The ultimate moving checklist
Across the world, the moving process happens in a very similar way. And with this, it’s almost universally believed to be one of life’s most stressful experiences.
We’d like to change that. In this guide, we’ll provide everything you need to know to reduce your stress, free up your time and save you money!! So let’s get moving…
How to make the most of your move
The stress that comes with moving can be caused by the time and effort involved, but it is often magnified by a lack of familiarity with the process. This results in a tendency for people to overcomplicate things. Excitement can quickly turn into a desire to do everything perfectly. What begins with packing each plate in bubble wrap can easily turn into stacking them riskily as time slips away.
So, let’s take a step back and run through it with you. We’ll take you through a series of steps to help you make the most of the experience. We’ll explain how to prepare properly, how to move with ease and finally, how to settle in style. In doing so, we’ll turn your apprehension into excitement, putting you within touching distance of your dream home. You might want to grab a coffee and take notes.
Step 1: Prepare properly
Who do I inform first?
- If you’re renting
You should begin by checking your current contract notice period before considering a moving date and contacting your landlord.
- If you’re a first-time buyer
If you’re moving out of a rented property, then check your notice period. If you’re moving out of your parents or family home, then you’re good to go.
- If you’re an existing homeowner
If you’re waiting to sell your home first, then your move is likely to be dependent on completion and contract exchange. If there’s a chain involved it can be a little nail biting, but read on and prepare with this in mind.
What moving date should I choose?
- If you’re renting
You have a number of choices depending on your personal preferences and circumstances.
- 1: Give yourself breathing room
You may decide to move a week or two before your current contract expires. This makes it easier to cope with anything unexpected such as a work commitment. This also provides more time to clean, as well as more time to adjust to your new surroundings.
- 2: Keep the costs down
You may want to avoid paying more and line up your move on the day your contract expires. It can save a lot of money, but also be a cause of great stress. The moving process involves more than just moving your things, so make sure you’ve covered everything in this guide to avoid any surprises.
- 3: The moving date is set for you
If you’ve little choice and you need to move quickly, then you may want to see if your current or new landlord is willing to flex a little. This should give you greater freedom to decide on whether you’d like to leave a little breathing room or keep costs down as mentioned above.
- If you’re buying
The moving process is more complicated for buyers because of the legal process required to exchange on the property you’re selling, or buying, or both. This consequence is that the moving process is often left to the last minute. This makes it even more important to be prepared and ready to go whenever that time comes. If you keep reading, then you’ll be in a great place.
What services do I need to think about?
Moving is one of the best times to gain a better deal from service providers. If you leave this until you’ve moved in, then the necessity to get everything up and running as quickly as possible is likely to affect your decisions. A cold house isn’t enjoyable, and neither is one without broadband. Here we run through the main services that you may want to consider.
It’s best to research whether your existing provider is most suited to your new place. It could be that they don’t provide coverage or another provider is now available. In either case, it’s best to contact the relevant parties at least two-three weeks in advance of your moving date.
- Electricity and gas
You may notice a major shift in costs for electricity and gas when you’re moving. This makes selecting the right providers an important part of the moving process. Your current supplier may offer the best tariff for a small place, but be less suitable for a larger place. For this reason, you can consider providers based on what’s important to you e.g. price, customer service, brand recognition, reviews. Whether you decide to stick or switch, it's important to notify your current supplier a few weeks before your moving date and send them an up-to-date meter reading if you don’t have a smart meter.
This essential service is easy to forget because water isn’t usually a choice. If you’re outside the US, then there is only one water supplier for each area. Even so, you’ll still need to manage the contract switch over by contacting your current supplier a few weeks before your move.
- Council tax
This is an important feature of any move. For this reason, it’s important to consider any changes based on the council that you’re moving to and the size of the property. It’s then usually best to contact your current council 2-3 weeks in advance as your application may take a little while to process.
Should I change address before or after moving?
If you do have the time to change addresses with many of your core service providers, it may leave more time for you to relax once you’ve moved in. However, don’t worry if you don’t have the time to prepare. We’ll cover this off later.
2: How to move with ease
Should I hire a removal company?
Whether to choose a removal or moving company comes down to personal preference. A good way to start is by considering who might be able to help you. This may sound obvious, but have you really thought about it?! If you’re asking your friends for help, it requires a lot of commitment in time and effort. Are they reliable? Will they really have the time when it comes to it?
The next thing to consider is the type of stuff you’ll be moving. Again, this is obvious, but it requires careful consideration before diving in. You’ll need to think about how difficult it is to move, how much of it there is and how demanding it will be for the people helping you. Asking friends and family to lift heavy items can create an unnecessary strain on your relationships.
At this point, you can see that price is certainly not the only thing to think about when deciding whether to hire a removal company. And in the same way, you can see that removal costs are just one of the costs associated with moving. There are other things to consider too, such as packing, cleaning and offers on utilities.
How can I get the cheapest removal quote?
It’s also important to take a little time to get a number of quotes for every service that you decide on. When you do, it’s important to remember that quotes based on estimates may change. Estimates are based only on the information that you provide, so to avoid being surprised if costs subsequently go up, it’s wise to be really clear on what you want. In addition, a number of other things affect the quote you receive:
- Moving season
Moving is very much a seasonal process. This is because it’s nicer to move at certain times in the year, but also because there are more properties available and so more people are attracted to move. And this can impact on the quotes that you receive from moving companies. Increased demand often leads to higher quotes. This is worth thinking about when evaluating the quotes you receive.
- Moving distance
The further you move, the more it’s likely to cost. That’s pretty obvious. However, what’s less obvious is that these costs can vary significantly depending on the amount of items you’re taking and the traffic in the area.
- Moving furniture
Moving sofas and heavy furniture can be extremely difficult. If you decide to move these items yourself or by hiring fewer people than you need, you may struggle, causing delays and unnecessary stress. You may also lose patience and force the process, which may damage them in transit.
- Delicate objects
Moving valuables, delicate objects or items with great sentimental value can become a source of great worry. The idea of seeing those items loaded into a van can be a daunting prospect. If you consider them carefully and explain them clearly to a moving company beforehand, you’ll minimise unexpected costs.
How should I pack when I move?
Whether you’re packing on your own, or you have friends and family to help, the packing process is much easier if you do a little everyday as opposed to tackling it all at once. Exhaustion can easily heighten the stress of all the other decisions that you will need to make on your moving day. Of course it may be unavoidable, but if you have sufficient time, it’s well worth keeping in mind.
There’s also an art to packing as we’ve covered in our insider’s guide to moving. For example, if you place a number of boxes in each room and then label them a specific colour, you’ll then have a quick visual reference for when you move in. You can then prioritise the rooms accordingly and consider which need the greatest care and attention.
Should I think about unpacking when I pack?
Packing is tiring enough on its own, so it’s easy to forget that you’ll need to unpack it all when you move in. So, as covered in our moving hacks, it’s a good idea to pack an ‘instant access’ box that contains everything you need for the first few days. This could include your toothbrush, book, diary and anything sentimental you’ll want to have at your bedside.
3: Settle in style
How can I enjoy my moving day?
It can be easy to forget just how exciting moving is. So, why not take a moment now, to consider what you want to do to enjoy it. A takeaway, a film, a stroll around the local hotspots perhaps? Whatever it is, planning ahead will give you something to look forward to. At the same time, you might want to think about how best to share the time with any family and friends that have helped you.
Who do I need to contact?
If you’ve followed this guide from the beginning, then it’ll be much easier as much of the move will be lined up.
- Switch your utilities (water, electricity, gas and broadband)
Your water, electricity and gas contracts will (most likely) be rolled over from the previous owner or tenant, so you’ll want to contact your chosen suppliers to switch over the contracts. It’s essential to do this as quickly as possible to avoid being overcharged. This emphasises the importance of researching providers before you move.
- Changing address with other service providers
There are many general services that use your address as a reference including your doctor, driving license, banks and online shopping sites. It’s important to list them all before updating them online or by phone.
How do I unpack without the fuss?
Unpacking is so much easier if you’ve packed to unpack as mentioned earlier and covered in more detail in our insider’s guide to moving. An ‘instant access’ box for example, will help you to enjoy the first few days.
After this, it’s often best to consider a room at a time or based on priority to avoid becoming overwhelmed. You may for example want to focus on the bedroom, then the TV room, and then the kitchen. It’s also important not to put too much pressure on yourself if this process usually takes many weeks. It’s not uncommon for people to take many months to fully unpack.
Raring to go?
We hope you’ve enjoyed this guide and are raring to go. You may also be interested in our free service that helps to connect your utilities, change your address and offer you deals on service providers. You can start now or learn a little more about it by reading the benefits.