BEFORE MOVING DAY

  1. Get organised well before moving day – ask local shop owners if they have any spare boxes from their deliveries to save you buying all the boxes. Also buy lots of bin bags for moving day – they’re useful for a variety of things.
  2. Have a clear out – you don’t want to be moving more than you have to and this is the perfect opportunity for a clear out. Get rid of all your rubbish from the loft and garage and take things to the tip etc. If you have a large vehicle such as a van or pick-up truck you may need to apply for a day permit to take items to the tip. Also get rid of any clothing that doesn’t fit or you no longer want. These can be donated to charity, or you can sell them online to help pay for your move.
  3. Check that the removers know where they are going and have directions. If the property is hard to find, describe useful landmarks such as shops, etc. to help prevent them getting lost.
  4. Ensure boxes are labelled with room names to show where they want to end up – use a thick pen and bold letters and write the room name on both the top and at least one side of the box. You can even colour code by room if you want to get really organised!
  5. Use up food items that are difficult to pack, such as items kept in the fridge and especially the freezer, so there are hardly any to move. Keep the food shopping to a minimum to help do this.
  6. If you have a pet, find out whether a friend or family member could take care of your pet while you move, or look into boarding your cat or dog in a cattery or kennels. Moving home can be very stressful for your pet so it’s advisable to remove them from the situation whenever possible. Also make sure that you update your pet’s microchip and ID tag in advance. If your pet runs away during or after the move, it’s important that you can be contacted immediately.

ON MOVING DAY

  1. Keep essential items such as the kettle, tea and coffee, commonly used crockery such as mugs and plates and basic cutlery out. Not only will you need these on the first evening and morning, but both you and the removers will want a brew while they work is being done. Once you’re ready to go put these in the car with you so they are easy to find.
  2. Prepare a bag of basic food items – milk, biscuits, and anything else you will need on moving day and before you get chance to do the first big shop for the new place. Reusable supermarket bags are particularly useful for this as they are strong, leakproof and a good size. These should go in the car too.
  3. Ensure your bedding is easily accessible – you don’t want to be exhausted at the end of the day and not be able to find your sheets, duvets and pillows easily.
  4. Pack an overnight bag – change of clothes, toothbrush and toiletries, phone charger – again, you don’t want to be rummaging through boxes looking for these on your first night in the new house. You may even want to pack a larger suitcase depending on how quickly you plan to unpack at the new place.
  5. Make sure the vacuum cleaner and essential cleaning materials are on hand for both properties.
  6. Keep important paperwork, jewellery, and small fragile items separate from your moving boxes to take in the car too.
  7. If you have a pet with you on moving day, try to keep their routine as normal as possible. Keep your pet in one room to keep them safe and keep toys, bowls and bedding in with them as they will be comforting to your pet. Pack these at the last minute and take them in the car with them. If your pet is prone to travel sickness, do not feed them for 3-4 hours before travelling but ensure they always have access to fresh water. If you have a cat that goes outside, you should keep them in from the day before, otherwise you may not be able to find them on moving day. Let the removers know that you have a pet and which room they are in so that they do not frighten them or let them out of the room.
  8. Meet the removers when they arrive and give them a quick tour of the current property.
  9. Swap mobile numbers with the removers.
  10. Make sure everyone else who is helping you move have exchanged numbers too.
  11. Explain what is to go and what is to stay. If there is a lot to leave behind, it may be worth marking this beforehand with bright tape to avoid confusion.
  12. If there is anything that requires extra care, point this out at the start.
  13. Do a final check when the van is loaded to ensure everything has been taken. Check cupboards, drawers and the top and underneath of any units or appliances you are leaving.
  14. Take all meter readings and take a photo of them on the meters also as proof.
  15. Check all windows and doors are locked and the utilities are all turned off.
  16. Take a moment – this is your last time in your old home and it’s worth taking a mental image of it – sounds, smells and feelings cannot be captured in a photograph!

 AT THE NEW PROPERTY

  1. Give the removers another quick tour so they know what rooms to put your items in.
  2. Try putting up signs so they know which room is which – especially where bedrooms are concerned. Printer paper, white tack and a biro should do the trick.
  3. Use masking tape on the floors to show where you want your furniture to go.
  4. If you have a pet with you, keep them in one room with familiar things around them while you unpack and keep your pet’s routine as normal as possible while you are settling them in. You should aim to keep cats indoors for a while so that they can get used to their new surroundings. When you are ready to allow them outside, let them go out and explore in their own time and make sure you keep the door open so that they can come back in if they feel nervous. Let them out when they are hungry so that you can tempt them back with their favourite food or treat.
  5. When the van is unloaded, do a final sanity check to ensure nothing has been left behind.
  6. You’ve done it! It will have been a long and tiring day, so get the beds ready as a priority and put the kettle on! Everything else can wait until tomorrow.