You've found your dream home, exchanged contracts and sorted your mortgage. All that's left to do is move in. That’s the easy part, isn’t it?
Well, there are lots of things you might not have accounted for – from finding the fuse box in your new home to letting your broadband supplier know you're moving.
Make sure you don’t get caught out at the last minute. Read our checklist for the big day.
1. Confirm the date of your move
First things first, you'll need to get your moving date officially confirmed by your conveyancers and the house sellers.
If you're renting, you may be able to spread moving out and moving in across several days. This way, you can get into your new home and get any work done, like cleaning carpets and painting, without the stress of moving in at the same time.
If you happen to be at the end of the chain, you may find yourself waiting a long time for all the other transactions to go through. Find out your place in the chain, and plan accordingly in case things take longer than expected.
2. Give notice to your landlord (if you're renting)
If you're renting, you'll need to let your landlord know the exact date you're moving out. Hopefully this will coincide with the end of your lease, as this avoids paying for both rent and your mortgage at the same time.
3. Contact your utility suppliers
Let all of your utility suppliers know that you're planning to move out – electricity, gas, phone and broadband suppliers will all need to know when you're leaving the property.
Chances are, you'll be moving your phone and broadband across to your new property. Give your supplier as much notice as possible, as moving service may take several weeks.
You may have to wait for your internet connection to be set up at your new property, so make sure you download anything important you might need, like appliance instructions, directions, and those films you've been meaning to watch.
If you find yourself without internet when you move in, try turning your phone into a mobile hotspot. It's not a long term solution, but it will help you keep on top of things.
Finally, take a final meter reading in your property and pass them on to the right suppliers. Taking a picture of the meter might help, as the photo will have a timestamp, proving exactly what the meter reading was when the photo was taken.
4. Get quotes on your removal costs
When it comes to removals, it all depends on what's practical for your budget and the size of your property.
If you're moving into a small property, or if cost is a large factor, it'll probably be cheaper to rent a van and get a few friends to help. However, that can easily add to the stress of moving day, so make sure it's right for you.
If you'd prefer a professional service, visit the British Association of Removers to get a quote online. The British Association of Removers have an established code of practice, and are monitored by the Trading Standards Institute.
Regardless of what service you pick, make absolutely sure you've got all your valuables and personal documents in a safe place; keep them on your person, if you can.
5. Have a big clear out before you move
This is the perfect time to go through your old things and decide what is and isn't worth keeping. Before you start boxing everything up, go through your old clothes, electronics and furniture. Decide what's actually worth keeping and what can be dropped off at the local charity shop.
It'll save you a lot of time, effort and backache if you cut down on the number of things you need to move to your new home.
6. Make a list of where everything is in your new home
Most people wait until there's a gushing radiator before they work out how to switch the water off – make sure that doesn't happen to you.
Ask the sellers of your new property exactly where the following things are:
Stopcock (valve for controlling the main water supply)
Instructions for appliances
Gas and electricity meters
If you're selling, make a list of where all the important things are in your home, and leave it for the people moving in.
They'll really appreciate you going the extra mile, and it may come in handy if you need to ask them for a favour (like posting those shoes you bought online and sent to the wrong address).
7. Pack everything and label boxes
Hopefully you've had a clear out, so this should be a bit easier.
When you’re packing everything up, label all the boxes properly. Make a list so you know exactly what’s inside each box after the journey. Make a checklist of what's in each box, so you don't have to root around whenever you're trying to find something.
8. Pay for bills, let friends and family know you're moving
Settle up all the bills and council tax still owed on your current property; you don't want any bills coming back to haunt you when you're all settled in your new place.
Contact the following people to let them know you're changing your address:
Your bank, insurance, pension and credit card companies
The council, electoral roll
Doctor and dentist
National Insurance / DSS offices
Post redirection services (this requires at least 5 days notice)
Tip – Don't forget to delete your old address from all online retailers (such as Amazon). There's nothing worse than realising your package has been delivered to an old address.
When that's done, send out one big email to friends and family to let them know your new address and the exact date you move in. They might not need it right away, but when Christmas card season comes around they'll be grateful you planned ahead.
9. Grab the essential for moving day
You'll need the essentials for the first night in your new place, so it’s best to make a box or two with the following things to hand:
Kettle, mugs, tea, milk, coffee, sugar
Cleaning products, plus vacuum cleaner and bin bags
Phone and laptop chargers
Loo roll, kitchen roll
Duvet and bedding for the first night
Temporary furniture - deck chairs etc.
Television or radio
And make sure you keep all your important documents, like your passport and mortgage paperwork, where you can easily find them.
10. Move in to your new home
Once you've unloaded everything, do a deep clean of the property before you start unpacking. This is definitely the easiest time to scrub tiles and clean carpets.
Unpack room by room, starting with the kitchen
Check all the utilities are up and running
Make sure you have keys to every door, window and cupboard
Find out what day your bins are collected
Finally, take the rest of the night off. Find a local takeaway, order something delicious and put your feet up – you've earned it.
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