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Plan your move now to avoid the stress

Congratulations, you are now well on the way to purchasing your new home. Long before your agreed moving in date, you will need to plan carefully to ensure as smooth a move as possible.

It’s important that you begin planning early to ensure that you decide on which items you already have will be going to your new home and where they will fit best.  It can come as a big shock to discover just how many hidden items there are and how many things you have accumulated over the years.  It’s a good idea to visit your new property before completion so that you can double-check measurements and see for yourself whether there’s room for your curtains, furniture, appliances etc.  Any items that are not suitable for your new home could be given away to friends, family or a local charity if you do not wish to sell them.

If you have a home with a loft and a garage now is the time to ensure what you have is slimmed down, in order that you are not taking items to “clutter up” a new home that will not be used or needed, don’t be afraid to be ruthless.  Make sure you clear items from everywhere – the loft, under the stairs, spare rooms, outbuildings and the garden as these will take some time to sort and declutter and downsize accordingly. If there are items that your buyer might like, why not ask them if they want them or if they would like to purchase anything but remember, buyers expect the property to be completely clear of your belongings, unless otherwise agreed.

A few weeks before you move, start saving or buying your newspapers, and stock up on boxes in a variety of sizes. Why not visit large retail shops who have deliveries in large boxes, they will often allow you to take some for free or even ask on a Facebook community group, the chances are that someone has recently moved and has boxes that they don’t need. If that is unsuccessful you can purchase strong boxes. When you put the boxes together, tape across the base with a double strip of good quality parcel tape, for a few extra pounds, you can also get a tape dispenser. This is not the time to save money on cheap boxes and tape.  Also keep old towels and bedding as these can be used to protect fragile items and to protect furniture during the move too (especially if you are doing the move yourself). You can also buy rolls of bubble wrap for your delicate items.

Spend some time considering how you are going to pack your possessions. Packing always takes longer than anticipated, particularly when you start reminiscing over old photographs stored in the loft, books are easy but heavy, valuables need careful wrapping and will take time, and some furniture may need to be dismantled.

It’s important to notify companies of your move before you move house (generally once contracts have been exchanged), you’ll need to let your utility providers (gas, electric, water, TV, internet, phone) know that you’re changing address – as well as your banks, insurers, doctors, pension provider, employer and a host of other organisations. It is also advisable to arrange mail redirection with The Post Office, this will also highlight some of the companies you may have forgotten to contact.

One company most people forget is to notify of their change of address, is the DVLA. Not only is this essential as a form of ID but failure to do this can lead to a £1,000 fine. You will also need to update North East Lincolnshire Council with the dates that you moved for Council Tax.

Pack Sensibly

Put light stuff in big boxes and heavy stuff in small boxes. Then mark which room they’re going to, and list what’s in the box. Do this on two sides (rather than the top) so that you can see them when stacked. You could even use a different-coloured label or pen per room.

Packing with your heaviest items at the bottom, clearly mark the boxes that contain fragile items and fill them carefully. Pack plates on their sides and put a towel or some bubble wrap in the bottom first. Nest bowls two or three at a time, with a layer of paper between each bowl, then pack them on their rims. Wrap cups and glassware in a double layer of paper and pack them on their rims, too. Boxes specially designed for glassware are available for purchase.

Keep a roll of small plastic bags handy for bolts and screws (good quality sandwich bags are ideal). When you take a piece of furniture apart, put all the screws into a bag and tape it to the furniture. Photograph the back of your TV/Computer/Games Console so you know how to wire it all up again.

Pack important documents together, such as passports, birth and marriage certificates, and keep them in a safe place.

Keep track of what you have 

Number the boxes and keep a record of what’s in each numbered box – also which room in the new house they will be going to, that way, you’ll know how many boxes you’re supposed to have at the other end where they should be located and which ones, if any, have gone missing. If you are super organised, you could even use a spreadsheet. Contact us if you would like a copy of the spreadsheet below.

Sort out the essentials 

Start by packing a suitcase with enough clean clothes to last a few days, and add must-haves like toiletries, toothbrush, medicine, hairdryer, jewellery, laptop and your phone charger. Pop any valuables in this suitcase, too.

Avoid first night stress 

Buy a couple of large clear plastic boxes and pack it with kitchen essentials – cleaning products, tea towels, scissors, sticky tape, kettle, tea-bags, a few mugs, washing-up liquid, loo roll, tin opener, corkscrew (you may well need this after a long day of moving house) and find out where your nearest takeaway is as you probably won’t want to cook.

Keep a screwdriver separate, or even better, keep your whole toolbox handy as you may need an Allen key for putting your beds together.  Also, if possible, pack in a separate plastic box your duvet/pillows and necessary bedding for your first night and clean towels.

If you are purchasing a property which has ‘key’ meters, ensure you know where the nearest shop is that can top them up, look out for the PayPoint sign, as you may need to do this straight away. If there is a debt on the meters, call the supplier immediately to update them with your details to get this wiped off, you are not responsible for the previous occupiers debt.

Deciding whether to use a removals company.

It’s always worth considering your options and comparing the price between hiring a van (which means the loading and unloading is all down to yourself and any willing helpers you may have) or an experienced removal company, which may prove to not be much more expensive, plus, they will do the lion’s share of moving, loading and unloading and will be covered by an insurance for any unfortunate damages that may occur.

Completion day can often be one of the most stressful days you will experience, especially if you are in a chain. A professional removals firm can ease the mental and physical stress of loading and unloading to an agreed deadline on moving day. We recommend you contact a local Removal Company and we suggest Up & Out Removals (click here to leave your details and one of their team will give you a call) who would be able to discuss your personal requirements and provide you with a free quote.

If you decide to do it yourself, book the largest van you can (bearing in mind that you usually drive a van up to 3.5 tonnes with a standard driving licence – however please check your licence is acceptable or discuss with a local hire company). Ask for one with a low kerb height or a let-down tailgate to make loading and unloading easier.  Remember you’ll probably have to make several journeys, including a final one to return the van before agreed time otherwise there may be a further fee to pay, so this option is only practical for moves over a fairly short distance.

House Insurance

Most people don’t realise that you need to have house insurance in place to exchange contracts on your new property. We hope to announce a recommended insurance company soon but in the meantime Go Compare offers insurance from over 65 providers.

Our final, most important tip

Do not ‘agree’ a moving date with your immediate buyer or seller, we cannot stress this enough. When the time approaches, you will need to speak to your solicitor to suggest dates. There are many legal complications which could crop up with your sale/purchase or elsewhere in the chain which can cause delays. There may be genuine reasons why others in the chain are unable to agree a specific date.

This is the single most stressful part of the house buying process. Be flexible, have a range of suitable dates and leave it in the hands of your agent and solicitor.

We hope this guide is helpful but if you have any queries with the buying process you can call us on 01472 514060 or email us at

NB: The web links all worked at the time of publication but web addresses do change. If you notice a dead link, please let us know and we will update it. Thank you

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