Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Moving house guide: 1 month to go

So it is one month until moving day. I am definitely behind on my packing schedule, but in all honesty, it isn't the end of the world yet, because I am ahead in other areas.

Things to do with one month to go are:

1. Design, print and address moving house notification cards for family and friends. 
This is simple and easy and it is a great task to get done now. I've even left you a template for three different versions:

Modify, print and address those envelopes now. All three are designed on an A4 template, so you get four per page for the A6 versions and three per page for the DL versions.

Don't post them yet, but keep them in reserve. That is one chore ticked off the list, ready for the post box a week or so before your moving day!

2. Start notifying authorities/companies about the house move.
Remember that mail-tracking sheet that we've all been filling in for the last few weeks, now is the time to start tackling it. You may not want to notify all companies right now, but certain things such as utility companies need a while to get everything sorted. You will also appreciate having as much done as possible well before moving day. The last few weeks are always busy busy, so get stuff done now. In particular contact the following:

  • Gas/electricity companies. They won't be able to take over the supply at your new address until you move in, but letting them know in advance that you are moving means that they are ready for your final meter reading at your old address, and that they will be ready to take over the account at the new address the moment you get those keys.
  • Phone/broadband/TV. Telephone and broadband can usually be organised to be taken over on the day you get keys. The only issue (in the UK), is if the line has been disconnected, in which case an engineer needs to be called out. Unfortunately, unless you have cable and therefore can get your telephone line through a company such as Virgin Media, you will be relying on a BT engineer. Don't worry, your phone company will organise this for you, but BT charge a fee, which some companies pass on to you. Ask your company for details.
  • Council/Local authority. Now is the time to tell your council you are moving. Even if you are staying within the same authority, there will be a change to your status, so get them  notified now. Council's are notorious for taking ages to sort these things out, but be careful about cancelling direct debits without the councils agreement because otherwise they may charge you a fee. If you are moving outside your current council, hold off notifying the new council until you move in as nothing can be done until that point anyway.

Unfortunately most of these companies still rely on telephone conversations to get this sorted, which is a real pain, because who has time to be on hold for 30 minutes over a precious lunch break? Most councils now provide an email address thankfully, though it is all a bit hit and miss whether they get read.

3. Organise your mail re-direction.
This can be done anywhere up to 6 weeks before moving, but should be done at least a week before. In the UK the Royal Mail offers a service to redirect mail, charged per surname, for anywhere from 1 month to 12 months.

4. Organise home/contents insurance for your new property.
You may choose to stick with your current provider, but don't assume this is the cheapest option. Check out price comparison sites to figure out what is a sensible price, and don't forget to include plenty of contents cover as most people underestimate how much their belongings are worth. Once you are armed with information, call your current provider and find out what they will do for your new property. The benefit of staying with your current provider is that everything is seamless, the transfer will be painless, and they should waive the cancellation fee on your current policy (yes you will be taking out a NEW policy). However, remember that they might not be the cheapest. When they provide the quote, if you are not happy tell them the price you could get it for and see what they will do. If not, while on the phone cancel the old policy for the day you move out, then organise a new policy from a price comparison site.
Some useful comparison sites:

5. Buy birthday cards and presents and any other gifts/greetings needed in the next 6 weeks. 
You will be far far too busy to do this around moving day, so get it done now. Write, wrap, address and stamp and put in your moving box (see below), with a note in the calendar of when to send the item. If you are ordering online for delivery to the recipient, bookmark the item you intend to order and write yourself a note in your calendar. Doing the legwork now will make everything a lot smoother later.

6. Contact your solicitor/estate agent/letting agent on progress.
OK, so you are probably on top of this, because this is the exciting bit - the people that actually make sure you get that lovely new house! But make sure you have arranged a date/time that suits you for signing documents, rather than leaving it until a week before and the agent choosing the time because of their limited appointments. Also figure out where you will collect keys from and organise a time for this.

7. Create a moving day box.
This box will stay with you at all times during the move. Right now it should contain your moving-house folder, a calendar with key dates in it (such as when to post those cards you've organised) and any important documents for the new house such as the contact information for your solicitor/agent in case their are problems on the day, your lease (if you have one), the inventory of your old property for comparing at move-out (if you have one). In the run-up to the move you will add other items, such as the kettle and food for moving day, ID (don't trust that to a removal company!) and similar items.

This list should keep you (and me) busy for the next week, but continue filling in your mail redirection check list and eating all your food up!

Thanks for stopping by,
Let me know what you think... leave a comment or send an email to passthecaffeine {at} gmail {dot} com


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