Moving house Moving house checklist
With so much preparation needed for a house move, from changing addresses to deciding what possessions to keep, starting early will make it a lot easier.
Here, we talk you through what you need to do and when to do it. What's more, you can also download our free moving house checklist so that you can keep track of what tasks you've done, and what's left to do. Click the image below to download the free PDF checklist.
Changing your addresses and phone number
If you’ve lived in your property for many years, you’ll have a huge number of addresses to change.
You can make this process easier by using the Post Office’s change of address service, which takes up to 10 days to come into effect and redirects all mail to your new address. You should keep this service for six to 12 months after moving into your new home to avoid post going astray.
If you are changing your phone number, you can also arrange for your telephone company to automatically inform callers of your new number for a few weeks following the switchover date.
Who should I inform about moving house?
Even if you use the Post Office's mail redirection service, it's a good idea to inform important companies directly, such as banks and utility companies.
Ten days ahead of your move, make sure all utility services, such as water, gas and electricity, are informed that you will be moving. Make sure you have a receipt or record of them being notified by you as utility companies can make mistakes and if they do, you are still liable for the bill unless you can prove you notified them and they received it.
You should also notify your contents insurance provider of when and where you will be moving and check with them what is and is not insured during the move, as you may need to get additional insurance from them or the removals company.
You should take meter readings and take photographs of them (ideally date-stamped ones), doing the same on the day you move in.
Any company that provides a service you pay a regular bill for (magazine subscription, mobile phone provider, telecoms provider etc.) will also need to know about your change of address.
You'll certainly have to let any financial or medical organisations you deal with know you're moving as well.
Other organisations that may need to know include the DVLA (for both your licence and the vehicle registration, but don’t do this before you move as you may need your licence for identification and van hire), Inland Revenue, VAT office and the Department for Work and Pensions.
You'll need to ask your local authority for a final statement on your council tax - you may even get a refund.
Organisations and companies to contact
The list of companies and organisations below is not an exhaustive list of who you will need to contact, but will give you a good starting point to get you thinking.
- Department for Work and Pensions
- Inland Revenue
- VAT office
Make a full list of all the companies and organisations you need to inform, making a note of contact details and when to do it by
- All banking and savings providers
- All credit card and store loyalty card providers
- Pension services
- Car and home insurance providers
- Water, gas and electricity suppliers
- Home phone, broadband and TV providers
- Mobile phone provider
Remember to use up all the food in your fridge-freezer and to defrost it a couple of days before you move
- Breakdown service provider
- Doctor, dentist, optician etc.
Work, education and leisure
- Your employers, colleagues and professional associations
- Premium Bonds, football pools etc
- Schools, colleges and leisure clubs
- Newspaper, magazine and newsletter subscriptions.
Start packing a few weeks before moving day
The earlier you start packing, the better. Begin packing non-essentials a couple of weeks before moving day. It's worth planning where all your furniture will go a few weeks in advance of your move and disposing of any items you don't want to take with you.
You may need to order packing cases and possibly new curtains and carpets for your new property, too.
Take a look at our page on packing for moving for a full rundown of how to make packing stress-free.
Prepare your home for the new owner
It is very helpful if you prepare a briefing sheet for the new owner. This should include how to operate the boiler and alarm, the location of the meters, fuse box and stopcock, and any other information.
You could either label all keys or leave them in the lock that they operate. Don't forget shed and garage keys or those for the window locks.
It's a good idea to ask - or have it as part of your purchase agreement - that the person you are buying from does the same.
What do I need to do after I've moved?
There are a few loose ends with your new property that usually need to be tied up as soon as you've completed your move.
If your property cost more than £125,000, you'll have to pay your stamp duty bill.
Also, get a locksmith to change the locks so your household has a unique set of keys.
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Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
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