Moving house can be a daunting and stressful process. There are a million things to consider and plan before you begin the actual moving. However, with proper planning and organizing yourself, this can be easy and not so stressful.
It’s only when you start packing your things away you realise how much you have tucked away in cupboards or drawers, filling up boxes much more quickly than you could expect. There is often a lot of junk that’s gathered over the years and that you don’t even remember you had. Organizing and planning can make your whole moving house process a lot less frustrating and quicker overall, making the end to end move even easier.
When it comes to moving house, you can either choose to do it all by yourself or you can hire a house removals company. Either way, you’ll have to pack up your essentials yourself and get rid of the clutter by yourself. To help make sure you streamline the process from end to end, we have listed several tips for you to help you to organise your moving house project easier for you.
Table of Contents
In this article you’ll find:
- Tips for Packing and Unpacking
- Tips For The New Home
- Hiring Professional House Removals Company
- Some Extra Tips
Tips For Packing and Unpacking
Some of the tips are common knowledge which you may already be aware of, but with the chaos of the house move, there are many things we tend to forget, even the most obvious ones. This guide will help you to get yourself organised.
1 of 18 – Make A Checklist
The first things you need to do before you start anything is to make a checklist. A checklist should have everything on it that you need to do for the house move. For example, you can begin with; declutter the house, start packing, make separate boxes for give away or charity etc.
Your checklist may even include which room you would want to start packing first and what items are you going to pack and move to the new location first and what items will go last. This will save you a lot of time and hassle and you will thank yourself when you are doing the move.
2 of 18 – Make a Packing Box
Make a small box which will house all the key tools you will need to do the packing. Some items you should consider including are:
- Masking tape
- Cello tape
- Pen or felt tip
- Permanent marker
- A knife
When everything is in one place, it will be a lot easier for you to just take the box to whichever room you are working in and get the packing started. You will not waste time looking for the tools you need when everything is in one place, saving you plenty of time.
3 of 18 – Packing Material
You will need a lot of cardboard boxes to pack your things away. You can buy them online or buy them from your local hardware store, but a great way of saving money is you could always head to your local supermarket and ask if they have any leftover. They usually have lots of boxes from deliveries, so they may be able to give you some.
The advantages of using boxes are:
- They are lightweight, so the actual weight of the box is almost nothing.
- They are easy to write on, so you can put a label or use a permanent marker to write what each box contains.
- They keep the contents safe and are quite durable.
Other packing materials that will come in handy include bubble wrap, old newspapers, bin bags and old linen or cushions/pillows. These are great for padding out the inside of the boxes and filling any empty space, helping to keep your belongings safe during transit.
4 of 18 – Label the Boxes
It’s very important to remember to label all the boxes. On the label, you can write what each box contains and also which room it goes to. For example, on a box of dinner set, you can write DISHES and KITCHEN in bold so that when you take the box to the new location it can go straight in the kitchen.
Another advantage of writing on the boxes is that when you pick them up and move them, you will be careful of the fragile items. A good tip is to write on the top of the box and one side so that if the boxes are piled on top of each other (which is likely to happen when moving), you will still be able to see the label on the side.
5 of 18 – Keep the Boxes Light
When packing things in the boxes, be careful as not to make any one box too heavy as it will be difficult to carry. Make each box light and easy to handle, even if you have to use two boxes instead of one.
6 of 18 – Decluttering
Moving house is an excellent opportunity for you to declutter and reduce the items you want to take along with you. There would a lot of items in your home that you haven’t used in a long time. You can take those items out and give them where ever you think they will be more useful.
As an example, if your children have now grown up but you are still holding on to their toys, you can give them to a charity where children who don’t have such things will appreciate it more. Also, it will make your house move easier as you will only take what you actually need and use.
7 of 18 – Start With Less Used Items
When you start packing, start with the least used items in the house and move on to the ones that you require all the time. For example, you can start packing the sitting room decorations and wall hangings first and then move on to furniture. A good tip is to start with the rooms you go into the least and make your way to the most used rooms in the home such as the kitchen.
A kitchen and bathroom are the most used rooms in any house, so you can do these two last. The bathroom should not take too long to pack anyway. While, in the kitchen, you can start by packing the items that are not used very often, such as a dinner set and many pots and pen. Leave only the minimum for the last day.
8 of 18 – Make it Safe
Make your boxes safe and damage-free. For fragile and items such as artwork or decorative items etc, use newspaper on the sides of the box and also wrap the items in the newspaper. This is also useful for kitchenware. If you do not have enough newspaper, you can use cushions, linens and other clothing to make the boxes much safer for transit.
9 of 18 – Prioritise
Along with labelling the boxes, you can also put on a code on each box which tells you how important the contents of the box are. This will make your job easier when you are unpacking. The most important and urgent items will be unpacked first and the least important items can be left for the last, maybe even a few weeks when everything else has settled down.
10 of 18 – Packing Electronics
Take the same precautions when packing your electronics just as you did with any fragile items. Label each box with the content, as these items are usually heavier and bulkier it should not be too difficult to identify them when unpacking. For example, label the box containing your TV with the same name label.
A pro tip here is to keep all the wires and cables in the same box so they don’t get lost during the move. Before you unplug the cables, take a picture of how they were connected so you don’t have any trouble when putting them back again.
11 of 18 – Packing Clothes
When packing your clothes, the hanging clothing items can be packed very easily. The secret is to not take them off the hangers. You can set in groups of 10-12 hangers each and put on large bin liners from below and tie them at the top. This will save you a lot of time plus you will not have to pack the hangers separately. Also, you can just take the hangers to the new place and hang them in there and take the bin bags out, job done!
When packing folded clothes too, its easier to use bin bags so you can save the boxes for other things. As the clothes are not heavy, its easier to carry them in bin bags.
12 of 18 – Packing Books
Books and stationery are heavy items so they can be packed in suitcases or other durable carriers such as a laundry basket. A cardboard box will become too heavy to carry and will not hold too many books, so be careful not to overfill any cardboard boxes!
13 of 18 – Food and Grocery
Don’t buy a lot of groceries in the weeks leading up to the move. It’s advised that you only buy as much as you will be able to finish before your moving out day to make sure that nothing goes to waste. It’s better to have your fridge and freezer empty so you don’t have to empty it and carry the contents separately during the move.
It is also easier to carry an empty fridge and freezer rather than full ones. This also goes for long-life food and other ingredients, the less you have the less you will have to pack away. You can always buy food to fill up your new kitchen later when you have unpacked and settled down.
14 of 18 – An Overnight Bag
Having an overnight bag ready is a great idea when you are moving house. The day you move out you can pack a small bag of daily essentials, such as nightclothes, a set of spare day clothes and some basic toiletries. This will be a life-saver when you sleep in your new house the first night and will not have to start opening boxes to get your basic stuff out.
15 of 18 – Have a Plan of Unpacking
Just like the plans you made to pack everything away organise your belongings for the move, you need to prioritise and make plans on how to unpack and start settling in. you can start by which room you want to set up first and have a plan of where you want everything to go. The structure and layout of your new home might be different from the previous one, so you will need to plan and make a sketch of where you want everything to go.
A great way to do this is to start by unpacking the bedroom first as you will need a bed to sleep on. By this logic, the first item to unpack and reassemble would be your bed before moving onto the bathroom and kitchen. In the kitchen only take out the basic stuff that you will need for the first day or the next morning. After that, you can move on to less urgent rooms, such as setting and styling the sitting room.
16 of 18 – Make an Inventory
Make a detailed list of the total number of boxes and bags you have and a brief description of what each box or bag contains. This will be helpful when you start unpacking on the other side as you will be sure that you haven’t left anything behind and if you need to take anything out quickly, you can refer back to the inventory list.
17 of 18 – Packing Valuables
Be extra careful when packing your valuables such as jewellery away. Keep them in a bag that you can carry in your car with you if possible. Also, be mindful when you reach the new property to take them out and put them out of the way where they don’t get lost.
18 of 18- Cleaning Up
Remember to clean up after you. Empty all the bins, take the rubbish out and clean the house nice before you leave. Even if you are the house owners and do not have to do an end of tenancy cleaning like tenants, it leaves a good impression on the new residents and gives a feel of a well-kept house.
Tips For The New Home
Packing and settling in your new house are not the only things that you’ll need to consider. There are a lot of new and exciting tasks waiting for you now that you have moved to the new property.
1 of 20 – Ask Questions
You may have many questions about the new property, which is completely normal. The best way to get them answered is to ask the old homeowners or the landlord if you are the new tenant. You can ask them about:
- Where the stopcock is, in case you need to stop the water supply for some reason.
- The meter and gas reader.
- Which day the bin collection day is
- Warranties on electrical items
- Supply companies of the services such as broadband, gas, energy and water.
- The thermostat
- Instructions if anything in the house needs special cleaning
- Warranty and supplier of the fixed furniture such as bathroom and kitchen cabinets.
2 of 20 – Remove Hazards
Before you start to unpack and after you have brought all your stuff in, make sure to put them safely so as not to cause any tripping hazard. Once in the new property, remove all visible hazards out of the way to avoid any falls or accidents.
3 of 20 – Cleaning
It’s best to clean the house before you move in and get your belonging in the new property. Although it is expected of the previous residents to clean the house before they leave, you might want to do it with your touch to make sure it’s to your standards.
The best way to do it is when the house is empty. You can start with the most important areas of the house that you will be needing to use immediately, such as the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen.
Once, you have settled down a bit, you can move on to cleaning the wardrobes, sitting room and garden etc, and give it your personal taste to make it ‘home’.
4 of 20 – Explore the New Area
Once you have settled in and you’ve taken care of all the urgent and important stuff, you can go out and about to explore the new neighbourhood. Go around to see where the nearest park is, where can you shop for everyday essentials such as bread and milk and the local schools, gym and community centre.
5 of 20 – Meet The New Neighbours
You can meet new neighbours and introduce yourself. By doing this, you’ll be making new friends and helping to build some useful relationships in case you need them in an emergency. Getting to know the local community makes settling in the new area easier and they can also give you some useful advice and tips regarding your area.
6 of 20 – Register to Vote
Once you have settled down in your new home, an important thing you need to do is to register yourself (and make sure others in your household do too!) to the electoral register. You can do this via your local council. It is important to get it sorted out as soon as you get a chance to be able to cast vote in the elections.
7 of 20 – Redirect Your Post
Another important thing to remember is to redirect all your post from the old address to the new one. This can be done with the help of Royal Mail, with a small fee. You will have to inform them of the day from which you want all your posts to be redirected to the new address.
If you are still getting posts in your new property that belong to the new residents, you cannot open them legally and cannot destroy them either. You can send it back to the sender by labelling on the envelope, ‘Not Known At This Address’.
8 of 20 – Registering With The Local GP
Registering with the local GP is another important thing which you need to sort out as soon as possible. You never know when you might need them, so it’s better not to delay it and get it done quickly. Some GPs take up to two weeks to register a new resident, so it’s best to get it sorted out at your earliest convenience.
9 of 20 – Handing Over Keys
Hand over the keys to your old house to the new residents. This includes all the spares that you had so that it will be helpful for them and also it will give them the peace of mind that their house cannot be accessed by an outsider. This goes for you too; you can ask the old residents to hand over all the spare keys to you so you don’t have to make new ones.
It’s advised that when moving into a new property that you change the locks, but for most people are happy and honest when moving into a new property. By obtaining all spare keys, you’ll be able to delay the new locks for a while and use the money on decorating.
10 of 20 – Get Insurance
You need house insurance before you buy or exchange it and this is why it is sorted out before the handover. Despite this, there might be several other insurances that you’ll be interested in such as boiler insurance, drains and furniture or other small things that are not covered by the house insurance. They need to be sorted out as a priority so that if something goes wrong, you are covered.
11 of 20 – Council Tax
You will need to contact the local council to sort out the council tax payment for you. This one is important to avoid any undue fines or missed payments!
12 of 20 – Update Your Address
You will need to update your address when you have moved in the new property. This needs to be updated to a few authorities or companies, such as the DVLA and the TV licensing company. You will have to inform DVLA of your current address so they can update your driving licence accordingly. Your driving license must have your full current residence address. Also, if you had a TV licence in your previous home, you will need to have one now with the current address.
13 of 20 – Meter Readings
It is advisable to take meter readings on your gas and water meters before you start using them if possible. This is important so that you only pay for what you have used from the time you moved in.
14 of 20 – One Room at A Time
When you start unpacking, don’t take it all at once. Do one room at a time. Start with the most urgent rooms first and get them sorted out first. When that is out of the way and most of the stuff has gone to their designated places, you can move on to less urgent things. For example, you can take your clothing and all bedroom items to the room but only unpack what you need urgently. The rest of the clothes can go in the wardrobe and can be organised when you have time.
15 of 20 – Furnishing and Carpeting
If your planning to change the carpets in your new home, its best to buy and pre-order them before you move in with your belongings. This is because when you have heavy furniture in, it will be harder to move them twice to get the carpet in place.
If you are planning to get new furniture, you can order it well in advance and set a date for delivery in the new house just after you move in. this will help in getting everything in place and save time and chaos. Make sure that you’re happy the move is going ahead and the date is locked in before ordering the furniture to avoid any delays to the move!
16 of 20 – Painting
Painting the house is much easier when you don’t have to move the furniture around to get to every corner of the walls. If you are planning to paint the house, make sure to do it before the furniture gets delivered and even before the carpet is fitted so you can avoid any spillages on the new carpet.
17 of 20 – Decorating
Make the new house your home and start giving it your personal touch by adding your favourite picture and wall hangings on the walls. Add your favourite colours to the decorations, have that crystal piece you had always wanted and the lampshade you love! Decorating and giving a personal touch to the house will give it a more welcoming feeling.
It is important to remember that you might not be able to fit in everything you bought from your old home to the new one. This might be because of the size or structure of the house. Don’t get disheartened if you can’t, there will still be plenty of things you can still fit in. That also means you can buy some new things that you like but never had any opportunity or the space to fit them in the old house, but you can do it now.
18 of 20 – Rent Out Spare Room
If you have a spare bedroom that you will not be using anytime in the foreseeable future, you can rent that room out for some extra cash in hand.
19 of 20 – Parking
If you live in a residents-only parking zone, you will need to update the authorities that you are the new resident in the area. They will need your proof of address and your driving licence along with your vehicle registration.
20 of 20 – Changing Locks
If you are not sure about the locks or where all your keys might have been, such as the cleaners, you can change all the locks in the house. This will give you peace of mind and added security.
Hiring Professional House Removals Company
Hiring professional house removal company means you will have less hassle and burden of doing everything by yourself. From picking everything up from your old house to taking them to the new property and helping you to get settled, they are there in every possible way to make your life easier.
Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider hiring a professional house removal company.
Saves You Time
Moving a house is a tiring process on its own, plus if you have to do everything by yourself from scratch, it becomes even more hectic and overwhelming. As most of us are not experts and haven’t undertaken many house moves, we will take a lot more time for something very small and simple.
Hiring house removals means our time can be saved as they can handle and finish all the big and bulky jobs in a matter of a few hours. So that we can focus on other things such as sorting out the essentials or unpacking our personals.
Professional house removal companies have their own packing material so you will not have to buy your own. You can get boxes and supplies from them so you can start packing your personal belongings as they will not be handling those for you. However, they will take them from one point to the other.
When planning to hire a removal company, do your market search and ask friends and family for recommendations. Get three or more quotes from different local companies and settle for the one you think will suit you the best.
If possible, hire your house removals company for the midweek rather than the weekend. There are two reasons why this is a good idea:
- They might have different rates for the weekends and midweek moves. The midweek move is typically the cheaper option out of the two.
- There will be less traffic on the roads and your move will be quicker.
Council Tax Sort
The house removals company will help you to sort out many things once you move into the new property. One thing is helping with sorting out council tax payments with the local council. The house removal company can sometimes help you to get in contact with them.
Contacting Local Water Provider
If you don’t know who the current water provider is in your new home, the house removal company can help you to find out and get in touch with the water company.
It will save you a lot of hassle and time if you have hired a house removals company, as they will arrange for you a pre-tenancy cleaning which will give you a full top to bottom clean of the whole house, saving you a lot of effort.
Less Risk of Accidents
Hiring a professional house removal company also means that there will be less chance of accidents and injuries on the moving site. This is because the removal people are expert at their job and do it every day. They know how to handle each item and how to keep it in a safe place so any hazards can be avoided.
They Know The Way
If you are moving to a new area, there are chances that you will be lost on the way with plenty of luggage at the back of your car or van. The house removals company may be typically familiar with the routes and can get your luggage from one place to the other without getting lost on the way.
Hiring professionals also means that your fragile and delicate items are in safe hands and will be transported from one point to the other without any damage. They know how to handle delicate items and will be careful with your belongings.
Some Extra Tips
Here are some additional tips to be considered while moving house to make your life easier:
As soon as you have planned moving house, its best to get started on the packing and decluttering. The sooner you start, the less rushing around you’ll face at the last minute. You can start by decluttering the house as these are the things you don’t want to take with you. Once that’s done you can give them away to a charity so you don’t have to carry them along. After that, start with the least urgent items.
You will need to cancel all appointments at your previous property. This includes the GP, the gardener or window cleaner, the cleaning company etc. You will save time and the companies will be grateful for the gesture so they don’t have to try contacting you numerous times. Plus, the new residents will be grateful to not have to explain that you’ve moved out!
Before you start taking big items out, take measurements of your belongings and the size of the door frame, both in the new and the old house. These can be sofas, beds, fridge and freezer etc. This is important so that you can avoid any last-minute frustration and panic if the items can’t get through the door. If you are already aware of the issue, you can make the necessary arrangements with plenty of time.
If you have small children, it is likely they will get tired and restless with all the chaos of moving into a new house. You can make arrangements for them with family or friends to babysit for you so you can focus on the move without any interruption. This also goes for pets, as they can’t understand everything that is going around, they will get frustrated which you can avoid by arranging an alternative for them.
Inform your family and friends that you are moving house and give them your new address so they can visit you when you have settled in. The joy of a new house is doubled when you share it with your loved ones!