Preparing to move

When you’re preparing to move, we would recommend you starting with the following items as these can often take time and require the most notice.

The first steps


Get quotes from 3-4 removal companies – The British Association of Removers is a good starting point. Negotiate hard to get the best possible price.

Key contacts

Start working through the Key contacts checklist to let everyone know you are planning to move home. Most contracts require a minimum of a month’s notice so the sooner the better.

Moving schools

If your children are moving schools, inform the existing one in writing of the final date they will be attending. Call the new school to confirm the start date.

Getting rid of large items

Your local council may be able to arrange the removal of large items you no longer want. This service sometimes has a small charge.

Moving Pets

If your pets are not accustomed to traveling or are of a nervous disposition, you may wish to speak to your vet for any advice to minimise the stress. The journey teamed with unfamiliar surroundings can be distressing for some animals.

Existing furniture

Take measurements of your favourite/largest pieces of furniture you want to move so you can take this on viewings with you.

Start packing

Start packing the items that you do not use frequently such as things from the spare room.

Don’t forget the garden shed

Your main focus will be on the house but don’t forget the garden, garage, shed, attic, basement and the other obscure places that are easily forgotten.

Storage facilities

If you are moving far, or have a wait until you can move into your new home, you may want to consider storage for non-essential items which allows the removers more time to get the most important items to your new property in a timely fashion. The remainder can follow the next day.

Collect boxes

It can be tempting to pack as much into a box as possible, but lots of smaller boxes are easier and safer to move about than a few heavy ones. Start collecting boxes as soon as possible. Use the internet to purchase moving boxes at a discounted rate.


Let your neighbours know in advance so they can expect the removal van temporarily in the area. They may even offer to park their car elsewhere to allow the van some extra room to manoeuvre. Similarly, if there are parking restrictions outside your property, you may need to make arrangements to allow the removers to set up.

TIP: Download our Key Contacts checklist to help ensure you don’t forget to tell anyone important that you’ve moved.

It’s nearly time to move in, with just one week to go. Here’s a list of everything you now need to start thinking about:

The week before

Confirm removals

Confirm the date and time of moving day with your removal company.

Packing essentials

Start thinking about your daily routine – what key things do you need access to everyday such as loo roll, the remote control, toothbrush, breakfast bowl, etc. Make a conscious effort to pack these items separately in something distinctive.

Marker pens

Permanent markers are an essential item to help locate items – write on every side of the box as it will make things easier to find. Use one colour to label which room the box should end up in and another for the main contents.

Dismantle furniture

Where possible, start to dismantle furniture that is not essential. The last thing you will take apart is the beds and this can be done the night before moving day.

Inventive wrapping

Bubble wrap is great for your valuables but items such as bedding and towels can be just as effective and take up less room. Just take extra care when unpacking! It’s amazing how simple (and secure) it is to move your jewellery hidden inside some socks!

Settle any bills

Pay your local bills such as newspaper delivery, milk, outstanding video rental, etc. where applicable and ensure future deliveries are cancelled.


Make arrangements for refreshments and food on moving day. Sounds obvious but you will be amazed how easily this is forgotten. Keep the kettle, sugar, tea, coffee and milk aside with some mugs and biscuits.

Plan the journey

Plan your journey between your old and new property. Even if you know the way, everyone who is helping you move may not. Try to think about how the journey is affected at different times of the day as you may need to go back and forth. Look out for useful landmarks, such as shops, to help the removers find the property.


Prepare a note for the new owners explaining how things work and where they can find useful items such as the boiler switches, aerial sockets and alarm codes. A few kind thoughts will go a long way when it comes to mail redirection and injects some humanity into the whole process.