How to prepare for moving house: The ultimate checklist

Moving to a new house sounds exciting, but it is never a job that we look forward to because we have no idea where to begin with the entire process. It can be stressful to have to contact utility companies, hire a removals company in advance, clean and organise your entire house, and pack all of your belongings without knowing where to begin. However, there is no need to worry too much as this guide and checklist will give you a great start to ensuring your move goes smoothly. So, here’s how to prepare for moving house while making sure you don’t forget anything.


Download our printable moving house checklist here


The how to move checklist:

Getting prepared

To ensure that the packing process runs smoothly and easily, begin packing sooner rather than later. Before we get into packing tips and tricks, there are a few moving hacks that will get you started on the right foot.

  • Find a removal company fast. Using VanaMango will help you find the best possible price for removals that they have vetted for quality and reliability.
  • Call the utility companies as soon as you know you’re moving. This will help you stay organised by getting it out of the way early, preventing you from forgetting to do it later.
  • Set a budget. With moving being such an expensive process, the costs can quickly add up and catch you off guard. Using a moving cost calculator will assist you in determining how much you can expect to spend, allowing you to create a budget.
  • Plan out your packing supplies. A packing calculator will assist you in determining how much packing supplies you will require. This will help you know what you need to buy to make the packing process go as smoothly as possible.
  • Eat up your food. Making sure you eat as much of the food you already have in the house as possible before moving day, so you don’t have any extra items/boxes on removal day, which helps to reduce removal costs. You could also help the community by donating unopened/unexpired food to a local food bank.

Getting rid of stuff

It is critical that you organise your belongings to make the move easier. If that means binning, recycling, or donating your unwanted possessions rather than transporting them to your new home, that is what you must do. Using the suggestions below will assist you in accomplishing this.

  • Get rid of items you wouldn’t buy again. When looking at your possessions, consider whether you would go out and buy it if you didn’t already have it. If the answer is no, then the item should be discarded, recycled, or donated.
  • Sort your closets out. Get rid of anything that doesn’t fit, is out of style, and/or hasn’t been worn in a long time.
  • Consider short-term storage. If there are many items that you can’t bear the thought of getting rid of, but you’re not sure you’ll need them in the new house, you might consider putting them in a short-term storage unit and evaluating them later.

Saving money on your move

Not only is moving difficult, but it can also be very expensive and cost you a lot of money. Following these budgeting hacks will assist you in attempting to keep your costs as low as possible.

  • Request quotes from at least three different moving companies. This will help to ensure you get the best price and keep removal costs down, you may even find a company willing to lower their estimate to win your business. Especially if you tell them you have had a lower quote from another company.
  • Be flexible. Don’t put pressure on yourself to move on a specific day/date; instead, be more flexible about when you need to relocate. Save money by moving during the day or during the week.
  • Find free packing supplies. Asking local retailers if they have any extra boxes you could use to pack your items will help you save money. Alternatively, you could ask family and friends if they have anything to offer.

Timeline before you move

Two months before you move

At this point in your moving journey there will be a few admin tasks and jobs to begin with:

  • If you are renting, make sure you’ve given notice to your landlord, using the proper process as in your contract. Also, make sure that you check how long your notice period is as you will have to abide by that in the majority of cases.
  • Start notifying your landline and internet providers about your change of address.
  • You can start decluttering and even packing at this point; it’s a lot easier to get rid of things you don’t need at your new place before you get there.
  • Do some research on the area. You’ll have already done research before deciding upon where to live, although this can be a point to start finding out other bits such as supermarkets, shops, restaurants, sports teams etc.
  • Start accumulating free packing materials. You can get boxes from friends, family, Facebook, Freecycle, Gumtree etc. and you can also use things like blankets, scrunched up newspaper and magazines to protect more fragile items.

One month before you move

It’s getting nearer to moving day and you need to start packing and getting all the admin sorted.

  • Organise your moving company- this is best to do after you’ve started packing and have a rough estimate of how much stuff you have to transport. It’s always good to have a few companies in mind.
  • Arrange a post redirection with the Royal Mail
  • Check how your moving van will be able to access your new home. Are there any parking restrictions, tight streets, low bridges etc. which may affect how close a moving van can park to your property.
  • Contact the HMRC and change your address.
  • Research and purchase moving insurance to cover your belongings during the move. It’s also a good idea to ask for proof of insurance from the moving company you are using too. They should have goods in transit insurance and public liability insurance. This will ensure you are covered in the event of any damage to your belongings or your property.
  • Register your household with your council and register to vote at your new address.
  • Make an inventory list of all your belongings and take photos of all your furniture, appliances and any other expensive and fragile items. This is a precautionary measure in case anything is damaged in your move. You will be able to use these photos as evidence in the event a moving company denies any damage.
  • Begin to clean the outside areas such as the shed and garden.
  • Notify your homeowner/rental insurance and contents insurance of your new address. Make sure to outline the exact date you move in so that you are still covered at your current property until the date you move.
  • Request time off work for the moving day if needs to be.
  • If you don’t think all of your belongings will fit in your new home at first, consider renting a storage unit to hold some of them until there is room for them. Alternatively, you can sell items if you don’t need them or want to pay for storage. Good places to sell items are Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and eBay.

Two weeks before your move

It’s the final couple of weeks and it’s time to start thinking about packing!

  • At this point, the packing begins. Anything not required for the next two weeks can be packed. Also, make certain that all of your boxes are labelled with the appropriate room.
  • Take care of your food situation. Eat any frozen food as you won’t be able to transport this and only buy what is necessary when it comes to perishable food.
  • Arrange child and pet care for the day of the move if necessary.
  • Change the address on your driving license and the address on your vehicle registration form. Contact the DVLA to change your driving license and to change the registered address of your vehicle.
  • If necessary, register for the GP in your new area and send copies of your children’s school records to their new schools.
  • Make sure your car is serviced and checked to ensure it keeps you going during your move.

One week before you move

Almost there! This is when the majority of your tasks will be completed.

  • Confirm the exact date, time and location with your moving company and provide them with any directions and information they may need. Every little bit of information helps to ensure your move goes smoothly.
  • Finish packing up the items which haven’t been stored yet. Make sure to pack and label a box with all your essential items with things like clothes, snacks, toiletries etc. so that you don’t need to rummage through boxes in your first night at your new property.
  • You may want to consider getting a locksmith arranged to change your locks at your new property.
  • If you’re moving from a rental property, arrange a time and date with your landlord to have a final walk-through inspection.
  • Redirect your TV license since it won’t automatically change to your new property.
  • Dismantle any shelving, take down any pictures and remove any other fitted items which are coming with you.
  • Start to disassemble any furniture you can. This will make it easier on moving day to load the van. Make sure to have the instruction booklet to assemble the furniture to hand at your new place or take photos or videos when disassembling it so you know how to put it back together.

Three days before you move

These are the final things to be done before you move!

  • Label all spare keys and remove old house keys from your key rings.
  • Contact all your utility companies (e.g. water, gas, electric) to let them know of your moving date and new address. You will need to give the utility companies at least 48 hours notice.
  • Enquire about your new house keys and when you will get them.
  • Do all your laundry so that you don’t have to travel with dirty clothes.
  • Disconnect any appliances that you’re taking with you.
  • Eat your final frozen and perishable foods. Carefully pack your long-lasting foods tightly so they don’t spill.
  • Pack up your documents and valuables. Put these in a separate box or bag so they don’t get lost. It may be a good idea to label this box as something else, so no one knows your documents and valuables are in there.
  • Take photos of the back of your electronics before disconnecting them so you can easily set them up at your new property.
  • Empty and defrost the fridge freezer

Moving day hacks

Long days of packing, unpacking, and moving can be extremely exhausting and stressful. This is why we have included some moving day hacks/tips to assist you.

  • If you’re moving with children, involve them in the process by providing a special box for all of their favourite items. Let them decorate the box the way they want. This will take up some time for you to help with the move.
  • Be packed up the day before moving day. Last-minute packing can cause your entire day to drag. Make it a goal to be completely packed before your movers arrive or the rental truck arrives. This allows you to concentrate on completing the task at hand right away.
  • Pack a bag with easy-to-grab items that will help you stay energised throughout the day, such as water bottles and quick snacks. This can be kept in your car at all times so that you have access to it.
  • If you’re moving with a dog, keep their food and water bowls in the same room they were in before. The more consistent you are with your dog’s routine, the less likely it is that they will become anxious and destroy things.
  • Keep all moving day essentials in an overnight bag. This will save you from having to go through boxes on moving day to find your laptop, medications, and other items.
  • Take a breather! Moving day is extremely stressful and time-consuming, so always make time for yourself. Watch a movie or do something else that will help you relax.

Don’t forget to download our printable moving house checklist here