How To Organise a House Move
Moving Home can be a traumatic time in anyone's life, and there are certainly many things to consider when thinking of making a move.
The following advice focuses on the help available to older people or those who have a disability, although some of the information may also be relevant to anyone who is moving home.
GENERAL ADVICE AND INFORMATION
Visiting a prospective new home
This can be an exciting and enjoyable experience but it is worthwhile taking steps to ensure your own safety while viewing a property. Most Estate Agents, Letting Agents, or Landlords will arrange to meet you at the property and show you around. If possible try to take a family member or friend with you, this also has the added advantage of having someone else to help remember details about the property and possibly ask questions you may not have considered asking the agent.
If no family member or friend is available you may be able to ask for a volunteer from a local volunteer agency, charity or support group, church group, or doctor's surgery to go with you.
Packing up and moving out
Draw up a list of the items that need to be packed, those that can be disassembled, and furniture that can go 'whole'. Don't forget curtains and blinds, shelves and pictures. The removal company will pack your things for you but this will mean an extra charge, ask for an estimate before committing to this. Below are some points to remember when packing:
- Use sturdy durable boxes
- Try not to pack in too many items, you may not be able to lift or move the box afterwards.
- Take care when packing breakables. Remember to wrap in tissue or bubble wrap.
- Remember to keep important documents separate (i.e. driving licence, passport and so on), you may need to refer to them before you are able to unpack.
- Don't forget to check the attic/loft move the items downstairs prior to packing and try to dispose of any unwanted items before moving day
- Electrical equipment should all be disconnected prior to the arrival of the removal company
- The drums of automatic washing machines should be secured to avoid damage with the proper brackets obtained from the local authorised retailers.
- Fridges and fridge freezers should be washed out with a strong solution of bicarbonate of soda and hot water - NOT DETERGENT.THEY SHOULD THEN BE DRIED OUT THOROUGHLY.
- Equipment such as TVs, Hi-fi, video, DVD players, and computers are best moved in their original packing (if possible). Secure carefully any free moving pieces of this equipment such as the pick-up arm of Hi-fi record decks.
- Don't forget to label the cables as you remove them from the back of your TV or computer so that it is easy to re-connect when you are putting it back together.
If you have a freezer full of food, try to use it up prior to moving.
- If this is impossible, on the day, pack everything into large freezer/plastic bags so that the items can be lifted out and replaced once the move is over.
- Don't forget to ask friends to help store frozen items as well. This can be especially helpful as fridges and fridge freezers need up to 24hrs to 'settle' following a move before food can be placed back into them.
Contents of garages and garden sheds
- These should be sorted out well in advance and any rubbish thrown away.
- Tools should be bundled together and tied for ease of carrying.
- Dangerous chemicals and liquids should be securely sealed with tape to prevent spillage.
Care of pets while moving home
- When moving, your pet should travel with you. The mildest tempered animal can become upset when it can see the family being moved.
- It will comfort the animal (cats & dogs) if they can have something with a familiar scent on it and can hear familiar voices, rather than travelling with someone they don't know or having to stay in kennels
- Humane travel cages or cardboard carry cases (for smaller animals) are available from most pet retailers for a reasonable price and will prove useful later on if you need to transport your pet again maybe to the vet or on holiday
Access to property
- A few days in advance of the move, ask your neighbours if they would be mindful of leaving enough space outside the property for the removal lorry when parking their cars.
- Be sure to check access to your new property to advise the removal company particularly if you are moving into a flat where access to a lift will be needed if possible.
- Make sure you are absolutely certain of the correct moving dates both from your old property and into your new property and that the correct keys are exchanged beforehand. Good communication with the Estate Agent or Letting Agent/Landlord is essential here.
CHECKLIST OF PEOPLE TO INFORM THAT YOU ARE MOVING - include the date of your move
Try to plan your move as far in advance as possible, and when you are certain of your moving date begin to inform people so that all your necessary bills and correspondence can delivered to your new home and friends and relatives can contact you. It is also important to inform your GP, Dentist, and if necessary Social Services (if you are receiving care) particularly if you are moving out of the area. You may need to register with a new GP and Dentist when you arrive at your new home, and any care needs you have with Social Services may need to be transferred to a new authority. Below is a list of some of the people you may need to inform of your move:
- If you are currently renting, your present Landlord/Housing Association
- Family and friends
- Local authority - for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax, the Electoral Register (for voting)
- Utilities such as water, gas, and electricity suppliers - remember to arrange cut-off and reconnection dates and times.
- Your GP, Dentist, Social Services Care Manager
- Your Bank, Building Society, Credit Card companies, Store Card, loan or Hire Purchase companies
- Insurance (life, car, household contents etc.) companies, Pension companies
- Telephone and TV channel suppliers (Sky, Virgin Media, British Telecom), and mobile phone companies.
- The DVLA (if you own a car).
- Blue Badge Scheme (local town hall if you have a permit)
- Any pre-paid arrangements with local pharmacists if you medication supplied on a regular basis. Some meal providers if you have your meals deliverery
- Care agencies who may do shopping or housework for you
- Milkman/woman if you have your milk delivered
- Local newsagent if you have newspapers delivered
- Any clubs or support groups you belong to who may send you mail
The Post Office to redirect mail. You will be charged for this and can choose how long you wish this service to last, anything form 1 month to 1 year.
Form filling and money matters
When you decide to move home this can mean a lot of extra correspondence to deal with involving filling in forms or understanding money matters. Once again a volunteer from a local agency may be able to help you.
If you need help and advice about benefit matters contact the Pension Service on 0845 6060265 or log on to www.pensions.gov.uk to arrange for a Visiting Officer to visit you at home.