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20 things to do when moving house

Alicia Babaee, Consumer Finance Specialist
Written by Alicia Babaee, Consumer Finance Specialist

14 September 2020

Moving home can be stressful, as well as costly. Any prep-work you can do to make your move a bit easier is a no-brainer. That’s why we’ve created this moving house checklist UK movers all need in their life. 

Woman taping boxes during moving house

This is the moving checklist UK movers need to know about. From your mail and banks, to your car and utilities, there’s a lot to get in order.

Follow our top 20 things to do when moving house to make sure you don’t run into problems once you’re in your new home.

1. Agree a date

This is the first item on the moving house checklist UK movers should focus on. Until you’ve confirmed a date for the big move, it’ll be tricky to tick anything else off your checklist. 

If you’re buying a house, you’ll probably need to move out and in all in one day. But, if you’re renting, you might find that you can do the move over a few days.

2. Tell your landlord

If you’re renting, you’ll need to give notice to your landlord. They’ll need to know the exact date you’ll be leaving, so it’s one of the first things to do when moving house.

Ideally, your moving date will be the same day your lease ends. That way, you won’t be paying two lots of rent at the same time (or a mortgage and rent if you’re buying).

3. Get removals quotes

Unless you plan to carry out the removals yourself, you should start gathering removals quotes straight away. Make this one of your priority things to do when you move house.

Your budget will dictate how much support you can pay for. 

If money’s tight, you could hire a van for the day and ask some friends to help you move.

If you’re using a removals service, you can get a basic removals package or even ask them to pack for you and reassemble your furniture.

It’s a great idea to have a clear out and make a trip to the charity shop before you leave your current home. That way, when it comes to unpacking, you won’t be stuck with any unwanted stuff.

And, if you’re packing yourself, don’t forget to label the boxes. Jot down which room it needs to go to in your new house, and list everything that’s inside on the side of the box. Use masking tape to stick any nuts and bolts that go with furniture to the furniture itself so they don’t get mixed up.

4. Get your mail re-directed

Get your mail re-directed to your new address by Royal Mail to protect your personal information from identity theft.

You’ll also make sure you don’t miss any important mail if you haven’t managed to transfer everything over to your new address by the time you move.

You can set up your redirect in advance of your moving day. You can put it in place for as long as you wish, but 6-12 months is usually enough time.

There’s a small charge, but it’s definitely one of the top things to do when you move house. It’s worth every penny to stop your important paperwork falling into the wrong hands. 

When you’ve moved, if you receive somebody else’s mail, write ‘return to sender’ on the envelope and pop it back in the postbox.

Set up your mail re-direct on the Royal Mail website

5. Tell your banks about the move

Tell your banks, building societies, insurance companies and so on about your move. They’ll want to update their records, so add this onto your list of things to do when moving house.

Your bank needs the correct information about you so they can can get hold of you in an emergency. 

Plus, it’s a way of making sure your important financial documents don’t fall into strangers' hands. PIN numbers or new credit cards are both sent by post, so it’s crucial that they come to the right address.

Contact each bank in advance of moving. Tell them your new address and your moving date, to ensure their records are up to date.

6. Check your new home is insured

If you're buying a new house, you’re likely to need buildings insurance as a condition of your mortgage contract. So when it comes to the moving house checklist, UK movers mustn’t forget this one.

Whether you’re renting or buying, it's a good idea to protect your possessions against loss or damage anyway. You can get cover for during the move and afterwards.

Once you know the details of your new home, you can get insurance up to 30 days in advance. You just have to schedule it to start the day you pick up the keys.  As you can do it so far in advance, it’s a good one to tick off of your ‘things to do when moving house’ list nice and early.

If you’ve already got insurance, double check that it covers you during the move. It’s important to let your insurer know about your change of address too. You might have to pay to change your policy.

How to manage your home insurance policy

Compare home insurance

7. Update your driving licence

It’s important to get your car affairs in order as soon as you can. You’ll need to update your driving licence so that it shows the correct address.

You can either apply for an updated driving licence on the GOV.UK website or you can do it by post.

It doesn't cost anything to change the address on your driving licence, but you could be fined if you don’t update your details. So for that reason, it’s high up on the moving house checklist, UK wide. If you’re a driver, get it done without delay.

Update your driving licence address on GOV.UK

8. Change your details on your car ownership certificate

One important step on the moving checklist UK car owners mustn’t forget about, is updating their car ownership certificate.

If you don’t tell the DVLA that you’ve moved, you could be fined up to £1,000. And you can still get fined, even if your move is only a temporary one.

It doesn't cost anything to change your address. Just send your updated vehicle log book (V5C) with your new details to the DVLA, and they’ll send you a new certificate.

It can take up to 4 weeks for new registration documents to be sent to you. If you need to tax your car during this time, you can still do so on the GOV.UK website. You do this before you send your log book to the DVLA.

9. Tell your car insurer

Make sure your car insurance company knows you’ve moved, as most companies base their policy pricing on your location.

If you don’t notify your insurer, they could refuse to pay if you claim. So it’s important to add this to your list of things to do when you move house.

If the insurer sees your new area as riskier, they might charge extra. But if they think it’s a safer area, you might get a partial refund.

10. Take final meter readings

Before you leave your old home, take water, gas and electricity meter readings at your property. You could even take a photo of the meter. This will be timestamped so it’s proof of when the photo was taken.

This is an important addition to the moving house checklist, UK wide. If you don’t contact your suppliers before you move, you could end up being billed for someone else's usage.

Your utilities companies will likely have change of address forms on their websites which you can fill out.

You can usually stay with the same gas and electricity companies when you move if you prefer to. They can arrange the switch for you when you give them your new address.

However, if you’re not tied in to a fixed deal, check if you could save by switching to a different gas or electricity deal.

How to switch energy supplier

11. Tell your doctor and dentist you’ve moved

Another one for the moving house checklist: UK movers mustn’t forget to let their doctor and dentist know about the move. It might be that you need to switch to a new surgery, but give them a call and see.

12. Change your details on the electoral roll

This is an important one for your ‘things to do when moving house’ checklist. Updating your status on the electoral roll means you can still vote in local and national elections after you move.

By making sure you’re registered on the electoral roll at your new address, you might also improve your credit rating.

Update your electoral roll details at GOV.UK

13. Move your TV licence

If you want to watch TV in your new home, you’ll need to tell the TV licencing company about your change of address.

Give them your new address and let them know the date you’re moving, to make sure you’re covered from the day you move in.

Update your details on the TV licence website

14. Move your digital TV and broadband

Most broadband, landline and digital TV providers will allow you to take your existing package with you when you move at no extra cost. That’s as long as they offer a service in your new area.

You’ll need to contact them in advance to find out if they can move your service, or whether they can offer an alternative.

It’s likely you’ll want to move your broadband across to your new property, so give as much notice as possible so that there isn’t a delay when you move. If you do find that there’s a delay, you might be able to turn your phone into a mobile hotspot for short periods of internet use.

If you aren't tied in to a deal, it's worth looking at whether you can get a better package when you move.

Compare broadband, TV and phone packages

15. Update everyone else

Before you move out, contact any companies that regularly send you deliveries. Remember to include things like:

  • Magazines and newspapers

  • Milk

  • Vegetable, meal or snack boxes

  • Contact lenses

  • Medicines.

When you make one-off purchases online, make sure you update your address before you click ‘buy’.

You’ll also need to tell your employer about your move, as well as your friends and family.

16. Apply for a parking permit

If you’re moving to a residents-only parking area, you may want to apply for a parking permit before you move.

To apply for a parking permit you’ll need to contact your local authority. Or, if it’s a private residential parking scheme, apply direct through them.

Contact your local authority about parking permits

17. Arrange a baby sitter for moving day

Keeping the kids entertained while you unpack boxes can be tricky.

To save their sanity and your own, consider arranging for them to stay with a friend or family member until you’re sorted in your new home.

18. Make a list for the new residents

It’s a lovely gesture to make a helpful list for the people who move into your house when you leave. This could include information such as:

  • where the stopcock is

  • where the fuse box is

  • instructions and warranties for appliances

  • current utilities suppliers

  • which day is bin day

  • information about the gas and electricity meters

  • details about the thermostat

  • telephone numbers for local services (council, for example)

  • whether any surfaces need special cleaning products (such as wooden floors)

  • who made any fixed furniture (such as fitted wardrobes)

  • where the nearest shop is

  • local takeaways (could be handy on their first night!).

If you have any old tins of paint in the same colours that have been used in the house, you could leave these for them too.

It’s also a nice idea to clean your home before you leave.

19. Finish the food in your freezer

To avoid wasting your food and your money, start using up all your frozen foods before you move.

If you’ve got anything left over, you could ask a friend or neighbour to store it in their freezer until your appliances are installed in your new home.

Moving house: change of address checklist

20. Create a box of essentials

There are a few bits and bobs that you’ll definitely want to have to hand on moving day. It’s a good idea to keep these separate and transport them in your own car so you don’t lose track of where they are. In your box of essentials, you might wish to put:

  • your valuables

  • your important documents – such as paperwork relating to your house move, and your passport

  • drinks kit – tea, coffee, milk, sugar, mugs and the kettle

  • snacks

  • phone charger

  • toilet roll

  • cleaning products, bin bags and the vacuum cleaner

  • something to keep the kids entertained if you haven’t managed to find a babysitter.

Whether you are looking to move up the property ladder, downsize or just relocate we can help you find the right mortgage when you move home.

Compare mortgages

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