Moving house is a big deal. It’s a fresh start in a new place, and it comes with a lot of preparation, expense, and stress. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming as we’ve put our heads together to bring you the ultimate guide to moving house. It covers everything from costs, what to do at the important planning stages and all those little things people often forget about. Without further ado, here are our top tips to simplify your house move as much as possible.
What Costs Are Involved When Moving House?
Moving house is not a cheap process whether you’re upgrading, downsizing or buying your first home. Regardless of the type of property you want to buy, there is a list of financial obligations to consider and here is a simple breakdown of the costs involved:
Mortgage Fees And Conveyancing
Mortgage fees can vary widely but the arrangement fee for the lender to set up and secure a mortgage is usually around £1,000 to £2,000. There is also often a non-refundable booking fee to submit your application and if you chose to work with a broker, there may be an additional fee. Conveyancing can cost around £500 to £1,500 where a solicitor acts on your behalf when buying or selling a house. They will also check local planning permissions and environmental reports.
Estate Agent Fees
Estate agents will typically charge a percentage of the sale of your property but it does not apply to buyers. These fees range anywhere between 0.75% and 3% plus VAT so we highly recommend doing due diligence and negotiating the best deal when listing your property. Other moving costs include the following:
- Property valuation can vary from £150 to £1,500
- Surveyors can charge between £250 and £600
- Stamp duty is payable based on a percentage of the total value of your house
- Lenders will charge around £50 for an electronic transfer of funds to your solicitor
- A removal company can set you back anywhere from £250 to £1,750, depending on how much you are transporting and the distance
Checklist For Pack Up When Moving House
As with most things in life, planning is everything and when moving house, the earlier you start, the better. It will give you time to compare prices, find the right removal company, and sort out all the necessary paperwork. The question is, where do you even begin and how do you make sure nothing gets left behind?
Start Decluttering And Packing Early
A popular formula is to double the time you think you might need which will help ease the stress levels during packing. Go through your house one room at a time and arrange your belongings into different piles, i.e. keep, storage, donate, sell/throw away. When decluttering and packing your house early, you won’t get overwhelmed.
Packing Tips And How To Protect Furniture When Moving House
Only use special packing boxes since the ones from the supermarket and old appliances are not as durable. They are more likely to break if they get damp or wet which is highly likely when moving house when it’s raining. Here are a few packing tips that’ll help:
- When it’s raining or snowing, cover everything that could get damaged with plastic sheets, blankets or protective coverings
- Use extra tape as the boxes may come unstuck. A tape gun is a great investment as it makes sealing boxes so much easier
- Use a permanent marker to label all your boxes with the contents and the corresponding room it has to go into later
- If you are moving big items like a piano or artwork, make sure you talk to the movers and be organised as you don’t want them exposed to the elements for longer than necessary.
Pack Personal Belongings First
No matter how much or little stuff you have, we recommend that you sort through your personal belongings first. It gives you the opportunity to throw away, donate, or sell any items you no longer need. This includes clothes, shoes, toys, linen, smaller items and even furniture.
Pack An Essentials Box
Remember to keep aside a few boxes for essential items that you might need for your first night at the new house. This would typically include items you use on a daily basis that you need easy access to, including the following:
- Phone chargers
- Chronic medication
- Basic toiletries (soap, toilet paper, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste)
- Shower curtain
- Small emergency or first aid kit
- Portable tool kit
- Flashlight, candles and matches
- List of important or emergency contact numbers
- Important documents such as medical and financial records, passports, leases
- Food and beverage items (snacks, coffee, tea, cutlery, crockery)
- Sharp knife and scissors
- Change of clothing and towels
For more expert moving house tips and what to do on moving day, you’ll find our Easy Moving Checklist a highly useful resource.
Find The Right Moving Company For You
While you can move everything yourself, hiring a professional moving company is usually the better option. Depending on the time of year, especially Christmas, Easter and school holidays, reputable moving companies get booked quickly which means you should give them as much notice as possible. It may seem like the cheaper option to move things yourself but an experienced, reputable removals company is better equipped to handle anything that comes their way. If you are looking for a good moving company, have a look at which.co.uk.
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Tips For Moving House With Pets
Moving house is already stressful but it can be even harder with pets as it impacts them even more than you. The biggest challenge is timing as the best thing to do is a ‘staged move’. This involves gradually moving things into your new home to reduce the level of stress for your pets. Before you do anything, make sure to follow this moving checklist with pets:
- Get a crate or special pet carrier
- Visit the vet for a check-up
- Get the details of the local vet at your near home
- Pack a leash, food and water bowls
- Don’t forget their favourite toys
- Keep paper towels, dryer sheets, and cleaning spray handy
- Check the expiration date on their pet food and don’t overfeed them
Tips For Moving With Dogs
Moving house can be twice as stressful for dogs since they are more sensitive to change. As such, it’s important to plan how you are going to move your dog and consider their needs so they don’t become overly anxious. Here are some of the most important things you can do to help them:
- Keep to their daily routine as normal as possible while preparing for the move (walks, feeding times etc.)
- If your dog doesn’t travel well, take it with you in the car a few times before moving
- Don’t wash their bedding for a while, even when you arrive at your new place as a familiar smell will help them adapt faster
- Prepare a new tag for your dog with your new contact details and put it on them on moving day. Visit the Kennels Club Shop for more information on tags
- Check out your new neighbourhood beforehand and identify walking paths to ensure your dog gets back into a routine as quickly as possible
What To Do When Moving House With Cats
Whilst dogs are more sensitive to change, cats also need special attention as some cats may adjust quicker. However, it all depends on the size of the new property and how different it is from the previous one. Kittens typically adapt faster while older cats have become used to their territory and will naturally take longer. Here are some important tips to remember when moving with a cat.
- Place them into a travel basket with a fresh supply of water just before the moving company arrives
- Spray their basket with a calming pheromone or cover the basket or carrier with a cloth to keep it dark and help them stay calm
- Keep them indoors a little longer until they see your new home as their safe territory
- When introducing your cat to their new garden and outside area, keep the outings short and ideally just before mealtimes
- Don’t let them out after dark or completely unsupervised until they’re confident in their new surroundings
Top Places To Check Before Moving House
Packing is an essential part of moving house and it can be a challenging ordeal. If you’re not careful, things can quickly pile up and end up being shoved into all corners of the house. This is where your organising and planning skills come into play as you need to make sure nothing gets left behind. Here are some of the most important places to check before moving house:
- The upper level of your garage
- Underneath goods and heavy equipment in the shed and garage
- In and behind the shed
- The Loft
- At the back of kitchen cupboards
- Space between drawers especially when leaving furniture behind
- Underneath sofas and scatter cushions
- Down the back of radiators
- Inside the bathroom cabinet and be sure to grab your shampoo, shower gel, moisturising creams and razors as they are expensive to replace
- Check the kitchen cupboards for spices, pots, pans and other items you may have forgotten to pack
- Avoid losing expensive mobile devices and chargers by checking all plug points before walking out the door
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Inform Everyone About Your Move
Now that the hardest part is over and you’ve successfully packed up your entire life, it’s time to inform people that you have moved. This includes friends, family, utility providers, insurance companies, the post office and banks. Speaking of utilities and moving house, make sure to take a meter reading at your old property and also when you arrive at your new house. If you don’t and there is a discrepancy, you could end up paying for electricity and gas you haven’t used.
Need Self Storage When Moving House?
On average, people in the UK start planning their move 4-6 weeks before so they have ample time to find a moving company, organise storage boxes and check the price of self storage units in the area. We understand that moving day doesn’t always go as smoothly as you’d like so we offer flexible, short-term self storage terms. This makes it easy to keep things safe before, during and after the move.
If you need a clean, dry and secure storage unit when moving house, please get in touch. We have storage facilities with 24-hour CCTV surveillance, smoke alarms and gated access in convenient locations in Bristol, Stroud, Gloucester and Stonehouse.