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How to move house: Your ultimate checklist

So, you've hunted, viewed and now had an offer accepted on your dream property.

Congratulations - but buying a house is the easy bit! Now the real work starts!

And you won't want to forget anything, which is easily done when in the middle of a big house move.

How to move house will depend on who you are, what you're buying, your budget and many other factors.

But when people ask us what to do when moving house, there's only one answer: Have a plan!

The moving house checklist

1. Research removals companies

You might fancy giving this a go yourself.

But until you've actually done it, you'll never know how tough it is!

There are superb removals companies around and some great deals to be had, so start looking well ahead of your moving date and shop around.

Ask around family and friends for recommendations and look online for reviews.

And remember, these companies get busy (especially at big moving times like spring) so get your chosen mover booked in as early as you can.

2. Make sure your new home is insured

OK, so you're not living there.

But once you have exchanged contracts with your seller, the sale is legally binding.

And this means you need to take out buildings insurance to protect your new home during the period between exchange of contracts and when you move in.

If your current property is insured, speak to your provider about moving the cover to your new home.

3. Who to inform when moving house

Making key people aware of your new address can be time-consuming, so it pays to draw up a list well in advance and tick off as you go.

The people you need to tell about your new home could include:

* The DVLA
* Car insurance provider
* Home insurance provider
* Life insurance provider
* Health insurance provider
* Employer
* Electoral roll
* Your bank
* Credit card company
* Pension provider
* Mobile phone company and insurer
* Gas, electric, water, sewerage suppliers
* Home phone supplier
* Broadband supplier
* Cable TV company
* Local doctor's surgery
* Dentist
* Schools, colleges or universities
* Subscriptions
* Sports clubs
* Charities

4. Get your mail redirected

Even if you a completely certain you have informed all major people and companies of your new address, more often than not one or two will slip the net.

So, speak to Royal Mail and have your post redirected to your new home for a period of time (usually three, six, or 12 months) until you're sure all your mail is going to your new property.

5. Sort out your paperwork

In the early days after your move, you'll almost certainly need access to vital paperwork.

So, make sure key documents are available and easy to find when you start to pack up your things.

The first few days, and sometimes weeks, in a new home are spent unpacking and attempting to remember where everything is, so when a utility company asks for an old bill or you need to dig out your old driving licence to send back to the DVLA, it's important you can find them.

6. Declutter your house

Even if you're moving to a bigger property and have room for all your belongings and then some, a move can be a good time to undertake an audit of your things.

The packing process can be more stressful than you think, so a good clear-out beforehand can help.

7. Time to pack

Some removals companies offer a packing service and this can be worth considering.

However, if you are going it alone, don't just sling everything in boxes and worry about it later.

Having a strategy and process to your packing will make it easier when unpacking in your new home - giving you more time to enjoy the property.

Tackle a room at a time and clearly label boxes and where they need to go at the other end.

8. Dismantle your furniture

A few days before your moving date, start to dismantle any large items of furniture.

And remember, the last thing you'll need in your new home is to find that the shelving unit you've spent hours reconstructing is short of one nut and bolt.

Food bags, available from most supermarkets, seal up and are great for transporting nuts, bolts, screws and other crucial, tiny fittings.

So, pack up the bits and pieces from each piece of furniture into a small food bag and label clearly so you know what's what when you come to put it back together again.

Oh, and don't forget to take the instructions with you!

9. Sort out a babysitter

Kids and house moves don't go together. It's a fact.

If you've moved before then you'll know how tiring it is, so for the little ones, it's even worse.

Then you throw in boredom (for them, not you. You'll be way too busy to get bored!) and the stress levels can quickly rise.

Far better to arrange for someone to take care of them while you get everything sorted in their new home.

10. Fuel the car and pack a moving day emergency kit

You won't want to stop on your way to your new home, so make sure the car is full of fuel the night before moving day so you don't have to.

Also pack a bag with food and drink in for your journey to your new home and for the unpacking process.

Pack a bag with towels, tooth brushes, toothpaste and toilet paper so you don't have to go rooting through boxes to find key essentials when you arrive at your new property.

And make sure your phone is charged...

11. Take meter readings

Make sure you contact your utility providers and provide your final meter readings.

And when you arrive at your new home, do the same to start your new services.

Finally, make sure you have the phone number for a good local takeaway stored in your fully-charged phone.

After all, on a day like moving day, you certainly won't want to cook!

If you are moving house soon - good luck!

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