Everything you need to know about moving house or buying your first home from car insurer Admiral.
Whether you're a first-time buyer or about to move for the fifth time, the prospect of packing up all your belongings and carting them from one place to another is a daunting one.
Buying a home is exciting and complicated in equal measure. Well, a lot of the process is just straight up complicated, but the end product is definitely exciting, which is why anything that can help the process go quickly and smoothly is welcome.
To help get you prepared for the move, we've created this handy guide packed with all the top tips you'll need to make moving day a breeze.
Once your moving date is set
- If you're able to, book some time off work on the day you complete so you can pick up the keys as soon as you get the call from the estate agent - ideally book a few days so you have plenty of time to unpack and enjoy your new home
- Now would be a great time to start clearing out and de-cluttering, there's no need to move lots of junk you just don't need - nows not the time to be sentimental about a mug!
- Get your moving essentials ready. Check if your local supermarket will keep some large boxes for you, or order some flat-pack boxes online. You'll also need bubble wrap, labels and marker pens
- Make sure you have enough boxes for each room, wardrobe boxes would be a great investment as they'll save you some time (and ironing) when unpacking
- If you have contents insurance in place, you should check it covers for damages, breakages and storage during your move
- If you're lucky, your new home won't require any immediate work, but if it does or if you want some decorating done ASAP arrange dates for tradesmen to come and do the work
- If you have furniture to move then consider finding a removal company - you can find quotes for removal companies through Compare my Move
- If the movers you're calling in are mum and dad (or any other family members), be sure to check their availability first. Assuming they'll be willing to give up their time without asking might result in a falling out
Planning and budgeting
- If you opt to hire a van for the day, make sure to check what kind of cover is in place as the collision damage waiver may be a good option
- Set yourself a budget for any decorating you need doing or new furniture you'll need to buy. Moving home is expensive enough without expenses you hadn't budgeted for popping up
- Write out a list of accounts you'll need to change over - utilities, TV network provider, broadband, insurance etc. Don't forget to update your address on your bank account and driving licence
- Gather up all the manuals for any built-in appliances and leave in a prominent spot for the person moving into your house. Request the seller of your new home does the same via your solicitors or estate agent
- Arrange for your home insurance - specifically your buildings insurance if you're moving into a house - to start on the day contracts are exchanged. Remember, there's no legal obligation to take out buildings insurance with your mortgage provider, so you can shop around for the best deal. Get a quote from Admiral for your home insurance
- Set up mail redirection with the Royal Mail which allows you to redirect mail for three, six or 12 months
- Think about your internet provider ahead of the move as it can take a while to set this up. If you arrange it in plenty of time you can have it up and running during your first week in your new home
Packing and moving
- Grabbing all of the books off your bookshelves and neatly stacking them inside the biggest box you can find might seem like a great idea at the time, however it won't seem like such a great idea when you're struggling to load said box into a van. Evenly distribute heavy items and be sure to put a note on the boxes
- Keep all hazardous materials like paint and cleaning materials in a clear plastic box to avoid spillages and so they're easy to find when you move in
- Arrange childcare for the little ones on move day and be sure to get what you need for them ready for the first night. Keep their bedding, pyjamas, night light, favourite toys etc in one box so they feel at home straight away
- Likewise, if you have pets be mindful that a move will be stressful for them too, it might be best to put them in a cattery or kennel until you're unpacked
- Get a treat in the fridge as soon as you arrive, whether its simply a ready meal to save you cooking or a bottle of fizz to celebrate your new home - it's nice to have something to look forward to at the end of a busy day of moving
- If you need to buy white goods, make sure you know the exact measurements of where they need to go. Sending back a washing machine because it's half a centimetre too wide is added stress you just don't need
- If you're going to decorate some rooms straight away try to keep those rooms empty to avoid having to move things around more than you need to
- Prepare a bag of 'essentials' so you don't need to dig through everything just to make a cup of tea during the mid-move tea break. We suggest - teabags, a couple of mugs, the kettle, clothes for the next day and of course, loo-roll!
Once all the boxes are in
- Once all the boxes are unpacked you might be keen to get all your photo frames on the wall, just be sure not to drill through any pipes! It might be best to pick up a stud finder which detects electrical cables, metal pipes, metal studs etc
- Find out what day bin day is - this is also a great way to get to know your new neighbours, just pop around and ask
- Put the beds up and make them first, it'll save you having to do it after a full day of unpacking
- Crack open the bubbly and kick back and relax in your new home, you deserve it!