Checklist and tips for moving home

Moving into a brand-new home is exciting and hectic in equal measure. So how do you make the process of moving less stressful and more seamless? Whether you’re currently renting or moving out of a property you own, we’ve got a handy step-by-step checklist to help ease the strain.

Moving into a brand-new home is exciting and hectic in equal measure. So how do you make the process of moving less stressful and more seamless? Whether you’re currently renting or moving out of a property you own, we’ve got a handy step-by-step checklist to help ease the strain.

Chris King
From the Home team
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Posted 18 FEBRUARY 2020

Give notice to your landlord

If you’re leaving a rental property, check your tenancy agreement to find out exactly how much notice you need to give your landlord. The average notice period is one month, but contracts vary so it’s worth double checking. 

Get in touch with your utility suppliers

Contact utility suppliers at least a month before you move. Don’t forget to take final meter readings for both your gas and electricity, and pass them on to your supplier on the day you leave. It’s a good idea to take a photo of the meters so you have irrefutable proof, should an old energy bill come back to haunt you.  

As well as your energy supplier, you’ll need to let your phone and broadband supplier know you’re moving house. If you’re planning on moving your phone and broadband supply to your new home, contact the providers to notify them of the switch, several weeks before you’re due to move in.  

Lastly, don’t forget to tell your water company you’re moving. Ideally, give at least five days’ notice if you’re on a water meter to give the water company time to take a reading. And again, remember to take a picture of the meter on the day you leave in case of disputes later. Tell your supplier if you’re moving within their supply area, or are moving away altogether.

Don’t forget to get your energy, broadband and TV suppliers sorted out for your new home. Even if you stick with existing suppliers for the short term, you may quickly want to see if you can find a better deal.

Make sure your new home is insured

If you’re renting, you might want to consider taking out rental contents insurance. This protects your possessions against theft and damage due to fire, flood, storms, subsidence, burst pipes and water leaks.  

If you’re buying a new home, in addition to contents insurance, you’ll need a minimum of buildings insurance for peace of mind. Shopping around is the best way to find a policy that meets your needs and budget – Compare the Market can help with that – and you can apply for home insurance up to 30 days before you move in.  

Make sure you have buildings insurance in place when you exchange contracts, as that's when the property becomes your legal responsibility.

While you’re arranging home insurance, it’s worth checking whether your new insurance provider covers your contents during the move itself. This kind of cover usually only applies if you’re using a professional removal firm and you won’t typically be covered if you’re doing it yourself. Check what’s covered by a policy as things like jewellery, antiques and art may not be included. 

Box up your belongings

Moving all your worldly goods will require a lot of boxes. Many removal firms will supply boxes, but if they don’t or you’re moving yourself, you might be able to save yourself some cash by borrowing them from friends or family who’ve recently moved. Or you could look for deals on second-hand websites and try your luck at supermarkets and DIY/home stores. 

Suss out your new property

How many of us don’t know where our fuse box or stopcock is until it’s too late? Don’t wait for an emergency to happen before you find out how to switch off the main water supply.  

Before you move in, if possible, familiarise yourself with all the essentials – including where the gas/electricity meters are – and ask the previous homeowners or tenants, estate agent or landlord, if necessary, how to operate the various appliances.

Have a big clear-out

It’s amazing how much ‘stuff’ we can accumulate over the years. Avoid taking unnecessary clutter with you when you move by having a good clear-out, ahead of time.  

It’s probably easiest to do this when you start packing, while you’re already in the mindset. Comb through all your belongings and sort them into three piles: keep, donate or throw away.  

Don’t forget to take back any library books you’ve borrowed before you move too.

Pack a separate box of essentials 

Moving day is bound to be hectic and you might not have time to start unpacking boxes until the following morning. Make life a little easier by packing a separate box of essentials that contains everything you’ll need for that first night. Toiletries, a few cups, plates and utensils, the kettle, tea/coffee, phone and laptop chargers, bedding, loo roll and pyjamas, etc.

A good tip is to make up your bed early so it’s there ready for you to collapse into when you’ve run out of energy.

Don’t forget your car insurance

What you pay for car insurance is partly dependent on where you live, so you’ll need to let your car insurance provider know your new address – your premium may need to be adjusted up or down.

It’s worth getting a quote in advance so you’ll be properly covered right from move-in day.

Urgent jobs once you’ve moved

You’re likely to need to register with a new GP, so make sure you sort that quickly.  

When you move in, get yourself on the electoral register at your new address as soon as possible to help protect your credit score and so you won’t lose your vote. You’ll need to sort out your Council Tax too.

And don’t forget to cancel or transfer any gym memberships, so you’re no longer paying membership for a gym that’s too far away.

Notify people of your change of address

To avoid missing important correspondence (and save the new occupants the hassle of forwarding your mail), you’ll need to let your employer, bank, council, DVLA, pension providers etc, know that you’ve moved.  

Don’t forget websites that you’re signed up for – especially for deliveries – you don’t want a supermarket shop to go to the wrong address.

Royal Mail can redirect your post to any UK or overseas address for 3, 6 or 12 months from just £33.99 (price correct April 2019). It’s the safest way of making sure you get your post. 

Where can I find home insurance?

From rental contents insurance to buildings insurance and all the little extras, Compare the Market can help you to compare a variety of different quotes from the UK’s most trusted insurance providers. Just give us a few details and we’ll take care of the rest in a matter of minutes.

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