There’s no escaping the fact that moving house can be stressful, but a bit of careful planning will help make the process less painful.
Here are some of the things you need to think about when arranging your move:
1. Plan your removal
Removal firms are still able to continue working under the current restrictions but they may have different procedures in place to ensure a move takes place as safely as possible.
You can find out more about the current Government guidelines on moving home here
Many people leave booking a removal company until the last minute, but during busy periods this can lead to delays, or having to use a company that might not be your first choice, which could prove to be more expensive. It’s a good idea to get several quotes well in advance and to check companies’ availability for the period you want to move, especially with the current restrictions that are in place.
The Government has stated that if you can’t get a removal firm, then one other household can help you as long as social distancing is followed as much as possible.
If you’re planning to move without the help of a removal company, make sure you book a van well in advance. Whether you plan to use a professional company or go it alone, make sure all your boxes are carefully labelled so that you know exactly which rooms your things should go in and which way up the boxes must be. It’s also a good idea to pack a box to keep with you which has things you might need quickly at the other end, such as cleaning equipment, a kettle, mugs and some tea, coffee and milk, light bulbs and loo paper.
It’s always a good idea to have a good clear out before you leave your old home to save you taking a whole load of stuff to your new home that you don’t really need. Consider selling any items that you don’t want, and take the rest to your local charity shop or recycling facility.
3. Arrange for your mail to be re-directed
Setting up a mail re-direction can take up to five working days, so make sure you arrange it in advance of your move. You can re-direct your post for three, six, nine or 12 months and costs start from £33.99. You can either set up your re-direction in your local Post Office, or you can arrange it online here.
If, once you’ve moved in you discover the previous owner hasn’t arranged for their post to be re-directed, you should forward anything that arrives for them on to their new address. If they didn’t leave you a forwarding address, write ‘return to sender, not known at this address’ and send items back.
4. Ask sellers about the essentials
The last thing you want is to arrive at your new home and have no idea how to turn on the hot water, or where things like the gas and electricity meters and stopcock are. Most sellers will leave a list of essential information, but some won’t, so it’s worth asking for these details in advance just to be on the safe side. Given you’ll probably have a lot of packing materials to get rid of in the first few days, it’s worth finding out when the bins and recycling are collected each week, so you’ll know when and where to put out your rubbish.
5. Clean your old and your new home
Give the property you’re moving from a thorough clean before you go. If you’re renting and leave it in a mess, you could lose some of your deposit, so it’s well worth leaving it spick and span. Make sure you have your cleaning equipment to hand for when you arrive at your new home too so if it’s been left dirty you can give it a thorough scrub before you unpack.
6. Take meter readings
Before you leave your old property, you should let your energy supplier know that you’re moving home and take meter readings on the day you actually go.
You should also take meter readings when you arrive at your new home, so you won’t be charged for energy that was used before you moved into the property. Remember that you don’t have to stick with the supplier the previous owner used – you’ll usually be free to switch to an alternative tariff if you want to.
7. Moving home safely
When it comes to moving day, the Government has issued guidance on how to stay safe.
• Clean your belongings before and after they are handled by others
• On the day of the move, you should open all your internal doors and minimise contact with those helping you move, maintaining a 2-metre distance where possible
• Refreshments shouldn’t be offered
• Anyone helping you move must have access to hand washing facilities
• Wash your hands frequently
• Masks should be worn by everyone for the duration of the move
• If you have coronovirus symptoms or a positive test you should self-isolate at home for 10 days and delay your move until all members of your household have finished their isolation period.
Your seven-step moving home checklist