Top Tips for a
Stress Free Move

Moving house is up there in the top three most stressful events of our lives, along with divorce and death. The very thought of it is enough to send us into stress overload, however with a little careful planning, the move itself can be swift and simple and even enjoyable.

Planning and organisation is the key to a successful move, and this step by step guide will help to ensure your life runs as smoothly as possible.

One month to go:

  • Use the opportunity to clear out the clutter. It will save you money if you have fewer belongings to move! ‘Everything must be either useful or beautiful’ (William Morris, Interior Designer) is a useful quote to remember…
  • Research a reputable moving company. Browse the ‘net to find quotes and endorsements from customers or contact the ‘British Association of Removers’ or the ‘National Guild of Removers & Storers’ who can give advice. Try to avoid Fridays and bank holidays as removal firms are generally booked up in advance for these dates.
  • Get three removal quotes and remember to compare like for like e.g. does the figure include packing materials, insurance and someone to pack for you?
  • Research schools close to your new home. Try the ‘Good Schools Guide’ for advice on good schools.
  • Start a ‘fact file’ for the new owners of your existing property. This should contain useful information such as instruction leaflets / guarantees for any electrical appliances; contact details for local services (milkman, doctors, dentist etc) together with details on rubbish collection and recycling schemes.
  • Contact utility companies (gas & electricity) and inform them that you will be the new owner of the property. They will need to take a meter reading at both your current and new property. Both ‘’ and ‘’ have useful checklists for your change of address details.
  • Don’t forget to tell your bank / building society / DVLA / credit card companies / local council of your move.
  • Use the opportunity to upgrade your communication systems i.e. consider investing in broadband; going wireless or ‘bundling’ together your phone and internet package. Do your research with different providers : try BT, Orange, Tiscali or TalkTalk – they are all vying to get your business so shop around before you sign up.
  • Book a few days off work – you will need the time to unpack and settle in your new home.

Two weeks and counting:

  • Arrange transit insurance for the move. Most removal firms will do this for you. Remember that anything you pack yourself may not be covered by the removal firm’s insurance. If you are planning to pack any items yourself then check that these are covered when in transit with your home contents insurance.
  • Re-direct your mail through the Post Office: three months is the usual timeframe to catch all your mail.
  • Ask the removal firm to drop off packing boxes so that you can start packing in advance.
  • Don’t overload the packing boxes – they have to be lifted! Pack systematically room-by-room, labelling clearly the contents and the room for which they are destined. Consider using a colour code system so that the boxes end up in the right room at the new house.
  • Register with a new doctor and dentist if you are moving to a new area.
  • Organise someone to look after the children and pets on the day of the move.
  • Send out your new contact details to family and friends.

One week left:

  • Pay outstanding bills on your current property.
  • Eat up remaining food in cupboards and defrost the fridge / freezer.
  • Keep back essential items for the moving day: refreshments, groceries and kettle.
  • Be kind to the purchasers of your old house. Leave a short list of important information to help them settle in quickly.
  • Cancel local services e.g. newspaper delivery; window cleaner; milkman etc.
  • Arrange for the exchange of keys.
  • Start cleaning your house and make sure you leave light bulbs for the new owners!

The day before:

  • Finalise the packing & label boxes.
  • Pack a bag of emergency supplies in your own car in case anything goes amiss. This should include snacks, drinks and overnight clothing for you and the family.
  • Make it an exciting adventure for the kids - buy a small present for their new bedroom.
  • Finish clearing out and cleaning the house.
  • Sort and label keys for the new owner.

The big day:

  • Get up early!
  • Disconnect remaining appliances.
  • Do the final check.
  • Ensure the removal firm have clear directions to your new house.
  • Keep essential paperwork with you including telephone numbers of the removal company / estate agent.
  • On arrival, read the meters and check that the phone’, security alarm, electricity, gas, central heating and water are all working.
  • Collapse on the sofa and crack open a bottle of champagne – you have earned it!

Back to Top