Moving home is recognised as one of the most stressful things you can do, with 101 things to think about before the big day. Clearly, finding a good solicitor to help with the legal side of things is very important, but we’ve asked Paul Wood from Cardiff Estate Agents, Thomas H Wood, to give us his list of the other important things you should consider before you move.
Pick up your keys
You may be tempted to start organising everything straight away and then find out when you can pick your keys up. We’d suggest contacting your estate agent or letting agent as soon as possible to find out the date and time so that you can give yourself a specific deadline.
Redirect your post
The earlier you redirect your mail the better, because it can take up to 5 days to set up. There’s a charge for arranging it but we think it’s worth it, since you don’t want to lose any personal letters or financial documents. You can do it all on Royal Mail’s website and they can redirect your mail for up to 12 months. This is particularly handy for picking up on anyone you may have forgotten to notify. Speaking of which…
It’s essential that you tell the most important people and businesses about your move. That obviously includes any banks, building societies, insurance companies and other financial companies (pensions, shares and life assurances), so that they can update their records.
Anyone with children should inform their school and, if you haven’t already, it’s worth checking that your new address is still in the catchment area. If the children are moving to a new school, tell that school the date they will be starting.
You’ll need to tell your place of work so that they can inform HMRC about your new address. If you are self-employed, you will need to inform the tax office that you’re moving.
Your doctor, dentist and optician will need to know as well. If you’re moving out of the area, you will need to de-register and find new health services in the area you’re moving to.
You will need to tell the council in order for you to pay the correct council tax. You can do this on most councils’ websites. If you want to be able to vote, you will also need to update your address on the electoral roll. You can find out more at aboutmyvote.co.uk.
It’s worth making a list of any other non-essential organisations that have your details. This could include your gym, library, or newspaper and magazine subscriptions. You don’t want to miss out on things that you’ve paid for.
Cover the move
You’ve probably already arranged building and home insurance, but your possessions may not be covered during the move. It’s a good idea to check what your current plan covers and maybe pay a little extra to cover any of your more valuable belongings.
Get meter readings
Make sure you take readings of your gas, electricity and water before you leave your house, and as soon as you move into your new home. Take a photo as well as writing it down in case you lose your notes! When you give the meter readings you can also notify them about your change of address.
Watch, surf, call
Notify your TV, broadband, mobile and home phone providers. In some cases you can change your current TV license to your new address, if that’s not possible you will need a new one set up. You can do this up to 3 months in advance at the TV license website. You can also do this to any of your other contracts but if you’re near the end of a contract, this may be the perfect time to shop around.
Book a removal company
The British Association of Removers offer an approved list of removal companies. It’s worth remembering that they will charge based on volume, so this is a perfect opportunity to de-clutter the old house!
Empty the fridge
Gradually empty the contents of your fridge, freezer and other kitchen cupboards. If you have anything left over, ask a friend or neighbour to store it in their freezer until the appliances are installed in your new home.
Don’t forget your car
You can change the address on your driving license for free here, and there’s more information on changing your V5C vehicle registration certificate here. You’ll also need to inform your car insurance company, as a change in address could affect the policy.
There are bound to be a few things that slip under the radar, but hopefully we’ve highlighted some of the most important points you should consider to make your move as stress-free as possible.