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Take the stress out of moving house..

11 things to do before you move house

It’s been said (repeatedly) that the three most stressful things in life are getting married, going through a divorce, and moving house. And yes, any two of these can happen in close succession, even all three, if you’re really pushing it! What is the common denominator? Planning. There is A LOT to plan for with each of these life events, and many moving parts to be aware of – but if you make yourself a checklist of must-dos, some of that stress can be alleviated. Here’s our list of 11 important things to do when planning to move house.

1 Confirm the date

Don’t raise your eyebrows at this one, although it might seem obvious. Be very clear on your moving date, which may differ from your exchange and completion dates. You will need this set in stone as soon as possible for everything from advising your landlord (if you’re renting) to final meter readings to booking the removal firm and the necessary day or days off work.

2. Arrange to transfer your children to their new school

One thing you will already have decided is which school you want your children to attend. If you are moving to a new area you should, as soon as possible, contact the school and arrange a visit and have a conversation about start dates. Be aware – just because your new home is in the catchment area for a great school, it doesn’t mean they have places available immediately. The sooner you start the conversation, the better.

3. Make your removals arrangements

Do your research on what type of move you want to make. The firs move can usually be done with a hired van and some helpful, hefty, friends. Larger properties will need a professional team, however, so you will need to find out what local services exist, what they offer and at what cost. You can save money by doing all your own packing, or pay for everything to be packed up by professionals.

4. Make a list of all your bills and payments

You need to let your gas, electric, and water suppliers, your phone and broadband providers, home and motor insurance companies, pet insurance and local council know when you’re moving. It is vital that you take final meter readings on the day you move to send to your gas and electricity providers. Give them a call, or research their website, on how to go about informing them of your change of address and final meter readings. They do this all the time, so know exactly how to make it easy for you. Also check in with your local authority – council tax will need to be switched to your new address (if you are remaining in the area) or you will need to register with a new authority if you’re going further afield. Again, they do this every day, so can easily help you do what you need to do. 

5.Start your declutter

If you haven’t already (if you’re selling, it’s a good idea to start this the moment you put the house on the market), start to declutter.  There is absolutely no point in taking stuff with you from your old residence to your new that will simply take up space without providing any use or pleasure. Sell, donate or discard/

6. Tell people!

Friends and family will be top of the list of people you will be sharing your new address with, but you also need to inform your bank, mobile phone provider, any subscription services you are signed up with (you can’t have that beauty box or glossy magazine landing on your old doormat!), your employer, GP and dentist. Start making a list at least 8 weeks in advance, then keep adding to it as you go, to make sure you get everything on it. 

And when Christmas comes and you send cards to all those people you otherwise don’t communicate with all year – pop a sticker with your new address on it in the card, just in case!

7. Cancel deliveries

If you have anything delivered, like milk, cancel it. These little things are easily overlooked when you’re moving home. 

8. Register with a new GP and dentist

This of course won’t be relevant if you’re not leaving the area, but if you are, you should research the medical and dental practices in your new neighbourhood and register with them. The same goes for vets, too. 

9. Make arrangements for children and pets

Can you imagine the chaos of trying to move house with dogs, cats and kids in tow? Don’t even go there. Make arrangements for them to be looked after by family or friends, ideally for a couple of days, until your new home is sorted, pet-friendly and child-safe. Don’t forget, you will need to set aside a room with no access to the outside for any cats – they have quite the homing instinct and may well try to return to familiar territory if you let them outside too soon.

10. Clean

It’s not illegal to move out without giving your old home a good clean, but it is very bad form! Vacuum throughout, wipe down all the surfaces and clean the loos. Take a walk through each room and write notes on anything the new owners will need to know: how the underfloor heating thermostats work (hopefully you have kept the instruction to leave behind), the code for the alarm and instructions on how to reset it. Codes for outdoor key boxes, where to find the stopcock and the fuse boxes, what day to put the bins out (and what colour is next), the details of any handy and trustworthy tradespeople you would recommend – and numbers for the best, nearest takeaways.  

11. Ringfence the essentials

Pack a box with the essential items you’ll need the day of and a few days after the move. Keep this box with you and don’t let anybody pack it away. Essentials usually include the kettle, tea bags, coffee and biscuits – and on the day don’t forget to add a carton of milk. Also make sure you pack important documentation (your passports, etc), your small valuables, phone chargers, cleaning supplies and loo roll.

(Picture used from JP & Brimelow marketing).

Eddie – Friday 29th July 2022.