passenger seat rather than in the back of the van. You can purchase special packaging for moving plants, but any light and flexible material that can be wrapped around them can help you save on buying packing materials.
- Freezer - You should defrost your freezer a couple of days before moving to avoid any water spillages, and if there’s any food you were saving for the future, now’s the time to eat it.
- Pets - This depends entirely on the type of pet you have. Fish can be difficult to move, whereas dogs can do a lot of the work on their own. If possible, leave your pets with local family and friends members the night before the move and pick them up once you’re settled at your new home.
- Clothes - If you want to avoid having to take everything off its hangar, consider a garment box or the more budget-friendly version - a bin bag. With your clothes hung up, group them together, place a bin bag over them, and tie the opening around the hangars.
- Large furniture items - If you have any narrow doorways, corridors or awkward access points, large furniture items can cause unwanted stress on move-in day. When you know you’re making a move, it’s a good time to review if there are any furniture items you’d rather leave behind. You should also consider whether large furniture items will fit into your new properties' access points, as if they don’t fit you’ll be left with bulky items on your driveway.
- Electronics - Tech items tend to be more expensive and easier to damage than other bulkier items. Some removal companies offer specific padded bags to transport these types of goods, or you can utilise bed sheets, pillows and other soft furnishings to make sure they’re protected.
- Washing machine - You’ll likely need to turn your water off before unplugging your washing machine, and as long as you remember this, your washing machine is otherwise relatively easy to prepare for the move.
3c. Purchase your moving home packing materials
Nothing is worse than committing time to pack up your home when you find out you’re lacking the materials to do so. You can follow many tricks when packing, and you should always consider what it will be like to unpack on the other end. Here are some of the most important packaging materials to consider when moving home:
- Boxes - You should always have more boxes than you need, but they can be expensive to buy. Ask your local supermarket, corner shop or garage if they have any spare boxes they can give to you - most will be more than happy to help. When packing your boxes, aim to keep them under 20kg and cut out some makeshift handles to make them easier to transport.
- Tape - Opt for heavy-duty tape as the saving on smaller tape isn’t worth the potential hassle it can cause you.
- Bubble wrap - Opt for an eco-friendly version if you can, or you can substitute bubble wrap for cushions, blankets, throws and other soft furnishings you have.
- Stickers - Create a system for labelling your boxes so you know what’s inside them in your new home. If you’re using a moving company and don’t feel comfortable writing each box's contents, create a numbered system instead.
- Double walled boxes - These boxes are more heavy-duty and may be worth purchasing alongside your sourcing of regular boxes for any heavier loads.
- Bin bags - Some items are just easier to put into a bin bag, tie up, and take with you. They can also be used as makeshift vacuum-packed bags, and work great for clothes on hangers. You’re going to need them for your big clearout anyway, but it’s good to have extras lying around.
- Vacuum pack bags - Vacuum bags can save you a lot of space for items such as bedding, clothes and blankets. They’ll also come in handy for holidays, trips and other future moves.
- Sheets - Old bed sheets can be used to cover furniture, to cushion boxes or just for lining the base of your car - so don’t chuck them away if you know you have an upcoming move!
- Tools - From screwdrivers to wrenches and power drills. You’ll inevitably need at least some tools to deconstruct and construct your furniture.
- Newspaper - Similarly to sheets, newspaper or tissue can help fill spaces in boxes, wrap fragile items, or cover corners and edges of furniture.
- Clear bags - For screws, fixtures and other small items that can easily get lost. Keeping these things in a clear bag makes it easy to see what’s inside when it comes to the other end, or you could just opt for a stickering solution.
Top tip: You'll need around 10 boxes per room, and then an additional 10 for any oddities!
3d. Create a survival box
There’s one box that should be kept separately from the others - your first night in the new home survival box. What you consider to be necessary for your first night will depend on many factors, such as whether you’re happy to sleep on the floor, if you’ll be buying a takeaway, or you’ve completed your move wearing your pyjamas. Here are some tips on what you should consider including when moving home:
- Pet food
- Tea, coffee and a kettle
- Plates and cutlery
- Laptop and phone chargers
- Toiletries (toothbrush, deodorant, shampoo etc.)
- Toilet paper
- Items important to you, such as family heirlooms or expensive jewellery
- Spare clothes to change into
- Entertainment (anything from a TV to a board game)
- Important paperwork relating to your move and ID such as passport and driver's license
3e. Plan your refuse disposal
Missing a bin day can be disastrous when moving home, so preparing beforehand is a good idea to ensure you have enough room. Getting started early means you can fill your bin to be collected, and then you’ll have an empty bin to use as you get deeper into the packing stage.
4. Budget your move
The cost of moving home can quickly add up, but keeping track of all of your expenses can highlight where potential savings could be made, or whether you’re happy to spend a bit more for services such as removal companies. You can easily work these costs into your budget sheet alongside other moving costs such as solicitors fees, stamp duty etc. Below are some of the costs that you should consider:
4a. Request quotes for moving home
Depending on how far you’re travelling and how much you have to move, you may need the help of a removal company. It’s a good idea to do this early so that you have time to review the quotes from different providers and allow enough time for the movers to have availability. If you don’t need a large moving company, you do have several other options:
- Hire a van or vehicle yourself.
- Finding a local ‘woman or man with a van’.
- Asking family and friends to help you.
4b. Packing materials
Refer to our packing tips above, and once you’ve got an idea of exactly what you’re going to need, add up the costs and work this into your budget planner. Once you estimate how much the move will cost in packaging materials, you may be inspired to find alternative ways to pack that will save you some money. Some removal companies also offer packing services or can provide you with boxes. If you’re using a removal company, it may be worthwhile to check with them first and weigh up the cost of this service compared to sourcing the materials yourself.
4c. Changes to contracts
When making changes to your contracts, such as your insurance policies and internet provider, they may charge you an admin fee for an address change or be unable to provide their service at your new address altogether. It’s best to contact them beforehand and let them know that you’ll be moving so you can calculate how much each will cost you and whether you’ll need to cancel your policy and purchase new contracts.
5. Set up mail redirection
Between packing, cleaning, and updating your address, it can be easy to forget about aspects of your move, such as mail. While you may update your addresses, there will often be instances where some mail still arrives for you at your previous address. This is where a mail redirection service comes in handy, as it will ensure any mail sent to your old address is sent to your new address. You have the option of how long this lasts, and you’ll need to set up a new one of these every time you move properties. To learn more about this, read our blog on How to set up Royal Mail redirection.
6. Consider a virtual address service
Throughout your lifetime, you’ll move several times, and every time you go through this move, you’ll need to repeat the moving home checklist every time. One of the ways you can simplify many aspects of moving addresses is to utilise a virtual address service. A virtual address is a location that you can use for all of your mailing needs and when signing up for correspondence with advisors and service providers. Some of the ways this benefits movers include:
- You can use your virtual address to receive all mail from family members to HMRC. This means that you won’t have to update your address information every time it changes, as you’ll retain your virtual address for as long as you keep the service going.
- If you use your home address for your business, you can instead opt for a virtual address and avoid the hassle and fees associated with updating your information. This also offers you much more privacy compared to using your home address, which you can learn more about by reading our blog What is a business address?
- If you ever choose to rent out your home, then you can avoid the privacy concern of a tenant receiving your mail, and you can avoid paying for mail redirection costs as all mail will be received at your virtual address.
- Your virtual address can also be used outside of moving homes, and offers more benefits than just making moving easier, for reasons such as:
- If you go away on holiday, you can still read the mail you receive and respond without international postage costs or wait times.
- If you move overseas, you can avoid going through the extensive process of transferring all of your UK services and correspondence addresses. You can continue to use your virtual address from wherever you are in the world.
- There are additional services made available to you solely for having a virtual address, which you can find out more about by visiting the UK Postbox services page.
7. Create your own checklist
Although there are some common things that everyone will need to consider for their move, everyone’s is unique. So we advise that you create your very own moving home checklist by adapting our list. Don’t include any points that aren’t relevant, but think about what we’ve listed to help you gauge what else you would need to consider.