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Your 12-point moving home checklist

Exchanged contracts? These are the useful jobs to get cracking on with while you're waiting for move day.

Guest Author
Words by: Matilda Battersby


You’ve found your new home and the legal side is full steam ahead. 

In fact, you've reached the point where you've exchanged contracts. This is an exciting time. 

But moving also involves a fair amount of waiting around. It helps to keep busy and there's plenty you can do to get ahead.

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Make sure you tick off our moving checklist

A month before moving 

1. Confirm your moving date

It sounds obvious but before you do anything, make sure you know exactly when you're moving.

The gap between exchange of contracts and moving day is usually two weeks, but it can take as long as a month.

Once you’re 100% sure of the date, you can start organising everything.

2. Give notice to your landlord

If you’re renting, you'll usually need to give your landlord a month’s notice before moving. But check your contract so you’re clear, as sometimes this period can be longer.

Deciding when to give notice when you’re buying can be tricky. 

If you have the option of putting stuff into storage and staying with relatives for a few weeks, then you can be more flexible.

3. Contact utility providers about switching

You’ll need to inform your gas, electricity and water providers that you’re leaving. 

It's also worth contacting your broadband provider at least a month in advance.

Whether you’re leaving the service or porting it over to your new address, most providers require at least 30 days’ notice.

For utilities, you'll need to give final meter readings on the day you move out. But do get in touch in advance to give them notice.

It's a good idea to take photos of the gas and electricity meters before you leave. Set a reminder on your phone to do it, moving day gets busy.

Check Uswitch to see if you can get better deals for your new place.

4. Have a big clear-out

It’s never too early to get rid of clutter. Get rid of anything you no longer need or the kids have grown out of.

Don’t be afraid to tackle the loft space or the boxes you haven't even unpacked from your last move. The sooner you can sort it all out, the easier packing up for your new place will be.

5. Get quotes on removal costs

Work out what kind of service you’ll need.

The costs differ depending on whether you opt for a packing service, or simply want movers to load and unload boxes you’ve packed yourself. 

Certain days of the week (like Saturday and Sunday) are more expensive to book movers, so factor that in when you agree on a completion date.

Get different quotes and check availability.

How much do removals cost in 2023?

6. Measure up for soft furnishings

If you’re ordering new furniture, curtains or blinds for your new place, you’ll need to take measurements. 

It’ll take a few weeks for them to be delivered, so see if you can work out what you need ahead of moving day. 

Ask the estate agent if the seller will let you pop in and get the job done. 

7. Pack and store non-essential items

Putting some stuff into storage temporarily can really help on moving day.

If you do need to hire a storage unit, work out what you’ll need to store, the amount of space it will take up, and get it booked in early.

Moving books, bicycles, large kitchen items and children’s toys weeks ahead, can help make your move feel manageable.

Two weeks before moving 

8. Pack everything and label boxes

Create a small capsule wardrobe of things you can wear for the next two weeks. Pack everything else.

Get enough boxes and tackle your home room by room, starting with the bedroom and living room, then finishing with the bathroom and kitchen. 

You'll need most of the stuff in the last two rooms right up until moving day.

9. Apply for parking permits and suspensions

Check if there are parking restrictions at your new address.

You might need to apply to the council for a parking bay suspension to ensure you get a guaranteed space outside your new home on move day. 

If you’re using a large removals van, bear in mind you might need two spaces. Don’t forget parking permits for your own vehicle, too.

Bank on at least 10 working days for the relevant local authority to process all parking applications.

10. Arrange for cleaners to come in

There’s no guarantee that your new home will be clean when you arrive, and moving straight into someone else’s dirt is not pleasant. 

If you want to get a professional clean, make sure you book it at least a week in advance.

You might also ask them to sort out the place you’re leaving after you’ve loaded up the van.

It might also be worth booking a carpet cleaning service to get rid of any residual smells or pet hair.

11. Redirect your post

Make sure you don’t miss important letters and sign up to Royal Mail’s redirection service.

You can redirect your mail to any UK or overseas address for 3, 6 or 12 months from £33.99. It can take up to five working days to get the service set up.

12. Line up tradespeople for jobs

Want some built-in wardrobes, a new boiler or some shelves installed in your new pad? 

It’s never too early to get ahead with finding tradespeople in your area. The best ones can get booked up a long time in advance.

Read reviews online and invite them to come and quote after your move-in date.

How to find good tradespeople

We try to make sure that the information here is accurate at the time of publishing. But the property market moves fast and some information may now be out of date. Zoopla Property Group accepts no responsibility or liability for any decisions you make based on the information provided.