Moving Home Checklist: Things to Do on House Move Day

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moving home checklist

It is a well-known fact that moving house is one of the most stressful life experiences a person can go through, only slightly less stressful than death or divorce. With so many things to do on moving day, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by it all and be left unsure of where to start. 

That’s why we have compiled our moving day checklist, a handy guide for you to follow when moving home to ensure that no job is forgotten.

In this blog post, we will be looking at our home moving checklist, when the best time to start packing is, and what you should not take with you in your house move. 

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Should I start packing before I have sold my house?

It is certainly not the best idea to start packing up your property before it has even sold. First and foremost, it will make living at your property incredibly difficult. If you have packed away all of your clothes, appliances, cleaning products, wash products, food, and other items, you will need to unpack them every time you need them. Furthermore, the average time a house will spend on the market is between 12-21 weeks, so you will be living in your property for potentially 6 months with your possessions packed away. 

Packing away all of your possessions before your property has even sold may also hinder your house sale. Whilst it is certainly true that properties sell well when they are clean, clear, and free of clutter, packing away all of your possessions whilst you are still on the market may make your home appear cold and unappealing. Buyers want to be able to imagine themselves living in your property, and if each room is full of packing boxes and empty walls, they may struggle to do so. 

How long should I wait before packing and moving to a new house?

As a rule of thumb, the earlier you pack, the easier it will be. Most people start by packing away non-essential items two months before moving day where possible, however depending on the size of your property, 1 month may be enough. 

It is best to start with your non-essential items, such as items kept in your attic and shed, and work your way through the house from here, gradually packing away more and more important items. 

When should I start packing for a move?

Packing for a move can be an overwhelming and stressful experience. It can be difficult to know when to exactly start packing and what order you should do it in. Whilst there is no one-size-fits-all answer, there are steps you can take when packing for moving home checklist: 


 Room When to pack  Why
 Attic & shed6-7 weeks Spaces in your home such as your attic or shed which are most commonly used for storage are a great place to start when it comes to packing up your home. This is because we do not often use them in day-to-day life so can start the packing process here whilst causing minimal disruption. 
 Garage5-6 weeksNext up on our house packing list is the garage. Similar to attics and sheds, the garage is another area you can pack in advance as they are often used for housing clutter, so can be packed away without needing to unpack for any items. 
 Spare rooms3-4 weeks In keeping with the theme of avoiding disruption, you should next look to packing up any spare rooms you may have in the property. As spare bedrooms are often used to house books, trinkets, clothes and other odd bits and bobs, they can also be packed up without causing too much hassle to your daily routine.  
 Home office2-3 weeksNext up on our list is the home office. You should use this chance to organise any important documents you may have, shredding those which are no longer necessary, and filing away the important ones that are to be taken with you in the move.  
 Living space2-3 weeksAt this stage in the packing process, it is time to turn your attention to the living room. Whilst this is an area in the home that gets frequent use, there will be items that you can start to pack away that don’t get used daily. You may have books and photographs on shelves that can be gradually packed away. 
 Bedroom1-2 weeks Next up on our list are the bedrooms. You can start to pack away clothes, bedding, towels, and other items in your room before moving on to bigger items such as beds and drawers.
 Kitchen1-2 weeks  At the two-week mark, you should begin packing away items in your kitchen that see the least use. Remember to leave out enough cutlery, plates, glasses, and mugs for everyone in the family to continue using.    
 BathroomWeek beforeIn order to cause the least disruption to your fault routine whilst moving, you should pack away your bathroom last. This is a room that will be used right up until the last day so be sure to still leave out the essential items.

How long should Moving house take?

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to the question of timelines for moving house. You are at the mercy of the open market, property chains, and conveyancers, meaning most people can find that it takes them anywhere between 12 weeks and six months to fully finish the process of moving house. 

You may also find that the following factors can disrupt and delay the moving process, so be wary of the following: 

  • Surveys 
  • Gazumping 
  • Delay with the mortgage approval 
  • Property chains 
  • Legal teams 
  • Conveyancing results delay 

However, the good news is that once you have your completion day set, you will typically only need to wait between 7 and 28 days after the exchange of contracts to move. Moving day can take between 1 and 2 days for most homeowners, but as it typically occurs on completion day, you will be able to make appropriate plans, book rental companies and prepare for your move in advance. 

What should you not pack when moving?

Whilst it may seem obvious what you should and should not pack when moving home, there are some items that homeowners pack and later come to regret. Below are some items that are best thrown out when moving, to avoid troubles later down the line: 

  • Flammable items – Many removal companies will refuse to move flammable and dangerous items such as acid, lighter fluid, fireworks, matches, paints, paint thinners, etc. If you are unsure about what items your removal team will take, simply reach out to them beforehand to get clarification. 
  • Food– As a rule of thumb, movers will not have an issue transporting food, however, you should think carefully about whether this is an option you want to explore. Whilst sealed dried goods such as tins, pasta, and rice are fine for transportation, open food in jars and tins, and perishables do not travel well, as they can go off, break, or spill in the truck. 
  • Valuables– You may wish to keep valuables and important documents on your person at all times. This is because if these items got damaged or lost in the move, they may not be replaceable, even with a reimbursement. Because of this, you may want to keep, deeds, wills, stocks, jewellery, heirlooms, family photos and collections in the car with you until you arrive at your new house. 

What do I legally have to leave when moving? 

When it comes to moving home, you are under no legal obligation in the UK to leave anything behind, and you are also under no legal obligation to inform your buyers about what furniture and fittings you intend on taking or leaving. However, this can lead to friction with your buyers who may be arriving at their new home expecting to find carpets, only to find that you took them in the move. Whilst you are under no obligation to do so, it is common courtesy to notify your buyer on the condition that you plan to leave your property in, as well as what you intend to leave behind. 

The most effective way this can be done is by filling out a fixtures and fittings checklist with the sale contract. This form will help you avoid further complications down the line and will make everyone aware of what is being left behind in the property. 

Below is a list of items that you may be expected to leave when you move property but are under no legal obligation to leave: 


  • Carpets
  • Shelves
  • TV aerials and satellite 
  • Curtain rails and poles 


  • Plugs
  • Boilers 
  • Built-in wardrobes
  • Kitchen counters 
  • Radiators
  • Bathroom suites
  • Light fittings and switches

What do I need to sort out when moving house?

When it comes to moving home, there is lots you will need to consider. From redirecting your post to decluttering your home, packing, unpacking, hiring a moving van and more, it is no wonder that moving house is one of the most stressful experiences you will go through. 

As a rule of thumb, these are some of the questions you can ask your seller in order to ensure you have a good knowledge of your new home before you move: 

  • What days are each bins collected?
  • Who is your utility supplier? 
  • Are there any specialist cleaning products needed for certain areas of the home? 
  • Are there any instruction manuals or warrenties on electrical items? 
  • Where is the stopcock located? 
  • Where can I find the thermostat? 

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Moving home checklist 

To help you get into the spirit of moving, we have compiled our moving house checklist. This list is a step-by-step guide to the measures you will need to take in your house-moving journey to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible. 


First things first, before you start planning your move, you will need to confirm your moving date. You can get this date officially confirmed by consulting your conveyancers, estate agents and the house sellers. 

If you’re renting, then it may be possible for you to spread the moving process over a week or so. This way, you are able to get to your new property without the added stress of moving at the same time. This gives you the opportunity to spruce up your new place (such as cleaning carpets, painting any tired walls, and doing a deep clean) without any added time pressures. 

You will need to be wary if you are in a chain about the length of time it can take to get the moving process underway. Because of this, you should find out your place in the chain and make a plan in case things run faster or slower than expected. 


If you are renting a property, you will need to give your landlord notice that you intend to move. You should provide them with the exact date that you are planning on moving out. 

Utility supply  

Your next task will be to contact your utility supplier and alert them to the fact you will be moving out. This means that your phone, electricity, broadband and gas suppliers will all need to be made aware of your move. 

If you are bringing your phone and broadband supplier across with you in the move, you should give your supplier as much notice as possible as switching can take a little longer than you may originally realise. 

You should then take the final meter reading for your property and pass it on to the relevant supplier. You should take a photo of the meter as the picture will come with a timestamp that will be able to prove when the last reading was taken. 

Removal costs  

You should price up the costs of different movers in your area in advance of your move. This gives you the best chance to shop around to find the best deal, rather than picking a moving company at the last minute and being stuck with high costs. You should be sure to get different quotes from different removal companies, as well as look at different reviews from each company across a variety of platforms to ensure you are going with a reliable company. 

Depending on your budget, you may instead wish to hire a van and recruit some friends to help you move. This can be much cheaper than using a removal service, however, it may also add to the stress of the day. 

You should also be careful to ensure that you have all of your important documents in a safe place during the move. We recommend keeping them with you in the car alongside any other valuables. 

Deep clean   

The next step in our moving checklist is to do an overhaul of your home. Now is the time for a deep clean, where you go through your home and throw away anything that you do not intend to take with you in the move. This will not only save you time when it comes to packing, but it will also cut down on the clutter in your home and will prevent you from bringing any unnecessary items to your new home. 


The next stage is to write a list of where the following areas in your property are located so that the new owner is able to navigate their new home with ease: 

  • Instructions for appliances
  • Thermostat 
  • Gas and electricity meter 
  • Stop cock 
  • Fuse box 

You should request that the owners of your new home write a similar list for you so that when you move into your new home you are able to find the essentials with minimal hassle. 


We are now up to the biggest stage in our moving list checklist, packing. It is time to go from room to room and pack up as you go. Be sure to label every box as you go, taking time to create a list of what is in each box. 


You should next settle any and all bills you may have on your current property. This way you can avoid any unpaid or overdue bills finding you at your new property. 

Below are some of the services and companies you should inform about your move: 

  • Work 
  • Bank, insurance, pension, credit card companies 
  • The council 
  • Electoral roll 
  • TV Licensing 
  • DVLA 
  • National Insurance/ DSS offices 
  • Doctor/dentist 

Whilst you are sorting out your new address, you should look into deleting your old address from any online shopping accounts you may have. This way you avoid ordering your new air fryer to your old address. 

You may also want to look into redirecting your mail. This service will allow you to receive any letters that may still get sent to your old address by mistake. All you need to do is simply visit the Royal Mail website You are able to keep the redirection service running for 3, 6 or 12 months, with the price currently costing £36 for three months. The service will need 5 days to come into effect, after which any stray letters or parcels will be delivered to your new place.  

Moving day 

Congratulations, house move day is finally upon us! You should keep the following essentials to hand to make sure that you have them with you at your new address: 

  • Cleaning products, plus vacuum cleaner and bin bags 
  • Loo and kitchen roll 
  • Temporary furniture – deck chairs, small tables etc 
  • Some kind of entertainment (television or radio)
  • Electrical chargers (such as phones, laptops, etc)
  • Refreshments (kettle, mugs, milk, coffee, sugar) 
  • Change of clothes
  • Duvet, pillows, and bedding

Move in 

Now that you have arrived at your new home, it is time to do a deep clean of the property before you unpack. As there will be virtually no furnishings inside the property, now is the best time to do a deep clean and really bring your new home up to scratch. 

You should first start by unpacking room by room. You can start with whichever room you want but as a good rule of thumb, it is often best to start with the kitchen. 

You should also be sure to check all utilities are running correctly and that you have all of the necessary keys. You should also try and find out what days bins are collected. 

After that, you should take it easy and order a takeaway. It has been a stressful few months and you should enjoy your evening. 

First day in new house checklist

Whilst it can feel overwhelming, packing up your old home is just the beginning. Once you get to your new property, there will be a whole host of new tasks you will need to deal with besides unpacking the contents of the removal truck. Below we take a look at some of the steps you may need to take when you move into your new home: 

Prepare for the first night 

For the first night in your new home, there are a few essentials that you may need. Before you leave your old address, have a think about what you may need for your first full day at the new house. Spare clothes, pyjamas, and other items you may need should be kept easily accessible to you to cause minimum fuss. 


An aspect that can be easy to overlook on the first day of your move is insurance. However, it is also one of the most important. Insurance will protect your home and belongings in the event of theft or damage, as it is important to have the correct contents insurance. 

You will already need some form of building insurance in place from the date of completion, but you will need to remember to add a form of contents policy. You will also need to remember to include any new items you purchase for the move in the policy in order to make sure you are fully protected. 

Utility meter  

Taking utility meter readings is an important part of packing and moving into a home. When you leave your current home you should take pictures of the readings and when you move into your new property you should take pictures of the new readings. 

You should then give your former meter company a call and give them the relevant readings. 

Change the locks 

One of the first things you should look at sorting when you move to your new home is arranging to have new locks fitted to your property. You have no idea who may still have a copy of your keys so for peace of mind and added security, you should always ring a locksmith when moving into a new property. 

Energy providers 

As you are more than likely moving areas with your new move, now is the perfect opportunity to look into switching energy providers. 


As you are moving property, now is also a good time to sort out any documentation that you may have. Things can get lost in the move, so it is important to keep any and all important documents in one place. 

Change of address

Although change of address is also on our moving day checklist, it is a critical step and one you cannot afford to miss. Informing the correct companies and services of your recent move is necessary to ensure that important bills, letters, and documentation find their way to you and are kept up to date. 

Failure to update documents can invalidate policies and you can be fined up to £1,000 by the DVLA if you do not inform them about your change of address. 

Below is a list of companies and services that will require your new address when you move:

  • Car insurance 
  • Life insurance 
  • Home Insurance 
  • Banks and insurers 
  • Pet insurance 
  • Health insurance  
  • TV License 
  • GP and health 
  • Council tax and electoral roll  

This covers everything you need to know about moving home checklist. If you have any further questions, queries, or insight into the matter, please feel free to get in touch

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photo of Alexandra Ventress

Alexandra is a junior content producer who enjoys writing articles and finding out more about the property market. Read more about Alexandra here.

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About Alexandra Ventress 91 Articles
Alexandra is a junior content producer who enjoys writing articles and finding out more about the property market. Read more about Alexandra here.

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