Moving house is an exciting time, but it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by everything you need to do. The best approach is to get organised and have a list of all the things that must be tackled before moving day. Look at our moving out tips below and use them as a checklist so you know you’ve got everything covered. Put together a budget for all the moving costs so that you know you can cover them and look at what you can do to save money. Before getting ready to move, find out when to expect your moving date so you can plan everything around that.
Confirming your moving date
Your moving date is negotiated and set when you exchange contacts.
Your legal representative swaps signed contracts with your seller’s legal representative, and this is called exchanging contracts. It’s a pivotal moment because once the contracts have been exchanged, the sale is legally binding and neither you or the seller can pull out of it (without incurring large costs). It’s also the point at which your completion date is agreed and set.
Your completion date
The completion date is your moving day. It’s the last step in the process of buying your new home; the money is transferred, the keys are handed over and you can finally move in. In general, the completion date is scheduled for about a week after you’ve exchanged contracts, but it could be longer if it’s affected by other factors. These could include delays with other parties in the chain, parents moving house with children so needing to wait until the school holidays, or the seller waiting for their new job to start etc. Many individual circumstances can delay the completion date, but once it’s set it’s time to get yourself organised for moving day.
Have a look at our top tips for moving house below to make sure you’ve got everything covered.
15 Top Tips for Moving House
1. Have a clear out
There’s no point moving things that you don’t want to keep, so before doing anything else, get rid of anything you don’t need. Take unwanted items to your local charity shop, or sell more expensive items online. By getting rid of clutter, you’ll save on removal costs and you’ll be grateful for less things to unpack at the other end.
2. Removal company quotes
Get removal quotes as soon as you can and check their availability for your moving date. Costs will vary depending on the type of service you want and how much stuff you’re moving. Decide whether you need any storage time for your belongings, which might be the case if the dates of moving out of your old home and into your new one don’t line up. There are additional options that will affect your removal quotes, like whether you need a packing service or help disassembling furniture. Services like these will increase the cost, but can be helpful if you’re short on time or need some physical help. Once you know what you need from a removal company, it’s time to shop around. Some companies might want to visit you to assess how much there is to move so they can give you a full and accurate quote. Get a good selection of quotes and check customer reviews to see other people’s experiences of using the companies. Once you’ve found the best removals company for you, confirm the price and book your provisional moving date with them.
3. Gather packing boxes and tape
If you’re doing your own packing, start collecting packing supplies as soon as you can. If you’re using a removal company, they might supply you with some packing boxes. If not, ask your local friends or your supermarket for any spare boxes they have. You can buy packing boxes online, but it’s worth saving on this cost if you can.
4. Pack non-essentials early
Packing always takes longer than expected so the sooner you start the better, and it’ll mean that you’re less stressed as moving day approaches. Books, games, spare crockery, extra bedding and clothes are just a few examples of things that you can pack up early.
5. Pack and label everything
Make sure you put clear labels on every box you pack. Include which room it should be delivered to and write down what’s inside it (i.e. books, photo albums etc.). You could also indicate whether it can be stored somewhere in the house for later, or if it needs to be unpacked asap. Make sure you keep cleaning supplies handy for cleaning up your home before leaving, and for giving your new home a once over when you get there.
6. Tell your utility suppliers
It’s important to inform your utility suppliers that you’re moving house and you should give them a minimum of 48 hours notice.
Utility suppliers include:
Take final meter readings on the day you move out and submit these to your suppliers to get a final, accurate bill. Tell them your new address so they know where to send it to.
You’ll also need to take meter readings once you’re in your new home and give them to the current suppliers there.
7. Have a box of moving day essentials
Once you’re finally in your new home you’re bound to want to stick the kettle on so make sure you’ve got your essentials box with you at all times. Helpful items could include a kettle, mugs, teabags, milk, biscuits, snacks, toilet rolls, soap and a hand towel etc. It’s also worth keeping a phone charger in there. Anything can happen on moving day, so it’s a good idea to keep some bedding handy, as well as toiletries and PJs, especially if you have children. If you have the essentials close by it will be much easier to settle down for the first night in your new home, whatever happens.
8. Change your address
There are many people to inform when you move house and it’s easy to put this off, but it’s worth getting it done as soon as possible.
People you need to tell include:
● Friends and family
● Your GP
● Electoral roll
● TV licensing
● Your employer
● Insurance companies
● The DVLA
9. Home insurance
If you’re a first time buyer then it’s crucial that you get home insurance in place for the day the sale completes (even if you’re not moving in that day). Most mortgage lenders will insist that you have buildings insurance, but it’s up to you whether you get contents insurance. If you’re renting a property, then you’d only ever need contents insurance, and again, that’s a personal choice. If you’re selling and buying a new property, then you’ll need to transfer your home insurance policy across, which could increase the cost and you may also need to pay an administration fee. Contact your insurance provider well ahead of completion day so that your policy gets put in place and you’re covered immediately.
10. Forward your post
You can set up a mail forwarding service for a few months or even up to a year, and it’s worth doing if you’re worried about missing any important bills or letters. You can also leave your new address with the new house owners so that they can forward anything that gets missed.
11. Children and pets
If you have children and you’re moving quite far, they may need to move schools so you’ll need to contact the school well in advance. If they’re staying where they are, you need to tell their school your new address. On moving day, pets may need to be looked after elsewhere so this needs to be arranged in advance. Also consider whether you need to change vets and update your pet insurance company with your new address.
12. Do a deep clean
Leave your house in a good, clean state for the new owners by giving it a thorough deep clean. If you’re short on time, you could hire a cleaning company for this, but it’ll save money if you can do it yourself. You may also want to give your new home a quick clean when you arrive, so keep some cleaning supplies and bin bags handy for when you get there.
13. Keep valuables with you
In the chaos of moving day, it’s impossible to keep track of everything. If there are important documents (like passports, driving licences, a marriage certificate) then keep them with you rather than sending them off in the removal van. Do the same with expensive jewellery or delicate, high-cost items.
14. Clear all areas
Make sure you check loft spaces, sheds and garages, and that you’ve cleared them out and removed all the rubbish before moving day. Give them a once over before you leave and ensure that you leave any keys for them for the new owners.
15. Relax and enjoy it
Moving house can be exhausting and it takes time to unpack and to get your new house exactly how you want it to be. On your first night, settle down with a takeaway and a drink and enjoy all that you’ve achieved by moving into your new home!