Moving house is one of the most stressful experiences in modern life. By the time moving day comes round you’ve already had to wade through pages of legal documents and make endless phone calls. And if you’re a home buyer, you’ve probably spent weeks keeping your fingers crossed that the chain doesn’t collapse.
Moving day is always going to be hectic, but being organised can make all the difference. Our moving house checklist should help you through the weeks leading up to the big move, but here are a few things to bear in mind on the day itself. Follow these tips to make sure you’re sat with your feet up in your new home as soon as possible.
1 Rally as many helpers as possible
The more people you have helping the easier your move will be, so get all your friends and family involved. Give people specific tasks so you aren’t just getting in each other’s way. Some people can pack the last few boxes while others load them into the van or dust and vacuum the empty rooms. You can even send a couple of people ahead to the new house to do a spot of cleaning there if you have the keys. Keep your helpers sweet with some edible treats and plenty of cups of tea.
2 Arrange child and pet care
Young children and hectic house moves are not an ideal mix, so if your kids are able to stay with friends or relatives on moving day it might be a good idea. If not, try and get them involved with the move by giving them specific tasks like packing away their toys. Cats and dogs can get underfoot while heavy boxes are being moved, so it’s probably wise to find a pet-sitter for the day too.
3 Make sure there's somewhere for the van to park
You’ll want your removal van parked as close to your house as possible when you’re unloading heavy boxes and furniture. If you’ve got a private drive, no problem. But if it’s shared, make sure you check your neighbour’s ok to keep it clear for the day. If you only have on-street parking, it might be worth sending a couple of friends’ cars ahead in the morning to try and reserve some spaces.
It’s not unheard of for people to completely strip their properties when they move out so you may find that you get to your new pad and can’t even turn the lights on.
5 Make a box of essentials
It could be days, weeks or even months before you manage to unpack all your boxes. So make sure any essential items you’ll need straight away are kept together. This could include things you’ll need on your first night like pyjamas and toothbrushes, important documents, your handbag or wallet and the kettle and mugs so you can have a brew. Put this box aside, or pop it into your car early so a well-meaning helper doesn’t accidentally load it in the van.
6 Check all boxes are labelled
Before you load them into the van, make sure all your boxes are clearly labelled so you know what rooms to put them in. To make things even easier buy some coloured paper and allocate a different shade to each room so you can see at a glance where the boxes should go.
7 Leave time for a final check
Banish that nagging feeling that you’ve forgotten something by walking around your old property one last time when it’s completely empty. Check in any cupboards and drawers you’re leaving and make sure you peek in the loft and any sheds, garages or out-buildings.
8 Order a food delivery for the new property
If you’ve spent the past few weeks emptying your fridge and freezer in preparation for the move you’ll need to stock up on staple foods. Save yourself a trip to the supermarket by arranging a shopping delivery on the day of your move. Make sure you throw in some treats to reward you for all your hard work.
9 Move your furniture first
You should ideally arrange all your furniture first, otherwise you’ll have to move boxes twice when you realise you’ve created a neat pile exactly where you want your sofa.
Instead of trying to unpack everything at once, focus on one room, perhaps the living room or bedroom, and get it as ready as possible, creating a comfortable retreat you can escape to when the unpacking becomes too much.
If you’re a home buyer, you usually can’t pick up your new keys until every sale in the chain has completed. Most solicitors aim to have this done by around midday, but it’s not always possible. A delay at one person’s lender or bank can cause everyone problems and if all the money isn’t in place by 3pm, you’ll have to wait until the next day to get your keys . Make provisional plans to stay at a friend or family member’s house that night, just in case.
For more information check out our buying and owning a property guides.