Moving House in the UK - the Complete Checklist
Moving home may be stressful, but our handy checklist is here to make it as painless as possible. We’ve written out everything you’ll need to be ready for the big move, complete with plenty of info and links to resources that will help you get the job done.
Why use a moving house checklist?
Moving house is simple right? Who needs a moving checklist? You get a few friends to help, grab a few boxes, and bing-bang-boom you have a new address.
If only that were the case. If you’ve already moved home, you know there’s a myriad of steps needed to ensure a successful, tear-free moving experience. Some pre-moving steps may need to take place more than two months before the actual moving date!
From moving your energy utilities to getting insurance, our moving home checklist lets you see at a glance everything you need to do to ease your move, and gives you a step-by-step process to make it happen.
At least two months before the move
Yes, you’ve still got quite a bit of time, but don’t let yourself fall behind or you may regret it in the weeks to come. Here are a few steps for a pleasant move that you should tackle as soon as possible.
1. Check if your new home will need a new gas/electricity connection
If you have to set up a new electricity or gas connection, it can take quite a bit of time. Usually only new homes need a new connection. If you’re working with a contractor, they’ll most likely handle all contact with the Distribution Network Operator.
If you are managing the process yourself, be sure to get all the information and leave plenty of time for the process. But even with a long project, don’t stress, we’ve mapped out everything you’ll need to do to set up a new gas or electricity connection.
2. If you rent, take a look at your current contract
Most landlords ask for advance notice when tenants leave their property. Make sure you don’t need to alert them early to avoid paying a fee or losing your deposit. If you have a standard contract, you can wait a bit to let your landlord know.
3. Transfer your children to their new school
If you have kids, make sure you leave plenty of time to deal with delays and bureaucracy when it comes to their new school. You may need to transfer your child’s, or children’s, official records to their new school, organise for them to take a placement exam or purchase school uniforms.
4. Budget your moving expenses
A professional removal company, an insurance policy, utility transfer fees; the costs of moving can add up, and you don’t want them to surprise you. One of your first steps should be budgeting the cost of your move and setting aside the money you’ll need to get it done.
5. Insure your home
We can’t stress enough how important this is. Your home is almost certainly the most valuable thing you’ll ever own, so be sure you protect it with a smart insurance policy. If you're the owner of your new home it is legally required to have building insurance, and you'll need it in order to set up a morgage.
6. Don’t forget boiler cover!
Having your boiler in tip-top shape is vital to maintaining a warm, happy home. Look into getting boiler cover so that if there’s a problem with your new boiler, you can get it squared away cheaply and quickly.
Boiler breakdowns are often not covered in general home insurance! Save yourself from large bills and cold nights with fast maintenance and repairs, with a boiler cover policy.
Six weeks before your move
Things are starting to feel more real, and it’s time to go all out in preparing for your move. Successfully completing the following steps is crucial for a crisis-free move.
1. Notify your current landlord
If you’re currently renting, let your landlord know about your move between six weeks and a month before you moving day. Most contracts require at least a month’s notice or you could incur a fee or lose your deposit!
2. Find out your new home’s energy supplier
Your new home will already have an energy supplier, but don’t worry, you can switch at any time. The first step is finding out who currently supplies gas and electricity to your home. Later on you can use this information to be sure you’re getting the best tariff possible.
You should also check who will be your local energy distributor. You aren’t able to change your distributor but it’s still important to know who to contact in case of a service issue.
3. Pick and confirm a date for the move
Let’s face it, moving takes time, and help. Choose a day well ahead of time so you can confirm that everyone involved knows the date and will be available.
4. Book storage space
If you’re moving into a smaller residence or will have a transition period before you move into your new home, you may need to contract a storage space for some of your possessions. Be sure to look at reviews to make sure you’re leaving your things in a safe environment!
5. Transfer your TV licence
You can transfer your TV licence up to 3 months before your move. Get this out of the way early so you can be sure once you arrive at your new house you’ll be able to relax with your favourite programmes.
6. Consider Contents Insurance
What is contents insurance? In simple terms, it’s an insurance policy for the valuable objects inside your house. In general, it’s important to insure your possessions in case of theft or damage. It’s vital to have insurance during a move, when everything you own is being moved, packed and shipped off.
7. Research your new city
Every region and city in the UK is slightly different when it comes to energy. Make sure you get all the info you need with our city information guides.
8. Start purging
Moving home is the perfect opportunity to clean out all the things you no longer want or need. You still have time, but start noticing what you use every day and what’s just taking up space, and feel free to throw out or recycle what you don’t need.
Pro-tip: start your moving process early If you can, get a head start on your one-month items below during this period. The more you can get done early, the less you’ll have to do in the more stressful final weeks before your move.
One month before your move
The one month mark is here; it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of the moving home process. There’s no time like the present!
1. Find the best tariff for your new home
There are so many energy suppliers on the market, but it’s important to find the best deal for your household. Take a few minutes to make sure you’re getting the best value for money and customer service.
If you’re sticking with a supplier until the end of your contract to avoid a fee, watch out! Your current tariff may be so expensive that switching to an independent supplier could save you money even if you have to pay an exit fee.
Think you don’t have time to find the best tariff option? Don’t worry, that’s what we’re here for. Get info on all major energy suppliers, guides to common energy questions and a quote for your region!
2. Plan for a green household
A new home is a great opportunity to form new habits! If you’ve always wanted to become more environmentally conscious, this is the perfect time to make a shift to a more environmentally responsible home.
One of the biggest changes you can make is to switch to 100% renewably sourced electricity in your home. You may also want a smart meter for your new home, which lets you monitor your energy use and see where you could use energy more efficiently. And don’t forget to opt for paperless billing.
3. Inform your utilities supplier
It’s very important that you inform your current gas and electricity supplier that you’re moving home. If you don’t, the bills will still be in your name! A quick call to your supplier’s customer service line should do the trick, or if you prefer, check their website to see if you can complete the moving home process online.
If you’re moving to or within Northern Ireland, be aware that there are substantial differences in the NI energy infrastructure and there are different suppliers, including Electric Ireland and SSE Airtricity.
Below we have contact information for the Big Six energy companies, the most popular gas and electricity suppliers in the UK.
4. Update your address
Make sure all your post will arrive at your new house or flat. Contact Royal Mail carrier so you don’t lose any mail after you move. You can get more information on forwarding your correspondence with Royal Mail via the link below.
There are also numerous government offices that will need to be informed, not to mention your employer, schools etc. Check out our full change of address guide to make sure everyone who needs to be notified gets the news.
5. Schedule time off from work
If you aren’t able to plan your move for a time you have off, or if you’re always on call, be sure to schedule time off so you can be sure you’re free when it’s time to move boxes.
6. Think about pets and small children
If you’re a pet owner or the parent of small children, consider asking a relative, friend or professional to look after them while you’re moving. If you do opt to have someone watch your children or pets, be sure to schedule it in advance.
Pro-tip: keep your documents handy Keep all the physical documents related to your move in one place, and keep them as organised as possible. A bit of time sorting through papers will save you time in the long run.
Two weeks before your move
Every day your move is a little bit closer. Now’s the time to stay organised and stay focused.
1. Boxes for moving house
Most professional movers provide boxes and will do the packing and unpacking for you. However, if you are not in a position to pay for a professional moving company, you'll need to gather your own supplies.
Don’t wait until the last minute to get plenty of boxes, bubble wrap, tape and anything else you may need. And get plenty, because trust us, you’ll need more boxes than you’re imagining. If you can, get a few different sizes so you have the perfect box for all sorts of items.
2. Start packing!
Stick to items you’re not using every day like books, rarely used items and out-of-season clothing. That way you’ll have a big chunk already packed away in boxes when you go for your big packing push just before your move.
3. Set up your Broadband and TV
Picture it: You’ve finally moved in to your new flat or house. You sit down to relax and… no internet, no TV service. Don’t let this happen; schedule your TV and broadband ahead of time!
If you’re intimidated by figuring out all the technical ins-and-outs, don’t fret, our broadband and TV guides have made the process smooth and stress free. And if you’re just looking for the best deal on broadband, we’ve got that covered too.
If you’re happy with your existing broadband and TV service, check to see if your carrier can provide coverage in your new address as well.
4. Arrange a date to get the keys
You’ll need to schedule a date to receive the keys in advance, the last thing you want is to be waiting outside a locked building with all your possessions on the pavement.
5. Schedule a cleaning of your old property
To avoid dealing with your previous landlord or with the estate agent or new owners/tenants, consider contracting a professional cleaning service to tidy up the home you’re moving out of.
Pro-tip: pack your boxes by room When you pack your items, be sure that all the contents of each box only contain things from one room. That way you can simply take each box to its corresponding room and dramatically cut back your time sorting through items later.
The week of your move
It’s the final stretch! The last few days before you move can be stressful, but they’re the most important to make sure everything goes well on the big day.
1. Take photos of valuable items
It may seem strange, but if you have a problem with damaged or missing goods these photos will help you claim insurance payments if you have contents insurance or a removal contract.
2. Gather all of your needed documents
Make sure you don’t accidentally leave vital documents in your old home! Gather all your most valuable documents so you can be sure you know exactly where they are during the entire moving process.
3. Update your voting address
Make sure to inform the government of your move to ensure that you’ll be able to vote from your new address. Your vote matters, so don’t leave it behind! You can get more information via the link below.
4. Pack remaining items
Anything that hasn’t already been packed should be in a box by the end of the week. Be careful not to overpack boxes, especially with things like books and crockery. It won’t do you any good if the box is too heavy to lift.
Try to sort things into boxes that make sense and label the outside. That will make your unpacking process much faster and easier.
5. Return anything you’ve borrowed from friends and neighbours
This is a great opportunity to earn some karma points and return anything you’ve borrowed from your friends or neighbours before you leave your current home.
Then again, will they really miss those old garden shears? They say possession is 9/10ths of the law…
6. Go for a nice dinner
Towards the end of the week, your plates and cooking utensils will be stored away in boxes. This is the perfect excuse to go for a nice dinner with friends or family. Moving is hard, so take a moment to relax and celebrate that you’re almost done!
Pro-tip: maintain positive vibes Even though this is a stressful time, try and maintain a positive and upbeat atmosphere during the week. If you spend the days leading up to moving day tense and stressed out, odds are that you’ll spend moving day and the first days in your new home the same way.
The day is finally here! M-Day is upon you and everything you’ve done so far is finally paying off.
1. Make sure you and all movers are on the same page
This is especially important if you’re using non-professional movers. Clear communication is key to avoiding confusion, delays and general stress.
2. Take things directly to their room
If you can, take all boxes directly to the room their contents correspond with, IE: take the box of silverware directly to the kitchen or the TV directly to the living room.
3. Turn off water, heat, etc. of your old home
If no one is immediately moving into your former residence, you should be sure to turn off the water and heating to avoid potential problems or disputes with your final bills.
4. Do a final sweep of your old home
You don’t want to miss one last box, plus it’s the perfect moment for a bit of nostalgia. Hope you haven’t packed the Kleenex!
5. Hand over your old keys
Give the keys to your old home to the owner/estate agent.
6. Turn on and inspect utilities in your new home
Once you’re in your new place, you should find the circuit breaker and water valve. Even if everything is already running fine, you should still locate them, that way you’ll be ready if there’s ever a problem.
You should also find your gas and electricity meters and your meter number. You can get all the details on your meter number and more with our guide.
Pro-tip: reward friends who helped you move If you enlisted friends or family to help you move, reward them with beverages, food or both. Because real friends are the ones who show up on moving day.
After the move
Congratulations on the move! Now there’s nothing to do but enjoy your new home.
If only that were true. While you should definitely take a moment (or a weekend) to relax, there are still quite a few things to be done in your first weeks in your new home.
1. Check your broadband speed
You’ve set up your broadband, now make sure it’s as fast as it should be with our broadband speed test. If it’s not, check out our guide to the fastest broadband of 2020 to see the best broadband providers for your home.
2. Council tax
With the exception of full-time students and some people with specific exemptions, every adult in the UK must pay Council Tax, which is a tax set up by - and paid to - your local council government.
To do so you’ll need to register your new address with your local council. They’ll get you registered and explain the process. You can find your local council via the link below. You’ll need your new postcode, so be sure to have it to hand.
And now, there’s nothing left to do but unpack. It’s a lot of work, but it’ll be worth it to see your new home organised with everything in its place.
4. Housewarming party
Sorry, there is one thing left to do: throw a party! Moving is no easy feat, but you’ve done it. Now it’s time to celebrate with everyone who helped you compete a successful move. But don’t worry, no matter how useful you found this checklist, don’t feel obligated to invite us.
Pro-tip: don't procrastinate Even though it's important to take time to relax, try not to procrastinate on your post-move items. The sooner you get them done, the sooner you can focus on enjoying your new home.