Moving house can be a stressful ordeal.
Packing belongings, finding a cleaning company and booking furniture movers; let’s be honest, moving house feels like a logistical nightmare.
In our guide, we’ll break the process down, step by step, to ensure that you’re well prepped for your upcoming move. From setting up a mail redirect, to organising an end of tenancy clean, we’ve got you covered.
How to prepare for a home move
In this guide, we’re going to assume that you’ve already sorted your new property. If you’re renting, you should’ve already chosen a new home and signed the tenancy agreement; if you’re buying a home then you should have organised the mortgage and exchanged contracts with the seller.
1. Book a removals service, or make arrangements to move yourself
Your first consideration when moving house should be removals - how are you going to get from A to B with all of your possessions?
Much of this will depend on your circumstance. If you’re moving from a large, family home with multiple residents then it’s likely that you’ll need to hire professionals to help with this. If you’re moving from a small, one bed furnished flat, you may be able to do this with the assistance of friends and family.
When looking for a removal company, you should explore a few different options. Search online for well-rated removal companies, checking Google and Trustpilot ratings to ensure that you’re using a reputable company. Once you’ve gathered quotes, make a decision on who to go with and ensure that you’re booked in well in advance. You can also use a removals comparison site, such as Get a Mover, to help find the best prices for removals in your area.
If you’re confident you can move yourself, think about whether you’ll need a hand. Ask friends and family to see if you can reel in an extra pair of hands (or two). Consider how you’ll transport your possessions - you could drive yourself if you own a car, or you could look to hire a small van if you don’t have your own vehicle.
2. Organise a move-out/end of tenancy clean
Whether you’re moving from a rental property or a property you own, you’ll need to ensure that you leave the property in a clean condition. If you rent, check your tenancy agreement to confirm the exact requirements for cleanliness - you should have been provided a physical copy of this when you moved in, and if you went through a digital service such as Portico you may be able to access this through your online dashboard. At the very least you’ll need to perform a thorough clean yourself, and you may even need to prove that you’ve had a professional clean.
- Thorough cleaning of all surfaces
- Cleaning appliances, including the fridge/freezer, oven, washing machine & dishwasher
- Cleaning of all flooring, including behind and beneath furniture
- Descaling the kitchen and bathroom
- Removing mould and cleaning grout
- Wiping inside of cupboards and drawers
- Cleaning inside windows
You may also be required to book the following:
- Garden/outside area cleaning
- Professional upholstery & carpet cleaning
If you’re required to organise professional cleaning, you should look for a well-rated, local cleaning company to assist with this. As with choosing a removal company, you should gather quotes and do your research: look for a company with high customer ratings on Google and/or Trustpilot or ask friends for recommendations.
With end of tenancy cleaning, it’s critical that you go with a company who can show evidence of cleaning, and will ‘guarantee’ the clean. A ‘guaranteed’ clean means that the company will re-clean any areas that are flagged in your inventory/check out report, free of charge. For obvious reasons, guarantees are time-limited (approx. 72 hours, usually) and are only valid if nobody is still living at the property. For this reason you should organise your end of tenancy clean for a day or two before your inventory, and after everyone has packed up and left.
You can find out more about our end of tenancy cleaning service, here. We have end of tenancy cleaners available at short notice, and we guarantee all end of tenancy cleans for 72 hours.
3. Update your addresses & inform utility providers
Once you’ve confirmed your removal and cleaning arrangements, you can start to look forward to life in your new home.
When you move, you’ll need to make sure that your address is updated across all of your accounts.
Update all of your bank accounts, as well as any subscriptions that you have. You can usually do this through online accounts.
You should also contact all of the following utility providers:
There may be limitations in your contract about which utility providers you can use at the new home. Let your current providers know if you need to cancel, or ask if you can transfer your account to the new property. Make sure that you contact your utility providers at least two weeks before you move out/move in, as changes can take some time to be processed.
You’ll also need to let your employer know that you’re moving, to ensure they have up-to-date information.
Finally, work through your own address book and inform personal contacts of where and when you’re moving.
If you're worried you may have forgotten to update certain addresses, you can register for Royal Mail's redirection service. Prices start at £33.99, and you can choose to have mail redirected for 3, 6 or 12 months after your move.
4. Pack up
This is where the physical work comes in. With everything for your upcoming move in place, and that move-out date edging ever closer, it’s time to think about packing.
You’ll likely need cardboard boxes to help with this - you can order these online, or head to a local store and ask if they have any you could take.
You should start packing early, and begin by boxing up items that you won’t need to use until after your move. For example, if you’re moving in summer you could begin by packing up your winter jackets.
When packing clothes and other soft items (e.g. cushions, pillows), you should look to invest in vacuum pack bags, which will help to store these items compactly in preparation for your move. Some items may need to be hung up or ironed once out though, as they can become creased.
It’s really important when packing items that you label all bags and boxes accurately. You should also mark any fragile items clearly, as this will help to avoid any accidental damage during your move.
It’s worth mentioning that you may come across some items during packing that you didn’t even realise that you had. Now’s a great time to squeeze in some decluttering. Try adopting Marie Kondo’s method: “if it brings you no joy, chuck it” (paraphrased, a little).
We recently caught up with our friends at Compare My Move to offer our advice on how to declutter your home prior to moving. If you’re looking for detailed help with decluttering, you can read the full guide, here.
5. Consider organising a move in clean at your new home
Depending on where you’re moving to, you may also want to consider organising a move-in clean.
If you’re moving into a rental property, chances are a thorough end of tenancy clean has just been completed, so it may not be necessary.
If you’re buying though, there are less strict rules on the condition when you move in. Check out our one-off deep cleaning service, or our move-in/move-out service for more info on how to organise a professional clean.
6. Move out
The big day is finally here. You’re packed up and ready to go. It’s probably starting to feel very real now.
If you’re the sentimental type, don’t forget to grab a move-out day photo in your old house for the archives.
Most importantly: stay calm and collected, and try to enjoy the day. If you’ve followed the steps above then everything should be in order.
Things may not go completely smoothly, though. And that’s absolutely fine.
There’s always a chance that you’ve overlooked something, and external factors can throw a spanner in the works. Stay positive though, and enjoy the start of a new chapter.