Moving house – best you use a checklist as it can be a daunting task. Not only is it an emotional journey, but you’ll have reams of admin. Here’s a checklist to help you tick off (and fill) your boxes!
Even before moving house, change your address
- Start doing this 30 days before the move. Sometimes a phone call will do, but often you may have to provide proof of the new address to certain institutions or go into the bank, your doctor, kid’s school or Sangkat to fill in forms, so giving yourself a head start will help to shorten your to-do list.
- In some cases you may be able to receive statements and accounts by email. This cuts down on paper wastage and ensures an easier address change process.
Some institutions you should notify, plus a few extra things
Utilities and bills:
- Water and electricity: Make sure you pay your last bill at the old residence (if you are moving house altogether) and complete forms to transfer the account so you won’t be held liable for new bills. At your new home, check the account is fully paid up and transfer it into your name.
- Phone / ISP / Cable TV provider: Arrange for your accounts to be transferred to your new address on the day of the move so you’re connected immediately.
- Insurance: Change your address to coincide with the exact day of moving house. Many burglaries occurs in the first week after a move, so be insured. If the removalist offers insurance for your goods in transit, weigh up the cost and risk involved.
- Bank: Let your bank know – you may have to transfer bank branches and get a new sort code as well. Also remember to inform other institutions with whom you may hold mortgages, short-term loans, student loans, additional savings or credit cards.
- Policies: If you hold retirement annuities, life and disability insurance, funeral cover or other annuity policies, inform those institutions as well.
- Store and loyalty cards: Ask to receive your statements at your new address.
- Doctor, dentist, vet: These practitioners need to know to send your bills and reminders to your new address, and in case of emergency. Your medical insurance company or hospital plan needs to be informed too.
- Gym membership.
Work and business:
- Your employer (and your clients if you work from home).
- Post office: Inform the Post Office and set up re-direction of your mail (if possible)
- Postal address: If you have a PO BOX address, remember to move your account or close it.
Entertainment, leisure and social:
- Newspaper and magazine subscriptions.
- Clubs, including your children’s activity groups – sport, gym, hobbies, etc.
Family and household:
- Have you informed relatives and friends?
- Staff: make sure your nanny/cleaner/gardener know how to get to your new address – it may require new routes and a hike in fares, so check with them in advance.
- Your child’s nursery, crèche or playschool needs to know in case of emergencies.
- Pets: Are pets allowed in your new residence?
- Private nurse, night nurse or your midwife.
Before the move:
- Movers: If you’re planning to use a professional mover, book one well in advance. Many will offer to pack up your house for you at an additional cost, or supply you with boxes in advance, and even offer optional insurance covering the move from house to house. Consider your options: You could perhaps ask them to pack your kitchen breakables and other fragile items, as many movers won’t accept responsibility for breakages if you packed these yourself. Always read the terms and conditions carefully.
- Painting and renovations: If you’d like to paint the house or do certain alterations, it’s a good idea to do this before taking occupation of your house. It’ll go a lot quicker if the house is empty, and you won’t have to worry about dust and fumes. If there are wood beetles in the floors, cupboards or skirting boards (especially coastal areas) you should also fumigate the house now.
- Cleaner: If you’d like someone to help you clean your old and new houses, book some help.
- Clean out: Start going through cupboards and throw out anything you don’t need or want so you can start with a clean slate in the new house (and have less packing to do later). Divide these up into recycling and charity piles.
- Get measurements at the new house: This will help you decide whether to move your curtains and blinds over or to have new ones made, and help you plan where to place heavy furniture, such as pianos, which can’t easily be moved again later.
- Dry-clean and steam clean: Dry-clean or wash your curtains, and steam clean your upholstery.
- Dispose of unwanted furniture or appliances and make sure whomever is taking them collects them before the move.
- Return all borrowed items.
- Make a list of your items you need to retrieve: Dry-cleaning, items you’ve lent out, sports equipment stored at schools, etc.
- Get cardboard boxes and packing tape: The movers may be able to supply boxes and you could also ask your local supermarket or book dealer for boxes.
- Start packing early: It always takes longer than you think. Send your children away for the day or weekend to enable you to work quicker.
- Tighten the lids on all jars.
- Wrap your breakables with bubble wrap or newspaper and fill any gaps in the boxes with pillows or books. Boxes are often stacked and boxes that aren’t filled to the top will collapse and tear under heavy weight.
- Don’t make any box too heavy to carry. Half-fill a box with books and top up with light items.
- Mark each box with a number and its destination room (kitchen/study) and then make notes of what goes in which boxes so it’s easy to find: often-used items like your hair drier or bedding on the other side.
On the day of moving house:
- Put aside valuable items, money, documents.
- Defrost your refrigerator.
- Take down and dismantle the television/DSTV aerial.
- Disconnect the stove (if you’re moving it with you).
- Clean the house properly, in every nook and cranny.
- Do a last check: are all rooms, garages, outhouses and tree-houses empty?
- Are all taps closed and the gas turned off?
- Are the windows and doors secured?
- Leave all keys for the new occupants and if necessary, request that your post be forwarded to your new address.
- Say goodbye to the neighbours as you embark on a new journey to a new home!
Here are some local removal companies for you to consider (we endorse none of them):