You might’ve heard people say that moving house can be one of the most stressful experiences in life and that it’s often incredibly hard work. While it’s fair to say it’s certainly no walk in the park, it can in fact be managed like any significant event with proper planning and organisation; which can in turn make the whole moving process straightforward and relatively stress-free.
If you’re planning to move into a private rental property, what follows is our helpful moving day preparation check list. This offers useful advice and timescales for you to follow in order to help make the move to your new home as straightforward as possible.
The checklist starts one month before and continues on a weekly basis breaking down what to do, before finally listing actions and advice for the moving day itself.
One month before you move
- First and foremost, confirm the moving date so you know your exact timescale, then one month before give your four weeks’ notice to your landlord or letting agent (if necessary).
- Weigh up whether you need to hire a removals firm, or whether you could hire a van and move your belongings yourself. The former can be more expensive but is in some cases much more convenient.
- Shop around for removals/van hire and book your moving day with them.
- Should you need to, remember to book a few days off work around your moving day.
Three weeks before you move
- Start sourcing packing boxes and containers. Ask friends and family to borrow theirs for free, or visit your local supermarket and ask for any discarded boxes they have available. Remember though, if you’re using a removal firm, it’s quite likely they’ll only take packed boxes with lids on.
- Before you start packing, have a clear out. This gets rid of old clothes and other items you no longer need and cuts down the amount you need to move. Separate your unwanted items between what can be discarded and what’s suitable to donate to charity… try and do this in advance of packing to avoid the need for additional costs for a skip, or to allow for a few runs to the tip. Start with your loft (if you have one), sheds and your garages – you’ll be surprised how quickly your ‘things for the tip’ pile fills up.
- If you have any pets, consider arranging for them to be looked after or put in kennels for a few days covering your moving period.
- Based on whether or not the property you’re moving to is furnished, now is the time to order any furniture or white goods you need. Either arrange for them to be delivered to your current address before you move, or on a date after your moving day to your new home.
- You should also pre-emptively get your addresses changed on your bank accounts, tax registration, driving licence, vehicle registration, TV licence and credit cards. This should give enough time for the changes to take place ready for the right day.
Two weeks before you move
- Contact your internet, home insurance and utilities providers to inform them of your move. They may offer your discounts to continue using their services. You can also shop around for new policies and deals to start as of your moving date.
- Start packing, labelling and boxing up your non-essential items. Work room-by-room.
- Try to use up the contents of your freezer to start emptying it.
- Contact the Post Office and arrange for your mail to be forwarded to your new address as of your moving date.
- Remember to cancel deliveries of any subscriptions to newspapers or magazines.
One week before you move
- Move your packed non-essential items into one room and stack these to maximise space.
- Defrost your freezer.
- Contact your removals/van hire company to check your booking.
- Contact your landlord or letting agent for your old and new properties to organise when you can drop off your keys and final meter readings and when you can collect your new keys on the moving day.
- Thoroughly clean your property and tidy the gardens in accordance with your tenancy agreement – you can hire people if necessary.
- Take detailed photos of each room and area, covering any wear and tear you’re concerned might cause issues with your deposit.
The day before you move
- Pack an overnight bag of clothes and toiletries to get you through the next few days.
- Box up and package any remaining items ready to be moved.
- Try to get some sleep!
The day itself
- Get up early and pack any remaining essential items.
- Disconnect all electrical items and turn off the gas and water before writing down your final meter readings which you then need to give to your utility companies.
- Load your van or wait for the removals to arrive and load all your goods.
- Double-check all windows and doors are shut and locked and that nothing is left behind.
- While your goods are being transported, stop by your estate agent or landlord to drop off your old keys and final readings.
- Collect your new keys from your new estate agent or landlord.
- Arrive at the property and unload or supervise having your goods unloaded into the property. When this is completed, inspect the property and identify any damage or issues you might need to raise with your new landlord. Take photo evidence if necessary.
- Take the meter readings of your new property before contacting your new suppliers to provide them with the data.
- Leave your fridge/freezer to stand for at least three hours before turning it on.
Any additional overlap time?
You do also have the possibility of an overlap between your tenancies, this gives you more freedom during the move to do the following:
- Clean your new property and assess it before you move in.
- Have new goods delivered before you move house.
- Return to your old property and clean it once the move is completed.