N.B. There is no fixed timetable for the sale of a property and the timescales in this guide assume a six week countdown to moving day. In many cases much less time will be available. You will need to adjust this timetable to suit your own plans and priorities, but we hope that you may find this guide useful.
Find a reputable removal company. Get quotes from at least three firms. When they come to see you, show them everything that has to be moved including items in attic, garden sheds etc. Get full details of their insurance cover for damage that might occur during the move. Some removers can provide boxes and packing cases before moving day, but check the cost of this and other extra services they can provide.
Start preparing your home for moving day. See if you can have a mass clear-out of unwanted items.
You will need to find out about your new house and its locality. Usually your vendor will help you.
You may need to know about:
Contact the gas, electricity and water companies by phone to advise them you are moving. If you have a gas cooker, you will have to arrange for a fitter to disconnect and re-connect it. Arrange for any plumbers, electricians necessary to refix washing machine, electric cooker etc at new house.
If you want to take your telephone number to your new home, organise this by contacting your supplier.
Start collecting newspapers to wrap things. Also obtain wine and spirit cases in which to pack them if your remover is not providing cases. Try your local off-licence. Remember that breakages may not be covered by the remover’s insurers unless packed by the removers.
If you have a freezer, can you arrange to move the contents? (The removers may not move it while full). If not, start running down its contents.
Check the garden and start potting up any plants it has been agreed you are taking with you.
Once contracts are exchanged you can start advising people of your new address. If you are having cards printed make sure you check the correct postal address, postcode and telephone number (some sellers take their telephone number with them).
Make a list of items you won’t trust to the removal men or they cannot move, eg:
Collect all family documents, passports, driving licences etc into one safe place.
Clean curtains and any other fabrics you are taking with you.
Settle outstanding bills.
Transfer Bank and Building Society accounts.
Tell suppliers of ongoing services that you are moving, including; suppliers of entertainment, Internet and mobile telephone services, suppliers with whom you have agreements for the maintenance of equipment and services.
Arrange for household insurance to be transferred to your new home on moving day, unless you have been advised to insure the new home from exchange.
Ensure there is insurance cover for the move itself. The remover may not be moving everything. Is the remover’s insurance cover satisfactory?
Collect any items at repairers or cleaners. Return library books
Tell milkman and other delivery men when you are moving. Try to tell them personally. Notes on doorsteps can be an open invitation to burglars and others if the house is to be left empty.
Arrange for gas and electricity meters to be read on the day you move. Ask for bills to be forwarded to new address. Write and confirm this – keep a copy.
If you are not taking your number with you, arrange for your telephone account to be made up to moving day and for the phone to be transferred to the new owner or cut off. If taking your number with you, make sure the phone Company or other carrier knows the date when you are moving so that they will move the number that day. Make sure you write and confirm the arrangements – keep a copy!
If doing some of your own packing, label each case with its contents and where it is to go (e.g. China – kitchen). Never leave heavy items in drawers. If packing glass or china, wrap each item in newspaper.
Drain fuel from power mowers, domestic heaters or other equipment containing flammable fuels.
If packing jars and bottles, seal lids with tape. Put them in waterproof containers.
If your carpets, bedding or clothes are being professionally packed, check when your removers do this.
Your removers will almost certainly not be willing to dismantle permanently fixed items. Arrange for this to be done or do it yourself.
Put electrical appliances in original boxes. See if you can find transit bar for washing machine.
Put together ‘moving in kit’ (to take in the car with you):
Label all furniture saying into which room it should go. Make a plan for the removers showing the names you have given the rooms.
Pack suitcases and bedding for the night of the move. Make sure any favourite toys will be easily to hand.
Check, if possible, that electricity and gas will be on in your new home
Start early and pack the car before removal men arrive.
When removers arrive, show foreman what is to go and what is to stay. Give him details and plan of new house.
When the removers have finished in the old house and it is to be left empty, turn off electricity, gas and water and lock up. (In winter, however, make arrangements to prevent pipes freezing etc). Take your keys to your estate agent. Do not hand them to your buyer unless your conveyancer has advised you to do so.
Get to the new house before removal men. Check with your conveyancer that completion has gone through then collect the keys to your new house from the estate agents unless other arrangements have been made.
Make sure there is room for the removal van at your new home (including the large flap at the rear) and room to manoeuvre large pieces of furniture behind it.
Make beds as soon as possible
Do not be too ambitious with your unpacking on moving day.
Remember to remove transit bar from washing machine.
Empty all boxes and cartons moved by removers within the first week. The remover’s crates and boxes have to be returned and you may find breakages.
Inspect everything not moved by you for damage. If the removers are responsible make a written claim to them within the time limit.