Some say that moving home is one of the most stressful life events, but being prepared is half the battle - so here's our dedicated moving home checklist…
- Top advice
1. Decide on a moving date (usually the completion date) as soon as contracts have been exchanged.
2. Avoid Fridays and bank holidays when removal firms are in high demand and will be stretched (and may charge more). For a less stressful move, opt for off-peak times such as mid-week.
3. Call in the professionals. That’s us, Smart Removals!
- Be prepared
4. Ensure your possessions are insured for transit. Most removal companies provide this but check what it covers and whether there are exclusions. For example, anything you pack may not be covered by the removal firm's insurance. And if you are planning to transport any precious items yourself, check that these are covered when in transit by your contents insurance.
5. Hire professional cleaners to give your new place a thorough going over before you move in. No one wants to arrive late in the night at your new home and then have to get up in the morning and start a taxing spring clean.
6. Before the removal firm arrives, have a clear out. Keep in mind that "everything must either be useful or beautiful". Valuable items that are no longer needed can be auctioned or sold to a dealer in second-hand furniture. Other items can be donated to charity shops or recycled.
7. Get someone to look after the children for the day. The same goes for pets - or book them into kennels or a cattery. Ensure they have identity tags with their new address.
8. Compile a fact file for the people who are moving into your property, such as instruction leaflets and service information for appliances you're leaving, together with details of rubbish collection, and so on.
9. Round up all the keys to your home, including those left with neighbours, nannies and relatives, and give them to your solicitor or estate agent.
10. Make a scale plan of each room in your new home to give to the removal team so, in theory, they know exactly where everything is to go. Colour-code packing boxes, cases and furniture in the hope that this will mean it will end up in the right rooms.
11. Final preparations should include making an inventory of everything to be moved, advising the post office to redirect your post and cancelling the newspapers if you have them delivered. If you are moving to a different area, register with a new GP.
- How removals firms work
What to do once you booked us
A few weeks before the move, we will send someone to do an inspection. Now is the time to point out anything that needs special care and attention such as antiques, computers or pictures. This is particularly true of pianos - every removal firm's least favourite item - which require special preparation for a move and sometimes need winching out.
Take a picture of your new home to show the removals firm so they can work out how tricky access will be, and buy a visitor's parking permit for the truck if there is a local Controlled Parking Zone. Also, if your existing and new home feature entrance gates, measure their width - it will help them work out which removal truck to send.
Such problems can add to the cost of a move and should be considered in the estimate. Don't accept one over the phone. All quotations should be in writing and include pricing for packing, loading and unloading, storage (if required), special handling for breakables and valuables and any other special requests, such as curtain hanging, etc.
When you accept an estimate, insist that a written quotation is sent to you as soon as possible. Establish a written timetable with us and check that the foreman has all the necessary details. Make sure we have a clear map showing how to find your new home.
- Who to tell you're moving - the checklist
- Telephone and Internet service providers
- TV Licensing.
- Bank, building society, pension provider and any company you have loans or investments with.
- Credit card and store card companies
- Receiver of Revenue.
- Local council for voting or other registrations.
- Subscriptions to magazines, charities, etc.
- The schools your children attend.
- It is a legal requirement to notify the motor vehicle department of change of address on your licence and vehicle registration document.
- Friends, family and colleagues.
- How storage firms work
Storage companies will accept anything as long as it isn't perishable (food, plants, etc), flammable (noxious chemicals) or illegal (drugs, cash waiting to be laundered!). Expect to be charged for packing, delivery to and from your house, the amount of space required and the length of time items are to be stored. Insurance can be arranged through the storage firm or through your household insurance. Make an inventory of everything in storage in case anything is missing when it is all delivered to your home.
- The day you move home
1. Ensure the foreman has a layout of your new home so furniture is put in the correct room and that we have access to your new home. So many moves go wrong when removal firms arrive to unpack and there's no one there with keys, or have the wrong keys. Upon your arrival, read the meters and check that the phone, security alarm, electricity, gas and water works.
2. Ensure all items that were included in the sale such as carpets, curtains and light fittings are there. If there is anything missing, contact your solicitor. Alert your surveyor immediately to any serious faults in the building that were missed in the original survey.
3. Think about getting the locks changed on your new property - you never know who the previous owners may have given spare keys to in the past.
4. Even if everything is in order and has run smoothly, the chances are by the end of the day you'll be too shattered to move, so collapse on the sofa, order a takeaway and crack open a bottle of champagne.
- The luxury approach - get a moving specialist in
If you want someone else to handle the moving process for you, from hiring the removal firm, transferring utilities and organising change of address cards, consider appointing a moving specialist. Please go to our contact page and give us a call…