Moving home checklist - your three month timeline

If you're buying a new home, there's a lot to do and think about. So it’s a good idea to start thinking about your move a couple of months in advance - we’ve put together a checklist to help you through the whole of the moving process, from start to finish.

Three months before you move

  • Think about how you'll be able to access your deposit, and if it's in a savings account, when you'll be able to withdraw it.
  • If you're buying a property, shop around for mortgage deals.
  • If applying for a mortgage, you can apply when your offer on your new property is accepted by the buyer, although many sellers prefer buyers who already have mortgage finance arranged and confirmed in principle.
  • Consider starting your mortgage application at the same time as you begin house-hunting, rather than waiting until you find a house that you like and then approaching your bank or building society.
  • Research schools and find out the application process via your local council.

Two months

  • Once you've found and had your offer on a property accepted, apply for your mortgage
  • Find a solicitor and ask them to act for you
  • Think about what you don’t need when you move – and start to clear out or sell items you no longer use. There's no point in paying to move unnecessary possessions. You could sell items online, donate them to charity, or give them away
  • Arrange to visit schools that you've researched at the same time as you're house-hunting, particularly if you're moving a long way.

Six weeks

  • If needed, arrange for your property valuation and structural survey to take place and ask your solicitor to conduct searches.
  • Make sure your mortgage application is proceeding.
  • Be aware that most lenders will insist you have Buildings Insurance from the date you exchange (not complete)
  • If you have one give notice on your landline contract.
  • If your deposit is in a notice account, contact your bank or building society to let them know when you'll be withdrawing it.

One month

  • Get quotes from removal firms or van hire companies.
  • Arrange Home Insurance as well as Mortgage life insurance. After you exchange contracts you're liable for the property in terms of buildings insurance, so make sure you have this arranged before you sign the papers.
  • Agree the exchange date with your solicitor.
  • If you require life insurance for your mortgage make sure the policy is in force.
  • Agree a completion date with your solicitor.
  • Have your car serviced if you'll be travelling a long way.
  • Check where you'll be able to park and unload and whether you need to contact the council regarding this.
  • Doctors, dentists and opticians: If you’re moving out of the local area you’ll need to de-register with these practices and register with new ones in your new area.
  • Notify your hospital if you’re undergoing regular treatment as an outpatient. If you give blood, please inform the National Blood Service of your change of details, this can be updated online.

Two weeks

  • Arrange for your mail to be redirected (see the Who to tell section)
  • Agree a completion time to collect keys from the estate agent or landlord.
  • Transfer your deposit to your solicitor and sign the contracts.
  • Confirm dates with your removal firm or van hire.
  • Start packing non-essentials to get ahead.
  • Settle outstanding bills on your current property and notify your providers that you'll be moving. Remember to cancel any delivery services.
  • Arrange for someone to look after your pets and/or children on moving day. 

One week

  • Try to dismantle any self-assembled furniture yourself, but if you do feel you need help, ask the removal company.
  • Take down fixtures and curtains you intend to take with you and disconnect the washer, ensuring you fit the transit bracket to secure the drum.
  • Fridges/Freezers: It’s important to empty and defrost your fridge or fridge freezer, especially if your furniture is to sit in storage or will be travelling a long distance. If your freezer is not defrosted beforehand, it may leak and ruin other items.
  • Furnishings: If you’ve arranged to have carpets or curtains delivered to your new address, confirm the companies have the correct details. If you’re having furnishings fitted on the day, notify the removal company and arrange for them to be fitted when you receive the keys.
  • Gas & Electricity: Contact your current and new gas companies at least 48 hours’ before moving to your new address. The gas and electricity markets are now open to competition so you can choose your supplier.
  • Return borrowed items to nearby friends, family, neighbours.
  • Return borrowed library books.
  • At least 48 hours’ notice is required by both your current and new water supplier/authority to arrange for disconnection and re-connection of your water supply.
  • Notify any organisations, charities or magazines you have subscriptions with of your new address.
  • It’s important to know that your TV licence doesn’t automatically move with you when you move house, so it’s vital that you notify TV Licensing of your new address. Anyone who watches TV without a licence, risks prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.
  • To ensure you can vote at your new address, you’ll need to inform your local council that you've moved. To register your address visit About My Vote.

The day before

  • Check cupboards, lofts and garage to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything that will need moving.
  • Make sure you dispose of anything out of date and double check all packs of food, bottles and jars are tightly sealed to avoid any spillages.
  • Make a list of all important numbers – solicitors, estate agents – and charge up your mobile phone.
  • Survival kit for the first day/night: You may need a survival kit for your first night in your new home, this should include:A change of clothes, any medication you or your family are taking, toilet roll, light bulbs, a candle, a few of your commonly used, tools - for example screwdrivers and hammers, matches, cash, important telephone numbers.
  • Try to do a last minute laundry just in case you’re struggling to get through all of your packed boxes or there’s a delay with the plumbing in your new home.