Blog / Moving Home

The Essential Moving House Checklist

By Matt Wallace

17 April, 20245 mins read

It’s said that moving house is one of life’s most stressful events, but does it have to be that way? At Pay Less For Storage, we believe a well-organised approach can significantly reduce the chaos that comes with moving. And there’s no better way to organise your move with a good old-fashioned checklist. 

However, coming up with a list of all the things you need to do and remember when moving house isn’t easy, which is why we’ve done it for you! With our comprehensive moving home checklist, you’ll be able to keep track of everything easily and efficiently. 

We say ‘checklist’ but it’s more of a guide, with detailed steps of what to do and how to do it while making sure you don’t forget anything.

Confirm Your Moving Date

First things first, confirm your moving date as far in advance as possible. The earlier you can secure the date, the more time you’ll have to plan and prepare for everything you need to do.

It’s important to note that many people prefer moving on a Friday so they have the weekend to unpack and settle in. However, a mid-week move could help you avoid the common delays and headaches associated with end-of-week moves, such as slow bank transactions and busy conveyancers.

If you’re renting, you might have more flexibility to move out of your current home and into your new one over several days. This extra time helps a lot when making your new place feel like home, as it’s much easier to deep clean and decorate (if your landlord lets you), without the stress of moving day.

Notify Your Landlord

If you’re renting, the first thing you need to do once you’ve confirmed your moving date is tell your landlord. If you have any say in the matter, try to align this date with the end of your tenancy to avoid paying rent on two places at once. 

You may also want to schedule a final walk-through with your landlord to address any issues that could affect your deposit. This is also the perfect time to discuss any contractual responsibilities you might have, such as cleaning or making minor repairs.

By being open, honest and proactive with your landlord, you’ll be putting yourself in the best position to get your deposit back quickly, hopefully avoiding any disputes or penalties. 

Inform & Update Your Utility Providers

As you prepare for your move, it’s important to notify all of your utility suppliers about your moving dates, including the companies that provide your:

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Water
  • Phone 
  • Broadband

Informing them early won’t just help ensure a smooth move but also ensure you avoid paying for the utilities at your old address. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to managing your utilities efficiently:

  1. Notify Each Provider: Contact each utility provider with the exact date you’ll be moving. For services like phone and broadband, which you might want to transfer to your new property, provide as much notice as possible, as transfers and new installations can take several weeks (especially for broadband). 
  2. Prepare for Internet Downtime: Since setting up broadband at a new property could take some time, download essential documents and entertainment beforehand. If you lack internet access immediately after moving, consider using your mobile phone as a hotspot to stay connected.
  3. Record Your Meter Readings: Come moving day, take final meter readings at your old home and initial readings at your new one. We suggest taking photos of the meters, as the timestamp can serve as proof of the readings should there be any dispute. 
  4. Seek Better Deals: Moving house is a great opportunity to reassess your utility contracts. Compare energy deals to find better rates suited to your new home.

Notify Other Relevant Parties

Your utility providers aren’t the only ones that need to know you’re moving. As well as your friends and family, there are several other companies, institutions and services that need to be kept in the loop. As a rule of thumb, this will include anyone you regularly pay bills to or receive correspondence from. 

Here’s a quick checklist of everyone else you should share your new address with:

  • Financial Institutions:
    • Banks
    • Credit card providers
    • Insurance companies
  • Government Authorities:
    • Local council
    • The DVLA 
    • HMRC
    • Electoral register 
    • TV Licensing
  • Healthcare Providers:
    • Doctor
    • Dentist
    • Vets (if you have pets)

Pro Tip: Remember to update the address on your pet’s microchip too. 

  • Subscriptions and Memberships: Update addresses for magazines, clubs and loyalty cards.
  • Educational Institutions: Schools, colleges and universities that you or your family attend.

Redirect Your Post

With everything else that comes with moving house, remembering every friend, relative, subscription and company you need to update with your new address is almost impossible — even with this list! 

Fortunately, Royal Mail offers a redirection service that ensures any post sent to your old address is delivered to your new one. You can set up the redirection service online in just a few steps, but remember that you need to allow for at least five working days for the service to activate. 

Pro Tip: Update your delivery address on all online shopping platforms, like Amazon. There’s nothing worse than settling into your new home, ordering something online and having it delivered to your old address! 

Find a Moving Company

Whether you need a man with a van or a team of removal experts who can pack and unpack everything for you, be sure to research and book in advance. 

Most firms will pencil you in for your expected moving date and wait for confirmation after you’ve exchanged contracts. You could start by asking friends, family and even neighbours for recommendations in your local area, and get at least three companies to provide a quote. 

If you’re happy to pack yourself, you could cut the cost of moving home. However, if you can afford to have it all done for you then the time and effort saved will be worth every penny. 

Find Storage

If you find yourself between properties, or you’re moving somewhere a little smaller, renting a self storage unit could be a great way to help manage your belongings. 

At Pay Less For Storage, we offer storage units that you can park right next to. Plus, all of our sites are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. So, whether you need more space in your temporary accommodation or time to sort through and declutter your belongings — he can help with both. 

For advice on finding the perfect storage solution, take a look at our guide on How to Choose a Storage Unit.

Have a Major Clear Out

​​We know how easy it is to accumulate a mountain of stuff we don’t use or need. Whether it’s a shirt you never got around to returning or a gift you never liked in the first place, most people have more stuff than they realise — and it often isn’t until you start packing that you notice. 

This is the perfect time to sort through things and get rid of anything you don’t need or want. You don’t have to be ruthless, just honest. For any items that are in good condition, you might consider: 

  • Donating Them: You can often drop clothes and small items off at charity shops, but some charities will collect furniture for free. 
  • Selling Them: eBay, GumTree, Facebook Marketplace, Depop, Vinted… you can sell anything and everything online.

Even if your moving date isn’t set, starting early allows you to decide on what you do and don’t want to keep. This will likely save you money on moving costs as well as simplifying your unpacking process.

Packing & Labelling 

Now that you’ve cleared out the things you no longer need, packing should be much easier. If you’re doing the packing yourself, then it’s probably worth making a start early on. Remember to label everything clearly too. Even if you’re confident you’ll remember where everything is, taking a few seconds to write on each box can save you a lot of guessing and rummaging later on.

Here are a couple of tips to help keep things organised:

  • Label Clearly: Use a large felt-tip pen to label each box. You don’t need to label every item, just the room where it belongs. You can list a few of the essentials as well, which will make it easier to find the most important items when you start unpacking (eg. kettle, tea bags, mugs). 
  • Use Tech to Help: Apps like Evernote can be a game-changer for keeping track of what’s where. You can create a digital inventory that’s easy to search and access from your phone, whether you’re on Android or iPhone.

By packing smart and labelling effectively, you’ll make unpacking a breeze — leaving more time for you to settle in and enjoy your new home. 

Child & Pet Care

Moving house can be particularly chaotic when you have young children and pets. They can feel the stress of the change and find the bustling activity overwhelming. To keep your move smooth and stress-free for everyone, consider arranging for someone to look after them during the busiest days of the move. 

Having friends or family who can take care of your pets and children for a couple of days can be incredibly helpful. This not only ensures their safety away from heavy and potentially dangerous moving activities but also allows you to focus on the move.

Taking these steps ensures that the move is less stressful for both your children and pets and allows you to concentrate on the tasks at hand.

Moving Day Essentials

When you arrive at your new home, you’ll want immediate access to certain essentials to make your first night comfortable. We suggest packing a specific box (or two labelled) ‘Essentials’ with the items you’ll need straight away, so you don’t have to look through every box to have a cup of tea after a long and tiring day.

Here are a few things you might want to include in your essentials box: 

  • Kitchen Items: Kettle, mugs, tea, coffee, sugar and snacks. Don’t forget the milk – whether it’s a fresh bottle (if you can keep it cool) or long life.
  • Cleaning Supplies: Pack cleaning products, a vacuum cleaner, bin bags and a few clothes to handle any cleaning as soon as you arrive.
  • Tech Needs: Keep your phone and laptop chargers at hand. It might also be worth packing a portable power bank, just in case.
  • Bathroom Supplies: Toilet paper (and kitchen roll for that matter) are must-haves. You may want to include some hand soap and a towel too.
  • Bedding: Pack a duvet, pillows and bedding for the first night to ensure you get a good night’s sleep.
  • Temporary Furniture: Consider items like folding chairs or a small table if your furniture hasn’t arrived yet.
  • Entertainment: A TV, radio or a few books can be a welcome relief after a busy moving day.

Also, keep all your important documents, such as your passport and mortgage paperwork, in a secure and easily accessible place throughout the move.

Moving In

With all the admin, prep and packing out of the way, it’s time for the fun part: moving in! 

Stepping over the threshold of your new home marks the beginning of an exciting chapter. To make this transition as smooth as possible, here are some steps to follow once you’ve unloaded your boxes:

  1. Deep Clean: Before you start unpacking, take the opportunity to do a deep clean of the property. It’s much easier to scrub tiles, clean carpets and freshen up spaces while they’re empty.
  2. Unpack Strategically: Start unpacking room by room, starting with the kitchen. This approach helps you systematically organise your space and quickly make your house functional.
  3. Check Utilities: Ensure all utilities are running as they should, including electricity, water and gas.

Pro Tip: Even if you’re moving in the summer, it’s worth turning the heating on just to make sure your central heating works as expected. 

  1. Secure Access: Verify that you have keys to all doors, windows and cupboards. This not only ensures security but also that you have full access to every part of your home.
  2. Waste Management: Find out which day your bins are collected. Knowing this helps you manage waste efficiently from the start, especially during the initial days when you might have more rubbish and recycling to get rid of.
  3. Relax: After a long day of moving, treat yourself. Find a local takeaway, order your favourite meal and take the evening off to relax. You’ve earned it!

Locate and List Essential Home Features

Your first full day in your new home is likely to be quite busy, though hopefully less so than your moving day. But before doing anything else, it’s a good time to find and list the most important aspects of running your property. 

This can save you from potential headaches like a burst pipe with no idea how to turn off the water. Here are the things you need to find:

  • Stopcock: Knowing where the main valve for controlling your water supply is can prevent flooding in an emergency.
  • Appliance Manuals: Collect instructions for all major appliances to ensure proper use and maintenance.
  • Utility Meters: Identify the locations of your gas and electricity meters for readings and in case of issues.
  • Thermostat: Find out how to control the heating in your new home.
  • Fuse Box: Knowing where your fuse box is crucial for managing electrical circuits and addressing power issues.

Taking the time to familiarise yourself with these critical components of your home will ensure you’re prepared for everyday life and any unexpected situations.

Pro Tip: If you’re moving out, you might consider leaving a list of these essential items for the new residents. They’ll appreciate the gesture and it might be helpful if you need any help from them at a later date.

Matt Wallace

Matt Wallace

Matt is a Director of Pay Less for Storage. He blogs tips for storage customers and helps them navigate self storage.

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