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Moving house - how do I prepare?

25 replies

Rumplestrumpet · 18/04/2021 14:17

I'm moving house in 10 days and just know it's going to be hugely stressful. When we bought this house it needed renovation and we didn't move in for a few months, so had time to do it all slowly.

We're not moving far, so keeping kids in same school/nursery, but exchange is mid-week so we'll drop kids off first thing, zip home for removal company and then bring kids home to a new house after school and nursery. I'd really welcome tips on how to make the move and first night/few days in the new house easier.

We have the removal company doing the packing to save time, but anything else that will help?

Also any tips on how to settle a (badly sleeping!) toddler into a new house and bedroom?

OP posts:

Findahouse21 · 18/04/2021 14:21

Pack a week's suitcase for you all so that you aren't searching for clean Knickers\school uniform. Include comfort items

Change bedding the night before you move and pack each person's bedding in a large bag each so can just be rolled out onto the beds

Work out what you are going to do for meals for at least three days and consider ordering a shopping delivery that night or batch cook the meals now if they could stay frozen.

Allocate 2 large box to each child. Fill with favourite toys which you keep out until the move, but pack the rest up now.


sbhydrogen · 18/04/2021 14:23

Pack a week's suitcase for you all so that you aren't searching for clean Knickers\school uniform. Include comfort items

This is a really good idea. We did something similar, and it helped enormously.


ChazP · 18/04/2021 14:25

Remember to have an area in the house that is not for packing up. Our packers were so efficient that they packed every pair of shoes I owned, the leaving gift I’d got for my daughter’s nursery and my wallet...! I had to tiptoe round them examining boxes until I could find a pair of flip flops!


Rumplestrumpet · 18/04/2021 14:59

These are excellent suggestions thank you all.

Has anyone got tips for settling kids into new rooms?

Baby is only one and never slept well so I was hoping to make a fresh start but no idea how to do this as he'll probably need extra comfort in a new place.

OP posts:

user1493413286 · 18/04/2021 15:03

Definitely pack a weeks worth of things and label kitchen stuff a bit more detailed than just kitchen - you want to know where the cutlery, kettle, tea, mugs are etc.
We’ve moved twice with DD and I always focused on getting her room unpacked first so when she came to the house her room had familiar things in and it’s mostly set up.


littledrummergirl · 18/04/2021 15:09

Pack mugs, tea, coffee, kettle and sugar in a box for the car with some cake and biscuits. Unpack these first.
Keep the hoover and cleaning things with you so you have them to hand if the new house isn't how you want it to be.


the80sweregreat · 18/04/2021 17:26

I'd put a few mugs cutlery and a kettle / tea bags , milk etc in a box snd take it round in the car so you at least make tea when you get in there!


Findahouse21 · 18/04/2021 18:53

I forgot that we also pre-purchased a cut to size blackout blind for each room to stop early morning waking


JackieTheFart · 18/04/2021 18:58

This is a brilliant thread as we’re (hopefully) moving soon, definitely going to take notes!


ineedaholidayandwine · 18/04/2021 19:03

Watching with interest


Lofu · 18/04/2021 19:04

Have a 'box zero' that you keep with you in the car that includes tea making stuff and biscuits, toilet roll, plasters, bottles of water, phone chargers.


SmednotaSmoo · 18/04/2021 19:06

I moved eith a bad sleeping toddler, a newborn, and a school aged child.

The first night the toddler didn’t have such a bad night, surprisingly. It didn’t take long for it to feel normal for them, and while it was no better, it wasn’t noticeably worse either.

If the packers are moving you, your chest of drawers will be easy to put together and your clothes will be back in your wardrobe by the end of the day as they’ll want their hanging rail boxes back. Label kids bedding clearly and be absolutely on top of getting their bedrooms as “done” as possible. Depending on what you’re moving into, a decal of their favourite character it something?

If you have anyone friends or family helping you move, ask them to sort out your beds for you all to collapse into. Reject help to unpack the kitchen because you need to know where everything is going to go. Or if you know the cupboard layout already, post it notes on the front.

However tempting it is to live in box city, unpack as much as you can do. The harder you work the quicker it is over and the sooner it will feel like home. And try and make one room nice (unpacked) by the end of the first day. Because the morning after, tired, achey, and knackered, having somewhere which doesn’t feel like a bomb site is really nice. So focus effort one room at a time if you can!

Have a huge box of cleaning stuff ready, also your hoover. We put ours into the car as we did the cleaning of the old house and then hoovered the new place as w went round. Also, it might be your only opportunity to see how dusty the top of bookshelves are...

Feed your removal company snacks, have drinks on hand. Make sure someone directs which room in the house every box goes into.


SuperSleepyBaby · 18/04/2021 19:07

Make a list of any places where you will need to update your address - library, driving licence, insurance, mobile phone bill etc - and update them all.


plopadrop · 18/04/2021 19:10

Following as also moving soon and my watch button isn't working!


2bazookas · 18/04/2021 19:27

Park pets with neighbours.

Pack a "camp kit" box with soap, toilet paper, hand towel, pet food for 24 hours, cereal mugs kettle coffee tea milk biscuits cutlery can opener plates and tea towel baked beans bread and bananas. and put it in your own car. So when you arrive, you can have a wee in comfort, make hot drinks and give the kids beans on toast for tea + the next day's breakfast. All without searching boxes filled by packers. Just in case they are slow.

If you can, I strongly recommend one of you gets to the new house early am with bucket and detergent to wash out kitchen cupboards before the van arrives. Make sure all boxes for kitchen are marked kitchen; and as the packers bring them in to the kitchen, open and unpack everything into its intended location very fast (everythingl food, crockery etc. ). Then they can take away the empty boxes at the end if the day; and you have an (almost) functioning kitcvhen right away.
In the next few days you can wash the crockery/utensils and rearrange the cupboard contents but not on day 1. On day 1just get it out of the boxes and put away.

Bedsl as someone said; get removers to roll up each bed's entire set of bedding/pillowsin a sausage, tie the roll with string; at new house they are all ready to unroll as soon as the beds are set up. (my removers set up beds for me). Leave all clothes in drawers,just as they are; and all clothes in wardrobes on hangers; the removers have travellinjg wardrobes and will rehang everything in new house wardrobes.The drawer contents can be moved as they are.

Any small special treasures , jewellery, papers, files etc should travel with you in car.

I put a room=plan sketch on each room door in new house, showing desired position of the furniture that's going in it. Label rooms with numbers. As the furniture comes out of the van, one of you stands at the door of new house telling the carriers "room 2, room 4, etc.


SGChome20 · 18/04/2021 20:21

If the packers/movers are moving all your stuff in as well I would put signs on the kids bedrooms with their names or something and same one the boxes so that you are not having to tell the movers where the boxes go. They might do this anyway.

Put any dirty washing inside a dirty duvet cover and just pack it away for now. Don’t worry about having an empty laundry basket!

Maybe now is the time to introduce a gro egg or something similar for the toddler. Make up a story about how it came with the house etc etc


Lukasmummy · 18/04/2021 20:57

We have moved a few times, most recently last year during the first lockdown.

The things we did that we were the most grateful for were the kids each having their own backpack, I filled it with things to do (colouring book and pencils, their tablets which I loaded up with films and books with the chargers and headphones and a new small lego set), their stuffed animal of choice and a spare set of clothes. I packed another backpack with a second spare outfit each for them and pyjamas because they have accidents. Then I added a box of snacks and their water bottles with their sleeping bags, we set them up a safe space where no boxes would be put and they could stay out of the way. That way if we didn't get their beds up they still had somewhere warm to sleep. To be fair they have additional needs and I pack quite a lot of that for a day out anyway, they don't like change and it makes them feel safe.

The essentials box: kettle, mugs, plastic plates and cups for the kids, teaspoons, coffee, sugar, tea, milk, squash, biscuits, teatowels, scissors, tin opener, veg peeler, toilet rolls, bin bags, lightbulbs, torch, packing tape, the first aid kit, baby wipes, sanitary towels, painkillers and a spare phone charger. Washing up liquid and handwash were also useful but easier to run to the corner shop for and for us not worth the risk of leaking. We were very glad for the box since it took a few days to have a working heating system and have the cooker delivered.

and the paperwork folder, everyone's important documents already lived in a small folder, I added that to a bigger one with all the house paperwork tenancy agreement. I added the list of everyone I needed to call to update the address details. I actually tried to change a lot of it as soon as we got the new address.

The list of places you need to call and update your details is personal and different for everyone but a good starting point
Utilities - Electric, Gas, Water, Phone (mobile and landline), Broadband, TV license, Bank accounts and Credit cards if they are different and the kids schools.

Services - Doctors, Dentist, Opticians, NHS if you have hospital appointments or a pre-payment card for prescriptions, HMRC if you receive benefits, Amazon, Ebay, Whatever your takeaway of choice app is Deliveroo, Just Eat etc (because trust me it really sucks when they deliver your Chinese to the old house and then call to ask why nobody is in and it would suck even more if they delivered it to new occupants) and all your reward cards e.g Tesco, Sainsburys, Waitrose because they can't send you vouchers if they have the wrong address. Make a note of anywhere else you order from regularly like clothing retailers, plus any subscriptions you usually have delivered for us this was the kid's magazines.

Good luck, don't forget no matter how chaotic it looks it is temporary.


MythsandSparkles · 18/04/2021 20:59

If they’re packing for you, be aware they will pack everything - I have (not so fond) memories of them unpacking the kitchen bin complete with rubbish inside it)

Labels for rooms in the new house is a fab idea to make unloading the lorries into the correct rooms much quicker without you having to stand at the door directing things.

A box of cleaning equipment is a must but depends how much time you have between getting the keys to the new house and the vans arriving to unload - in my experience once the vans are there you won’t have time to clean around the movers, they are FAST.

Also worth having an oh shit bag of essentials - our last move went to shit and ended up not getting the keys until 5.30 and having at that point two 7.5 ton lorries to be unloaded...that was not fun.


junebirthdaygirl · 18/04/2021 21:00

Try and put things in a familiar place in the new house as kids find this reassuring. Can always change around later. So l always put the same photos on the mantelpiece/ sideboard in exactly the same on the walls..same towels in the bathroom etc and definitely as already said same bedclothes and teddies in the bed.
Stick to the same bedtime routine so favourite supper/book/ pyjamas. Act like you expect the children to settle as if you seem stressed they will pick up on that.
Enjoy your new home.


JackieTheFart · 20/04/2021 00:24

Has anyone got any bright ideas to easily move a fridge? I remember it being a ball ache the last time we moved, but that was 15 years and three kids ago so it was easy to empty it out. I’m sure it’ll be possible (I’m maybe getting ahead of myself here as we’ve only just had an offer accepted Grin) but like the scouts I like to Be Prepared.


ineedaholidayandwine · 21/04/2021 19:39


Has anyone got any bright ideas to easily move a fridge? I remember it being a ball ache the last time we moved, but that was 15 years and three kids ago so it was easy to empty it out. I’m sure it’ll be possible (I’m maybe getting ahead of myself here as we’ve only just had an offer accepted Grin) but like the scouts I like to Be Prepared.

I'm stressing about this too, and the freezer! We have no family nearby to store things with either

flashbac · 22/04/2021 18:01

Yep, me too. How do you move the perishables?


Pottedpalm · 22/04/2021 18:14

Get your oven cleaned professionally next week. (unless yours is spotless, of course), and give the bathroom a mega-clean, including the shower screen and tiling, this weekend. If it has been thoroughly cleaned, a wipe over at the last minute should suffice.


warmandtoasty2day · 22/04/2021 18:30

great ideas here, thanks everyone ! we are moving soon so have screen shot some ideas as a point of reference.
Good luck with the move op !


WitchDancer · 22/04/2021 18:36


Has anyone got any bright ideas to easily move a fridge? I remember it being a ball ache the last time we moved, but that was 15 years and three kids ago so it was easy to empty it out. I’m sure it’ll be possible (I’m maybe getting ahead of myself here as we’ve only just had an offer accepted Grin) but like the scouts I like to Be Prepared.

I would run it down as much as you can. Anything left put in a cool box/bag.
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