By Sam Smith
February 16th 2023
When you’re moving house, you’re probably thinking about all the large items you have to move, like your mattress, sofa, and white goods, or your more delicate items like mirrors, house plants, and lampshades.
But what about your essential documents? You probably only look at them every once in a while, but documents like your passport, birth certificate, insurance papers, and driving licence must be kept safe. You’ll also likely need easy access to all the documents relating to your house, especially if you’re purchasing a property rather than renting.
We recommend pulling all your important documents together in the weeks before you move so they’re all in one place – and you know where that place is. (Ever put anything in a ‘safe place’ that you can’t remember? Bonus points for avoiding that on this occasion!)
Equipment & supplies you need to keep documents safe when moving
Since a lot of documentation is now online, you probably won’t have stacks of paper that you need to keep safe – but you will have some. (And there’s a real cost to lost documentation – lost mortgage documents cost up to £500 to replace, for example.)
Here’s what you’ll need to keep your important documents safe while you move (and beyond):
- Either a ring binder with plastic sleeves and tabs or a portable file box – file your documents neatly in separate sections:
- ID documents
- School (if you have children)
- A ballpoint pen – to label each separate section
- A permanent marker pen – to label your ring binder or file box
- Board-backed envelopes – to contain your most important or sentimental documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and passports
4 tips for keeping documents safe when you move house
Once you have all your documents in your ring binder or file box, here are some tips to keep them all safe when it comes to moving day:
- Move the documents yourself instead of giving them to the removal team, or leave them with a trusted friend or family member
- Make photocopies of the most important documents, just in case your binder or box is mislaid
- Scan your documents so you have digital copies (and make sure you password protect them)
- When you reach your new home, put your binder or box in a safe place
Finally, don’t forget that you’ll need to change your name and address on some of this documentation, such as on your driving licence, car registration, bank, and the electoral roll.