We understand the pressures and stress that can come with moving home, this is why we have collated a simple guide that should help put your mind at ease.
The timeframes used are just a guide and may alter depending on your circumstance. After reading this guide if you have any questions or queries please contact one of the team who will be happy to help.
Two months before the move
The clear out:
Moving home is in many cases a new, fresh start. It is hard enough work moving your belongings, without the added strain of moving the clutter and the junk you had stashed away in the bottom of that cupboard or the corner of the attic in places you hoped to forget. Use the move as an opportunity to sort through your items. Target each room individually and decide what you want to keep and what you want to get rid of. Decide whether any of your items will need to be insured before the move. Charities are always happy to accept unwanted clothes, furniture and other useful items of value.
Search and you will find:
Now is a good time to start researching moving companies. Create a budget for moving expenses and stick to it. Search accordingly. When you get a quote it is always better to get a consultation or a home visit. This will give you an opportunity to meet your mover and discuss your needs and expectations.
Many companies offer free quotes. Try to get these quotes in writing for future reference and don’t rely on quotes over the phone alone.
It is a good idea to keep all your records in one place, for example in a folder or binder. It is a way of keeping all your quotes, receipts and an inventory of your items together.
Inform people that you’re moving and your address is changing. Inform your doctor, dentist, vet and if you have children their schools that you will be moving, and have all your medical records, veterinarian records, school records and important documents transferred to their new locations. If you do not have a new surgery or arranged a new school now is the time to do so. Make a list of all the appropriate businesses, friends and family that need to be aware of your move. These include memberships, insurance companies, utility companies, the DVLA, your bank, your employer and any other important companies that have a record of your address.
Check with your insurance company to see if any changes apply after moving. Check if moving is covered and arrange home insurance for the new property (home insurance only applies if the house is occupied). Have your valuable items insured if necessary.
Make sure you order all the necessary packing equipment, like heavy duty boxes, bubble wrap, tape and markers. Some special items might be required like wardrobe boxes that contain hangers for clothes.
Use up or bag up:
Start to use up all the items that you don’t want to take with you such as perishables and frozen foods, cleaning supplies and toiletries. Find homes for plants or check that the removals companies will transport them.
Get a rough floor plan of the new home including the layout of each room and dimensions if possible. Measure your larger items such as furniture and make sure they can fit through the front door of your new home and the one you’re moving from. Most large pieces of furniture can be disassembled but this can be time consuming and many movers will charge extra for the service. Make sure a plan is in place for these types of items as they will have to be packed again when dismantled. Access of both homes needs to be assessed. In many cases parking or lift usage will need to be booked well in advance, so be aware of your landlord’s rules. A helpful neighbour might be able to help you save a parking space.
Tackle this room by room and start with the items you use most infrequently. Pack heavy items at the bottom and lighter ones nearer the top. Start an inventory and make note of all the expensive items your removals company should be aware of for insurance purposes. Declare any items that exceed the amount of £100 in writing and make sure to pass this information on. All valuables like jewellery, passports and important documents should be boxed together and travel with ‘you’ to your destination. Be sure to wrap all breakable items such as crockery and lamps carefully with bubble wrap and newspaper (using tissue paper is ideal because there is no chance of ink running and staining your items), mark these boxes ‘fragile’. Remember any items that break during transit should be covered by the movers insurance, however in the unlikely event they need to reimburse you it is only for the items monetary value and not the emotional distress it may cause you. Take extra care when packing fragile items that have sentimental value to you.
In regards to your large furniture such as sofas, cabinets, beds and cupboards ask your moving company what there advise is. If you have to wrap them, bubble wrap and heavey duty blankets are ideal aswell as special wrapping materials such as sofa and mattress bags. Our advice would be to get the mover to wrap where neccessary saving money on wrapping materials and time. If the movers are any good they should already have blankets and webbing to secure the furniture safely in place without the need of wrapping. By all means wrap everything you can just to be safe, but be aware that if items are not wrapped correctly this could be problematic and deemed as your responsibility.
Create a system for labelling and using a marker pen write on each box where it is to go. Make the labels clear and visible on the top and sides of the boxes. Labels should include where the box is to be placed, whether it is fragile and what way up it should be stored, its priority and if it is urgently needed at your new home and finally if it is being shipped abroad your name and address of origin and destination including contact details. Movers should be able to provide you with pre printed stickers and labels with this information and their company’s details.
A couple of weeks before the move
A helping hand:
Arrange for friends or family to help with your move. Whether it’s helping you pack, giving your unwanted items a new home or keeping your children occupied, extra hands can be a god send. We recommend organising someone to look after your pets or young children on the day of the move to minimise the amount of pressure you are put under. Or even better have them pitch in.
Last but not least:
By this point most of your packing should be complete except the most frequently used items and clothes. Start preparing your suitcase ensuring you have enough clean clothes to see you through a couple of days in your new home.
Have enough food and clean clothes to last at least a couple of days until you are back on your feet. Stock up on any prescriptions you require from your local chemist as your health is paramount.
Home away from home:
For your comfort in settling into your new home make sure your gas, water and electrics are turned on and all providers have you as the registered occupant. Also make sure the previous occupants have not left you any surprises like an unwanted sofa. Be certain the new location is clean and liveable before anything is moved in. This will make the process of unpacking a lot easier.
A couple of days before the move
Check with the mover:
Double- check the arrangements for the moving day with the removal company. Confirm their time of arrival, the address and contact details are correct and other such specifics. If your location is difficult to find provide them with written directions to prevent confusion on the day.
Make a final check that everything is ready to go. Turn the fridge and freezer off 24 hours before the day and make sure they are empty and clean. Unplug and disconnect the washing machine and dishwasher from the mains water supply and power supply. All the regularly used items, such as the kettle, microwave, cutlery, plates, cups, cleaning products and any food should be the last things to be loaded. I would suggest taking these, as well as all your valuables, with you. Moving is hungry work and when you arrive at your destination you may want to eat and put the kettle on. Preparing a packed lunch or having eating arrangements in place will be helpful. Get a decent night’s sleep the night before the move. If it helps complete our final checklist the night before so your mind is at rest.
Verify the moving company that turns up is the one you accepted the quote from. It sounds obvious but it is always better to be safe than sorry and scams are not unheard of.
Make sure to do a final check in all of the rooms and storage space so nothing that is meant to be moving is left behind. This is your responsibility so make sure you are the last person to leave the property as once the movers have left it is unlikely they will come back without an extra charge.
Once all your belongings are loaded if there is a checklist make sure the removers sign it and you keep a copy. This means if something is missing the other end the removal company can be held responsible.