Moving house is a process that can be frustrating, stressful - and at the same time exciting as you start on the next chapter of your life! With so many things to do, bills to be changed and boxes to be lugged from A to B, it can be a difficult time that can test even the very best.
However, while moving itself can be stressful, it’s often the disorganisation that makes everything so much worse.
With that in mind, here’s a simple moving house checklist to help you make sure that no stone is left unturned and no box is left unticked.
1. Set out your plan
Before you even start the process it’s always worth setting out a plan of how you’re going to move forward. This doesn’t need to be overly complex but should include dates and jobs that need to be done along the way.
Go through each room and make a checklist of everything that needs to be done, including cleaning, repairs etc., then set out a timeline that they can all be done in.
2. Confirm with your old and new landlords
This might seem a little obvious, but you’d be surprised by what we see. You need to be clear with the old landlord exactly when you’re moving out because some tenancy agreements require different periods of notice, both for you and the landlord.
The same goes for the new house. Even after signing a new lease, it’s always worth confirming with the new landlord closer to the time just to be sure that there aren’t any surprises lurking around the corner.
3. Contact relevant organisations and groups
One of the biggest (and most tedious) jobs about moving house is the need to update your information with the many groups or organisations that you are linked with.
But with quite a few phone calls or hours spent at a computer making all the changes, it can be easy for this step to fall down the pecking order.
This will include:
- Your employer
- Your utility companies e.g. gas and electricity, household waste
- Your GP & Dentist
- Your phone and internet providers
- Your bank(s)
- The NDLS (National Drivers License Service)
- TV licensing
- Inland Revenue
- Electoral Roll
- Insurance providers
We usually find that it’s best to dedicate a half-day to it all and get it done in one fell swoop, otherwise, you’ll find it dragging on unnecessarily if you only do one here and one there.
4. Redirecting the mail
Yes, we know that we now live in an email world, but the good fashioned mail isn’t quite dead yet! If you’ve been at your property for several years, your name will have been recorded along with your address countless times and mail will likely continue to arrive at the old address for months after you leave.
The easiest way of taking care of this is by setting up a mail redirection to your new home, which can be done either online or in-person at a post office. This service costs €35 for a single month of redirection in Ireland and €50 if you’re moving abroad, but gets slightly cheaper if you need to do it for a longer period.
5. Changing your home insurance
It’s important to remember your home insurance policy. Unfortunately, unlike car insurance where an existing policy can often be transferred over when you purchase a new car when moving house, you will need to cancel your home insurance policy before taking out a new one.
This might seem a bit unnecessary, but in reality, both of these steps can be completed relatively quickly. While it might be tempting to simply cancel the existing policy and promise yourself that you’ll eventually get around to the taking out a new one at some point in the future, doing them together gives you that peace of mind that both policies will overlap and your house and everything in it that you value will be covered at all times. Also, it’s worth considering that if there’s a mortgage on your home, you’re required to have adequate buildings cover so really, this is one task you’re best not putting off on the long finger.
6. Declutter and pack
OK, part of this one is optional, but we highly recommend it. Moving house is the perfect opportunity to do some decluttering, otherwise, you are simply moving stuff that you don’t really need or want from one place to another.
If you’re a dedicated hoarder that might be ideal, but for most people, this should be the time to go through everything you own and ask yourself whether it really needs to make the trip to the new house.
But of course, that’s just half the process. Packing can take time but doing it right certainly pays off. You don’t want any of your valued possessions smashed to pieces on the pavement because you used an old box and forgot to tape it shut properly. Also, labelling your boxes will help you get settled into your new home faster as you know what is packed where and crucially, which room to put the box into for when you unpack.
For your moving day, you’ll want a box of all the essentials such as drinks, snacks, loo roll, cleaning products, phones and chargers, light bulbs and basic tools. For extra comfort on moving day, make sure that the kettle, tea, coffee and milk are easy to access!
Another point to consider is who will be moving everything. Are you going to undertake the great move yourself, perhaps with a few friends that you’re planning to bribe with pizza and beer, or will you choose to hire a removal company to do it for you?
There’s no right or wrong way to do it, but it’s certainly something worth considering early, to at least give you some peace of mind.
7. New house check
If possible, try and stop by your new place in the weeks leading up to the move. You might not actually be able to move things in, but it’s always a good idea to get the lay of the land and make sure the new place is ready for you to move in. Arrange to pick up keys to your new property and make sure to get any alarm codes, garage, shed and window keys.
Check things like taps, toilets and electricity sockets, while also confirming that what was agreed on to remain in the house is still there, and what was supposed to leave has definitely left.
Rarely do landlords go back on their word in this situation, but the last thing you want when you arrive with three hungry children and a van’s worth of boxes is to find essentials missing from your new home.
Once you have entered your new property, find the gas, electric and water meter and take a reading. Locate the stopcock and trip switch/fuse box as soon as possible and test just in case of emergencies.
8. Clean, clean, clean
And so we come to what must surely be the worst stage - the dreaded deep clean to ensure that you get your deposit back!
Nobody likes cleaning a house that you are about to leave and never return to, but perhaps even worse is being informed that you won’t be getting all your deposit back, especially if it’s simply because of cleanliness.
A house should be left in the same state as when you moved in, but consideration must be taken for general wear and tear. A carpet that has been used for five years is never going to look brand new, but this should certainly not cause you to lose your deposit.
There are very specific reasons for a security deposit to be withheld, and it’s not unheard of for unscrupulous landlords to take advantage of the situation. If this is the case, take plenty of photos of the house after it is fully cleaned and seek legal advice through the link above.
And remember to submit a final meter reading of all your utilities before you leave so there are no unwelcome energy bill surprises after you leave your old home.
9. The last walkthrough
It all comes down to a final walkthrough. After years of living somewhere, it’s only natural to have a little lump in your throat as you say your final goodbyes, but one last inspection is needed to confirm that everything has been done, all has been cleaned and the house is officially ready to be handed back.
The last thing you want is to forget something important, so double check in cupboards, drawers etc., before leaving. Then when you finally swing that door closed for the final time, it really will be the start of a new chapter in your life!