Congratulations on finding your new home! Moving house marks a new beginning, but it can also bring on some feelings of apprehension for the work ahead. Proper planning and organization are key to a successful home relocation. That’s why we’ve put together a complete outline of all the steps below. We’ve also included our Complete House Moving Checklist to organize all of the steps and help you not to miss any of those little details.
6-8 Months Before Moving House: Book a Removals Company
New home – check! Now it’s time to start planning for your moving day. Let’s have a detailed look at all the steps you need to complete before your move.
1.1 Pick the official moving day
For rental properties, it’s important to inform your current landlord of your projected moving day(s) as soon as possible so you can:
- terminate your current lease and arrange for any end of contract requirements agreed upon (key and access card return, fixing any property damage, arranging for a cleaning service)
- if you live in a flat, make sure the loading dock and/or lift are unoccupied for the moving day
1.2 Research, get quotes and book a reputable removals company
Make sure to schedule a free home assessment with your removal company so the experts can help you pick the services best suited to your needs.
4-6 Months Before The Move: Declutter
Now that you have an official moving date booked and a removal company secured, it’s time to start preparing your current home for the move.
Before you even think about packing, it’s important to do a thorough declutter of your current home. Moving is a great opportunity to do a cleanse and finally get rid of unwanted or unused items. The best approach is to tackle your home room by room, so as to not get overwhelmed. Each room can be divided into clearly labelled piles:
- Donate pile
- Sell pile
- Storage pile
- Recycle pile
- Batteries, cords and flammable pile
Insider Tip: Colour coding the boxes (blue for bathroom, red for kitchen etc.) can save you a lot of time and stress come unpacking time.
2-3 Months Before Moving House: Notify Others Of Your New Address
Besides informing family and friends of your new address, there is quite a long list of external parties that need to be informed of your new address. This can be a daunting process and letting some agencies fall through the cracks can cost you.
3.1 Work and Education
- Employer. You’ll need to inform your current employer (and company pension fund) of your move.
- School. If you have children, don’t forget to update your address with any education or day care providers.
- Colleagues and alumni networks
3.2 Government Authorities
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). You need to wait until you’ve moved before telling HMRC about your new address. You can access the website here: https://www.gov.uk/tell-hmrc-change-address. You’ll need to use this service to update your address for:
- State pension
- Tax credits and child benefit
- Income tax
- National insurance
Department of Work and Pensions. If you’re on a private or state pension plan, you can update your address by contacting your provider by phone or email.
In the case that you live abroad, you can contact the International Pension Centre
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA). You can update your address on your driver’s license online, for free, here: https://www.gov.uk/tell-dvla-changed-address. It usually takes 2-4 weeks to receive.
V5C Vehicle Log Book. Remember to update your V5C for your vehicle tax. Forgetting to update this information may result in a fine of up to £1000. You can do this either by post or online: https://www.gov.uk/change-address-v5c
Electoral roll. If you are already registered to vote, you’ll need to re-register once you move. Registering to vote online is the easiest and quickest way. It only takes five minutes, and all you need is your national insurance number (NI). https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
3.3 Financial Institutions
Informing all financial institutions, especially those with which you receive statements in the mail, is a super important step. Lost statements can lead to identity fraud.
Banking and savings account providers. You can usually update this information online.
Credit card/debit. Charges to your credit card will require your actual address not only for the bill, but as an additional identification step.
3.4 Insurance Providers
To inform insurers of your address change, you’ll have to visit their individual websites or call them directly. Below is a list of the insurers you should contact:
3.5 Household Services
Besides transferring your internet and cable providers to your new digs, don’t forget to inform other household services you may have like cleaning and gardening services.
Broadband / Cable / Satellite. If you are sticking with the same service provider, call them at least 2 months in advance so they can start the transfer process to the new address on moving day, eliminating any wait time. If you’ve finished out your contract with your current provider, it’s worth it to do some research and shop around, as some providers will make it worthwhile to switch over.
Phone. For landlines, you’ll need to inform your phone company that you are moving so they can assign a new phone number for your new home. You can do this in person at one of their store locations or by phone.
TV Licensing. When you move addresses, your TV license doesn’t automatically move with you. This can be done up to 3 months before you move. It’s a simple online process that requires your name, TV license number and existing licenced address.
3.6 Utility Providers
Let your utilities providers know the exact date you’ll be moving. You should take meter readings and photographs of them (ideally date-stamped ones) of the meters in both your old and new home so you don’t get charged for utilities you haven’t used.
Water supplier. When speaking to your water company, it’s always useful to record the date you spoke to them, and the name of who you spoke with in case there are any discrepancies.
Gas provider. Make sure your provider knows the exact date you’re moving and then take a reading of your gas and electricity on the day you leave to send to them. This will stop you from being charged for gas and electricity that you haven’t used.
Electricity provider. It takes up to 48 hours for your energy provider to update your information, so make sure you do this at least 2 days before moving day.
3.7 Health Services
Depending on how far you move, you may need to find new health care providers. Make registering at your new local GP a priority, as there may be a delay in getting treatment when you first register.
Doctor / Family GP
Make sure your subscriptions are up-to-date and share your new address with any other organisations that might contact you via mail. Also don’t forget to update your new address for any delivery services you use often (Amazon, Uber Eats etc) to avoid having items sent to your old address.
Newspaper, magazine and newsletter subscriptions
Health club / gym
Pet microchip databases
3.9 Redirecting your mail and calls
If you’ve lived in your property for many years, you’ll have a lot of work to do updating people and companies with your new contact details. You can make this process easier by using the post office’s change-of-address service, which takes up to 10 days to come into effect and redirects all mail to your new address. You can apply for this service up to 3 months before your move.
If you are changing your phone number, you may also be able to arrange for your telephone company to automatically inform callers of your new number for a few weeks following the switchover date.
For more information, check out the royal mail website here: https://www.royalmail.com/personal/receiving-mail/redirection
1 Month Before The Move: Pack and Finalise Important Details
4.1 Gather all packing material and boxes
This does take some planning and you don’t want to waste time and money on constantly running out to buy more materials.
On average, 10 small boxes, 8 medium boxes and 5 large boxes are needed to pack up a single room. Of course, each house is different and you may need more or less boxes depending on your lifestyle, amount of years spent in the home and square footage of each room.
Check out our article on choosing the right amount of boxes for your move.
It’s best to start packing the storage areas (attic, basement, garage and closets) followed by the living room and kitchen and leave the bedroom(s) and bathroom for last.
4.3 Ask your new landlord for answers to the following questions:
- Where is the stopcock (valve for controlling the main water supply)?
- Do any surfaces need special cleaning products (wooden floors)?
- Do you have any warranty/manuals for any appliances?
- Where are the gas and electricity meters?
- Where is the thermostat?
- Where is the fuse box?
4.4 Confirm your moving date and time with your removals company
The Moving House Day
5.1 Set aside a first night bag with essentials such as:
- clean linens and towels
- toilet roll
- disinfectant wipes
- paper towels
- bathroom supplies (toothbrush, soap)
- spare lightbulbs
- garbage bags
- utility knife to open boxes
5.2 Have food & drink available
Moving day can be long so it’s important to stay hydrated and have plenty to eat and drink. Set aside some drinks and food that’s easy to eat on the go.
5.3 Celebrate your new home
You made it!
We hope that our expert tips helped create a smooth, stress-free moving day.
Here at South London Movers, we offer professional removals throughout London with our award winning service. For more information about the services we offer, get in touch with us today – contact our team.