Moving Home Checklist

by | Jan 5, 2024

Moving Home Checklist

Having a Moving Home Checklist is indispensable when it comes to orchestrating a smooth and stress-free move. Relocating to a new home involves juggling multiple tasks at once—choosing a moving company, packing up belongings, coordinating logistics, and more. The complexity of these tasks often makes it easy to overlook important steps, which can result in unnecessary stress, additional costs, and time delays.

A well-structured moving checklist acts as your roadmap, guiding you through each phase of the moving process. It provides a systematic approach for organizing tasks, from the earliest stages of planning to the final touches in your new home. Not only does a moving checklist ensure that you’ve covered all your bases, but it also grants you the peace of mind to focus on the excitement and opportunities that come with starting a new chapter in your life.

Choosing the Right Moving Company

Selecting the right moving company is probably in our top three when making a moving house checklist. A reputable, reliable mover can ensure that your belongings reach your new home safely and on time. On the other hand, a wrong moving choice can lead to damaged items, and delays, and sometimes movers might not even show up on the requested day. To make an informed decision, start by seeking recommendations from friends and family who have recently moved. Alternatively, you can submit your request and we will find you up to 6 top-rated house movers.

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, request in-person or virtual estimates and ask critical questions such as their handling of fragile items, their cancellation policy, and what is and isn’t included in the quoted price. Always read the contract carefully before signing, and consider opting for full-value protection insurance to cover your belongings. By investing time and effort into choosing the right moving company, you’re setting yourself up for a smoother and more efficient transition to your new home.

Moving Home Checklist: Your Budget

A move can be an expensive undertaking, and failing to budget appropriately can lead to unwanted financial stress in an already demanding time. One of the first steps in any successful move is to create a comprehensive budget that covers all foreseeable costs. Start by getting quotes from multiple moving companies to gauge the main expense. But remember, the cost of the moving service itself is just the tip of the iceberg.

You’ll also need to consider buying packing supplies like boxes, bubble wrap, and tape. Don’t forget to factor in additional services that moving companies may charge extra for, such as moving large or special items like pianos or antiques. If your move is long-distance, consider travel expenses like fuel, lodging, and food. Utility setup fees in your new home, along with any necessary repairs or upgrades, should also be part of your financial plan.

Additionally, there are often hidden costs that people overlook. These can include temporary storage for items that can’t be immediately moved into your new home, pet boarding, or even child care on a moving day. It’s also advisable to have an “emergency” fund for unexpected incidents that could arise during the move, such as last-minute repairs or extra moving help.

Timeline: What to Do and When

Preparing for a move isn’t something that should be left to the last minute; it’s a gradual process that requires meticulous planning and timely execution. As the moving day draws closer, the list of tasks can seem daunting. However, breaking these chores down into a week-by-week or month-by-month timeline can simplify the process. This chronological approach ensures that you stay on track, reduces stress, and leads to a smoother transition to your new home.

TimeframeWhat To Do
Two Months Before MovingNotify landlord if renting, and understand notice period. Research the new area for local amenities. Begin decluttering your home. Alert landline and internet providers about the move. Start collecting free packing boxes.
One Month Before MovingShortlist moving companies and get quotes.
Check parking restrictions at both old and new locations.
Notify HMRC and council about address change.
Register to vote at new address.
Buy moving insurance and transfer home/rental insurance.
Set up mail redirection with Royal Mail.
Inventory home contents and take pictures of furniture.
Begin cleaning outdoor areas like sheds and gardens.
Two Weeks Before MovingBegin packing non-essential items and label boxes.
Plan meals to consume all perishable and frozen foods.
Service your car to ensure it's reliable.
Arrange for childcare or pet care for moving day.
Register with a new GP and update children's school records.
Notify DVLA about the address change.
Request time off for moving day.
Consider booking a storage unit if needed.
One Week Before MovingConfirm moving day details with moving company.
Finish packing all remaining items and prepare an essentials box.
Consider changing locks at the new property.
Start disassembling furniture.
Schedule a final inspection with landlord if renting.
Take down any shelves, pictures, or fitted items to move.
Repair any damage in the home you're leaving.
Redirect your TV license to the new address.
Three Days Before MovingComplete all laundry.
Label spare keys and remove old house keys from keyring.
Make a contact list for new services and people.
Notify utility companies of the move.
Determine when you'll receive new home keys.
Pack documents and valuables separately.
Disconnect appliances.
Dispose of expired or leftover food.
Take pictures of electronic setups for easy reassembly.
Empty and defrost the fridge/freezer.
Moving Day To-DoInstruct packing of the moving van strategically.
Perform a final check and cleaning of the old home.
Secure and lock all windows and doors; note meter readings.
Take photos of empty rooms as condition proof.
Don't forget your essentials bag.
After moving, return old keys and check new utilities.
Unpack and relax in your new home.
Moving Day Essentials – Packing ListImportant documents and credit cards
Medication and first-aid kit
Phones and chargers
Toilet paper and toiletries
Changes of clothes
Snacks and water
Special toys or comfort items for children
Jewelry and other valuables
Flashlight and toolbox
Cash, trash bags, paper towels, and tape measure
One Day After the MoveInspect delivered boxes and furniture for any possible damages incurred during the move.
Begin unpacking essential items like toiletries, cooking necessities, and a few changes of clothes.
Test all utilities to ensure water, gas, electricity, internet, and telephone are functioning.
Familiarize yourself with the emergency exits, fire extinguisher locations, and other safety features of the new home.
Introduce yourself to neighbors if the opportunity presents itself.
One Week After the MoveFinish unpacking all boxes and start setting up individual rooms, starting with bedrooms and the kitchen.
If possible, start identifying local service providers like doctors, dentists, and auto mechanics.
Update your address with any remaining institutions or subscriptions, like magazines or membership clubs.
Dispose of or recycle any leftover packing materials.
Take some time to explore your new community—visit local parks, stores, and other public places to get acquainted with your new environment.
These additional steps help you settle in after the hustle and bustle of moving day, ensuring you're comfortable and secure in your new home.

Pre-Move Decluttering

Embarking on a pre-move decluttering mission can significantly ease the process of moving, saving you both time and money. Moving is a wonderful opportunity for a fresh start, and there’s no better way to achieve this than by paring down your belongings to only those that you truly need or cherish. Sorting through your items before you start packing can help you identify things to sell, donate, or throw away, reducing the volume of goods to be moved. This not only lightens your load but could also reduce the cost of the moving service, which is often calculated based on weight or the number of items.

Start by going room-by-room, assessing each item’s necessity and sentimental value. Create different piles or boxes labeled “Keep,” “Sell,” “Donate,” and “Discard” to categorize your belongings. Be honest with yourself; if something hasn’t been used or appreciated in the last year, it might be time to let it go. Take advantage of social media marketplaces or local community boards to sell items that are still in good condition. For the items you decide to donate, consider scheduling a pick-up service to save yourself an additional task.

Decluttering before moving not only simplifies the actual moving process but also makes unpacking and setting up your new home a more streamlined experience. You’ll have fewer boxes to deal with, making it easier to organize your new space and truly enjoy your new beginning.

Let the movers do the packing. Save your time and hire professional packing services. Compare prices and find affordable packers and movers.

Inventory and Labeling

Taking inventory and meticulously labeling your boxes can seem like a tedious task, but the benefits it offers during both the packing and unpacking processes are invaluable. An accurate inventory helps you keep track of your belongings, ensuring that nothing gets lost or misplaced during the move. It also aids in the unpacking process, helping you quickly locate specific items without having to rummage through a sea of boxes.

Begin by creating an inventory sheet, either digitally or on paper. List each item along with the room it belongs to, its condition, and any other important details like serial numbers for electronics. This list can be extremely helpful for insurance purposes in case any items are damaged or lost during the move.

When it comes to labeling, consistency is key. Use a standardized labeling system that includes both the room destination in your new home and a brief description of the contents. You can also use color-coded stickers for an added layer of organization; for example, all kitchen items get a blue sticker, and bedroom items get a green one. This makes it easier for both you and your movers to know where each box should go in the new residence.

For boxes that contain fragile or high-value items, make sure to label them clearly as “Fragile” and “Handle with Care.” It’s also a good idea to label boxes that should be opened first with a “Priority” or “Open First” notation, so you can easily access essential items like toiletries, cookware, or bed linens immediately upon arrival.

Taking the time to properly inventory and label your belongings will contribute to a smoother, more efficient move and will significantly ease the task of setting up your new home.

Packing Essentials: What You’ll Need

The packing process is a crucial element of any successful move, and having the right supplies on hand can make all the difference. Proper packing not only helps to keep your belongings safe but also allows for a more organized and efficient move. Here’s a rundown of the essential packing supplies you’ll need:

Basic Supplies

  • Boxes: A variety of sizes, from small for books and heavy items to medium and large for lighter goods. Specialty boxes like wardrobe boxes can also come in handy.
  • Packing Tape: Heavy-duty tape is a must for sealing boxes securely. A tape gun can also speed up the process.
  • Bubble Wrap: Ideal for wrapping fragile items like glassware, electronics, and artwork.
  • Packing Paper: Useful for wrapping non-fragile items and filling empty spaces in boxes to prevent items from moving around.
  • Stretch Wrap: For wrapping furniture and securing drawers and doors.
  • Permanent Markers: For labeling boxes and keeping your inventory organized.

Specialty Supplies

  • Furniture Pads: To protect furniture from scratches and dents.
  • Mattress Covers: To keep your mattress clean and protected.
  • Corner Protectors: For safeguarding fragile furniture corners and frames.
  • Rope and Bungee Cords: To secure items in a moving truck.

Tips for Packing Fragile or Valuable Items

  • Use plenty of bubble wrap and packing paper for delicate items, making sure there is no room for movement within the box.
  • Label these boxes as “Fragile” and always indicate which side should be up.
  • For valuable items like jewelry or important documents, consider keeping them with you during the move instead of packing them with other belongings.

Redirect Your Mail When Moving Home

Redirecting your post when moving home is a critical task that helps maintain your privacy and ensures you don’t miss any important mail. By setting up a mail forwarding service with your post office, you ensure that letters, packages, and essential documents reach you at your new address, minimizing disruptions and potential identity theft risks.

Couple Reading House Moving Checklist

Special Consideration: Pets and Plants

When planning a move, it’s easy to get consumed by the logistics concerning your household items and overlook other important family members: your pets and plants. Both require special care and consideration to ensure they also have a smooth transition to your new home.

For Pets

  • Visit the Vet: Schedule a pre-move check-up to ensure that all vaccinations are up-to-date, and discuss any concerns about the move with your vet.
  • Travel Plans: Whether you’re moving by car or by air, make sure you have a secure and comfortable carrier for your pet. If your move is long-distance, plan out stops for bathroom breaks and exercise.
  • Adjustment Period: Animals can be sensitive to new environments. Pack a “pet essentials” bag with their favorite toys, bedding, and a few days’ worth of food to help them adjust.
  • New Home Setup: Upon arrival, set up a familiar space for your pet with their usual bowls, toys, and bedding to help them feel at home.
  • Identification: Update your pet’s ID tags and microchip information to your new address.

For Plants

  • Preparation: A couple of weeks before the move, prune your plants to make them healthier and easier to move.
  • Packing: Use open boxes or crates and secure loose pots with newspaper or bubble wrap.
  • Transport: Most plants are sensitive to extreme temperatures. They should be transported in a climate-controlled environment, preferably in your own vehicle.
  • Quarantine Regulations: Some states have restrictions on certain types of plants, so check regulations if you’re moving interstate.
  • Transition: Once in the new home, place your plants in similar light conditions as before and monitor them for signs of stress or disease.

Considering these special needs will not only ease the stress for your pets and plants but also help them adjust more quickly to their new environment, making your move successful for every member of your household.

Moving Home Checklist: Frozen Food

Managing frozen food during a move is a logistical concern that often gets overlooked until the last minute. However, failing to properly plan for it can result in unnecessary waste and could even contaminate other items during the move. Here are some pointers on how to best handle your frozen food when moving:

Before the Move:

  • Inventory Check: Take stock of what you have in your freezer about two to three weeks prior to moving day.
  • Meal Planning: Try to use up frozen food in the weeks leading up to the move. Incorporate these items into your meal plans to minimize waste.
  • Donation: If you realize you won’t be able to consume everything before the move, consider donating items to a local food bank that accepts frozen goods.
  • Cooler Preparation: Purchase or borrow high-quality coolers or ice chests for moving day if the journey to your new home is relatively short.

On Moving Day:

  • Last-Minute Packing: Wait until the last possible moment to transfer frozen food from your freezer to your pre-prepared coolers. Use ice packs or dry ice to maintain a low temperature.
  • Isolation: Make sure the cooler is sealed tightly and kept separate from other items to avoid potential cross-contamination or spoilage.
  • Climate Control: If your move is local, transport the coolers in an air-conditioned car rather than in the hot moving truck.

At the New Home:

  • Immediate Action: As soon as you arrive, transfer the frozen food to the freezer. Double-check to make sure the freezer has reached its optimal temperature before doing so.
  • Inspection: Inspect the food items for any signs of thawing or spoilage. Any items that have thawed completely should be cooked immediately or disposed of, depending on their condition.

Handling your frozen food with care during the moving process is not only a good practice for minimizing waste but also essential for ensuring food safety. Proper planning and execution can make this part of your move hassle-free.

After Tenancy Cleaning: Leaving Your Old Home Spotless

As you prepare to move into your new home, it’s crucial not to overlook the state in which you leave your previous residence, especially if you’ve been renting. Many lease agreements include clauses that require tenants to perform a thorough cleaning of the property before vacating. Failing to comply with these cleanliness standards may result in the withholding of your security deposit, or even legal complications. Here’s how to handle after-tenancy cleaning effectively:

Pre-cleaning Assessment:

  • Read the Lease: Go through your rental agreement to see if there are any specific cleaning requirements outlined.
  • Initial Sweep: Before you start cleaning, remove all personal belongings from the property to better see what needs cleaning.
  • Checklist Creation: Create a comprehensive cleaning checklist that includes tasks for each room, the condition of appliances, and outdoor spaces if applicable.

Room-by-Room Cleaning:

  • Kitchen: This is often the most time-consuming area. Pay attention to appliances, including the oven and refrigerator, as well as cupboards, sinks, and countertops.
  • Bathrooms: Focus on scrubbing tiles, disinfecting surfaces, and removing any mildew or soap scum.
  • Living Areas and Bedrooms: Vacuum carpets, wipe down walls, clean windows, and dust surfaces, including light fixtures and ceiling fans.

Special Considerations:

  • Pet Cleaning: If you’ve had pets, additional cleaning like carpet shampooing or deodorizing may be required.
  • Outdoor Areas: Don’t forget balconies, patios, and gardens if these are part of your rental agreement.
  • Repairs: Patch up any holes from wall hangings, and consider repainting walls if you’ve altered the original color and it’s stipulated in your lease that you must return them to their original state.

Professional Help:

  • Cleaning Services: If you’re short on time or the task is too daunting, consider hiring professional cleaners who specialize in end-of-tenancy cleaning.
  • Inventory Check: Once the cleaning is done, conduct a final inventory check, preferably with your landlord present, to ensure that everything meets the agreed-upon standards.

Taking the time to perform thorough after-tenancy cleaning can ease your transition, safeguard your security deposit, and even provide a sense of closure as you say goodbye to your old home and look forward to settling into your new one.

Moving Day: A Detailed Run-through

Moving day is the climax of your relocation journey, where weeks or even months of planning and preparation come to fruition. Because of the numerous activities involved, it can feel overwhelming. Here’s a blow-by-blow account to help you understand what a typical moving day may look like, from the arrival of the movers to the final walk-through of your old home.

Morning:

  • Early Rise: Start your day early to ensure you have enough time to manage unexpected hiccups.
  • Final Packing: Ensure that any last-minute items are packed, and your essentials box is easily accessible.
  • Mover Arrival: The moving company usually arrives in the morning. Be ready with your inventory list to go over what’s being moved.
  • Walkthrough & Paperwork: Conduct a walkthrough with the movers, highlighting special care items and confirming the inventory. Finish any pending paperwork.
  • Protective Measures: Observe as the movers lay down protective coverings on the floor and wrap large or fragile items, if this service is included in your package.
  • Loading the Truck: The movers will start loading your belongings onto the truck, starting with large items and furniture. This process can take several hours.
  • Snacks & Hydration: Keep snacks and water handy for yourself, and offer refreshments to the movers as a courtesy.

Midday/Afternoon:

  • Final Walk-through: Once the truck is loaded, perform a final walkthrough of your old home to make sure nothing has been forgotten.
  • Check all meter readings and take detailed property photos: Taking meter readings and photographing your property before moving out is a crucial step in safeguarding against potential disputes with your landlord or utility company. By recording the final meter readings, you can ensure that you are only responsible for the utilities you have used, and not for any consumption after you vacate the property. Photographs, on the other hand, can serve as proof of the condition of the property when you left, acting as a visual record in case of any claims against your security deposit. This evidence-based approach offers a layer of protection and clarity, making the move-out process more transparent and dispute-free.
  • Utility Check: Ensure all switches are off, and water faucets are tightly closed. Take meter readings if necessary.
  • Lock-Up: Lock all doors and windows, and hand over the keys to the landlord or new owners, if applicable.
  • Departure: Head to your new home. Ideally, you should aim to arrive before the moving truck to prepare for the unloading process.

Afternoon/Evening:

  • Unloading and Furniture assembly: Supervise as the movers unload your items, making sure everything goes in its designated space based on your labels.
  • Initial Setup: Once the movers leave, unpack your essentials box first to set up basic conveniences like bedding, toiletries, and kitchen supplies.
  • Inventory Check: Refer to your inventory list to make sure all items have arrived and are in good condition. Notify the moving company immediately if anything is missing or damaged.

By knowing what to expect on the removal day, you’ll be better prepared to manage the myriad tasks that come your way, ensuring a smooth and relatively stress-free experience.

Setting Up Your New Home

Once the moving truck has pulled away and you find yourself amid a sea of boxes, the focus shifts from moving out to settling into your new home. While the sight of all your belongings in disarray can be overwhelming, knowing where to start and what to prioritize can help make the process smoother and more enjoyable.

Day One:

  • Essential Rooms: Begin with setting up the most crucial rooms first—typically the kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms. You’ll need a functional kitchen for meals, a functional bathroom for obvious reasons, and a somewhat settled bedroom to ensure a good night’s sleep.
  • Basic Utilities: Confirm that all utilities like gas, electricity, and water are working as they should. Make sure your internet connection is set up if you’ve planned it in advance.
  • Safety First: Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, and familiarize yourself with emergency exits and local emergency numbers.

First Week:

  • Room-by-Room Setup: Continue unpacking one room at a time, allowing yourself the time to organize as you go. Keep your inventory list at hand to ensure all items are accounted for.
  • Grocery Shopping: Make a list of essential food items and household supplies you’ll need for the first week.
  • Child and Pet Proofing: If you have young children or pets, make sure that the home is safe for them by installing gates, outlet covers, and other safety features.
  • Address Change: Notify businesses, banks, and other institutions about your new address. Don’t forget to redirect your mail through the postal service.

First Month:

  • Decoration and Personalization: Once the essentials are in place, focus on making the house a home. Hang curtains, pictures, and decorations to personalize your space.
  • Community Engagement: Take some time to explore your new community. Introduce yourself to neighbors and locate essential services like healthcare providers, schools, and grocery stores.
  • Maintenance: Create a home maintenance checklist that includes regular tasks like HVAC servicing, gutter cleaning, and lawn care.
  • Post-Move Review: After settling in, take a moment to review the moving process. Make note of what went well and what didn’t, as this can be invaluable information for friends, family, or your future self who might be facing a move.

If you believe this can help someone else, please share it. Thank you.

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      Hi there, I’m Mark, the guy behind Book House Removals. Over the past 10 years, I’ve done it all in the removals trade – from being the one behind the wheel to carrying your precious cargo, and even running my own removals company in London. Now, I’m pouring all that experience into Book House Removals, aiming to make your moving day as smooth and friendly as the team I’ve put together. Looking forward to helping you with your next big move!