Tips for moving home
There’s so much to get excited about when moving to a new house – perhaps the opportunity to start fresh, meet new people and try new things, for example. Don’t let the logistics of moving home turn that excitement to stress. You just need to plan, prepare – and pack.
Here are some ideas to get through it.
It can be overwhelming to pack up your whole home, especially when you know you must unpack it again at the other end. Before you pack, it makes sense to decide what you need to sell, donate or throw out.
In the current times, it may not be possible to drop unwanted items off at a charity shop. If that’s the case, take a look at the various online platforms where you can advertise items that you no longer want to people in your local area, who may be able to give them a good home. You can also request items too.
Many household waste and recycling sites contain facilities where you can donate good quality goods to charity. But it’s worth phoning ahead to check what they will and won’t accept.
Get packing boxes and vacuum storage bags
Before buying packing boxes, speak to the manager at your local supermarket to see if they would be happy to give you some of their cardboard boxes for free.
Vacuum storage bags will help you to minimize the space required when packing bulky items such as duvets and clothes. You simply place the items in the storage bag and use your vacuum cleaner to suck out all the air from the bag. You’ll be amazed how much space you will save.
Packing is one of those things that always takes much longer than you think it will. That’s why it’s never too early to start. Begin with your least used rooms – the garage, the loft or your spare bedroom – or those items that you know you will be keeping.
Label boxes clearly by room. You might also want to include a brief summary of what’s inside to help unpacking later. Use small boxes for heavier items, and bigger boxes for light items. Use your luggage; pull-along suitcases are good for things like books, for example. Make use of your soft items, like towels, blankets, pillows and cushions to pack delicate items (saving you money on bubble wrap)
Book your van – or removal company
However you intend to move your belongings from one house to another, book it the minute you have your moving date to ensure availability. If you do plan to use a removal company, you might want to start with the British Association of Movers, the trade association for removal and storage companies in the UK.
Put your important paperwork in one place
Set aside a folder with plastic punched pockets or a box file to store all of your important paperwork – including passports, house deeds, wills and insurance documents.
Update your address- or redirect your post
Write a list of people or organisations that will need to know your new address, such as the bank, TV licensing and your employer. If you’re moving to a different house in your local area and don’t need to change doctor, dentist or your children’s school, then add those to the list.
You may want to consider redirecting your post – where the Royal Mail will automatically deliver the post sent to your old house to your new address. There is a fee attached to this service and you can find out more on the Royal Mail website.
Make sure you know key information about your new home
Finding out this information will save you time and energy in the coming weeks:
- What’s the local authority?
- Where's the main stopcock?
- Where are the gas and electricity meters?
- Where’s the thermostat?
- What day are the bins collected?
- Which company supplies the energy, broadband and home phone?
- Where’s the local doctor/dentist surgery?
Final bills for utilities
Organise your phone line, internet and all of your utilities to be switched off – as well as organising connection in your new home. Inform your utility companies of your final meter readings – and take photos. Also take photos of the meters in your new property the day you arrive, just in case the previous owners weren’t as organised as you.
Pack an essential day 1 bag
All the things you and your family use every day – including chargers for devices, medication, nightwear, bathroom supplies and favourite toys should be packed away last and in an accessible place to make sure you have them for your first day, and night, in your new home.