Moving home checklist - your three months 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, and we’ve put together a checklist to help you through the whole of the moving process, from start to finish.

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Three months before you move

  •  Think about how you will be able to access your deposit, and if it is in a savings account, when you will 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 is 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 are house-hunting, particularly if you are moving a long way
Home buyers

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), so contact us for more details
  • 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 will 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 are 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 will be travelling a long way
  • Check where you will 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
Keys to a new home

Two weeks

  • Arrange for your mail to be redirected (see the Who to tell section below)
  • 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 will 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 

Moving day

  • Take gas, electricity and water readings at your current property
  • Your solicitor will confirm that completion has taken place
  • Take your keys to your estate agent if you’ve sold your old home
  • Collect keys for your new property from the estate agent 
  • Take readings for gas, electricity and water in your new property
  • Don’t forget your emergency pack: a box of snacks and refreshments for your moving day, as all your cooking equipment may be disconnected
  • Moving is a tiring task and you’ll need to keep yourself hydrated. A selection of hot and cold drinks is a great idea, so don’t forget the kettle. Label the box "brewing tackle", this will ensure this box is placed on the van last

Tips on the day

Arrival of the removal van: Once the removal people arrive, the team leader will introduce themselves, make sure they’re shown around the house and shown what’s to be taken. Ask them if once the room is emptied, if they can close the doors of each room, so you know which rooms have been completed.

Bathroom: Finish packing your toiletries box and make sure nothing is left behind. Place your toiletries box with the rest of the boxes you wish to take with you.

Check everywhere: Take one last look around your home, check behind doors and in cupboards

Children: If it’s a non-school day and you’re unable to drop the children off at a friend’s house, organise a corner of the lounge where they can play with toys and a few treats. If you have older children they may want to get involved, give them a specific task to pack up their own personal boxes or put them in charge of making sure everything is boxed from each room.

Wave goodbye: Make sure your new full address details are given to the removal company. Have one last look around and ensure all windows and door are locked on your departure.

Check the van: Once all items have been removed from the van, just double check nothing is left behind, this way you’ll be reassured knowing you haven’t left anything on the van – any lost items are likely to be in the boxes in your new home. If you need help moving large furniture, don’t hesitate to ask the removal company for help.

Direct traffic: It may be a good idea to have someone stand at the main entrance and guide the removal team, let them know where furniture and boxes need to be placed. If you’re getting help with unpacking boxes, the contents of these will usually be placed on a table for you to put away.

Sleep: You’re most likely tired and drained from such a busy and stressful day, but now you can relax knowing the hardest part has come to an end. After such a long day it’s important to go to bed and get a good night’s sleep, so you can start a new day in your new home feeling relaxed, allowing you to enjoy unpacking and decorate your new home.

Once you've moved in - who to tell

These are the people and companies to let know your new details so they can send mail to your correct address, call you on your new number and update your account.

Inform the companies you have services with when you’re moving house. is a free online service that allows you to change your address details in one go – you can stop services at your old address and start them at your new one.

Doctor, Dentist, Optician, Vet: make arrangements for your pet's records to be transferred to their new vets.

Services and utilities
Water, Gas, Electricity, Telephone (mobile and or landline), Post office for possible post redirection, Cable/satellite and internet service providers, TV/video rental companies, TV licensing.

Us, if you’ve got any of our products! Banks and Building societies: Inform your bank(s) of your change of address. You may also wish to transfer your account to a branch local to your new home.

Credit card and store cards: When you receive your next statement, make sure you fill out the change of address form, which is usually located on the reverse of the statement. Remember to notify any card protection insurers you have.

Council tax: Remember to notify the relevant authorities in both your current and new area when you intend to move. For more information, please visit

National savings and premium bonds, Your employer, Other Insurance companies, Pension companies, Inland Revenue: When you notify your local tax office you will need to quote your reference number, which can be found on your payslip/P60/code notification.

DVLA, Breakdown recovery company, Vehicle insurance – be warned, failing to tell your insurer you’ve moved could affect your premium or even make your policy invalid.

Friends and relatives, Subscriptions, Milk delivery, Newsagent, Sports club or gym, Library, Schools/colleges, Junk mail: Register your details with the Mailing Preference Service (MPS), this will allow you to remove your name from some direct mail lists in the UK. Register online or call 0845 703 4599.

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