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Moving house


Moving house is notoriously stressful, but with good preparation and planning you can make it easier. It’s hard to know where to start as there are so many things to think about – packing is just a small part of the process. Sit down and take the stress out of your move with these top tips on making it go smoothly.

  1. Set a moving date
    Usually, you’ll move on the day that contracts are completed. Often that’s on a Friday, but if you have a say on completion date go for a midweek day as removal companies are less likely to be booked up then.
  2. Decide who’s doing the move
    Hiring a removal company or opting for the DIY approach depends on your budget and ability to lift everything.
    - If you’re feeling up to the job and would like to save money, look into hiring a van and packing and unpacking yourself, perhaps roping in friends to help.
    - You could pack everything, label it and then get the removal company to do the actual move. If you don’t trust anyone else to do the job, this is a good choice.
    - The more expensive, but easier, option is to pay a removal company to pack, move and unpack for you.
  3. Choose your removal company wisely
    Get three quotes in writing from different companies and then make your decision. Ask around and go for someone with a good reputation, and remember you get what you pay for. Don’t just let the removal company quote on room size, as they may arrive on moving day and find that you have more possessions than they have room in their van for. Alert them to valuable, delicate or large objects so they’re aware they need to handle them with care.
  4. Organise your boxes
    Find out if the removal company will provide boxes – and how far in advance they can drop them round. If you’re doing the job yourself, go on the hunt for boxes and packing material a couple of weeks before and if you can’t find enough think about buying some online.
  5. Think about parking
    Check the parking situation at your old and new home well before the big day. Is there enough room to park a van? Will anyone need a permit? Can you arrange for neighbours to make room for you? That’s one way to break the ice!
  6. Tell everyone you’re moving
    Notifying people of your move is best done in advance as long as you’ve exchanged contracts, particularly if you have to do it in writing. Make a list of who needs to know, including:
    - Your bank/building society and any companies you have loans, savings investments or pensions with
    - Credit card and store card companies
    - Phone and internet service providers
    - TV licensing
    - Local council
    - Subscriptions and clubs
    - Your employer and children’s schools
    - DVLA
    - Gas and electricity supplier
    - Doctors and dentists
    - Friends, family and colleagues
    - Home insurer
  7. Pack early and wisely
    Before you start to pack, force yourself to declutter. Once you’ve got your possessions down to a manageable amount, make sure breakable and valuable items are safely wrapped, and set aside a bag to keep with you for important documents, jewellery and items of sentimental value.  Every box and bag should be labelled with its destination, such as the room and any special instructions to the movers.
  8. Make a survival pack
    The last box to go on – and the first to come off - the removal van, this should carry everything you need for that day. Include cleaning products, a kettle, cutlery, a pen and paper, toolkit, light bulbs, bread and milk, snacks, a flask of tea or coffee, takeaway menus, mobile phone charger and essential toiletries such as your toothbrush. Put in a set of bedding, a towel and a change of clothes or any work clothes for the next day in case you’re too exhausted to unpack anything else once you arrive. If you have children, get them to do the same so they know where their favourite toy is, as well as their bedding so they feel settled at bedtime. And don’t forget a bottle of champagne and glasses!
  9. What to do on moving day
    Make sure everyone knows what they have to do – and when. Take children and pets to a safe, settled place so that your movers can get on with their work. Leave any fixtures and fittings that you agreed, and when you get to your new house make sure that any you requested are there. Be the last to leave your home to make sure everything has left too.
  10. Once you’ve moved in
    Read the meters at the new house and find out who your supplier is to make sure you don’t pay for gas and electricity that the previous owners have used. It’s a good idea to change the locks so you know you’re the only one with keys. Contact your insurer to check your home insurance policy is valid for your new home straightaway. Unpacking all those boxes might take you some time, so find the sofa and crack open the champagne – you deserve it.

How can John Lewis Home Insurance help?

John Lewis Contents Insurance could give you peace of mind when you move house as it covers damage or loss to your possessions if you use a professional removal company. Find our more about John Lewis Home Insurance.

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John Lewis Insurance is a trading name of John Lewis plc. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN. Registered in England (No. 233462). John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. John Lewis Home Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark's Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1XL. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 202323). Calls may be recorded and monitored.

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