Firstly, if you are planning a house move over the Christmas period this year, congratulations! Despite the backlog of house sales and difficulties in getting a mortgage, you've made it – the worst is mostly over. All you have to do now is to plan what you do have quite a bit of control over - the move. It's a simple equation with house moves: the better the forward planing, the easier it will be.
We've put together an easy Christmas house moving checklist, in collaboration with Bankrate (opens in new tab). While you've probably already thought of most of these points, a couple might make a difference to how smoothly your upcoming move goes.
1. Get more packing materials than you think you need
Our general advice is to get about a third more packing materials than you think you need – because, we promise you, you have a lot more stuff than you think you do. You really don't want to end up ramming too many things into too few boxes, as this is how things get broken, especially if you don't have much time for the move itself (i.e. just one day or two). So, stock up on boxes and bubble wrap, and if there's any left over, you can always store it in a cupboard for your next move.
2. Start packing as far in advance as you can
If you're moving over Christmas, you need to start packing now. The time it takes to pack everything up is the one thing most house movers underestimate, which results in stressful days (and nights) leading up to the move. Begin by packing away things for which you have the least immediate need – books, summer clothes, decorations...Then pack up your essentials right before the move.
3. Change your address and set up a mail redirect
As a bare minimum, you will need to record the change of your address with your bank, your council, and your employer, but you may also have various subscriptions that will need to have the address updated. Ultimately, though, it's usually impossible to remember every single organisation that sends you post, so set up a mail redirecting service. We recommend setting one up for a year after your move, because some letters/brochures only come once a year.
4. Change over your utility bills asap
Notify your energy provider, water provider, and internet provider that you're moving. Internet switchovers can take a while, especially under the current circumstances, and if you're planning on switching your energy supplier at your new place, that will take three weeks.
5. Be prepared for winter weather
Finally, the weather. If snow and ice are forecast for the days of your move, plan ahead by putting down grit on both driveways and lining the flooring in your new place with newspaper of sheets to prevent it from getting too wet and muddy. Investing in winter tires for your car will ensure you won't get stuck up a hill somewhere, and buying a torch (and a security light for your new place) will make moving after dark so much easier.