Some say moving house is one of the most stressful events of all, so be prepared for the whole process long before you begin. Check out our moving home checklist for hints and tips to make your move as smooth as possible.
1. Decide on a moving date - Try to avoid Fridays and bank holidays when removal firms are in high demand and may be stretched. For a less stressful move, opt for off-peak times such as mid-week.
2. Hire a removal company - Get at least three estimates from different firms and don't automatically accept the cheapest; you tend to get what you pay for. When comparing estimates, make sure you are comparing like with like. Are packing materials, boxes, cartons and crates and VAT all included?
3. Insure - Ensure your possessions are insured for transit. Most removal companies provide such insurance. Check what it covers and whether there are exclusions. Remember that anything you pack yourself may not be covered by the removal firm's insurance.
4. Clear Out - Before the big day, have a clear out and keep in mind "everything must either be useful or beautiful." Valuable items that are no longer needed can be auctioned or sold, donated to charity shops or recycled.
5. Redirect - Advise the post office to redirect your mail and cancel any regular deliveries.
6. Notify relevant parties of your new address, including; - Telephone and internet service providers, TV Licensing, bank, building society, pension provider, companies you have loans or investments with, credit card and store card companies, local council regarding council tax, employers, schools, DVLA (you will need to renew your driving licence and vehicle registration document), doctor, dentist, optician, friends, family and colleagues..
7. Babysitter - Get someone to look after the children and any pets for the day.
8. New Owners - Leave information for new owners such as instruction leaflets, service information for the heating system and appliances, rubbish collection, recycling schemes and so on. This will save you time in dealing with possible enquiries from the new owners when they’re struggling to work the oven etc.
9. Keys - Round up all the keys to your home, including those left with neighbours, nannies and relatives, and give them to your solicitor or estate agent.
10. Organise your boxes - Make a basic floor plan of each room in your new home (the selling agent can probably provide this) and give to the removal team so they know where every box is to go. Colour-code packing boxes, cases and furniture in the hope that this will mean it ends up in the right rooms. This will save you endless time raking through ‘mystery’ boxes.
11. Order a take away – and crack open a bottle of wine, you deserve it. Enjoy your new home!