The First Few Days After a Move

The first few days in your new house will feel just as if you're still packing however you'll be unpacking and making a mess.  Its impractical to even try to consider being organized and unpacked within one day, unless you have very few belongings, so you should try to unpack in the order you packed, or as close to it as possible.

Placing boxes in or near the room you're planning to unpack may be impractical, depending on the size of the house, but makes things easier.

Its perfectly acceptable not to unpack everything in the first few days.  If you've moved to a new area, you may want to (or need to) explore and familiarize yourself with any public transport, local facilities, or shops in the area.  You'll need to go out and buy at least the basics.  Saving the 'big shop' until you've unpacked your kitchen.  You'll probably unpack that and your living room first.

Unpacking takes place over six to twelve weeks, depending on your family, and you may find that you have to permanently store items in a garage, basement or attic, because there just isn't the room for them.

Most of your utilities should be on and connected for moving but you may find that your Internet and phone, cable or satellite take several weeks to be reconnected.  In these cases, you should make the most of the change, and unpack as much as you can.  After a month or two, your life will be back into its work/life/sleep pattern so consider any break from it, if you can, a holiday of sorts.  Once your utilities are all reconnected, you may find you have less time to unpack, so its good to get as much of it out of the way as possible.

If you are returning to work, after a move, ensure you know your new route to work, and allow some extra time for the journey, just in case.

Moving Day

The day of your move is all about getting you out of one house and into the new one and if you've hired a company, all you'll need do is oversee them, or stay out of their way entirely.  If you haven't, its important to have some strong family members and friends on hand to help you shift everything into your van.

Empty one room at a time, and ensure the cupboards (if they are walk in) are also empty.  Once its done, sweep, mop or vacuum, and do one final pickup then close the door.  Make it clear to the others helping you that sealed rooms are finished with, so that people aren't trailing dirt into rooms that are finished and clean.

Moving day itself will probably pass in a  blur, so its important to try to savor your final moments in the house you're leaving.  You'll probably have many memories, good and bad, there, and full closure on that period in your life is important, so that you can move on.

You'll want to keep a couple of boxes, or bags spare and on hand so that you can catch anything that you've missed, that's been knocked into a corner, or essentials that you've kept out for the move.  The latter should be marked clearly so that you can find them at the other end.

Keeping your kettle, mugs, coffee, tea, toiletries (toilet paper) and baby supplies (if you've got a small child) separate from your packed belongings might be a good idea, as is keeping any essential work, moving, utility or ID documents in a safe place during your move.  The latter will ensure that they don't accidentally go astray, or are placed somewhere that you can't find them.

You should take a final meter reading, and where appropriate, shut down any water, electricity or gas supplies if no one is going to be in the house for a few days after you.

Two Days Before You Move

The last few days before your move will be a blur of final packing, cleaning, touching up, organizing and sleeplessness.
You'll probably want to take time off work, if you haven't done so already, and devote all of your time to finishing your preparations for the move.

Everything should be in place for you by now and if not, you should follow up on any loose ends that will affect your first days in your new house as soon as possible.

At two days to go, if you haven't got a van with power points, you'll need to start defrosting your freezer.  Easier said than done, but it saves you having to clean up water in the van, or worse, damaging your boxes and bags because your freezer has leaked.  Any food you're using now should be as minimal prep as possible, so that you can pack any tins, cans, pots and pans you have left over.

Final checks with your utilities should also be made and hopefully, you'll have managed to either transfer or connect a new phone number at your new house, so you can start updating contact details.  You should also phone your doctors surgery/local health care provider, or church group to let them know you're going to be at a new address if you haven't already done so.

Many people appreciate personalized notices that their friends and family have moved so you should send out the last of those notices now.  You may also want to consider a 'house cooling' party and use paper plates and disposable cups and make an adventure of it.  You could even talk your family and friends into some last minute packing/painting help.

You can also ensure that any schools, or places you regularly go to have your new contact details, if necessary.  Some schools require an address of a new school to release children's records to, so its important, if you can, to give them.

One Week Before You Move

Your final week will be filled with packing, rushing, and trying to arrange the last of your address changes. Your bank, credit card, mobile phone and utilities should all know that you're moving and on which date you're transferring to that address.

All that remains now is to make sure that you have new utilities in your new house and that they have a definite date for beginning the service.

The last week of packing is everything you have left with an eye to ensuring that you'll be able to live out of as few boxes as possible and seal up the rest.  By now, you'll probably find that you've got a lot of boxes stacked in several rooms and will be sick of the whole moving process.  But in just over a week you'll be in your new home, unpacking.

Your appliances should be checked and cleaned with seven days to go and you should possibly consider not buying frozen goods at all over the next week, unless you're sure that they won't defrost during the move.  Wastage is easily avoided and you can use up all of the items in your freezer without needing to buy more.  You may also want to start making a list of any items you'll need when you move to your new house.  This includes anything you've run out of or will use before the move so that you can buy more once you're in your new house.

You should also consider, if possible, cleaning any room you're not going to use much.  Give them a through scrubbing as it will save you having to do it (or hire someone to do it) on the last few days before your move.

Two Weeks Before You Move

At fourteen days out you've got less than twelve days to pack because your last two days are going to be taken up by cleaning and packing bits you missed.

With two weeks to go you'll probably want to consider telling your mobile phone provider that you're moving, and consider letting friends and family know that you'll have a new address.

You may also want to contact your mail provider and if necessary, arrange a mailing redirect.  Mailing redirects are a great way to make sure you don't lose your mail without having to remember or track your mailings.  You should always confirm with the post office depot in question what this redirection service covers and whether its available to you.

They will be able to advise you on how best to take care of this, and probably advise you of anything that can't be redirected, such as parcel deliveries from third party delivery companies.

You should never redirect your major bills, such as your bank statements, credit card statements, notices of payments from people or anything that can be used as ID.  With the increase of identity theft on the rise, its important to consider what you're going to be leaving behind when moving.

You can't guarantee that the people moving in to your old home will forward your billing information or other sensitive documents, so its important to ensure you know what you've got to transfer and keep a list so that you can mark off what you're transferring bills.

By now you should also consider paying any deposit if you haven't done so or made arrangements to do so.

Three Weeks Before You Move

At three weeks to go, you'll hopefully have finished packing your cupboards and you are able to start packing any non essential belongings. If you're painting any rooms, its a good idea to try to do so in the next few days, so its all ready.  Also you will want to order or purchase any packing supplies you need.

You can start investigating schools in your new area and list any questions you may want to ask. While considering which is the best school in the area you will also have to consider how accessible it is and whether or not there's a school or public bus to take your children and if you need to pay for the transportation.

If you requested quotations they should be coming in now and you should have the moving companies make appointments to evaluate your belongings so they can decide what size of van you'll need and how many men are required for the move.

You should have chosen your new utility provider by now, and have any forms you need to filled out for your bank, so that there's no delays in changing your details to your new home. If you're letting, you should also have a lease by now, with details of what you are going to have to take care of on moving in.

Your Internet is also something you should start closing down, and let them know when you're moving.  If they have to come and pick up (or move) your equipment, now is a good time to arrange this. Internet service providers may have a minimum notice clause, so its good to make sure that you meet this, or you may be over billed, or fined.

One Month Before You Move

At one month out, you should consider booking your moving van or rental truck. This is important because the longer you leave your bookings, the harder it may be to get an affordable moving company. This also goes for moving, if you're allowing a firm to pack and move you.

Packing firms may also need plenty of warning to be booked, so ensure you investigate this fully before committing to booking them with a month of time. You may need to book them sooner. Booking at one month in advance (or more) also means its easier to collect and decide on the quotes you collected from moving companies.

If you're moving house and booking a firm to help you, you may also want to consider booking a cleaning company to come in and clean behind you. They can clean your house after your belongings are packed and have professional methods for removing stains, marks and other tricky marks on walls, doors and carpets. Even if you're moving yourself you may need to hire a professional cleaning firm to fulfill your contract with your landlord.

At one month to go you should also start investigating utilities and other things that will transfer with you.  Moving is a good time to take advantage of any offers that you might get with your phone, electricity, Internet or gas.

Moving Checklist

Just before you move, you should go through the following checklist and ensure you've taken care of everything on it.
  • Have you arranged new utilities for your new house?
  • Have you taken final meter readings and phoned them in or will phone them in on the first day the utilities are open?
  • Have you informed your bank, mobile phone and any other companies who regularly bill you at your old address of your new address?
  • Do you regularly contract a gardener, milk delivery, maid service or other third party service that you need to cancel?
  • Have you arranged a mail redirect?
  • Have you turned off the gas, water and electricity, if asked?
  • Have you stopped all utilities, and informed any tax or local authorities of your move so that they can adjust your final bill and have it forwarded to your house?
  • Is everything packed, removed, binned or accounted for?
  • If you are leaving furniture, have you checked that there's nothing in, underneath, behind or on top of it?
  • Have you fulfilled any items that will ensure the return of your deposit (if you had one)?
  • Is everything packed and clearly marked?
  • Have you paid, or do you have the means to pay for your new house, if required?
  • Have you clearly explained, or marked out any repairs required within your old house?
  • Have you left any manuals that you don't need, for appliances or items you're leaving behind?
  • Have you transferred things like your driver's license, visa, passport or work permit to your new address?
Once you've ensured you've taken care of everything, you can move on to your new house knowing that you're able to continue your life without fear of disruption, identity theft or needing to contact the new occupants of the house with your problems.  You'll also be able to relax and enjoy the move itself.