Moving House Checklist: you’ll find this super useful if you are buying a property

The idea for a really comprehensive moving house checklist came from my last experience of buying a new property. With the tempting prospect of no stamp duty on purchases up to half a million until end March 2021, I’ve decided to do it all over again. And I suspect I won’t be alone in having checked out what RightMove has to offer! Buying a new property is both exciting and stressful, so this checklist will prove invaluable as it covers absolutely everything you will need to remember to do…

Buying a Property? You'll Need This Super Useful Moving House Checklist

You can print off a copy of this checklist by clicking the green print icon at the end of this article. 

Once you’ve decided to buy

Have a massive clear out – sell stuff at a car boot, give away to charity, or if complete rubbish, take it to the tip.

Once you’ve had your offer accepted

Confirm mortgage

Instruct a solicitor – make sure they are on the panel of your mortgage provider. If they are not, you could end up having two solicitors – one for the sale and one for the purchase.

Commission a survey

Removals – get three quotes from local companies. They charge by volume, so you’ll be glad you had that clear out! Ask if they will unplumb and reinstall white goods (if not, you will need to book someone to do this for you). Remember you will have to pay the removals company in advance – this is likely to be a considerable outlay. Once you have chosen a company, they will ask you to list your valuable possessions for insurance purposes. Wise to also check if your insurance policy will cover your move. Check the parking restrictions for large removals vehicles at both your current and new home – your removals firm may need to apply to the council for permits. Find storage facilities if required – your removals company may be able to offer or recommend facilities.

If you are currently renting, confirm your moving date with your landlord

Once you have exchanged (Congratulations!)

Confirm completion/moving date with your removal company. Really recommend moving on any weekday except Friday if you can as people are out of their offices early and for the weekend so the traffic is usually heavier etc.

If you have pets find somewhere they can stay for a few days – ideally before you start packing so they don’t get stressed and because it is easier to pack without them being there.

Arrange your broadband/landline. In our case, Sky wanted 31 days notice so we ended up paying for two weeks we couldn’t use. Set up costs for our new broadband provider were an additional £60, so be aware of these potential extras. On the plus side, we got faster broadband and paid less than before.

Buildings insurance – you become responsible for your new property as soon as you exchange contracts, so it’s crucial to get buildings insurance in place from the start of that day.

Clear out more stuff – ie furniture that won’t fit into your new house could be sold at auction or on eBay (charges commission) or Gum Tree (no commission)

Two weeks before you move

Cancel local services and settle outstanding bills ie newspapers, gardeners, cleaners, window cleaners, oil deliveries etc

Run down freezer foods and other perishables

If friends offer to help you unpack at your new property – don’t be shy, just say YES! You will be tired and need as much help as you can get!

Buildings insurance – you become responsible for your new property as soon as you exchange contracts, so it’s crucial to get buildings insurance in place from the start of that day.

Clear out more stuff – ie furniture that won’t fit into your new house could be sold at auction or on eBay (charges 10% commission) or Gum Tree (no commission).

Two weeks before you move

Cancel local services you receive and settle outstanding bills e.g. newspapers, gardeners, cleaners, window cleaner, oil deliverie

Run down freezer foods and other perishables

If friends offer to help you unpack at your new house – don’t be shy, just say YES! You will be tired and need as much help as you can get!

Start notifying companies of your new address – there is a comprehensive list at the end of this article – allow plenty of time as phoning utilities and banks can take ages.

A week before you move

Confirm times, emergency phone numbers, parking, directions etc. with your removal company.

Add ‘moving’ phone numbers to mobile phone.

Safely dispose of all flammable materials and liquids that require specialist treatment – your removal company cannot move dangerous liquids

Give a set of your house keys to the estate agent handling your sale. Retrieve keys to your house from anyone who has them – your cleaner, neighbour etc.

Book overnight hotel accommodation if the journey is a long one and fill up your car with petrol.

The day before completion

Leave a list of useful numbers and a Welcome Home card for the incoming owners

Label all spare keys and leave them in an obvious place.

Do any washing and ironing. You may not get a chance to do it immediately at your new home.

Pack overnight bags so you have spare clothes, toiletries, pyjamas, and towels handy. We also packed valuables such as passports, jewellery, insurance papers, wills, cash, driving licences etc. and took them in our own car.

Ensure you have sufficient money in the bank for emergencies and some cash to tip your removal men (if they do a good job of course)

Survival kit In a large box, put all those items you will need close at hand when you arrive – stuff to make cups of tea and coffee, kitchen roll, loo roll, cleaning supplies, first aid kit, medication, tool kit, sellotape, scissors, torch, light bulbs, bin liners, pen and paper, charged mobiles, and mobile chargers. And a sharp penknife to open the packing boxes.

Defrost the fridge and freezer – ensure they are completely dry before moving

Return any borrowed items

Email friends and relatives with your new contact details.

Fully charge mobile phones

Completion / moving day

Buying a Property? You'll Need This Super Useful Moving House Checklist

Record all utility meter readings for water, electricity and gas. We recommend taking a photo of the meters with your mobile phone

Strip the beds and pack your bedding (you might want to take it in your car so you can make up the bed in your new home asap).

Identify fragile boxes and items going with you in the car to your removals team

Ensure one person stays until your movers have finished loading up as someone will need to sign the packing inventory.

Check all windows and doors are secure and utilities are switched off – unless you have arranged otherwise: we moved in late November and so agreed to leave the heating on.

Check your movers have your contact details and directions to your new house

Make sure you have one person available at the new property to guide the removal men. Best to show them around or give them a diagram of the property before they begin unloading the boxes.  If you colour code the rooms on a floor plan to correspond with boxes this will make it easier for them.

Read utility meters in your new home – the camera on your phone is a good way to record them

Check all the keys for the property work – any problems give the estate agent a call.

If you have pets, check the garden is safe for them. If possible, keep pets away until you’re settled in.

Check you can operate the boiler so you can have a hot bath and a warm house

Who to inform of your change of address

Bank/s  ours would only accept the information 24 – 48 hours before move – yours may be different.

Car Insurer A new address may mean an additional premium – ours was £1.10 but sometimes can be £100s more. Some insurers charge an admin fee too – we paid £26 for one of our cars.

Council

Doctor / NHS – tell your doctor your new address in case they need to write to you or visit you at home. If you are moving further away, you will need to register at a local surgery (a list of which can be found on NHS website). Also tell PCT (address on your NHS Medical Card) who may have to write to you about health screening programmes.

DVLA You can be fined up to £1,000 if you don’t tell DVLA when your address changes. 0300 790 6801. Needs to be done for every one who has a car at your address. Free to update your licences and takes about two weeks before they post new ones to you. You’ll need to cut your old driving licence into two and return it to: DVLA, Swansea SA99 1ZW.

You’ll also need to update address on V5C for your car/s. Fill in section 6 and sign section 8 and post to DVLA – but check if your road tax is due in the next few weeks as can take up to a month for DVLA to issue revised V5C – ours came in the post within a week.

If you pay by Direct Debit for vehicle tax, phone DVLA to change the billing address for that payment.

Electoral roll  This was quick and easy online.

HP agreements

Inland Revenue (or if you are still working, your office manager).

Insurers – pet, travel, private health, life (you’ll already have done buildings/contents). A new postcode can affect policy price – our pet insurance rocketed by an incredible 43%.

Mobile phone provider/s

Passport As long as your passport is valid you do not need to notify the Passport Agency of your change of address.

Pension/winter fuel payment Call Gov.UK on 03456060265

Postal redirection 

Savings accounts

Solicitor – and remember to update your will/s.

Storecards

TV licence

Utilities – gas, electricity, oil, LPG, water

Vet & Identichip company

White goods insurance

Wishing you every happiness in your new home. If you think I’ve left anything out of this moving house checklist, please do get in touch. Thank you.

Read Grace’s post about what else can be as painful as giving birth