Moving house checklist.
When you move house, it can feel overwhelming. There seems to be a never ending to do list and you can spend time in limbo, half of your things packed up, but nowhere to go yet. When the time finally does come to make that move, it can be so busy that things end up being forgotten. We are just on the other side of moving and as I sit here feeling slightly overwhelmed at the mammoth task of unpacking, I do feel glad that I followed a lot of the advice in this post, as it certainly made things easier.
I asked a large selection of fellow bloggers and comprised a humongous moving house checklist that hopefully covers the obvious to the things that people have wished they did after a move, in the hope of making things easier for you and ensuring a smooth move that’s as stress free as possible. I’m also including a few ‘what not to do’ tips from personal experience!
The top of everyone’s list is;
Declutter!! Get rid of as much as you can pre-move as you don’t want to pay for things that you are only going to throw away when you get there. Sell things on selling pages, donate to charity, offer to friends or recycle as much as possible.
Re-direct your mail, then when every piece comes through, make sure you change your address with them. This takes up to 5 working days to take affect so make sure you do it in advance of the move. You can do it up to 6 months before the move and is very easy to do on their website. You can also leave some large stamped, addressed envelopes with to make it easier for the new owners to forward anything on.
Inform important companies you are changing your address. The bank, credit card companies, utilities companies, driving licenses, passports, vehicle registration, council, insurance providers, (home, life, health, car, mobile phone, pet etc.), update chip details for any pets, tell your GP and child’s school your new contact details.
Take photos of the backs of your tv/computer/broadband and stereos to give you a handy guide to setting everything up again in the new house. Use coloured washi tape on the cables so you know which ones go with which appliance in case they get mixed up.
Find out the bin day for your new house so you don’t miss a collection and end up inundated with rubbish!
Arrange for childcare on the day of the move. It will be unsettling for them and not as easy for you as you will be busy directing everyone and not able to watch the children so easily.
Ask family to look after pets until you are ready to have them in the new house or book a dog walker as you will be busy for a few days. Check the garden to make sure that there is nowhere for dogs to get out, we didn’t realise the gate had a dodgy hinge until Hendrix broke out and shot out after me. With cats, the doors will be open a lot with people going in and out so shut them safely in somewhere with a litter tray and food and water with a note on the door telling people not to open in. The recommended advice is not to let them outside for the first two weeks, until they know that the new house is their territory.
Book a few days off work to get settled in if possible. Try and book either side of a weekend to give you the maximum time to get sorted.
In the run up to the move, ask friends and neighbours to save boxes and newspapers for you for packing and wrapping up breakables. You can also ask in shops if they have any boxes.
Book an online shop to come to the new house the day after the move, include plenty of easy meals as you might not have access to all your pots and pans immediately, plus you will be exhausted!
Teach your children their new address as a priority, especially tweens. That way, if they ever need to tell a police officer, or make a 999 call, they will know where they live.
Make a guide of all energy suppliers, alarm codes, water stop cock location insurance policy number and plumber and electrician numbers just in case. You may not be able to google these as you won’t have wifi yet and signal may not be very good. Also get some menus of your new local takeaways so you know who to call and what to order. You will probably be exhausted!
Contact your current service providers as soon as possible to inform them of your move as moving broadband can take weeks, unhelpful if you rely on it for work!
Work out where your furniture will go in the large house, it will all be very quick on moving day and the movers won’t be happy if you ask them to move things around once they have put it somewhere. (Trust me on this one!!!)
Books: Don’t pack boxes of just books as they will get too heavy, start with a layer of books and then top up with bedding, clothes or blankets.
Movers: Get the movers to pack for you, it can often only be marginally more expensive and saves you hours of time.
Pack a suitcase: To ensure an easy start in your new home, pack each family member a suitcase as if you were going on holiday, put things like favourite teddies, any medication, toothbrushes, shower gel, outfits for a few days, underwear, socks, shoes and a waterproof coat. This way there is no pressure on you for the first night, there is nothing worse then being faced with a mountain of boxes with a tired child crying for their special ted and having no idea where it went!
Toys: If you can’t get childcare for the day of the move, pack a few boxes of their favourite toys and keep them to hand so they can ‘help’ with the unpacking and then have something to keep them occupied once they’ve helped you to unpack it.
Colour code: Colour code your boxes by room and make copies of the floor plan with the rooms coloured in so everyone knows where each box needs to go. (This is actually sheer genius!) You can also use stickers which makes it fun for the children, trying to find all of their boxes!
Essentials: Make a box of essentials and keep it to hand. Things like, kettle, tea, coffee, milk, spoon, enough mugs for you and the movers, loo roll, hand soap and a hand towel. Either put it into the removal van last, so it is easily accessible, or take it in the car with you. Also have biscuits! For you and to offer everyone who helps. So lots of biscuits!
Photograph: Take photos of the back of the tv, computer, broadband router and any other technical equipment that has a lot of wires. Tape the wires together with different coloured washi tape and stick a small square of matching tape onto the device so it’s easy to locate the wires for each item.
Kids rooms: Load these onto the removal van last so they are first off, it can be so unsettling for children so try and ensure you set up their bedrooms first, with lots of familiar items around.
Involve the children: My two are 6 and 8 and were actually brilliant help with packing. They did all their own clothes (into rubble bags) and my son was very happy bubble wrapping ornaments and did a very good job. Although he did use an excessive amount of tape!
Food: Make sure you have a box of food to hand. The constant need for snacks don’t stop because it’s moving day and hungry children are not much fun!
Patience: You will need it, it takes so long and gets very boring! Pack the radio last so you have something to listen to while you are packing and unpacking. Because we moved our broadband, we had 3 days cut off and as a result had no Spotify so had to pack in silence. Some music would have helped!
Make sure you have your box of essentials, a box of cleaning products, (in case your new home isn’t ready, and to make sure your old home is clean), and your guide.
Keep windows and doors shut so cats can’t escape, they seem to know when something is going on. Put them into their carrier as soon as the movers arrive and keep them in their, or in a locked room, until the comings and goings and open doors have stopped.
Eat breakfast, make sure everyone has some food as movers often come early and then you might not get a chance to eat again for a while when you need your energy more than ever!
Give the movers the colour coded floor plans, (if you have been that organised!), take the children over to the new house, or drop them off at school/ the childcare you have arranged, or have grandparents/friends/family come and look after the children while you get on. That way the children can see what’s going on, the grandparents can help and then take the children to the park if it all gets too much.
Get a takeaway!
With thanks to the following bloggers:
All About A Mummy, Ankle Biters Adventures, Scandi Mummy, The Pramshed, That Little Outfit, Not A Perfect Parent, Thimble And Twig , The Money Whisperer, Uplifting And Inspiring Content, Something About Baby, Mimi Rose And Me, Donna Dundas, Lylia Rose,The Mummy Bubble, Mama Foodie, Dove Cottage, Serious Saver, Household Money Saving, Rachel Bustin, A Rose Tinted World, Falcondale Life, A Few Favourite Things, Twinderelmo, Mama Mei, The Life Of Spicers, Digital Motherhood, Ever After With Kids, Pink Oddy, A Blogs Life, Me Them And The Others, Big Family Organised Chaos, You Baby Me Mummy, Mummies Waiting, Sinead Latham, Beautiful Home Ideas, Trips With a Tot, Rice Cakes And Raisins, It’s Me And Ethan, New Mummy Blog, Northumberland Family Diaries, Lycra Widow.