10 Common Questions People Ask About Moving House

Posted on 08/08/2023

Moving house is a busy period and one that can last for several months or even more. Consider the first time you think about putting your house on the market or start searching for a new home, to the moment that you close the front door for the final time on moving day – a year or more could easily have passed.

When putting so much time and energy into such a big life event, there’s no wonder people have lots of questions to ask about moving house! We’ve compiled 10 of the most often asked questions we’ve come across relating to moving home.

Moving home tips

1. How do I prepare for moving house?

Moving house can be pretty stressful, so it’s a great idea to start the ball rolling as soon as possible so you’re well prepared. Depending on your living arrangements and financial situation, you may have different priorities, but as a rule, you’ll want to prioritise your finances.

This could mean ensuring you have any necessary finances in place, including a mortgage agreement in principle and a clear understanding of any potential new financial obligations you might face like increased council tax, legal fees, home insurance, upkeep costs and so on.

Once your finances are taken care of, you’ll then want to start thinking about more practical elements, for example, like packing and the physical process of moving.

Now is also a great time to start mentally preparing for the move and giving yourself (and your family) time to get used to the idea of moving and settling into a new area and routine.

2. How can I find a reputable removal company?

Whilst online reviews are great, you’ll want to make sure that you’re utilising independent company reviews to get a true feeling of how reliable any given removals company is, so take a look at the likes of Google Reviews, Reviews.io and Trust Pilot to start gathering a picture of a potential removals company.

Of course, another method of finding a reputable removals company is to rely on friends, family, neighbours and colleagues for word-of-mouth recommendations or you could try an online comparison service.

Always get a quote upfront and double-check for hidden extras and additional expenses you might incur as part of your move so you’ll be fully prepared.

3. How far in advance should I start packing before moving?

We generally recommend that you start packing as soon as possible once you’ve had your offer accepted and have an idea of your moving date.

If you have a larger family home, it can often be surprising just how much ‘stuff’ you can accumulate over the years. From a full attic to a garage used as storage, starting with spaces like these as well as sheds and utility rooms can make sense, especially when dealing with things you use only occasionally or season things.

For example, if you’re moving in summer, you might want to start packing away winter clothing in suitcases. Around the home, you can begin packing things from cupboards that you don’t use quite as often. Extra linen for the guest bedroom, sentimental items and keepsakes, sports equipment and more can be a great place to start in terms of packing.

Take a look at Move Home Faster for 10 easy tips to help you pack ready for your move or take a look at Crate Hire UK for their tips on the first and last things you should pack when moving.

4. How can I minimise the stress of moving house?

In a single word, preparation! Leaving things until the last minute increases the chances of facing additional stress. The longer you leave it, for example, to get the conveyancing process started, then the longer that process can take. Additionally, if you leave booking a removals company to the last minute, you might face availability problems or end up having to pay more for a premium service.

Moving with pets

5. What should I do with my pets during the move?

Moving can be stressful for pets, as they may pick up on pre-move stress and feel anxious or disoriented in a new environment. You might want to consider taking the family dog to a friend or doggy daycare on the day of the move, giving you one last thing to worry about on moving day.

If pets will remain at home on the day of your move, keep them in a quiet room with their familiar things like their bed and toys to keep them as calm as possible. You might always want to consider a Feliway or similar room plugin which can help calm some animals and you’ll also want to make sure that you have their carrier or crate(s) to hand and ready to pop them into when it’s time to physically move them.

With the front door open throughout the day of the move, the last thing you want is a stressed-out dog running out or an anxious cat disappearing, so it really is worth ensuring free-to-roam pets are kept indoors for a short time and that dogs won’t be able to escape out of open doors.

Take a look at some detailed advice on moving home with pets.

6. Should I hire a professional removal company or do it myself?

If you’re hiring a professional removal company, you’ll want to do your research and book the company well in advance. Obtain quotes, check their reviews, and confirm the details of your move as soon as you can.

If you’re unsure as to whether you want to hand the job over to the professionals or you’re thinking of doing it yourself, you might want to obtain some quotes for both options to help you make the best decision for you.

If you’re doing it yourself, you’ll need to arrange to hire a rental van (and you’ll need to make sure you have the appropriate driving license too), you’ll need to find boxes or crates as well as equipment designed to help keep your belongings safe (think bubble wrap, tape etc.) and consider keeping yourself safe too, so you might need to ask friends or family to help or hire in additional equipment to help you move heavy packed boxes more safely.

Do consider that moving yourself does give you more control and can be a great option for a small home or for first time buyers, but for those with a larger family home, calling in the professionals could make more sense and whilst it might cost more, it’s likely to save

Read more about find out whether it’s easy to undertake a DIY move.

7. How can I save money on moving expenses?

You can save money when moving by being savvy about where you save and what you choose to splurge on. Some services should not be avoided or attempted to be done on the cheap (like your conveyancing) whilst others you might be able to call in on the help of friends to get done (like helping you pack and move).

You’ll want to decide on your priorities and then consider your budget. There might be things that would be nice, like a fully managed removals service where the team even pack for you, but you could find that you feel the need to pay for more detailed searches or will need to pay a fee to secure the best possible mortgage rate. It’s all about understanding the main associated costs, prioritising what’s important and then searching online to find good deals on professional services.

8. How do I organise and label boxes for easy unpacking?

It can be tempting to pack things into any boxes that you have to hand, but being organised and systematic which means packing like with like, labelling everything and ensuring you don’t overpack.

If a box contains heavy items, stop and check the weight every now and again whilst packing to ensure the box can be easily carried and that it’s strong enough for the weight inside.

When it comes to labelling your boxes, instead of putting a label like “plates and crockery” or “electrical cables & small devices” you could instead put the room on the box. This makes it easier for boxes to be moved to the correct location when you arrive at your new home, you can then pop further details underneath the room name to give a clearer indication of what’s inside.

Consider packing a moving day essentials box full of things you might need on the day of your move, from cleaning supplies to toilet rolls and snacks. You’ll also want to make sure you have other essentials that you’ll need before other things, including bedding, towels, clothing and toiletries.

9. How do I change my address with the post office when moving?

It’s actually The Royal Mail who handles your mail and that’s who you’ll need to update your details with. The Royal Mail recommends redirecting your mail to ensure all your mail moves with you when it’s time to move home. Redirecting your mail is quick and easy to do and you can find out more about Royal Mail redirection here.

10. How can I ensure a smooth transition for my children when moving?

Moving is of course stressful for the grownups, but that stress can also impact kids and even our beloved household pets. Children might feel a number of mixed emotions about moving which could leave them feeling worried, insecure or even upset.

If you’ll be moving to a new area and have children that will be leaving friends behind and perhaps starting a new school, you’ll want to take plenty of time to discuss the move with them and to reassure them. If possible, start to make them familiar with the new area, talk in positive terms about your new home, neighbourhood and how exciting it will be to make new friends, and ensure you listen to their concerns and thoughts so they feel listened to and supported.

As soon as you’ve moved, despite being busy and settling yourself into your new life, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of time set aside for family activities to help ground your kids in the new area and get to know it so they begin to feel settled and more at home as fast as possible.

Take a look at these tips about how to help your children settle into a new home faster.