It’s often said that moving home is the most stressful activity that most adults go through in their lifetime. Whilst this may be true, there’s a lot you can do to minimise the stress and ease the process. One of these things is to keep on top of notifying everyone in your personal and business life that you’re on the move. This can be a LONG list, and we’ve therefore included it for reference at the foot of this article. You can also smooth the process by keeping on top of things, and aiming to complete phases of the move ahead of time, rather than leaving everything to a last-minute rush.
In an earlier article, we looked at the process as a countdown. Here we look at it in broadly chronological fashion, from what you need to do first to those last-minute little things.
You might find it helpful to print this list and to tick or cross-things off the list as and when you do them.
Preparing to Move House, and Who to Tell that You’re Moving Home, or That You Have Moved
Before the Move (possibly long before …)
- Buy a notebook for your lists, notes and reminders
- Book your removal company or Man with a Van (but only once Missives are concluded!)
- Eat-up the contents of the freezer, and plan your meals to minimise the amount remaining in your cupboards come moving day
- Start to think about packing your non-essential items. These could include contents of your loft, garage, or upper shelves of cupboards and wardrobes.
- Order, buy, borrow, or accumulate packing boxes in good time. You’ll also need large labels and marker pens. As you pack them, label them with the content, and their destination in your new home (e.g. Andy’s clothes – Upstairs Bedroom). Stationery Archive boxes (from Staples, Office Depot, or Cash and Carry stores) are ideal as they are designed to carry heavy loads, typically have carrying handles and lids, and will stack easily in your home and in the removal van.
- Accumulate bubble wrap from your online deliveries for months beforehand or buy from eBay or Amazon (it’s a LOT cheaper than buying it last-minute from the removal company)
- Get a stock of luggage tags for labelling bags, keys and other small items.
- Declutter and sell unwanted items via eBay, Freecycle, charity collection bags or charity shops
- Bin what you no longer need and recycle as much as possible – some people find it helpful to consider whether they have used the item in the past 12 months and, if not, to throw it out or give it to charity
- Set aside old sheets and blankets for wrapping and to use as dust sheets on arrival
- Organise care for children, pets and dependents on the moving day
- Plan a supermarket delivery for the day after your arrival. Easy meals will be best, as you’re likely to be busy
- Stop watering outdoor pot plants a few days before the move, if you’re taking them with you
- Top-up PAYG phones
- Back up your PCs, laptops and phones in case of loss or damage in transit. Consider sending your backups by a different method of transport than the PCs and laptops – if your PC AND backup disc are both on the same vehicle you could stand to lose both
- Make sure that your contents insurance covers you for the moving process, as well as transferring your home insurance from your old address to the new.
TIP! Keep a ‘Packing Box’
This should travel around the house with you as you pack. Contents should include:
- Bubble wrap, paper shreddings, etc.
- A duster, so that things are cleaned as they are packed
- Ziploc or sandwich bags for small items, and for the screws and fixings for larger items that are dismantled – tape the bags with screws and fixings to the item
- Large sandwich bags (or carrier bags) for anything liquid, in case of breakage in transit
- Parcel or packing tape
- Sellotape or Scotch tape
- Several marker pens for boxes and labels – (remember to mark boxes and place labels ON THE SIDE!)
- Rubber bands
- A plastic tub with a lid for anything that fits in the ‘odds and ends to be kept’ category – this could include bits of lego and small toys, receipts, screws, clips, coins, etc.
TIP! Keep a House Pack for your buyers – this should be clearly labelled as ‘To Stay’
- Greetings card, wine, or chocolates to welcome them!
- Forwarding instructions for any mail that slips through your redirection, possibly with pre-written address labels and envelopes
- Instruction books and guarantees for appliances which are staying
- Leaflets about refuse collections, local services, takeaways
- Note with refuse and recycling collection days
- (Possibly) the names of immediate neighbours
- Radiator keys, meter box keys, and any other tools required for appliances which are staying
The Day Before, and on Moving Day
- Work through the house one room at a time. Close the doors on rooms that have been packed as a room is packed/emptied
- Make sure you have either – hot drinks, food and warm clothing in winter, or plenty of water and light clothes in summer
- Set an alarm for moving day morning!
- Quick breakfast and wash up
- Make ‘bedding rolls’ by rolling up your bedding inside the base sheet or mattress protector, and place them in bin bags. You can then unload them in an instant at your new home. Include curtains in this if necessary
- Check all cupboards, wardrobes, loft, and garage
- Take meter readings (don’t forget water meter, if applicable) – in your notebook, and possibly photograph them with your phone
On arrival at your new home, the ‘Kitchen Box’ goes in first, along with the ‘Cleaning and Essentials Box’ – as below:
- Kettle (or portable gas stove if you’re moving to a property that needs some work)
- Mugs, spoons
- Plates or picnic plates, disposable cups
- Tea bags, coffee, hot chocolate, sugar/sweeteners
- Soft drinks or bottled water
- Washing-up liquid, sponge, cloth, dish towel
- Biscuits, cake, cereal bars, chocolate, energy bars
- Kitchen towels
- Handwash, soap, hand towels
- Medicines and plasters, first-aid box
Cleaning and Essentials Box – the cleaning stuff can sit in a bucket
- Any floor covering you want to put down in the hall – old towels are handy as temporary doormats, especially if it’s raining when you and the removal men arrive
- Toilet paper
- Basic tools for assembling furniture, radiator keys
- Batteries (including smoke alarm) and a selection of light bulbs
- Bin bags, hand brush and pan
- Bleach and antibacterial wipes for WCs and sinks
- Cleaning materials, including lots of cloths and some rubber gloves
- Gardening or working gloves, possibly – as moving boxes is hard on hands
- Matches, torches, flashlights
- Measuring tape
- Paper, marker pen and masking tape/blu-tac for labelling room doors – masking needs to be the kind guaranteed to come off again – the room labels will tell your removers where your marked boxes are going….
- Vacuum cleaner
If you’re not travelling in the removal van, you’ll need an ‘In the Car’ box, which will also function as your ‘one night in a hotel’ box, should things go amiss;
- Any medicines that will be needed during the day
- Any warm or waterproof clothing and footwear that may come in handy
- Handbags with phones, chargers, wallets and keys etc
- Hand wipes, hand cream
- Phone charger and adapter plugs
- Moving documents, notebook with any essential numbers not saved in phones
- Overnight bag and some extra underwear
- Snacks and drinks, toys and games if appropriate
- Washbags – shower gel, soap, flannels, toothpaste, toothbrushes etc
- Check all the sets of keys work
- Take meter readings in notebook and on camera phone
- Get the kettle on!
- If possible, check that the household water stop-cock works, especially if it is in a hard-to-reach place
- Check for working light bulbs before it gets dark, and make up beds while you have the energy
- Switch on fridge and freezer, if applicable
- Switch on water heater and central heating as appropriate
- Start a to-do list in your notebook of non-urgent jobs/things to buy – keep it by the kettle
Who to Tell About Your Move
Top of the list, and in no particular category, comes Royal Mail. Set up your mail redirection for 3, 6 or 12 months, whichever period you feel is appropriate for you and your needs. We can’t tell you when to notify the people and organisations below, this will depend on you and your circumstances, but we hope this proves useful in catching all those names that sometimes ‘fall through the net’.
The longer your list of people to inform, and the more hectic and busy your life, the more likely it is that it will take a while to inform everyone who you need to inform about your new address, so bear that in mind. Every month we have a new owner coming to our office with a huge pile of mail for a previous owner, but not every new owner will go out of their way like this.
Utilities and other Services
- Broadband Supplier
- Cleaners, Ironing Service, etc.
- Electricity, Gas & other Utility Suppliers
- Mobile Phone Supplier
- Optician, Hairdresser, other Beauty/Health professionals
- Satellite or Cable TV Supplier
- Servicing Contractors (Boiler, CH, other appliances)
- TV Licencing Office
- Banks (High Street and Online)
- Building Society / Mortgage Lender (who should know already, but …)
- Council (both old & new) – Council Tax Department
- Credit Card(s) Provider
- Dept of Work & Pensions (DWP), formerly DSS
- Hire Purchase/Loan Companies
- Investments (Funds, etc.) – Administrator/Registrar
- Life Assurance Supplier
- Loan or Credit Companies
- NS&I – Premium Bonds
- Pension Providers
- Shareholdings – Registrars (direct and online)
- Hospital, if you attend regularly
- Medical insurance (BUPA etc.)
- Car Insurer
- Car Clubs (AA, RAC etc)
- Car Finance Company, if vehicle not owned outright
- Council – cancel or modify any Parking Permits
- Home Phone/Landline Supplier
- Internet Service Provider (ISP)
- Online Retailers (Amazon, eBay, Paypal)
- Burglar Alarm Servicing or Monitoring
- Clubs – Community, Sports, Rotary,WWF, RSPB, etc.
- Dog Walking Service(s)
- Family & Friends
- Friends and Neighbours
- Household Insurance Supplier – Building and Contents
- Milkman – cancel deliveries
- Newsagent – cancel paper deliveries
- Pet Sitters
- Schools & Nurseries, Childminders, Babysitters
- Vet, Kennels, Cattery, Microchip Registrations, Pet Groomers
- Window Cleaner
- Book or Music Club Subscriptions
- Charities – for catalogues, as well as registered donor/member
- Church/Religious Organisations
- Magazine Subscriptions
- Memberships – maybe included in Clubs above
- Pawnbroker – if you plan to later re-purchase anything you’ve pawned
- Stores or Chains with discount or club cards
- Survey/Market Research websites
We hope that you’ll find this checklist useful. If we’ve missed anything from this list, please do let us know and we’ll add it on. Meantime, if you require any advice about buying or selling property in Scotland, please just get in touch with us!