How to Prepare for Moving House (Without the Stress!)

By 8th January 2020Blog
How to prepare for moving house

Moving house is stressful. There’s no doubt about it. If you’re considering moving house soon, or are in the process of moving house, then you’ll be aware of all of the stresses and pressures that affects 99% of all people in this situation. However, do you know the key factor that separates the 1% of stress-free house-movers from everyone else? Planning! If you don’t plan your house move and all of the small details that come with it then you will undoubtedly find the experience stressful, but careful planning and preparation are going to make your life so much easier!

As a provider of self-storage in London, with sites in Pimlico and Westminster, we have many years of experience in helping those who are in the process of a house move, and we understand exactly what you can do to make this easier! Follow these steps below for a less stressful move:

1. Make a List of Organisations to Contact for Your Change of Address

This step is the first thing that you should do, and something that should be done as soon as the moving date is on the calendar! Create a list of every company that you will need to contact to update your address. This can range from your broadband, utilities, mobile phone carrier, DVLA, or a variety of other personal and household services. Make sure that you keep this list safe and as soon as you approach the moving date you can begin contacting these companies and ticking them off of your list!

Tip: When moving house, local authority, local electoral registers, and many other important aspects can be forgotten, make sure to add these to your list!

2. Have Your Packing Supplies Ready

There are so many things to remember when preparing for a house move that you often tend to overlook a number of small details. One of the ones the is often overlooked is packing supplies, and making sure that you have plenty handy for when it’s time to put your belongings into self-storage or directly into your new property! The extent and range of supplies that you need will depend on how much you have to pack, but make sure that you are stocked with cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, and thick tape at the very least.

Also, make sure you are using strong and sturdy cardboard boxes – otherwise, they will fall apart whilst being moved or when being stacked up and stored.

Submit our contact form today to receive our 12 Top Packing Tips!

3. Take Time Off

Some people make the mistake of underestimating how time-consuming moving house can be, and don’t give themselves enough time off to complete the move without rushing! We recommend giving yourself at least 2 full days in each property (so 2 days in your current house to make sure everything is packed and empty and 2 days in your new property unloading boxes and furniture). This will often mean taking annual leave from your place of work, so make sure that you have made your work aware that you will need this time, and as soon as you have a moving date you can book the time off!

4. Prepare for Furniture Removal

If you have a lot of furniture and boxes to move to your new property then you might want to consider using a removals company to do the heavy lifting for you, allowing you time to focus on the other details. Make sure that you have your removal services booked ahead of time to avoid the risk of leaving it to the last minute and finding that there is no availability!

5. Get packing

Follow our top packing tips below for a less stressful move:

  1. Get rid of stuff you have not used for a long time e.g. 2 years
  2. Donate what you don’t need to those that do
  3. When packing – pack by ‘category’ e.g. deal with clothes, then books, shoes, paperwork etc.
  4. When packing clothes, roll them up – they will crease less and take up less room
  5. There’s money in your unwanted stuff – put things to sell on one side – but make sure you do sell them
  6. Keep a detailed inventory (list) of what you have and where you are packing it – it will take time but is worth it
  7. Research who to use to move your stuff – there are good and … not so good companies out there!
  8. Move mid-week – you should get a better price from your removal company
  9. Make sure you know where you are going to your new home. No one wants to get lost on moving day!
  10. Have a ‘Master List’ for the move – all the important things ‘to do’ in one place
  11. Stock up on moving supplies – tape, packing paper, plastic ties, tape measure, cleaning products, extension cables etc.
  12. Pack items you don’t use often e.g. decorative things, early – you can live without these
  13. Pack a little every day rather than trying to do it in one big go
  14. If you can afford it, pay the professionals to pack up your home – you will see your belongings disappear into boxes, packed properly, in a matter of hours (it really is quite something to behold!  And a lot less stressful!)
  15. Use small boxes for heavy items – if you try to put too many heavy items in a large box you a) won’t be able to lift it without putting your back out and b) it will probably fall apart!
  16. Use cling film to cover the tops of open bottles like shampoos/cleaning products etc.
  17. Stop buying food a week before you move – use up what you can
  18. This is a good one – take a photo of how your electronics are set up with the cables at the back!
  19. Use your own things to pack stuff into – chests of drawers, fridges, laundry baskets, suitcases, etc.
  20. Label your boxes very clearly and with as much detail as possible – it really will help at the other end
  21. When stacking boxes, put the heavy ones at the bottom – sounds obvious, but…
  22. Put all your important papers, passports, birth and marriage certificates etc. in one place and keep them close
  23. Pack one box per person (or pet!) of things you are going to need right away and keep them with you
  24. Pack an overnight bag per person with essentials for the first day or two and again keep it with you
  25. Have a load of zip bags with you on moving day – they prove invaluable for all sorts of things!
  26. Be a good host to those that are helping you move – keep them fed and watered!

6. House Move – Essentials Checklist

Don’t forget to create your own essentials house move checklist like the one below.

For You

 Bedding
 Toilet paper
 Toiletries for the whole family: toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner
 Hand soap
 Towel for each family member
 Pyjamas for the whole family
 Work clothes
 First aid kit


 Bedding/travel cot
 Favourite toy if necessary
 Change of clothes/school uniform
 Entertainment: crayons/colouring book, books, few toys,
laptop/DVD player
 Night light


 Paper plates/cups
 Basic cutlery
 Dinner (or takeaway menu!)
 Breakfast items
 Snacks
 Water
 Kettle, tea/coffee, filters, mugs, milk, squash
 Corkscrew/bottle opener/something bubbly


 Pet food
 Lead/collar
 Toys
 Food and water bowls
 Litter box/waste bags
 Crate
 Any medication


 Basic cleaning supplies/rubber gloves
 Bin liners
 Screwdriver and Philips head/hammer/pliers/scissors
 Torch/lightbulbs
 Phone charger
 Extension cable
 Shower curtain
 Pen and paper
 Paper towels/wet wipes


Know where you’ve put all your important documents, such as:

 Tax paperwork
 Birth certificates
 Marriage certificate
 Passport
 Driving licence

7. Calculate and Plan your Timings

This is the most important part of planning that you can do! We recommend that you create a timeline for your house move and remember to stick to it! Include every task such as packing rooms (each room should have an individual time-frame) and the dates that you are putting your furniture in (and out) of self-storage!

Here’s an example of what your ‘moving-house planner’ might look like:


Remember, even ‘the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry’ (sic Robert Burns!) so be prepared and do have a Plan B.  What if the removal van with your life in the back gets lost, has a flat tyre or worse, has an accident.  Have somewhere else to stay up your sleeve just in case!

Putting the time into preparing for your house move will make the whole process that much easier when it comes time to leave your old house and move into your new home! With two locations in SW1, we’re able to make sure that your house move goes as smooth as possible! For more information on self-storage in London you can contact our team on 0800 999 3342 or!

PS – We found this great website that offers an excellent free, printable moving kit – click here