Moving house can be a really stressful time, and no other day requires as much organising as moving day itself.
This post gives you 25 fantastic tips for moving that, if you use them all, will make your moving day so much easier…
There are quite a few tips here, so I’ve split them up into easier to read sections – hopefully this will help even more: –
- 5 Moving tips to help make sure you have packed only what you should, and you are ready for the new house from Day 1
- 6 Moving tips to help with removals and specific ideas for packing
- 5 Moving tips for admin needed to help moving day go smoothly
- 5 Moving tips to remember the day before to be ready for moving day
- 4 Moving tips for the day itself!
So, lets get going shall we…
MOVING TIP #1 – DECLUTTER BEFORE YOU PACK
Moving house costs.
Why would you want to add to this cost by paying to move things you don’t use or need?
We all have items in our house that have long been forgotten – usually ending up in the garage, loft or shed, but they could be lurking anywhere.
Before you start your packing is the perfect time to go through everything and have a good sort out.
Moving is a fresh start, so the last thing you want to take with you are things that you don’t need or use any longer.
Decluttering before you sell means that you only move what you really need – and you will not only save money by doing so, but you will also save time in the new house by not having to unpack and deal with all that stuff in the future.
I call that a win-win!
MOVING TIP #2 – CONFIRM WHAT YOU’RE LEAVING
Your current home works for you – without really having to think about things anymore. You have the right flooring, furniture, window dressings etc… that fit your lifestyle.
However, when you move you may have agreed to leave certain things in the house such as curtains, freezer etc…..
As such, it’s worth making a list of these things, remembering to leave them behind and not pack them (put a sticker on things that the removals company shouldn’t touch to be safe).
You don’t want to end up moving only to find you have brought something with you that you shouldn’t have!
MOVING TIP #3 – WORK OUT WHAT CANNOT MOVE WITH YOU
Does everything fit your new home?
Furniture that is in your existing home may well not fit into your new home, and it’s best to know this up front so you can sell it / donate it before you move.
Take some time to measure doorways etc… and work out whether the larger items of furniture (your sofa/dresser etc…) will fit into your new space.
There would be nothing worse than leaving a sofa on the front garden on moving day!
TIP – This is also a useful exercise for working out whether you have suitable space for all your furniture. If you are downsizing it’s worth working out what can and cannot fit into your new home, and sorting these out before moving day
MOVING TIP #4 – CONSIDER OFF SITE STORAGE FOR A WHILE
I am not an advocate of off site storage, as it usually ends up costing money to store all the things we really don’t need – but when it comes to moving house there is good reason to use it under certain circumstances.
Often we want to do work on our new house pretty soon after moving in.
If this is the case with you, then why not consider moving some furniture etc.. into storage to make redecorating / re-carpeting etc.. easier?
You could use a storage company**, or your removals company can often store your items for you on a rolling monthly basis, which can ease the strain of having to move everything around to accommodate trades people etc…
MOVING TIP #5 – KNOW WHAT YOU MAY NEED IN YOUR NEW HOUSE
Also worth considering is what you actually have in your new home.
Is anything being left (carpets/curtains/furniture etc…), is there fitted storage etc….?
For example – if you’re moving from a house with all fitted wardrobes, and the new house has none, then you will need somewhere to hang your clothes asap – you may therefore want to invest in some rails for the interim while you decide on suitable furniture etc…
Or if you are leaving the curtains in your old house, you will definitely need some sort of window covering at least on the bedrooms windows in the new house (it may be worth asking them if it’s possible for them to leave certain curtains for you).
It will be worth making a shopping list and getting things sorted ahead of time, I’m sure you agree!
MOVING TIP #6 – CONSIDER A 2 DAY MOVE
Most of the time we move out of the old house and into the new house on the same day.
There is however, good argument for moving in on the following day instead, creating a 2 day move.
If you can get the keys to your new house the day before your stuff arrives, you have a great chance to clean everything first, or put in new carpets/flooring etc….
It’s so much easier to clean and add new flooring into a space when the house is empty, and then when you put all your stuff into the house you can be sure you’re happy with the state of the house first (think kitchen cupboards, bathrooms, carpets etc…)
It may well be worth paying for a 2 day removal service for this very reason.
MOVING TIP #7 – GET THE REMOVALS COMPANY TO PACK
Decluttering your home is a massive job in itself, and this is a job only you can do.
As such, why not take the strain off a little and get the removals to do what they are best at – and that’s to pack everything up for you.
For me, its a no-brainer for so many reasons: –
- They will be insured for any breakages
- They can do this SO quickly! (it’s great to watch the experts in action!)
- It usually doesn’t cost a lot (a lot less than I imagined it would cost), and when you are talking about the cost of moving I think it’s an expense that’s well worth it.
- It frees you up to oversee everything
- They supply all boxes and packaging which will save you time and expense
MOVING TIP #8 – PHOTOGRAPH VALUABLES & BREAKABLES
I always suggest going around your home and taking photos of your valuables and breakables before they get packed up.
If for any reason things get broken, damaged or lost during the moving process, at least you have a record of them. (Just quick snaps on the camera on your mobile phone will be good enough).
MOVING TIP #9 – LABEL ELECTRICS
Take a look behind your living room TV…
What do you see?
Chances are it’s a mass of wires and plugs – working perfectly for you but confusing to say the least.
A really great tip is to get some coloured stickers** and stick the same colour to each socket and each end of the cable – so that you can easily set everything technical up in your new home.
To go one step further – why not take a photo of the setup so you can have a visual reminder as well.
MOVING TIP #10 – PACK A BOX FOR EACH CHILD
Moving when you have children can have its own set of issues. Children often don’t want to move as they like routine and are unsure of the unknown.
If you get them involved in the process and excited about the move then it can take this uncertainty out of the equation.
Get them to pack their own box for the move, and remember to pack this into your car on moving day (the last thing you want is for this specific box to go missing…).
In it you can have things like: –
- Favourite teddy / doll
- Book to read
- Bedroom items to create their own space asap
- Nightlight / reading lamp / torch
- Change of clothes and bedtime clothes
- Bathroom bag
You can then get them to unpack this themselves which will help them feel right at home immediately.
There’s nothing worse than getting to a new house and having to open all the boxes to find the night light they won’t sleep without….
MOVING TIP #11 – PACK AN ESSENTIALS BOX
In a similar vein to packing a special box for each child, you should also think about packing a box for you on the first night.
Consider adding things like: –
- Corkscrew – you will probably want to raise a glass in the new house!
- A torch
- Tea / Coffee / Milk
- Screwdriver set**
– basically anything that you feel you will need pretty much immediately on arriving at your new home.
This will make the first night a lot easier.
TIP – as with the childrens box(es), pack this in your car as well so it doesn’t get lost, and is easy to grab as soon as you arrive.
MOVING TIP #12 – LEAVE A NOTE FOR THE NEW OWNERS OF YOUR OLD HOUSE
When you close the door on your old house for the last time, it’s a great idea to leave the new owners a welcome pack.
Write a card welcoming them to their new home, leave a bottle of wine, and also leave a folder with any paperwork for the house inside such as warranties, guarantees, plans etc…).
It’s also worth leaving a list of useful points about your house such as where the stopcock is, what the alarm code is, any issues that you know of such as leaky tap or faulty switch, and any trades that you use that they may want to contact such as window cleaner and milkman.
It’s a lovely touch, and would be exactly what you would love to see in your new house I’m sure.
If you are thinking that this will take lots of time to do, it may actually save you time in the long run because you won’t have several calls from the new owners asking you about things in the weeks that follow the move.
MOVING TIP #13 – MAKE A CHECKLIST OF NUMBERS TO CALL TO GET UTILITIES SWITCHED INTO YOUR NAME
When you move, there will be a whole host of numbers to call to get your address changed.
Some of these are really important to do on day one – especially if you need things installed or turned on like sky TV, WIFI, broadband, utilities etc…. – so make a list of who you need to call and order them by priority.
MOVING TIP #14 – SET UP MAIL FORWARDING
It’s always worth setting up mail forwarding from your old address, and I advise doing this for 1 year.
A year will see all important dates, so you will know if any relatives or friends don’t have your new address if they send cards to the old one, or whether you have forgotten to change addresses for anything.
It also saves the new owners having to be put out by posting things onto you, which they may or may not do.
TIP – leave a note in your old house to say you have set up mail forwarding, but give your new address and contact details just in case anything should be sent to the old house in error – that way you are covered from all angles.
MOVING TIP #15 – ORGANISE AN ONLINE FOOD SHOP FOR DAY 2
The last thing you will really want to do is move lots of food – especially fresh/frozen food.
You will no doubt have tried to use up as much as possible in the cupboards before moving day, and as such you will have minimal foods once in your new house.
It’s therefore worth taking some stress away and organising an online food delivery** for day 2 of your move. That way you know that you will be able to stock up without leaving the house, and you only have to sort out food for moving day and the morning after.
MOVING TIP #16 – GET SOMEONE TO LOOK AFTER KIDS & PETS
Although you will want your children and pets to feel at home as soon as possible, it’s worth having them looked after for the bulk of the moving day.
You will be stressed and have 101 things to do, and the last thing you will want to deal with is entertaining children, or worrying that they (or your pets) are going to get hurt etc….
Have someone look after them until you have at least some of your new house looking like your home, and then get them back!
Depending on your child, you may want to unpack their bedroom(s) first so that they feel at home as soon as possible, or they may prefer to be a part of this themselves. Whatever you decide, I would definitely advise leaving at least their box that they packed up (see tip #10) for them to sort out, as this will make them feel a part of things.
Oh, we are SO rocking this moving lark! – ready for some tips for the day before you go?…
MOVING TIP #17 – WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHES
It’s an obvious thing to say maybe, but if you wear comfortable and practical clothes on moving day it can make all the difference.
You need to be able to move around easily, you will be on your feet all day, and you should also think about the weather as well (wear layers as you will get hotter throughout the day doing so much physical stuff, and will no doubt want to take layers off).
The last thing you want to be doing is trying to find some different clothes halfway through the move…
MOVING TIP #18 – FRIDGE / FREEZER CHECKS
Often the fridge and freezer are built in now, so this is a tip only for those that you are moving to your new house.
Switch them off the day before your move, defrost and unplug so that they can be moved easily and safely. Put anything you want to take food-wise into cool bags or an ice box for the move itself – and always allow the fridge/freezer to stand for a while in its new home before switching it back on.
MOVING TIP #19 – TRAVEL WITH VALUABLES AND PAPERWORK IN YOUR CAR
Valuables and paperwork are essentials for you and your home, and it’s often worth packing these up and moving them with you rather than letting the removals company move them.
– just so you have them to hand and they don’t get lost.
MOVING TIP #20 – TRAVEL WITH BEDDING
By now your car will be very full! (valuables, paperwork, essentials box and a box for each child), but there’s one thing extra thats worth taking with you – and that is bedding.
If you have your bedding ready to go when you get to your home – whether you arrive late at night or have more time to unpack, you know that you have something to sleep on and be more comfortable on that first night.
After all – things can go slowly on moving day, and you may not get your keys until it’s really too late to start unpacking – so best be prepared!.
TIP – Because things can go astray during the move, you may want to consider investing in an inflatable bed just in case!
MOVING TIP #21 – COLOUR CODE ROOMS
Get a copy of the floor plan for your new home as soon as you can, and start planning what rooms will be used for once you move.
With this plan in mind, you can allocate a colour to each of the rooms in the new house (green=kitchen, red=living room etc….) and add those colours onto your new homes floor plan (this may of course change once you get into the space, but it’s a quick and easy way of trying to put the right boxes in the right room from the start).
Simply add a coloured sticker onto each box** being taken out of your home, and then in your new home, put a sheet of that coloured paper on the corresponding door – that way the removals company will know exactly which room to place each box in your new home.
Ready for the very last tips? – the ones that will get you to the finish line of this move (we’re on the home stretch now!)…
MOVING TIP #22 – CREATE A STORAGE SPACE IN THE NEW HOUSE
If you are taking your time to unpack, rather than allocating colours for each room and spreading out the boxes, why not allocate one room that can house all boxes so that you can unpack at your leisure?
That way you don’t have to sit and look at boxes wherever you go – there’s nothing less relaxing!
Work out which way will be the least stressful for you, given the time you have etc…
MOVING TIP #23 – FAMILIARISE YOURSELF WITH YOUR NEW HOME ASAP
Whether the previous owners of your new house give you a welcome pack or not, it’s worth making the time to familiarise yourself with your new house asap.
You don’t want to have a power cut on the first night and not know where the trip switch is – or am alarm goes off without you knowing how to turn it off etc…
TIP – Try and ensure you have a contact number for the old owners and ensure that they know you will only phone if it’s something crucial to know.
MOVING TIP #24 – CHANGE THE LOCKS
This often goes missed, but changing the locks on your new house is a really good idea. After all – who knows who has a set of keys?
Better to be safe I always say…
MOVING TIP #25 – RELAX!
My husband and I have a tradition when moving house.
We open a bottle of champagne and get fish and chips for tea.
It’s the perfect end to a very long and tiring day – and really easy too!
Whatever makes you relax and feel at home – do it! – you deserve to enjoy your first night in your new home.
We got there!
I think you’ll agree that these tips will really help with you next house move. I know there are a few readers who are right now getting ready for moving – so good luck if this is you, and I’d love to know how you get on.
…and if you know someone who is moving house soon, why not send them a link to this post, I’m sure they will thank you for it!