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Gillian Ashworth
Features Writer
11:12 AM 24th June 2020

A To Z Of Moving Home

You have made the decision to move home, or buy your first home, and you’ve found the perfect place that accommodates all your needs, it’s within budget, and contracts are being talked about, or even signed.

So, what do you do now? Who are the best people to speak to, what are the tips and tricks that seasoned movers use?

Whether you have had your moving date postponed due to the lockdown, or it has been deemed safe to go ahead, the following A to Z of moving home is sure to help.

Attention

Moving house is commonly referred to as one of the most stressful life events to go through, so don’t add any extra stress if your mindset isn’t right.

Moving house requires energy, positive thinking, long hours of hard work and determination to get the job done, and a clear head space. If you are not in the right mindset, have too much work on right now, or you are consumed by other things going on in your life, consider delaying moving home until you can give it the attention it deserves.

Boxes

Large, medium, small and everything in between. You will need many, and it’s your choice whether to buy from storage companies (so they all look the same and have a section to write the room & contents on the side etc) or to just use mix and match boxes from free sources such as local supermarkets and local companies. The longer preparation time you have, the more chance you have to collect all the boxes you need, it may be worth buying permanent plastic boxes at this point as well. To keep in your new home and save time on storage. Ask friends and family to save their packaging as well, and send your way in the weeks leading up to the move.

Conveyancing

No matter what you do, when it comes to buying a home, you will need legal advice at some point. So finding a good conveyancer, is a good idea from the outset. A conveyancer is not a solicitor (although most people think they are interchangeable). A solicitor is a qualified lawyer while a licensed conveyancer specialises in property. But to have someone with legal knowledge on your side who is proactive, professional and efficient will reassure your seller and their agent that you are committed to a speedy and hassle-free purchase.

De-cluttering

The earlier you start this, the better. Room by room, or wardrobe by wardrobe, or even drawer by drawer. Just go through all your ‘stuff’ and decide if it’s worth moving with you or not. Only move what you need. Take the rest to charity or bin anything that’s broken. This saves time and money on moving day and it also has the added advantage of mentally preparing you for a new start as well.

Energy

You will need it yourself to keep yourself going throughout the whole moving process. So don’t forget to eat and sleep well. Also, you will need to make sure your new home has an energy supplier before you move in. Most energy companies offer an address change, to carry on with your current suppliers, but this needs to be planned in advance. You don’t want to be without electric or heating the first night.

Finances

No doubt, the highest consideration of any move, but buying a property is likely to be the most expensive thing you buy and most likely the highest value and longest long term loan (in mortgage form) you ever enter into. Homework, research and the up most respect must be taken.

Garden

Consider what you might need for your new garden (if you are moving into a house that has one). Don’t forget to take your gardening supplies as well. Many a mover has left a shed full of tools behind when moving, because they were so focused on packing up the inside of the house, they forgot to check the shed.

Help

Moving house requires help. Even if it’s just help with the legal complexities, or your finances. The earlier you get the help, the more likely you are to find the right people. Leading to reduced stress for everyone.

Insurance

If you haven’t owned your own home before the words Buildings and Contents cover may not be familiar. But in order to move, most mortgages require this, and also Life insurance. Something else to look into and be aware you do not have to get your buildings and contents cover from your mortgage provider, although sometimes it makes sense to do so.

Juggling

Not in the clown sense, but in the personal sense of the word. Juggling family, work and social responsibilities into the planning and preparation of moving house can be a mission in itself. The best advice is to let everyone know you are moving home, reduce social activities and block out time in your diary to make plans, get quotes, de-clutter and pack. On the moving day itself, don’t plan any socialising the night before. Sounds obvious, and may be tempting, but a clear head is definitely a must for moving day.

Kids

If you’re moving with children, consider involving them in the process. If the children are old enough, ask them to pack their toys and de-clutter their room with or without you. This should ease a little stress for you and the children on moving day, as it will have mentally prepared them for the change. Consider a babysitter or childcare for very young children, if you are able to get a relative to have them over night, even better.

Labelling

Label every box, every bag and every large piece of furniture with the room it needs to be in, so you, and anyone helping you, knows where to put it in your new home. This is especially important if you are using removal men. It’s worth labelling what’s actually in the box as well. Just to make finding something you need easier once you’ve landed.

Moving Day

It’s the day you’ve been planning and preparing for, probably for months. You have ticked all the boxes and have everything packed and ready. The main aim for this day is to get through it in a calm manner, almost act as project manager if you can. With a plan of action and timings. Even if you’re not a planner usually, this day is possibly the exception. If you have your first day survival kit to hand, the first 12 hours of being in your new home should run smoothly anyway, therefore takeaways and a relaxing night should be the order of the day and planned into your time. This gives you time to enjoy your first night in your new home and be excited you finally made it.

Notice

One of the things that trip people up from rented accommodation is not giving enough notice to their landlords, which may mean unexpected fees in some cases. Notice of postal address is also an important one. Tell your utility suppliers, your council, the post office, work, any insurers, the DVLA, your bank, your doctor and dentist as a bare minimum. As well as your family and friends.

It’s nice to give the new owners of your old house/ your landlord your forwarding address as well. If you do have new owners moving into your house, a bottle of wine or flowers is a nice gift to leave with your new address in a card, perhaps? They will have just gone through this whole moving process as well remember?

Oversee the Operation

As the main organiser of moving house, your main job is to oversee and coordinate all the bits of the puzzle, to make the whole. This doesn’t just mean on the day of the move, it means the preparation, the bank accounts, the quotes and decisions beforehand, then on the day, you just oversee all your hard work coming together.

Preparation

Fail to plan, plan to fail, is the saying. Preparation, planning and organisation is what you need in order to make sure moving home is a pleasurable experience for you and everyone in your household, as well as the people you hire along the way, as you can deal with everyone with confidence, knowing you’ve done your homework.

Quotes

The sooner you start to get quotes, the more choice you will have. Quotes will be needed for picking a mortgage, picking a surveyor, a conveyancer, a removal firm, costing storage boxes and even costing decorating supplies and furniture once you arrive in your new home.

Removal Firms

Decide if you’re going to use family and friends, and do it yourself by hiring a van, or if you’re going to hire a removal firm. If it’s your first move, you may only need a van and a few able bodies, but if this is a move from home to home with a family, a removal firm is highly recommended and will take out the heavy lifting and some of the stress. As long as you label everything with the right room, you should get all your belongings and furniture in the right place.

Survival Kit

The night before moving day, make a ‘first-night’ survival kit, and pack this with you in your car. Cleaning products, kettle, tea and coffee, loo roll, laptops and chargers, TV or radio and bedding (for everyone in the household) should lead to less stress for immediate needs when you land, as you’ll have all the essentials to hand. Don’t forget your children’s favourite teddy bear, to cuddle on their first night. That’s not something you want to be opening boxes for and routing around for at the end of a long day’s move!

Time

You will need more time to de-clutter, pack, label and shift furniture than you think, so make time to prepare as much as you can days, weeks, or months in advance in possible. First time movers sometimes overlook this, and find themselves wrapping fragile vases in newspaper at 2am the night before the moving day.

Utilities

It makes sense to find out who the water supplier is for your new home and inform them of your moving date, as well as your energy, and internet etc. All it takes is a quick phone call and the date of your move. It also means that you avoid any unnecessary charges from your old address, especially if it’s going to be empty for any length of time, or the new owners simply forget to set up an account. Forgetting these things could mean no running water, especially if you are moving into a previously empty property.

Vacuum Packs

Its worth investing in simple vacuum packs for bedding and clothes. The packs make for easy moving and compact your fabrics so much so that you will find they take less room and less time to pack than box after box. They are also waterproof, so bedding (especially your first night’s bedding) stays clean, dry and compact.

Workers

Whether you use friends and family or hire removal men, you will need workers to help you move into your new home. Maybe consider having a ‘moving party’ and promise a bottle of their favourite beverage, or simply a takeaway at the end of the day, to those that helped you.

(e)Xchange [slight cheat]

The exchange of contracts is the day things become ‘real’ and also legally binding for your move. Once everyone is happy, you will exchange your contracts and sign everything, at this point you usually get a completion date as well. One step closer to owning your home. Exciting times.


Yours

Once you’re in, you can start to make your new house ‘yours’. If you are able to get the keys to your house before moving day, then it’s a good idea to deep clean the property before the furniture is moved in. Decorating can also be done in this time if you are able to stay in your old home a little longer. If not, however, then making your home ‘yours’ is probably the most enjoyable thing about the whole moving process.

Zips

Zip lock bags to be precise, are brilliant for gathering together all the tiny bits and pieces you need and keeping small things clean and ‘together’ on moving day. You can buy them from most home stores and they come in different sizes. Small toys, wires, headphones, stationery and jewellery are perfect for putting in these zip lock bags.

This article was written by Gillian Ashworth