By Sam Smith
May 3rd 2023
Moving house is one of the most stressful events you’ll experience in your life. It beats divorce and having kids.
As preparation eases the stress, we’ve created this ultimate guide to make everything a breeze. We’ll take you through everything from decluttering to ensuring you have all the necessary supplies.
At the end, you’ll be fully prepared for the big day.
Let’s get started!
Before you start packing, take some time to declutter your home. This step will not only help you to get rid of unnecessary items but also reduce the cost of moving. Here are some benefits of decluttering:
- You’ll have less to pack and move, saving you time and money
- You’ll have a chance to sell, donate or recycle items you no longer need
- Your new home won’t be cluttered with unnecessary items, making it easier to unpack and settle in
- You’ll have a fresh start and a chance to create a new, clutter-free home
So, before you start packing, take some time to declutter your home. Trust us, it will make your moving process so much easier!
The 20/20 rule for decluttering
Grab an item and ask yourself:
- Have I used it in the past 20 days?
- Can I replace it for less than £20?
- Will replacing it take me less than 20 minutes?
If you’ve not used the item in the past 20 days and can replace it for £20 within 20 minutes, then get rid of it. That’s the 20/20 rule for decluttering.
To start, organise your items into collections. Categorise either by room or item. For example, you may tackle all your kitchen items at once, or collect all your books together in one room.
Take one collection and split them into 4 piles:
Pack your keep pile straightaway. For the rest, you may want to collate piles from multiple rooms before discarding them.
You’ve decluttered the entire house. Now, the real work begins.
Purchase your boxes and protective padding
The number #1 feature of moving boxes is its strength. The last thing you want when moving house is the boxes breaking and watching your belongings sprawl across the floor. Check the weight capacity before purchasing your boxes.
Our moving cardboard boxes carry up to 25kg – that’s the equivalent to 14 copies of War and Peace. Being double-walled, they’re twice as thick as standard boxes. That’s more protection for your valuables.
(We trust our boxes so much that we use them to ship our own orders in!)
Strong, quality moving boxes are worth the investment. You can use your old cardboard box, but we’ve shared 5 reasons on why you should in the best moving boxes for your house move.
Don’t forget about padding! Bubble wrap, packing paper, and foam peanuts are all great options for protecting your belongings during the move. Make sure to wrap fragile items carefully and use padding to fill any empty spaces in the box to prevent shifting during transit.
What not to pack
When you’re getting ready to move house, it’s important to take stock of what you have and decide what you’ll be taking with you. But it’s equally important to know what you shouldn’t pack. Here’s a list of items you shouldn’t pack:
- Perishable food: Don’t pack any food that’s likely to spoil during the move. This includes fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and meats.
- Hazardous materials: Certain items are considered hazardous and can’t be transported in a moving truck. This includes propane tanks, gasoline, fireworks, and chemicals. Check with your mover for details.
- Valuables: Keep your most valuable possessions with you, rather than packing them in the moving truck. This includes jewellery, important documents, and sentimental items.
- Plants: Most moving companies won’t transport plants, so you’ll need to make other arrangements for them.
Make sure to plan other modes of transport or disposal for these items.
Moving day survival kit
Don’t let moving day stress you out! With a little preparation and a well-stocked moving day survival kit, you’ll be ready to tackle anything that comes your way. Here are some essentials to include:
Tools and Supplies
- Box cutter or utility knife
- Tape measure
- Packing tape (we recommend 48mm or 75mm)
- Trash bags
- Cleaning supplies (paper towels, all-purpose cleaner, etc.)
Comfort and Refreshments
- Snacks and water bottles
- Coffee or tea (don’t forget milk!)
- Cups and mugs
- Paper cups, plates, and utensils
- Cooler with ice
- Hand sanitiser and wipes
- Towels or paper towels
- Change of clothes
- Travel cot
- Toys and entertainment
- Change of clothes (and nappies)
- Pet food with bowls
- Litter box/pads
- Pet beds or crates
- Poo bags
- Any medication (if applicable)
Important Documents and Valuables
- Passports, IDs, and other important documents
- Cash and credit cards
- Jewellery and other valuables
- Medications and first aid kit
- Phone chargers and electronics
Make sure to keep your moving day survival kit in an easily accessible spot throughout the day. And don’t forget to take breaks and stay hydrated! Moving day can be tough, but with the right tools and mindset, you can make it through with ease.
The best room to pack first
The best room to pack first is the one you use the least. This is usually a spare bedroom or a storage room. These rooms tend to have items that are not used on a daily basis, so you can pack them up without disrupting your daily routine too much.
Here’s the recommended order for packing up the rest of the rooms:
- Kitchen – Start with the non-essentials, like small appliances, serving dishes, and extra utensils.
- Bathrooms – Pack up any extra toiletries, towels, and cleaning supplies.
- Bedrooms – Begin with out-of-season clothing and shoes, and then move on to the rest of your wardrobe.
- Living Room – Start with the decorative items, like artwork and picture frames. Then, pack up any books, DVDs, or other non-essential items.
- Home Office – Begin with paperwork and files that you don’t need on a daily basis. Then, pack up any extra office supplies and equipment.
Remember to label all your boxes clearly with the contents and the room they belong to. This will make unpacking much easier and less stressful. Our moving boxes have a checklist printed on them for each room of the house. With us, all you need is a marker pen!
Create an inventory
When planning a move, creating an inventory of your belongings can be a helpful tool. Not only does it help you keep track of your items, but it can also assist you in obtaining accurate quotes from moving van companies.
When requesting quotes from moving van companies, having an accurate inventory can help ensure that you receive an accurate quote. Moving van companies use your inventory to determine the size of the van needed to transport your belongings.
Having an inventory can also help prevent any surprises on moving day. By knowing exactly what items you have and how many boxes you need, you can plan accordingly and avoid any last-minute stress.
How to create an inventory
To create an inventory, start by going through each room of your home and making a list of all the items you own. Be sure to include everything, from furniture to small household items.
You can also use apps or online tools to help you create your inventory. These tools can be especially helpful if you have a lot of items to keep track of.
TIP: Be sure to update your inventory as you pack and prepare for your move. This will ensure that you have an accurate record of your belongings.
Recommended Apps for Creating an Inventory
If you’re moving house, creating an inventory can save you time and stress when it comes to packing and unpacking. Here are some recommended apps for creating an inventory:
- Sortly: This app allows you to create visual inventories with photos and labels, as well as track items by location and value.
- MyStuff2 Pro (iOS Only): This app allows you to create detailed inventories with photos, notes, and even barcodes for easy organisation and tracking.
- Encircle: This app is designed for home inventory management and allows you to create a detailed list of all your possessions with photos, receipts, and warranty information. iOS | Android
Using one of these apps can help you stay organised during your move and ensure that nothing gets lost or left behind.
We’ve produced multiple how-to guides for packing items when moving house. Each guide lists materials and tools required with step-by-step actions. More guides are coming soon.
Want to pack an item that we don’t have a guide for? Request it here!
- Toiletries [Coming Soon!]
9 Packing tips for a smooth move
- Start packing early: Begin packing as soon as you know you’re moving. This will help you avoid the last-minute rush and ensure you pack everything carefully.
- Pack heavy items in smaller boxes: It’s easier to carry smaller boxes that are packed with heavy items than larger boxes that are difficult to lift and move.
- Label every box: Clearly indicate the room name and contents on each box.
- Mark FRAGILE: Use tape to label important boxes containing fragile items.
- Protect fragile items: Use clothes, towels, and pillows to cushion breakable items.
- Tape loose items: Secure loose items like mops, brooms, and fishing rods together with tape.
- Avoid heavy boxes: Keep box weight to a minimum to prevent injury and damage
- Don’t overpack boxes: Avoid overpacking boxes as they can become too heavy and difficult to carry. Use additional boxes instead.
- Pack a “first-night” box: Pack a box with essentials such as toiletries, a change of clothes, and bedding so that you have everything you need for your first night in your new home.
How to protect furniture whilst moving house
Every mover’s nightmare is damaging their furniture during transit. No one wants the stress of packing and moving house to find the need to go furniture shopping.
By following these steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of damage to your furniture while moving. Remember to take your time, enlist the help of friends or professionals when needed, and prioritize the safety of your furniture throughout the entire process.
- Disassemble when possible: If your furniture can be disassembled, take it apart before the move. This will make it easier to transport and reduce the risk of damage. Keep all the screws, bolts, and small parts in labeled bags or containers to ensure they don’t get lost.
- Use furniture sliders: Furniture sliders are handy tools that can help you move heavy items with ease. Place them under the legs or corners of your furniture to minimize friction and make it easier to slide them across floors or carpets.
- Clear pathways and protect walls: Before moving any furniture, make sure the pathways are clear of obstacles, such as rugs, loose objects, or low-hanging decorations. Also, protect your walls from accidental scratches by using corner guards or padding where necessary.
- Secure drawers and doors: Use tape or plastic wrap to secure drawers, doors, and other movable parts of your furniture. This will prevent them from opening during transit and potentially causing damage.
- Hire professional movers: If you have valuable or delicate furniture, it’s worth considering hiring professional movers. They have the expertise and equipment to handle your furniture safely and can provide additional protection, such as specialized packing materials or custom crates.
- Properly load the moving truck: When loading your furniture onto the moving truck, place heavier items at the bottom and distribute the weight evenly to maintain balance. Secure everything tightly using ropes or straps to prevent shifting during transportation.
- Protect furniture from weather conditions: If you’re moving in inclement weather, cover your furniture with tarps or plastic sheets to protect them from rain, snow, or excessive sunlight.
- Label and communicate: Clearly label your furniture to indicate its fragility or special handling requirements. Communicate these instructions to anyone helping with the move to ensure everyone is aware of how to handle the furniture properly.
- Insure your furniture: Consider obtaining insurance coverage for your furniture during the move. This can provide financial protection in case of any accidental damage.
It’s moving day! Your main job is to get everything out of your old house and into your new house as smoothly as possible. We’ve covered the 3 main questions everyone has on the big day.
Do Movers Expect Everything in Boxes?
Professional movers typically expect everything to be packed in boxes. This makes it easier and safer to transport your belongings, and helps prevent damage during the move.
However, there are some exceptions. Large items like furniture and appliances may not need to be packed in boxes, but should still be properly protected with blankets or other padding.
It’s also important to label your boxes clearly, indicating which room they belong in and any special handling instructions. This will help ensure that everything ends up in the right place and is treated with care.
Last minute questions to ask estate agents
As you prepare to move out of your old home and into your new one, it’s important to make sure you have everything in order. One key aspect of this is communicating with your estate agent to ensure a smooth transition. Here are some last minute actions for that your estate agent can help with:
- Locate the stopcock
- Find out who supplies the utilities
- Locate the utility meters
- Find out where the thermostat is located
- Determine when the house was built (for home insurance purposes)
- Request a copy of the inventory report
What do you need immediately after moving house?
After moving house, there are a few things you’ll need to have on hand to make the transition as smooth as possible. Here are some essentials:
- Check for damage – Inspect your new home for any damages that may have occurred during the move. Check walls, floors, and ceilings for scratches or dents. If you notice any damage, take photos and contact your landlord or mover immediately.
- Cleaning supplies: You’ll want to do a deep clean of your new place before unpacking. Make sure you have cleaning supplies like all-purpose cleaner, sponges, and paper towels.
- Toiletries: It’s easy to forget about toiletries when you’re packing, so make sure you have essentials like toilet paper, soap, and shampoo on hand.
- Bedding: You’ll want to have clean sheets and pillows ready for your first night in your new home.
- Tools: You never know when you might need a screwdriver or hammer, so it’s a good idea to have a basic toolkit on hand.
- Snacks and drinks: Moving can be exhausting, so make sure you have some snacks and drinks on hand to keep you energised.
By having these essentials on hand, you can start settling into your new home right away.
Congratulations on your move! Now that you’re settled in, there are a few important actions you should take to ensure a smooth transition into your new home.
1. Unpack and Organise
Start by unpacking your boxes and organising your belongings. Create a system that works for you, whether it’s by room or by category. This will help you keep track of everything and avoid clutter.
2. Update your Address and Utilities
Make sure to update your address with the banks, doctors, and any other important institutions. Don’t forget to transfer or set up utilities such as gas, water, and electricity.
3. Connect with your Community
Take some time to explore your new neighbourhood and connect with your community. Attend local events, introduce yourself to your neighbours, and join local groups or clubs. Use MeetUp or EventBrite to see what’s going on.
4. Secure your Home
Finally, make sure your new home is secure. Change the locks, install a security system, and check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they’re working properly.
Follow these steps to make your move a success and enjoy your new home!
We’ve created this checklist to cover all aspects of moving. Some of this items won’t apply to you, so just cross them off. However, this checklist makes sure you have every ready for a smooth move.
The key is to start packing early. We recommend at least 6-8 weeks before your moving day. Not only do you avoid the last-minute rush, you’ll get plenty of time to declutter your belongings – especially if you’re downsizing.
Moving house materials
Remember, better safe than sorry! It’s always a good idea to overestimate the number of supplies you’ll need. That way, you’ll avoid the last-minute scramble for more materials.
- Packing Tape
- Bubble Wrap
- Wrap and Stretch Film
- Blankets or Furniture Pads
- Dollies and Hand Trucks
- Rubbish Bags
One Month Before Moving
- Inform people and companies of your change of address
- Hand in your notice to your landlord
- Check what furniture you need to buy for the new place
- Order your moving cardboard boxes and packaging
- Start decluttering and selling or donating unneeded items.
- Research moving companies and book one in advance.
- Book a local cleaner (or plan to deep clean your old home yourself)
- Begin packing items you don’t frequently use.
- Start collating your moving day survival kit
Three Weeks Before Moving
- Obtain a mail redirection so important post doesn’t get lost
- Arrange for time off work on the moving day.
- Arrange for childcare or pet care on the moving day.
- Continue packing and labelling boxes.
Two Weeks Before Moving
- Start using up food and cleaning supplies.
- Disassemble large furniture and appliances.
- Label boxes with room names and contents.
One Week Before Moving
- Confirm arrangements and arrival time with the moving company.
- Defrost your freezer and clean your appliances.
- Pack a box of essentials for the first night at your new home.
- Double-check all rooms and drawers for missed items.
Three Days Before Moving
- Take apart beds and pack bedding.
- Label any items that require extra care during transportation.
- Finish packing all non-essential items.
Two Days Before Moving
- Disassemble remaining furniture.
- Finish packing up all belongings.
- Prepare a box of snacks and drinks for the moving day.
- Charge all electronics and pack their chargers.
The Night Before Moving
- Prepare a bag of clothes and toiletries for the first night.
- Double-check every room and closet for missed items.
- Label any items that are not going with the moving company.
- Get a good night’s rest for the big day ahead.
On the Moving Day Itself
At your old home
- Do a final walkthrough of your old home.
- Take photos of your utility metres for the final reading.
- Meet the moving company and provide them with any necessary instructions.
- Supervise and assist with the loading of your belongings.
- Double-check that everything has been loaded onto the moving truck.
- Hand in your old keys.
At your new home
- Collect the keys
- Take photos of the utilities’ metres for the first reading
- Check all doors and windows lock and work
- Take pictures of every room and damage (to report later)
- Set up the snacks and refreshments at the new home
- Direct the movers on where to put your boxes
- Build your bed (so at least you can get a good night sleep)
- Walk around the area to order a takeaway
The first few days in your new home
- Deep clean the house
- Unpack and organise
- Pay any final bills from your previous house
- Report your metre readings to utility companies
- Finish updating contacts of change of address (if applicable)
- Relax! It’s been a hectic few weeks.
How to Pack a Messy House Fast
Packing a messy house can seem daunting, but with a little planning and effort, it can be done quickly and efficiently. Here are two tips to help you pack up your messy house fast:
1. Declutter as You Pack
Take the opportunity to declutter as you pack. Sort through your belongings and decide what you want to keep, donate, or throw away. This will not only save you time in packing, but it will also help you start fresh in your new place.
2. Hire Professional Packers
If you’re short on time or overwhelmed by the packing process, consider hiring professional packers. They can help you pack your messy house quickly and efficiently, leaving you with more time to focus on other moving tasks.
By following these tips, you can pack your messy house fast and with ease. Good luck with your move!
Who should I Inform When Changing Address?
When you’re moving house, it’s important to inform the necessary people and companies about your change of address. This ensures that you don’t miss out on important mail or experience any disruptions to your services.
People to Inform
- Family and friends
- Doctor and dentist
- Schools and universities
- Bank and credit card companies
- Insurance providers
- The electoral roll
Companies to Inform
- Utility companies (gas, electricity, water, and internet)
- Mobile phone and landline providers
- TV licensing
- Delivery services
- Newspapers and magazines
- HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)
- Local council (for council tax)
- Vehicle registration