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A step by step guide: the moving house checklist

You’ve chosen a new home! Usually followed by weeks and months of excitedly daydreaming, planning where to put your furniture and plotting who to invite round for your first dinner party. But the actual moving house part can often be stressful and a lot of things can feel last minute.
We’ve created a moving house checklist that should smooth out this process so that you can start enjoying time in your new home sooner rather than later.

Checklist before moving to a new house

Preparation is key, and making a checklist before moving to a new house is wise. As you read on you’ll notice the majority of the tasks we advise to complete are all in the preparation phase, so if you’ve got a house move on the horizon, it’s never too early to start planning.

Transport options


One of the first considerations we have when navigating a house move is - how will we move our belongings to the new location? Now, this usually depends on three factors:
  1. How much “stuff” you have
  2. How far away are you moving
  3. How much help you will have

Before I moved for the first time, the only context I had was from watching people in movies, and they always seemed to have a full removals service! Assuming this was the norm when planning to move from my one-bed flat to my.... slightly bigger one-bed flat, you could have knocked me down with a feather when I got the quotes back.
There are plenty of scenarios where no matter the cost, using a professional removals service is worth its weight in gold. If you have small children, a large quantity of furniture and a tight turnaround time to exit your previous property then this is a great solution. Depending on what you agree with the company you choose, things like assembling beds and wardrobes on the other side can be negotiated.

Waska sliding door oak veer and rattan 
Hiring a van is another really popular option. If you’re the organised sort (hopefully this list will help!) and have everything boxed up, broken down and ready to go on the day, hiring your own van offers a lot of flexibility. This is a great option to consider if you are moving house fairly locally and means you can do a few trips without feeling pressurised to get everything ready in one go.

Bonus tip; if you have had a clear-out and don’t want to take certain things with you, keep a scrap pile and then at the end of the day drop it all off at the recycling point before you return the van! And if you are doing the opposite and rather need to purchase furniture, now is the best time to make smart decisions.

As furniture is an investment, future-proof yourself and choose a bed with storage and conventional sizing. Designs like the Crawley bed are both sleek and practical and won't go out of fashion. 

Not confident in driving the van yourself? I don’t blame you - personally, it’s just a tad too different to what I am used to. Many companies offer van hire that comes with one or two people to help on the day. Smaller and usually more reasonably priced, this option is similar to full removal services but they’ll tend to focus on the lifting and shifting rather than packing things up for you.

Sometimes known as “man and a van”, there’ll be a local service near you!

Gathering supplies

Now we’ve looked at how you are going to transport the items, you’ll want to consider how you can pack up your beloved belongings. There’s a lot to consider if you want a smooth process on the other side, so let’s look at the key equipment.
Packing boxes, bubble wrap and tape. Typically these are the main ingredients for packing up your stuff, the classic cardboard box. But where does one find these giant boxes? Most hardware stores will stock these, but it’s worth noting these will be flat packed and so will need some high-quality parcel or packing tape to construct them. 

The most financially efficient option is to invest in a trendy trunk or even baskets as they can be used as a feature in your new home. 

Masa storage trunk

We know that so many people are looking to make changes to be more sustainable and avoid single-use storage boxes, even if they are handed down. Filling up handbags, suitcases, laundry baskets and even bins can really maximise the packing vessels you will need but you'll be finding items sprawled everywhere for months after.

Build a community!

Another top tip is to utilise social media. Most areas will have a community Facebook page, for example. Joining the community page ahead of your move to the new area not only means you can get a feel for what’s going on, but you can pop a post to see if anyone else has recently moved to the area who would donate their used boxes. You might even make a friend - win/win!
Similarly, whilst bubble wrap is a popular choice for protecting delicate items such as kitchen accessories, there’s another opportunity to use what you’ve already got. You already need to transport blankets, towels and bedding, right? Using these strategically to pad out and protect things can help reduce plastic bubble wrap use.

Consider using a traffic light system, and rather than just writing “kitchen” or “bedroom” on the box, add a sticker to indicate how urgent the contents are. For example, green might mean the boxes you’ll need to unpack as a priority, amber could be contented that can wait for the next day, and red… well, that’s your call.

Cleaning before and after you move


Whilst it is probably the last thing you want to think about, unfortunately moving furniture that perhaps hasn’t been moved for some time is going to throw up a heap of dust. 
Doing a customary final clean once everything is packed tends to be one of the things we all forget about. Consider your options here, as it is common to run out of time and end up dancing around dusting and mopping at the same time. 

Is it feasible for you to arrange a cleaner to help you? A lot of local cleaning companies will offer move-out cleaning services to ease your transition, and if you have a more generous turnaround time this is a great idea to get ahead of some of the work. When speaking to potential partners, you may want to get a quote for a full house clean on the other side, too.
If you’ll be doing the cleaning yourself, make sure you don’t accidentally pack the things you need! Make up a box of basic cleaning supplies (kitchen cleaner, window cleaner, kitchen roll, bleach, cloth etc) and keep your vacuum cleaner to hand. If all else fails, keeping a pack of antibacterial wipes back is always a good idea.

Who to notify when moving house checklist


It’s a sensible idea to make a separate list of people you need to notify when moving house. These days, there are so many things that we are subscribed to that it can be tricky to keep track. Here’s a list of the most common contacts that will need to know your forwarding address.
A way to identify any anomalies could be to cross reference any monthly payments with the below list and see what’s missing!

Note: you can get ahead of this and reach out in advance, but wait until you have a confirmed moving date otherwise you could end up doubling up on the ringing round!
  • Your local council - this is important for both council tax and electoral roll purposes
  • Your bank and/or building society
  • Your home or contents insurance provider
  • Your TV License
  • Your TV package provider e.g. Sky, Virgin, Now TV etc
  • Your driver's license needs to be changed via the DVLA
  • Your energy and utility supplier. This one is really important, but even more important is to ensure you take final meter readings. The best way to do this is to take a photo on your phone ensuring you capture the full meter. That way, if you aren’t sure which digits to give then the energy company can guide you. The photo also ensures its time and date are stamped so you are billed for the correct usage!

And on the big day? 

It’s moving day, baby! Rather than feeling panicked and stressed, choose to feel excited today. There are a few final things to consider for the actual day itself, so check out these three points below.

Transition bag

There will be some personal items (washbag etc) that need to be used right up until the last minute, and for this reason, I always pack what I call a “transition bag”. Basically, I imagine I am going away for three nights and packing a bag with everything I need. This means I have easy access to all of my essentials without having to root through (albeit helpfully colour-coded) boxes.

After all, we all start off with good intentions about getting unpacked the second we arrive, but the reality could be different.

Childcare and petcare options

Try to get ahead of anything that has the potential to stress you during this process. If you’ve arranged for someone to collect the little ones whilst the move takes place, try to overestimate the time you think you’ll need. Typically, things tend to take a little longer than we anticipate.


The front (and often) back doors are likely to be open most of the day. The last thing you need is a missing cat or runaway dog to add to the mix! Consider setting up a closed area or den for them within the house, or even better arrange for them to pop off to doggy or kitty daycare.


It’s also a great idea to consider keeping your energy up. Stock up on canned or bottled drinks that you can take with you in the car or van. You can usually pick up takeaway hot drinks from local cafes, but there’s nothing like enjoying your favourite brand, so consider making up a flask of tea or coffee.

Consider the snack needs of not just yourself but any helpers or children, and ensure you leave out lunch boxes and water bottles for food on the go. Energy or protein bars will keep you going! If you’d rather not survive off snacks, consider making a packed lunch in a coolbox the night before.

One final check


Ok, so there’s a lot of detail! This is why we have produced a simplified checklist to showcase the fundamentals for preparing for the move, who you may need to inform, and the essentials for moving day itself. Remember, be easy on yourself - it’s not every day you move house.
Perhaps you are moving house for the first time? Whilst it’s probably one of the most exciting times there is, leaving home and starting out can feel daunting - especially when you need, well, everything.
Rather than creating a separate moving into first house checklist, we’ve included some of the “starting out” essentials on the checklist that you can use as a foundation to add all of the beautiful cushions, decor and scents that make a house a home.
Rolling your sleeves up ready for some renovation at the new place? We’ve got you covered with our Ultimate Guide to Room Decorating blog, perfect for those moving into their first home. 
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