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Moving checklist: the first steps

The more you can prepare ahead of your move, the easier the move will be. This checklist includes a number of tasks that can be completed long in advance of the moving date.

  • Make a list: Making a list of everything that needs to be done and by when will help ensure that nothing gets overlooked and everything is done in time
  • Have a clear out: Before a moving date is even in the diary, it makes sense to begin a thorough clear out, as every box and bag you move with will add an element of complication to the move. Auction websites and flea markets can turn objects you no longer need into money. And any items you are unable to sell will be gratefully received by charity shops
  • Speak to your children: If you have children, speaking to them about moving sooner rather than later will help them prepare and give you an idea of how they are likely to react
  • Tell your landlord: If you are moving from a rental property, be sure to give your landlord sufficient notice. The notice period should be stated in your tenancy agreement
  • Book time off: While you may be able to pack some items up in the evenings leading up to the move, you may be grateful for having some time off around the moving day, even if you plan to move house at the weekend
  • Contact removal firms: If you plan to use a professional removal firm, which can alleviate a lot of stress and risk, begin to shop around and get a few quotes
  • Collect boxes: Begin to collect boxes to pack things into. Supermarkets often have boxes that they will give away. Sturdier boxes are the most suitable, and you can buy boxes specifically for this purpose. Decent packing tape is also recommended, as regular sticky tape may not be strong enough to seal heavier boxes. Should you be using a professional removal firm, often they will provide boxes and even pack up your belongings
  • Problem items: Begin to make provisions for moving items that are going to be problematic. Lawnmowers should be drained of fuel, and pianos may require specialist assistance
  • Plan the move: Thinking about the logistics of the move ahead of time may enable you to stagger the move over several days, which can make things easier. Ask yourself if you will need to put anything in storage, whether it will help if you stay at a friend’s house for a few nights, and whether or not you will have access your new home before you need to vacate your existing one
  • List contacts: Make a checklist of all the relevant people you will need to contact, a date you will need to contact them by, and their contact details. Among others, this should include friends, family, utility providers, banks, your children’s schools and work
  • Clear the freezer: Begin to plan meals so that you have cleared the contents of your freezer in time for the move
  • Start packing: Start to pack up non-essential items, such as books, ornaments and any clothes that are out-of-season. Do not overfill boxes with books, as they can become very heavy very quickly

As your moving date approaches, there will be more things to do. See our guide to the tasks requiring completion a week before moving house for more help.

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