We all wish moving was easy. Changing home is an exhausting process, both physically and mentally, but a little bit of preparation goes a long way. We put together a comprehensive checklist, so you are fully prepared ahead of your next move.
Give your notice
Remember to hand in your notice to your landlord or estate agent in line with your contract. The notice period usually is two months before the end of your AST contract. The earlier you can inform them of your notice, the quicker you will be able to move forward with your home search.
Make sure to state your preferred move-out date. It's a good time to think about whether you can spread moving out and moving into your new place across several days, so you can take some of the stress off.
Declutter your possessions
Moving home is an excellent opportunity to declutter. If your unwanted items are in good condition, give them a new lease of life by donating to a charity, freecycling them or selling them directly. If you aren't bringing items with you or are unable to sell them, make sure to ask the landlord or managing agent about leaving any items that you purchased in the home, as you may be charged for removal costs.
It's essential to start decluttering as soon as possible as it will give you a better idea of how many boxes you will need to move and prepare for packing. Keep the inventory at hand to make sure everything that was in the property is still present, and not to take away any items owned by the landlord.
Pack room by room & label your boxes
Get some packing supplies and start packing a few items at a time. Ideally, plan your packing room by room and start with things you don't use daily, such as books or decorative items. Breaking down the packing in smaller segments will help you keep on top of the workload and never run out of tape or that extra box at the last minute.
If you follow this method, don't neglect to label the boxes. Create a list of items included in each box and the room they will be in your new home. For example, writing bookcase contents/living room will save you a big headache when you need to reach out for something later on and a great deal of pain when choosing what to unpack.
Dismantle furniture in advance
If you are renting a furnished place, chances are you have only small pieces of furniture that are easy to handle. With unfurnished homes where you own most of the furniture, starting in advance will save you a lot of time when packing; you shouldn't underestimate the time needed for this. Dismantling an easy-to-carry flat-pack might require some time and tools, so it's best not to leave them for the last minute.
Get quotes from removal companies
There are plenty of options when it comes to removals, and they can assist both with packing/unpacking and moving. Most removal companies can provide you with estimates very early on. If you know how many boxes you'll have, even better, as the quote will be more accurate in terms of time and costs.
Check with the professionals at British Association of Removers.
If you only have a few items, consider renting a van and get some help from friends. However, renting a van to drive yourself can become complicated and add to the stress of moving day, so make sure it's the right choice for you.
Change your address
It might seem obvious who you'd need to notify, but as the list tends to get rather long, we have put together all service providers, from utilities to your GP:
- Your work
- Your bank, insurance, pension, and credit card companies
- Utility companies (Gas, Electric, Water)
- Your phone & Internet providers
- The council, electoral roll
- TV Licensing
- Doctor and dentist
- Subscription services
- Driving License (DVLA)
Tip 1: For peace of mind, you might want to opt for post redirection services
Tip 2: Don't forget to delete your old address from all online retailers (such as Amazon). There's nothing worse than realising your package has been delivered to an old address.
Take final meter readings & settle your bills
Apart from the change of address, you will also need to notify utility providers of your move and provide them with the last meter readings. You can let them know up to a month in advance from your moving-out date. For the final bills, take water, gas, and electricity meter readings at your property on your last day. You can also take photos, which are time-stamped as proof.
Clean your old flat & Check out
Factor in enough time to prepare for the check-out appointment. Once you have transferred all your belongings to your new flat, arrange a deep clean for your old place (if this is your duty as stated on the contract). Depending on when you are moving out, cleaning companies might have little availability, so make sure to book the service in advance (it will also be cheaper!).
On check-out day, you need to deliver all sets of keys and run through the inventory with the landlord or agent to ensure all items and appliances are in good state. Provided that the property is in good condition and upon agreement with your landlord, the deposit will be released within ten working days and you will be free to enjoy your new home without worries.
You can download your own copy of our moving out checklist here. Enjoy a stress free move!