How to manage Moving Day

How to manage Moving Day

House or flat, big or small, moving home is an exciting step. Here’s a useful moving house checklist to keep everything running smoothly.

A bit of planning and booking a few days off work and some moving house tips will give you the chance to move efficiently and without too much hassle. The earlier you can start, the better.

Clear out before you pack

  • Take a good look at your clothes and think hard about recycling or donating anything you haven’t worn for more than a year.
  • Do you re-read your books? If you can’t think of somewhere they will look good on a shelf in your new home, why not give them to a charity shop?
  • If a local charity shop sells furniture, chances are they will collect from you. Alternatively, check out your local Freecycle network where your unwanted furniture could be passed on.

Removal companies… or strong friends!

  • A removal company will save you a lot of back-breaking work, so it’s worth getting a quote to see if it’s possible. They will visit you to estimate how much there is to move and calculate this along with the distance between the two properties.
  • If you want to do it yourself, factor in van rental costs, petrol and your time when calculating if it really is a cheaper option for you.
  • If you are not using a removal company, make sure you have your team of friends organised with as much notice as possible.

Making progress

  • Write a clear, detailed moving checklist and put it up on the refrigerator.
  • Check off items as you complete them.
  • Write down small rewards next to each task. Eg: ‘Pack the kitchen = a new glossy magazine and a coffee.’

One month before the move

  • If you’re using one, book the removal company. Do this task as early as possible, more than a month before if you can. Consider booking a cleaning company too.
  • Update address changes. Contact all your energy suppliers, local council offices and Royal Mail. All their websites will have ‘moving home’ pages that are easy to use. If you want to keep your telephone number (if you’re moving locally), enquire about this as soon as possible.
  • Contact your insurance company to find out if the new home will require a different premium, to ensure your belongings are covered from day one.

One week before the move

  • Stock up on packaging boxes. A good guide is one moving box per square metre of living space. Boxes are much easier to stack and carry than bags.
  • Write on the side of boxes which room they are destined for to get the best use from your removal helpers.
  • Books and heavy items should be packed in small boxes or you won’t be able to lift them when they’re full.
  • Keep bigger boxes for clothes and bedding.
  • Make sure delicate items are well wrapped in newspaper and boxes are clearly marked ‘FRAGILE’.

5 days before the move


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  • Collect all valuable papers and documents and put them in a folder or a briefcase. This will travel with you between properties.
  • Put all useful numbers into your mobile – solicitor’s office, energy company contacts etc.
  • Put together a small box or bag of useful tools to travel with so you don’t have to dig around for them at the new home. Eg a spanner, hammer, screwdriver, torch, dustpan and brush, bin bags. And don’t forget your phone charger!

4 days before the move

  • Pack kitchen utensils, but save some pots and plates that can be used in the last days at home.

3 days before the move

  • Take apart any self-assembly furniture and tape their screws etc to the wood so you don’t lose them.
  • Tape or tie together bookcase shelves.
  • Bundle curtain rods together.
  • Vacuum then roll up rugs.

2 days before the move

  • Plan how you’re going to say ‘thank you’ to friends who help you with the move (a gift, flowers, a pizza party in your new home).
  • Check that you have collected up all the spare keys to the home you are leaving.
  • It’s a good idea to ask a friend who lives nearby if you can put them on standby in case your move means hot water or power isn’t working when you get there. You’ll need somewhere to shower after the move!

1 day before the move

  • Prepare for removers. Collect the ‘fragile’ boxes in one place so that they are easy to manage, and ensure large, heavy furniture is positioned to go into the van first.
  • Collect the things that you are going to carry in your car, such as plants, important papers, tool bag, and a toilet kit with important medicines, soap, toothbrush and a towel.
  • Make a call to your solicitor and estate agent to check everyone is clear on who to contact when the keys are ready to collect.

Moving day tips

  • If it is raining or there’s snow or mud on the ground, lay out a plastic mat or newspaper by the van – if you set down boxes on a wet path or road, there is a risk the bottoms will get soggy and fall through.
  • Send someone ahead to receive the removal van at the new address.
  • When you’re finally in, treat yourself to a takeaway and get to know your new home!

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