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House Moving Checklist

Your House Moving Checklist from CMS

When you begin your journey to buy or sell a house the removal day can seem a long way off and many buyers and sellers do nothing about making a house moving checklist, packing or removals until contracts are exchanged. This is a big mistake, as it takes time and effort in planning your house moving operation and making a checklist and the sooner you start the better moving experience you will have for your new home.

Good removal companies get booked up weeks in advance especially in the busy spring and summer months. It is wise to plan and locate a good removal company for your house move and obtain an estimate for removals as soon as your offer to buy or sell has been accepted. Removal companies will be happy to provide you with a free estimate and you will then simply have to confirm the date once you exchange contracts. Do make sure you check with your chosen removal company that they can move you on the desired date before committing yourself to the sale or purchase of your house.

With house moving companies you really do get what you pay for and it is wise to shop around and try to get referrals from friends and relatives. Choosing the cheapest house move estimate can be a false economy if your furniture is damaged and you find that the removal company do not have adequate insurance.

By planning your house move early you will have time to shop around and compare service and quotes. You will need to decide whether you want a full packing service or just a basic removal. You may decide to move yourself, in which case you will need to check out van hire companies and round up friends to help. Do not underestimate the time and effort involved in packing and removals. It takes an experienced removal company 4 -6 hours to empty a furnished property and if you are moving yourself it will take considerably longer.

Finding a good house moving / removal company

Your local paper and Yellow pages should list local removal companies. It is always worth asking friends and relatives for recommendations. The site listed below will be able to provide you with details of removal companies nationally.

British Association of Removers (BAR) – www.bar.co.uk/

Tangent House

62 Exchange Road



WD18 0TG

Telephone: 01923 699480

Booking removals

You should not book your house move company until after exchange of contracts. Until that has happened nothing is legally binding and the final dates may change. Once you have chosen a removal company tell them that you want them to do your removals and that you will let them have a date as soon as you have one. Generally, when you are moving house, dates are discussed in the week before exchange of contracts and you can check with your removal company whether they can move you on this date. If so, ask them to pencil you in and confirm the date once the contracts are exchanged. Listed below are some tips to help you:-

          House Moving tips

  • Always obtain three estimates in writing from house removal companies – and check the small print.
  • Advise your removal company of any proposed completion date, check whether they can move you on that day and if they are free ask them to pencil you in. Don’t pay a deposit at this stage unless it is refundable.
  • Check that the Company is adequately insured. Ask to see a copy of their insurance policy. If you have small valuable items it may be wise to move these yourself (take them in the car) but do check that you are insured for this.
  • If you have any particularly valuable pieces of furniture notify the removal company and ask them to confirm in writing that they are covered on the company’s insurance. Will you have to pay an excess payment?
  • Ask whether there is a cancellation fee and if so how much. Can you insure against this?
  • Read the small print of your contents insurance to check whether it covers you for removals. If not telephone and ask whether this is an option. One off insurance from a removal company can be expensive and may not offer “new for old” but simply pay for damage to be repaired.
  • Ask whether the removal company will charge extra if you are delayed from moving into the property and if so how much.
  • Check whether they have overnight storage facilities – just in case.
  • Ask whether the quote includes the cost of packing materials. If not, you can stock up on boxes from the supermarket and buy packaging in readiness.
  • If you need to buy or hire tea chests or packaging contact visit www.helpineedboxes.co.uk.

Ask the removal company to visit both the property you are moving from and the house you are moving into to check that there will be no access or parking problems on the day. You may need permission from the Police/Local Authority if your removal company will need to park on yellow lines or on a busy public road. Ask your removal company whether they arrange this. If not you will have to contact the Local Authority and Police Department yourself.

Plan and confirm your removals as soon as your conveyancer tells you that exchange of contracts has taken place.

Most removal companies will not disconnect or install washing machines, dishwashers, cookers, tumble dryers or gas appliances. You will need to contact a plumber, electrician and gas fitter.

          Packing tips

  • If you have chosen a full packing service ensure that you pack an overnight bag with clothes and toiletries for the next day.
  • If you are packing yourself ensure that the boxes make are not too heavy to lift. Books in particular are very heavy, put a few in each box and fill the empty space with cushions and lighter objects.
  • Write on each box the room it is to be delivered to. Write a list of contents on the outside of the box. Use a Black Marker Pen rather than labels which can fall off.
  • Draw up a sketch plan of the house showing all the rooms upstairs and downstairs. Write the name of each room to correspond with the identity you have marked on the packed boxes i.e. Kitchen, Lounge, Dining Room, Downstairs Cloaks, Bedroom 1, Bedroom 2, Shed, Garage etc. (Removal men can’t always tell in an empty house what room you will be using as a lounge/dining room). Show on the plan where you want the furniture to be placed. Give a copy to each member of the removal team. This will save you having to lift heavy items around after the removal men have left.
  • Be at the new house when the removal van arrives. Do not rely on the removal firm to follow your instructions.
  • Your conveyancer will have provided you with a Fixtures and Fittings form showing what items are to be included in the sale. If you are moving out check the form before removing items. Remember, you must repair any damage you cause including filling screw holes. If you are moving in arrive at the property before the removal van and walk around checking that all the items on the form have been included. You should also use this time to check for any damage caused by the sellers when removing fixed items (such as wall lights, wardrobes etc.) or in the move. You should notify your conveyancer of any problems at once so they may make a claim on your behalf.
  • If you are selling and have a lot of rubbish to dispose of you can either arrange for the local authority to collect any unwanted items, hire a skip or take them to the local refuse tip. Most sale contracts stipulate that you must vacate the property on or before the completion day. This includes all your years of accumulated rubbish from the garage, cellar and loft. The Buyer can claim the cost of clearing any items left behind.

Tips for the moving day

You should plan your moving day like a military campaign and make a house moving checklist. It is no easy thing to move all your belongings, children, pets, cars etc. from one location to another. The further you move the more difficult it can be.

The key is to plan ahead and then make sure that you implement your plan. You must be there to make sure that the removal company do what you have asked them to, to check that the new property is as it should be, to oversee the meters being read at both properties and to make tea for the removal men. If you have young children or pets, and it is possible, arrange for them to be looked after for the day leaving you free to manage the move.

On the day of the move ensure that you have with you

  • Your mobile phone and phone charger and a list of important numbers. BT may cut off your phone line in the morning – make sure you give your conveyancer and the estate agent your mobile number.
  • Some cash and your credit cards.
  • A survival kit including: Thermos of tea/coffee (in case you have to wait for the keys to be released). A kettle, some tea, coffee, milk and sugar, squash or bottled water, snacks, medication, pet food, toilet rolls, soap and a hand towel, cups, plates, cutlery etc.
  • Keep a tool box in the boot of your car and ensure you include spare light bulbs, fuses, torch, candles, matches etc.
  • You may want to clean up before you start unpacking so take the Hoover, dustpan and brush, bowl and bucket, mops, cloths and cleaning products with you in the car.
  • A box of toys to keep the children amused.

Property / House Insurance

Check with your conveyancer when you should cancel home insurance on the old home and start the insurance on your new home. If you have a single Home & Contents policy you must notify your insurers of the new property details and the date you are moving.

Change of Address

You need to let everyone know your new home address. Visit www.iammoving.com. This is a free online service in association with Royal mail that enables you to advise multiple organisations that you are moving. You can also use the site to send e moving cards to friends and family.

          People who need to know you are moving

  • Services. Gas, Electricity, Oil and Water. You will need to notify the property you are moving from and to and the date. Ask for the meter to be read on completion day.
  • Media. TV Licence, Sky, Cable, Internet, Telephone and Mobile. You will need to notify media providers to disconnect and re connect at the new property. Check with your conveyancer that there are no restrictions on satellite dishes before proceeding to erect one.
  • Money. Bank, Building Society, Savings, Credit Cards, Loans, Mortgage, Private Pension, Stock broker, shareholdings.
  • Government. Local Authority Council Tax, Inland Revenue, National Insurance and DSS, Pension, DVLA, Electoral roll (fill in a voter registration for your new property at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk)
  • Health. Doctor, Dentist, Optician, Private Health care, Hospital or Specialists, National Blood Bank. If you need to register with new health professionals you can check the NHS web site www.nhs.uk for a list of services in your area.
  • Insurance. Car, home, contents, life, endowment, car breakdown, pet, travel, healthcare.
  • Other. Charities, newspaper or magazine deliveries or subscriptions, milkman, supermarket (online delivery), employer, gym, and friends and family

Re-directing your Post

Having your mail re directed ensures you receive it and protects you from identity fraud. You can pick up a Moving Home redirection form from the Post Office or download one and order online at www.royalmail.com

End of House Moving Checklist