Moving house

10 things to think about when moving house

Moving house is often considered to be one of life’s most stressful events.

It’s a process that involves a number of tasks, from packing up your life into boxes to setting up a new home.

The average cost of moving home in the UK stands at £11,777 according to Barclays, although this figure can vary widely depending on your location.

To make your move as smooth as possible, here are ten critical things to consider:

1. Budgeting For The Move

When planning a move, it’s crucial to understand that expenses extend beyond the simple act of transporting your belongings. A comprehensive budget should include not only the cost of hiring movers but also the price of packing materials, cleaning services for both your old and new homes and any temporary accommodations needed during the transition.

Considering the average moving cost in the UK is £11,777, it’s easy to see how quickly expenses can accumulate. Start by requesting quotes from several moving companies to get an accurate estimate of this major cost component. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of utilities setup, potential storage fees, and any immediate home repairs or modifications your new property might require. By accounting for these expenses upfront, you can avoid unexpected financial pressures and ensure a smoother transition to your new home.

2. Finding the Right Moving Company

Selecting the right moving company is pivotal to the success of your move. A reputable mover not only ensures the safe transport of your belongings but also provides peace of mind throughout the process.

Begin by researching companies with strong customer feedback and a proven track record. Look for services that offer detailed, transparent pricing to avoid any hidden fees. Comprehensive insurance coverage is another must-have, as it protects you against potential loss or damage to your possessions during the move. It’s also wise to choose a company that provides a detailed contract and a clear understanding of their policies and procedures.

Remember, the cheapest option might not always be the best. Instead, focus on finding a company that delivers reliable service and great value for your money. Taking the time to find a mover that meets these criteria can dramatically reduce the stress of moving day.

3. Decluttering Before the Move

Decluttering before a move is not just about reducing the physical load but also about simplifying your life and freshening your new start. Begin by categorising your belongings into items to keep, sell, donate, or discard. This process not only lessens the burden on your moving company (potentially lowering your costs) but also gives you a chance to reevaluate what is truly important to you. Selling unwanted items can provide additional funds for moving expenses, while donating goods can offer a sense of contribution to your community.

The psychological benefits of decluttering are significant as well; it can lead to a more organised and less cluttered space in your new home, promoting a sense of calm and order. Start the decluttering process early to allow yourself enough time to sort through your belongings without feeling rushed. This thoughtful approach to decluttering can transform a potentially overwhelming task into an opportunity for renewal and reflection.

4. Packing with a Plan

Effective packing is a cornerstone of a successful move. Starting early allows you to approach the task methodically, reducing last-minute stress and potential oversight. Begin with items you seldom use, gradually moving towards everyday essentials as your move date approaches.

Proper labeling is paramount; each box should clearly state its contents and designated room in your new home, facilitating a smoother unpacking process. Fragile items deserve special attention – invest in quality packing materials like bubble wrap, packing paper, and sturdy boxes to safeguard your valuables. For items of exceptional value or sentiment, consider additional insurance or personal transport. Organising a packing schedule can further streamline the process, ensuring that no item is left behind or packed in haste.

This disciplined approach not only protects your belongings but also sets the stage for an orderly and efficient move.

5. Notifying Important Parties

Updating your address with essential contacts is a critical step in the moving process. This list includes not just financial institutions and employers but also schools, healthcare providers, and any entity that sends you important mail or subscriptions. Early notification can prevent lapses in communication, ensuring you continue to receive crucial mail without interruption.

It also plays a vital role in safeguarding your personal information against identity theft. Utilise postal services’ change-of-address systems to catch any stragglers, and consider setting up mail forwarding for a seamless transition.

Remember, too, to update your address for online shopping sites and services to avoid future delivery mishaps. Taking care of this task well in advance of your move can provide peace of mind, allowing you to focus on settling into your new home.

6. Checking Utilities and Setting Them Up

Ensuring your utilities are operational before you arrive at your new home is essential for a comfortable transition. This preparation goes beyond mere convenience; it’s about ensuring your new environment is livable from the moment you step through the door.

Contact utility providers for electricity, gas, water, internet, and phone services at least two weeks before your move. This lead time is crucial for scheduling any necessary installations or service activations, especially if you’re moving to a newly built home or an area that requires utility changes.

If possible, arrange for services to be activated a day before your move, providing a buffer for any unexpected delays. Things like sourcing spare boiler parts for example can take some time, so make sure you bake that into your timeline.

Additionally, consider the opportunity to review and possibly upgrade your plans or providers. Moving can be an opportune time to assess new deals or technologies that could enhance your living experience. Having these essentials in place ensures your first day in your new home is comfortable, secure, and connected.

7. Cleaning The New Home Before Moving In

A clean slate in your new home begins with a thorough cleaning before your belongings arrive. A space not only makes cleaning more efficient but also ensures that every corner and closet meets your standards of cleanliness from the outset. Focus on areas that are harder to reach when furnished, such as under appliances, inside cabinets, and overhead light fixtures.

Consider professional cleaning services for carpets or floors to revitalise the space fully. This initial effort transforms your new house into a welcoming home, setting a positive tone for your move.

Cleaning beforehand also allows you to address any maintenance issues that might be obscured by furniture later on. Entering a clean, fresh space significantly enhances the experience of settling into your new home, making it feel truly yours from day one.

8. Preparing An Essentials Box

The essentials box is a crucial component of a well-organised move. This box, or suitcase, should contain everything you might need during the first 24 to 48 hours in your new home.

Think beyond toiletries and include items like chargers, a basic first-aid kit, important documents, bed linen, a few kitchen utensils, and anything else that supports daily routines. This approach not only eases the first night in your new home but also buys you time to unpack methodically without rummaging through boxes for necessities. Position this box to be easily accessible, ensuring it’s the last thing loaded onto the moving vehicle and the first thing unloaded.

The convenience of having your essentials readily available cannot be overstated, making the transition smoother and more comfortable.

9. Taking Measurements

One of the most practical steps you can take before moving is to measure the dimensions of your new home and compare them to your current furniture and appliances. This foresight can prevent the common moving day dilemma of finding out too late that a crucial piece won’t fit through a doorway or in its intended space. Take detailed measurements of rooms, doorways, staircases, and even elevators if applicable.

Don’t forget to consider the layout and any potential obstacles like fixed radiators or narrow hallways. Armed with this information, you can make informed decisions about what to move, sell, or donate beforehand. This proactive step saves time, effort, and the expense of moving items that won’t work in your new space, ensuring a smoother transition.

10 Legal And Administrative Tasks

Addressing legal and administrative tasks before moving day is essential for a seamless transition. This includes updating your address for all personal and legal documents, ensuring continuity in important services without interruption. If you’re moving to a new area, transferring medical records and registering with new healthcare providers, including GPs, should be a priority to maintain healthcare access.

Similarly, review and update insurance policies to reflect your new living situation, ensuring coverage from the moment you move in. Utilities and council tax arrangements should also be finalised to avoid lapses in services or potential legal issues. Taking care of these tasks in advance not only minimises the risk of future complications but also provides peace of mind, allowing you to focus on settling into your new home.


Moving house is undoubtedly challenging, but with careful planning and consideration of these ten points, you can navigate the process more smoothly. Remember, preparation is key to minimising stress and making your move a success.

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