Moving and Packing Tips

Moving House Checklist – 37 Tips for Moving House (PDF)

Moving house is one of the biggest organisational challenges in a person’s life. There are a lot of things to consider – the distance between properties, all the big and small items you have to physically move, not to mention the change that comes with all this. So, the Fantastic Services team has made this detailed house moving checklist full of helpful tips.

Below, you will find a comprehensive list of the things to do when moving into a new house. With some luck, they will turn the endeavour into a less stressful and organised experience, even if this is your first move.

So, if you:

  • Are planning to move out in the next months;
  • Don’t know what exactly to expect from moving;
  • Wish to have a clear plan,

Then keep on reading!

Moving house checklist

1. Have a plan

Extra nerves, haste, irritability, unwillingness, and many other negative feelings will be an inevitable part of this day. A systematic packing and wrapping process increases your efficiency on the day of the move. The responsibilities you’ll need to take on will be too many to count, so a plan can help.

To be even more certain that you won’t miss anything, invest in a large notebook that can hold anything from checklists to vital invoices. Make sure you’ll be able to hold important documents in the notebook as well. Having a book dedicated to the move will make the process of going through the “To-do list” much easier.

2. Calculate moving costs

Being financially prepared for the move is another thing you have to take into consideration. Think carefully about everything that can cost you money, regardless if you are hiring professional removal services or plan on moving out on your own. The costs that you might face are: 

  • Removal and storage costs. In the circumstances where you don’t have a car, you might need helpers. Get a cost estimate from a removal company, to know what to expect; 
  • Cleaning costs. If you are renting, you have to return the property in the same conditions as you first moved in, so cleaning is essential. To make it presentable for the inspection, you might hire professional cleaners. Contact a cleaning company in advance to get your quote and plan the expenses ahead; 
  • Mail redirection cost. Royal Mail’s redirection service is quite helpful if you wish to receive mail to your new address while you are moving. This way, you won’t miss on any important documents that will be sent to your previous address and minimise the risks of identity fraud; 
  • Extra costs. If you have kids and pets, you might require a helping hand. In that case, if you plan to hire a babysitter or book your pet into a kennel or cattery, don’t forget to include it in your moving budget.

If you’re moving abroad, there are a lot of other factors to think about. In order to avoid this list getting extra long, we’ve made a few detailed guides for moving to another country to ease your transition.

If you’re moving abroad, there a lot of other factors to think about. In order to avoid this list getting extra long, we’ve made a few detailed guides for moving to another country to ease your transition.

Stay tuned! More guides coming soon!

3. Inform friends and family

Contact all your family members and spread the news about your move. This might prove to be quite a tricky move, but it’s also a smart one because hey, you never know – you might just be able to convince them to help you out with the moving!

4. Hire a moving company

If you’re too busy and don’t have the time to deal with all the hassle, hire a professional removal company instead. It may be tough finding just the right one for you, but we have a guide that can help you understand what to look for and what to avoid when choosing a removal company. This option may also turn out to be a more cost-effective solution and it will definitely save you a lot of time.

Many movers come with insurance, however, they won’t be responsible for items that aren’t packed by them. It’s a good idea to consider booking additionally a packing service. Insurance is important. If you are moving by yourself, you may want to purchase it separately. Book at least one month in advance.

If you do hire movers, be sure to read the fine print and find out if they have any unusual rules. Avoid moving on Fridays and bank holidays when removal firms are in high demand and will be stretched out (and may charge more). For a less stressful move, opt for off-peak times such as mid-week.

5. Ask for help

Helpers can be split up into shifts! If you succeed to acquire enough helping hands, divide them into groups. For example, you can ask the first shift to show up during your packing and decluttering day to help. The second shift can come on moving day to help you load all items in the truck. The third shift can help with unloading the boxes in the new place and even help with unpacking. And don’t forget to treat your helpers with some pizza and drinks afterwards.

6. Notify your landlord

If you are currently renting, notify your landlord by using the proper notice conditions in your tenancy agreement. Most would ask you to notify the landlord about your move one month in advance. If you don’t abide by this rule, you might not get your security deposit back.

7. Change your address

Change your address before you leave the old place. Below, you can find the list of organisations that you might need to change your address with.


If applicable:

8. Buy packing supplies

Many people do the mistake to leave the packing preparation for the last few days before moving day. The time it would take you to pack depends on the number of items you have. In any case, it’s important to buy packing supplies for at least one month in advance. This way you will have time to buy more if it turns out they’re not enough. The supplies you need are:

  • Moving boxes. Cardboard boxes are the standard container for any move. Look for double-sided corrugated, new cardboard in four different sizes – small, middle-sized, large and a wardrobe box. You can also invest in reusable plastic boxes.
  • Sealers. Packing tape is your best friend that would safely seal your cardboard boxes. Stretch wrap is perfect for wrapping furniture and protecting it from scratches during loading and unloading. You can additionally find small sealable plastic bags for storing a multitude of tiny items in one place.
  • Fillers. Bubble wrap, tissue paper, old rags and even old clothes are perfect for filling the gaps in your moving containers so the items inside are nicely cushioned. By doing this you will prevent potential damage during transportation.
  • Labels. Labelling the boxes is a good way to make sure you won’t lose anything and it will provide ease when you have to unpack at the new place. You can find special sticky labels or simply write on the box with a marker.

9. Declutter

Throw, give away, donate, or sell the stuff you won’t need at your new place. There are lots of ways to get rid of certain types of clutter.

  • Sell valuable items online. If you own items that are too valuable to just give away, make use of eBay or Amazon.
  • Be charitable. Arrange for a charity organisation to come and pick up the items you don’t want.
  • Dispose of hazardous materials. Dispose of all flammable items that can’t be transported (paint, chemicals, aerosol cans).

Decluttering your home will not only lighten the load of your move but will also give you peace of mind. The fewer items you have, the fewer things to worry about.

If you need some help with decluttering, the Fantastic Services team has created this list of special guides to help you out with the task.

Stay tuned! More guides coming soon!

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10. Pack early

If you’ve decided to pack by yourself, you will need some help from your friends and family. Just make sure it’s at least two weeks before the move. Pack early, starting with the items you won’t be using the following two weeks. While you are wondering which items to pack first, check our helpful post on packing tips for moving house. And remember – the heavier the item, the smaller the box. This guarantees stability, and it’s also easier on the person carrying the box. Boxes shouldn’t be heavier than 20 kilos.

11. Vacuum seal clothing

When vacuumed, clothes will take less space and will be a piece of cake to organise when it’s time for packing.

Off-season-clothes and winter bedding can go directly into the storage at the new place.

13. A system for electronics

The average UK household has between 10 and 18 electronic devices in their home. All of these devices have cables and some of them are difficult to put together once unplugged.

So, snap photos of the wires to know later what goes where.

15. Packed books are heavy

A box of books will be one of the heaviest ones to load and unload in the moving van. It’s best to pack them in smaller boxes to both prevent you from lifting anything too heavy and to make sure the box doesn’t tear under the weight.

Pack the books vertically, just like the dishes.

12. Use a colouring system

Pick a colour code for each room and label that room’s boxes accordingly. Label the door of each room with the corresponding sticker or tape. Doing so will simplify the whole process and the movers won’t be asking you for directions.

14. Kitchen dishes go vertically

Dishes and cutlery are tricky items since they’re both heavy and fragile. When packing your glass dishes, it’s important to arrange them in the box vertically, just like vinyl records, in order to reduce the chance of damage. Each dish should be wrapped in bubble wrap, packing paper or soft cloths. Make sure there are no gaps in the boxes before you seal them.

16. Small kitchen appliances

Toasters, blenders, microwaves are small appliances that ideally need to be packed in their original shipping box. If not, you should find a box that’s close enough. For more tips, check our helpful post on how to pack small kitchen appliances.

17. Large kitchen appliances

When the day for packing your large kitchen appliances comes, you have to plan how you will be moving it. Refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, ovens are going to be a challenge if you don’t have a dolly, lifting straps, and at least one additional helper. If you have to carry them up or down the stairs, it’s advisable to leave the job to professional movers. And remember, that before moving the large kitchen appliances you have to clean them – defrost the refrigerator, clean the oven and your washing machine. 

18. Wrap the furniture

Living room and bedroom furniture should be wrapped in either stretch wrap, or soft blankets (or both) to prevent scratches. You can also secure the wrapper with packing tape to make sure it doesn’t fall off during loading, unloading or transportation.

20. Special items are tricky

Having to move items such as a hot tub, a pool table, a treadmill, a safe, a large aquarium or any large sculpture with an irregular shape, are going to be the source of your biggest headaches. That’s why the Fantastic Services team recommends making use of professional packers and movers who can give you insurance that everything will be moved smoothly. 

19. Don’t risk the piano

Whether you have an upright, or grand piano, the Fantastic Services team recommends not moving it yourself, no matter how many helpers you have.

It’s best to leave this type of task to the professionals.

21. Prepare the pets

Pets are going to have a hard time on a moving day and even before that. All the preparations, decluttering, packing, all the moving around and the expectation that something will happen soon can cause a significant effect on your dog’s or cat’s behaviour. The best way to prepare them for the big change is to give them lots of love and attention. And make sure they are comfortable in their cat or dog carrier.

Packing seems too burdening? Visit the main website for price rates on our professional packers!

22. Last grocery trip

Put your groceries to good use before the move. Plan your last meals accordingly to avoid leaving any leftovers. The more food you end up using before moving out, the less you’ll have to throw away. Buy only the most important products and remember to predict what you’ll need to prepare in order to have something to eat on the day of the move.

23. Pack an overnight bag

Pack an overnight bag containing all the essentials. You’ll want your essentials within easy reach: changing clothes and toiletries are a necessity. It’s also a great way to transport a laptop, which could otherwise run the risk of getting stolen or broken during a move. Depending on what you intend to do once you unload everything in the new place, you can store the box with:

  • Food and liquids. You and your household will probably want to rest after the long trip, eat and drink something. So make sure you have packed food and bottles of water.
  • Washing products. If you’d like to have a shower before unpacking, prepare a towel, shampoo and conditioner, shower gel, soap, a hairdryer and a change of clothes.
  • Cleaning supplies. If you prefer to give the place a quick clean before starting anything, make sure the box contains rubber gloves, dishwashing liquid, a bucket and a mop, cleaning rags and bin bags.
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24. Get a babysitter

If you have small kids, arrange for someone to take care of them. You might possibly need a babysitter for the night as well – who knows how long the moving day will last?

25. End of tenancy cleaning

If you don’t want your security deposit to be withheld, you would have to give a deep clean to the place. The end of tenancy clean should be done no more than 3 days before moving day, in order to ensure it’s clean on the day you move out. You can arrange for a cleaning company to do an end of tenancy cleaning for you, or you could try doing it yourself. By the way, have you checked our Ultimate End of Tenancy Cleaning checklist, *wink-wink*?

26. Clean the new place

Before moving into the new place, it would probably need a good clean. You can hire a cleaning company to do a pre-tenancy cleaning, or you can do it yourself. This way the place will be ready for your items. You can also do a quick check to make sure all utilities are working and nothing needs repairs.

26. Store what you don’t need in storage units

If you have furniture or other bulky decorations that you couldn’t sell or give away, but don’t want to bring them to your new place, the next best thing you can do is hire a storage facility and keep the items there until you find a use for them. Learn about the types of storage and helpful tips on furniture storage in our dedicated blog posts.

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27. Plants have special needs

Pack large plants individually, however the smaller ones you can put in the same box. Transplant plants from your breakable pots into lighter-weight sturdier ones that will be easier for you to move. If it turns out you can’t move your plants, give them to friends, donate them to a botany class or a local retirement home.

28. Think of a parking spot

Think in advance about a parking spot at your new place on the day of the move. This is a must, especially if you are hiring a removal company to take care of your stuff.

29. Research new accounts

Closing your old accounts won’t be enough. If you are moving to a new area, you have to spend some time researching the banks, doctors, schools, etc. there to pick the best among them. Gather all the proper paperwork you need to set up your new accounts.

30. Take care of your health

Fill up on prescriptions and make sure that everyone has packed any medications they need in their suitcase.

31. Hold a farewell party

Don’t forget to hold a farewell party for your closest neighbours and friends you won’t be seeing an often anymore.  

32. Last call

Consult your plan or your moving company one last time to confirm that everyone is on the same page. Re-confirm the moving-day arrival time, as well as cell phone numbers and last-minute details. It won’t hurt to ask again if the movers will move all your items. Misunderstandings happen.

33. Check the weather forecast

You won’t be able to change anything, even if there is a storm coming your way, but you could prepare some emergency supplies in case the weather tries to stop you from moving house.

35. Cash in

Unfortunately, things can go wrong anytime, so make sure that you have enough cash, checks, or a credit card to pay for any unexpected expenses. Also, if you’re using a removals service, it won’t hurt to tip the movers when they’re done.

37. Charge your phone

Charge your smartphone the night before the move. You might need to make some calls or use the GPS, which will drain your battery life.

34. Delay deliveries

If you’ve made some new purchases, such as a couch or a dining room suite, schedule the delivery after the moving day, and of course, change the address.

36. Share your experience

Why not leave a little instruction or experience manual for the new owners? Let them know when the bins are collected and how to set the hot water timer. It may be useful to collate any necessary instructions for the appliances you are leaving behind.

Put together a packet for the new owners of your home with any warranties, vendor recommendations, and a note with your contact information in case they have questions or need to forward you an email.

Tips for moving into a new house on moving day

After all those preparations, it’s easy to assume that everything is done, and now you just have to wait until you arrive at your destination. But there are a few things you should take care of on moving day.

  • Take metre readings. On moving day, take metre readings of the property you are about to leave and submit them to your local suppliers. Take a photograph of your metres on your mobile phone.
  • Load the moving van strategically. When loading the truck, load all of your furniture and other heavy items first, then follow up with your boxes and bags. If there’s anything you’ll need right away at the new place, save it until the very end. Be sure to be wearing steel-capped shoes to prevent foot injury and gloves with a silicon or black dot pattern for a better grip of the furniture. Check out our post on moving heavy furniture on carpet for more details of this sort.
  • Hold valuables and documents. Gather valuable paperwork, jewellery, and small family heirlooms. Keep these special items separate from your moving boxes and transport them by hand or via a trackable and insured shipping service.
  • Avoid rush hour. There can be a moving “traffic jam” at certain times of the year. The most reputable movers get booked early during the late spring and summer months when half of all moving takes place, so plan ahead!
  • Take photos of your cleaned-out new home. If you’re renting, take photos of your cleaned-out old new home before moving in. This is essential if you ever hope to get your deposit back.

Once you’ve moved to your new place, it’s always a good idea to make friends with your new neighbours. Making a good first impression always helps. You can throw a party in order to get to know everyone. This is the last (and possibly the most important one) of the tips for moving into a new house.

Have you planned your house moving yet

Moving houses is never an easy task. Just imagine all the tasks you need to find time for before the moving day. And have you planned how you are going to relocate your belongings? How many round trips do you need to take?
In this case, a removal company would be in great help. The removal teams are professionally equipped with vans, which allow them to safely relocate your belongings. Do you need help with packing? They can do that too! Book your removals services with Fantastic Services, today.

Struggling with moving everything by yourself?

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Did you find our moving house tips helpful? Have you moved out of the nest recently? Share your experience in the comments below, thank you!

Picture source: Solis Images /

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