Before moving day
Firstly, get organised and prepare for moving day in advance. Declutter your home and get rid of anything you don’t want. This will save you both time and money since you won’t waste time packing and unpacking, or paying for storage of items that you no longer need or want.
Make some cash by listing valuable items on eBay. Donate or bin other items.
The British Heart Foundation will collect large furniture donations for free.
Use up as much food as possible to empty your fridge and freezer. Give away anything you can’t use to neighbours. Defrost your freezer at least 24 hours before moving and mop up any resulting water.
To make moving day a breeze, hire a packing and unpacking service. Make sure that you hire a reputable moving company (ask local friends for recommendations) and check that they are insured for any accidental breakages or damage.
Ask friends or relatives to take care of your small children and pets on moving day and if possible for the first night, so that you can focus completely on the moving process.
Deep clean, or arrange for a cleaning company to clean your old home before handover. Organise keys, appliance manuals etc for the new owners.
Book an Ocado or supermarket delivery for the day after you move in. By this time your freezer will be cold enough to restock and you will be running out of supplies from your awesome arrival box (see below). Include some fresh flowers or a scented candle to freshen up your new home.
Change your address 2 weeks prior to moving day. Create a spreadsheet to keep a record of this and list everything you need to update. We’ve provided a starter checklist below, with links to the relevant agencies.
Change of address checklist
- insurance providers
- loan providers (including student loan)
- online shopping sites including supermarket delivery services
- club and organisation memberships
- doctor, dentist, vet etc
- friends and relatives
- pet microchips
Label EVERYTHING – boxes should clearly show both contents and the room it should go in. Label all sides and add an arrow to show which way up the box should be carried/placed. Make this easier and faster by assigning a coloured sticker for each room. This way you can see at-a-glance where things should go (and poor handwriting doesn’t need to be translated for movers).
Number boxes in the order that you would like them to be unpacked. This will also make it clear if any boxes go missing en route.
Go a step further and assign different coloured, see-through plastic crates to each room. Uber-organised packers might choose to use a spreadsheet to digitally record box contents. This way you can reuse the boxes in future, or sell them.
Before disconnecting, take a photo of how your electronics and AV are set up (which wires go where) so that you can easily reconnect them at your new home.
Keep your clothes on their hangers and put them in bin liners to protect them. This makes packing and unpacking a breeze. Be sure to declutter your wardrobe before packing too!
Vacuum pack out of season clothes to take up less space.
Think about what you will need first in your new home. Pack these items in a clear box in your own car (not the removal van).
We’ve included some ideas of what to include below, but this list is not exhaustive and if you have pets or children, you will, of course, want to include items for them as well such as snacks and toys.
Arrival box checklist
- toilet paper
- hand wash
- a hand towel
- toothbrush & toothpaste
- a change of clothes
- milk in a cool bag
- phone charger
- bin bags
- a torch & batteries
- kitchen paper
- basic cleaning products (anti-bacterial wipes are great)
- washing up liquid & rubber gloves
- important documents (passports, birth certificates, title deeds etc)
- keys/phone/wallet with cash to tip the movers and pay for your takeaway
- The TV remote
- a bottle of wine (or bubbly!)
- bottle opener
- plastic plates/cutlery
- a tea towel
- something to eat for breakfast
- the number of your new local takeaway/s
An awesome arrival on moving day
Finally, when you arrive at your new home, tackle things in this order:
- Add toilet paper, soap and a hand towel to at least one bathroom (clean if needed)
- Make a cuppa for yourself and your movers (biscuits are optional but usually welcome!)
- Unload boxes by room, but don’t start to unpack these yet
- Position large items of furniture and connect appliances/white goods
- Check these items for damage (if all is well, tip your movers)
- Put your fridge items away to keep them fresh
- Assemble and make your bed(s). This way, if you achieve nothing else today, at least you can go to sleep!
- Unpack and clean enough of the kitchen so that you can have dinner and breakfast
- Unpack enough of the living area so that you can relax with a take-away, some TV and glass of wine
- Call Deliveroo and leave the rest of the unpacking until tomorrow.
Click the image below for a full-size visual, printable reminder of what to include in your awesome arrival box.
Find more tips and help for homebuyers on our Pinterest board.