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Things to do before you move house
Moving home can be one of the most stressful tasks out there. All the heavy lifting and packing up a home full of family memories can be physically as well as emotionally draining. Before the big day you’ll be frantically packing boxes, making calls to get your post re-directed and researching house removal services. But with there being lots to consider when it comes to what to do when moving house, sometimes things can be overlooked or forgotten about. Fortunately, we’ve created the ultimate list of things to do when moving house to prepare for a smooth-sailing move. Before you know it, you’ll be settling into your shiny new home in no time!
Take care of the formalities
One of the things that should be at the top of your checklist – home insurance. It covers you from things like fire damage to your home, or a break-in resulting in your belongings being stolen. And it will pay to replace your valuables or repair your home should something like this happen – great right? Home insurance has two components – buildings insurance and contents insurance – which can be bought individually or together as one policy. If you’re buying a new property, it’s likely you’ll need building insurance as a condition of your mortgage contract.
Regardless of whether you’re renting or buying, it’s a good idea to protect all valuables against loss or damage – better to be safe than sorry! And you can get cover for during the move, as well as afterwards too. Nonetheless, we advise double checking your home insurance documents to make sure it covers you from the day of the big move. With all that heavy lifting in your old and new home, there’s a chance that the property or your own items may get damaged. So, cover your back and find out what your liability will be if this was to happen. Or, speak to a financial advisor, like TMP, who can offer you top mortgage advice and information so that you don’t miss a trick when it comes to home insurance. It’s worth bearing in mind that with a Shared Ownership home, your buildings insurance (not contents insurance) will be covered within your service charges.
If you want to get clued up on all the additional costs that come with buying a house, look no further than this handy guide.
Let people know you’re moving
Change your address
Think about who to inform when moving house – everyone that’s reliant on your current address, you’ll need to let them know you’re moving and update your details with them. It’s not just friends and family, there are also plenty of other people/services you’ll need to notify that may have slipped your mind.
Change of address list
- Children’s school
- Building society
- Insurance companies
- Local council
- GP and dentist
- TV licensing
- Inland Revenue
- Electoral roll
For example, your TV licence when moving home doesn’t automatically change. Therefore, you need to notify them of the change of address or risk a hefty of up to £1,000. If you’re uncertain of whether you need to be pay for a TV licence, you can swot up on the criteria here.
Make sure telling your banks, building societies and insurance companies about your change of address is top of your to-do list. After all, you wouldn’t want important financial documents falling into a stranger’s hands! PIN numbers/new credit cards can both be sent by post, so it’s super important that they reach the right address.
Contact your utility suppliers
To avoid any nasty surprises down the line, make sure you contact all your utility suppliers and let them know your address is changing. Whilst you may have to battle the call queues, it’s better to be prepared and sort it in advance. After all, there’s nothing worse than manically trying to find a missing bill when it needs to be paid ASAP. And you don’t want to damage that credit score you’ve worked so hard for! Remember – only do this a week or so before, as this’ll lessen the risk of post turning up at your new home before you’ve moved in.
It’s hard to keep up with which services you’re a part of. Luckily, you can arrange for your post to be redirected at the Post Office as a backup plan to receive mail from those who don’t know you’ve changed addresses, or those you forgot to notify. You can set up your redirect in advance of your moving day, and you can keep it going for as long as you want. However, 6 to 12 months is normally enough time. There is a small fee for this service, starting from £33.99. But it’s a small price to pay, rather than depending on the new residents in your old home to forward your post, or risk it falling into the wrong hands!
Organise your belongings
House removal arrangements
Unless you’re planning on moving your things yourself, you should start getting removals quotes ASAP. Make this one of your top priority things to do when moving house. As a general rule of thumb, we advise booking your removal firm 8 to 6 weeks prior to the big move.
Your budget will determine how much support you can pay for. If you’re sticking to a tight budget, you could hire a van for the day and get some friends to help you move. If you need to use a house removals service, you can get a basic removals package to keep costs lows. Or if you want the easy life, you can even hire a removals service where the team will pack for you and even reassemble your furniture for you.
As tempting as it is to keep all of the bits and bobs you’ve claimed over the years, now’s the time to have a big clear out, so that you’re not taking over unnecessary items. Add a trip to the charity shop onto your checklist, and this way, when you’re unpacking, you won’t be lumbered with any unwanted stuff. After all, your new home is a chance for a fresh start – so take it!
And there’s much more to buying a house than just the removals service, we’ve done the hard work for you and put together a property guide on how to buy a house.
How to pack for moving house
The big day is near! But before you start packing up, it helps to know what to expect on completion day.
Once you’ve got all that out the way, you can start boxing up all your belongings for your new home. And if you’ve decided to do all the packing yourself, remember to label the boxes clearly. On the side of the box, jot down which room each box is for, and list everything that’s inside.
About a month before you move, clear lofts, garages and sheds. These areas are probably where you hoard the more stuff, so the longer you leave it, the harder it’ll be to clear it out. Be smart and don’t leave it till the last minute – trust us, you’ll thank us later down the line! At the same time, you can also begin to pack up non-essential items. Remember – pack for where you’re going, not where you are!
On the week of the move, dismantle any flat pack furniture if necessary. And if you’re after a lifesaving hack – use masking tape to stick nuts and bolts that go with furniture to the furnishing itself. This way, you won’t have to scramble about trying to work out which is which.
About 3 days before the move is when you should start packing up what we like to call ‘the ultimate survival kit.’ These are all the essentials you’ll need as soon as you step foot into your new home. For example, mugs, tea, snacks, light bulbs, torch, cutlery, crockery, toilet paper, toiletries, medication etc.
The day before your exciting venture, you can take down curtains (if you’re taking them). Finally, pack all your valuables and essential documents and make sure they’re somewhere safe and coming with you.