Most people find moving to a new house as stressful as it is exciting. Before your family can enjoy their fresh start in a new home, there is a seemingly endless list of things that need to be done to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible.

Packing

It’s never too soon to begin packing, and non-essential items like books, electronics and out-of-season clothes can start going into boxes a few weeks before you move. This will give you the opportunity to sort through your possessions as you pack, and sell or donate any items that don’t really need to come with you.

You’ll want to start sourcing as many packing materials as you can, like sturdy boxes, bubble wrap and tissue paper. As you pack, try to organise your boxes according to what room their contents belong in, and write a brief description on the lid of the box – it’ll make it so much easier to unpack at the other end. Lastly, keep all your most critical items in one box or bag, so you can find it quickly when you arrive. We’re talking a change of clothes, toothbrushes and loo roll!

Moving Out

Have a methodical plan for checking that you’ve emptied every area of your house. It’s not uncommon for items to be forgotten in garages, attics, airing cupboards and gardens, and most people are surprised at just how much stuff they’ve accumulated over the years.

It’s up to you whether you think hiring a professional removals firm is worthwhile, but bear in mind that they will have a lot of experience moving bulky furniture and possessions quickly and efficiently. If you live in a larger home (2 bedrooms or bigger), then not having to worry about lifting and organising is probably worth the price. If you intend to do it yourself, make sure you book the van well in advance, and have a few friends on standby to help.

Once everything is out and you’re ready to leave, it’s time to take down your final meter readings (ideally with time-stamped photos of them) to submit to your energy companies. The last thing you need to do is leave labelled keys out for the new owners. Don’t forget keys for the windows, shed, garage or any other miscellaneous areas.

Updating addresses

Often the trickiest part is remembering all of the companies that need to know your new address. Here’s a list that should help you keep on track:

• Utility services: Water, gas, electricity
• Mobile phone, landline and internet providers
• DVLA: Car registration, driving license
• Insurance providers (it’s also worth checking which contents are insured during the move)
• Work and school records
• Inland Revenue, the VAT office, and the Department for Work and Pensions
• Your local council (ask for a final statement of council tax)
• Subscription services
• Loyalty cards or reward schemes you may have, including Premium Bonds
• Doctors, dentists and vets (make sure that pet microchips are updated)