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Moving Checklist

From the moment you first decide to move, the cost clock starts ticking. The whole process can be daunting - where exactly do you start?

That's why we've put together this three-part guide to make life a little easier for you.

The moving process and how to make it go smoothly

A comprehensive checklist of things to be done.

How to handle the removals

  • Decide if you are hiring a removal company or handling it yourself.
  • Choose a member of the British Association of Removers so you are covered by their code of practice.
  • Obtain at least two quotes - in writing.
  • You will need them to supply packing cases - obtain a cost.
  • Check their insurance cover - carefully.
  • Ask your own insurance company for advice.
  • Agree in writing which items you will pack yourself.
  • Insist that they visit your home to assess what is involved.

DIY removals

  • Remember to book your own van, arrange packing materials, check/organise insurance cover for breakage in transit.
  • Start collecting empty boxes from your supermarket.
  • Ask a friend to help - make sure they book time off work if needed.

When the move is official

  • Book time off - arrange cover at work.
  • If you are renting, give landlord written notice.
  • Book the van/s at least three weeks ahead.
  • Make a diary note of when the official packing cases are to arrive.
  • Make a list of emergency supplies for removal day - tea & coffee, mugs, kettle, washing up liquid, light bulbs, plastic bags, candles, fuse wire, kitchen and loo paper, flask, bottled water.
  • Organise insurance for your new home.
  • Start collecting spare boxes and packing materials.

Packing up

  • Start personal packing at least two weeks ahead.
  • Draw up a contents plan for each room with labels for each packing case clearly marked.
  • Find transit bolts for large appliances and keep safely.

The Clear Out

  • Sort old clothes, books, rubbish or unwanted items.
  • Send in advance to local charity shop.
  • Make a list of the garden plants you are taking.
  • Empty your loft, garage or shed.
  • Dispose safely of old paint

Children and pets

  • Arrange for a friend or family member to take your children.
  • Signs of packing will distress your pet. Talk to your vet. Ideally send away for a couple of days beforehand.


  • Tell the vendor if you want to take over the phone line.
  • If you can keep the line switched on you avoid reconnection charges.
  • Contact his phone supplier and obtain their official agreement.
  • See if you can keep your existing number.


  • Inform gas, electricity and water suppliers and arrange a final reading.
  • Follow their advice, particularly if the property is to be empty for a time.
  • Agree in advance with your purchaser any action you might take.


  • Always redirect, particularly if your old home is staying empty. This stops confidential details falling into the wrong hands.
  • For a small fee, the Royal Mail provides a redirect service - but set up your redirection at least 10 days in advance.
  • Take out for at least six months if property is to be left empty.

Papers & milk

  • Cancel one week before and pay bills.


  • Turn up the thermostat a few days ahead of move to keep contents frozen.
  • Stop restocking two weeks before move if you want to defrost it.

The day before

Clean the house

  • Pack your emergency kit.
  • Defrost freezer.
  • Disconnect large appliances.

On the day itself

  • Allow for the whole day - completion rarely occurs early in the morning. You can only move as quickly as the keys become available.
  • In summer - turn off the water, gas and electricity.
  • Take a final reading.
  • Drain the water system if the property will be empty.
  • Lock all doors and windows - leave window keys.
  • Keep your emergency kit separate from the main packing.
  • Leave check list for locating fuse box, burglar alarm, water stop cock, meters.
  • In winter - leave on utilities and central heating, with agreement of purchaser and insurance company.

Arriving at your new home

  • Read the meters immediately on entry, in case this has been overlooked
  • Check the gas, electricity and water supplies
  • Make sure your phone is connected

Remember to tell the following people your new address

  • Employer.
  • Bank.
  • Building Society.
  • Hospital, dentist or other healthcare practitioners.
  • Insurance and pension companies.
  • Inland Revenue.
  • Financial adviser or accountant.
  • TV licensing; cable or satellite TV suppliers.
  • Utilities - gas, electricity, water, telephone, mobile phone.
  • Investments including National Savings, Premium Bonds.
  • Credit and store card suppliers.
  • Goods on order eg catalogue companies.
  • Subscriptions to magazines and clubs.
  • Memberships - charities and professional organisations.
  • Internet Service Provider.
  • Electoral Register.
  • Council Tax.
  • DVLA for your driving and vehicle licences.
  • Children's old school or college.
  • Motoring organisations.
  • Friends and colleagues.
  • Auntie Mable?

At your new home, remember to

  • Register with a new doctor.
  • Decide if you need a new dentist.
  • Find a vet.
  • Look for an optician.
  • Join a local gym.
  • Locate your local library.
  • Check on day one that post is being redirected.


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