How to organise and choose your removals checklist

Checklist provided by

Make a note of the address and size of the property you are moving from and to – for example '23 Acacia Avenue, Acacia, AC1 2BD, a three bed home, moving to 40 AnyVan penthouse, Newhome, NG23 5BD, a second floor flat (no lift)'.
Have your ‘Property Fixtures and Fittings Form’ to hand if you are selling so you know what you have agreed to leave behind and take from the property – this is a legally binding document.
If you are moving from rented accommodation, make sure you have the inventory to hand so you can check what is supposed to be where, reduce disputes and speed up the return of your deposit.
  Go room by room to work out what is staying, what is going and where it’s going. Using post-it notes can be useful. Don’t forget to check the loft, cubby holes and outbuildings like sheds. You usually always have more than you first thought!
  Write a list of what you have to move. Do this room by room, noting where the item is now and the location of where you want each item to be moved into – be it storage or by room in the new property.

Packing tips

  • Cover the openings of your toiletries with cling film, then put the tops back on to prevent them from leaking;

  • Place an extra cotton pad or ball into your powder cosmetics to keep them from cracking;

  • Pack a clear plastic box with things you’ll need right away. Items such as a toothbrush, kettle and phone charger are essential items you'll need to use on day one in your new house, so make them easy to find!

  • Slide clothes on hangers directly into garbage bags and tie the hangers together with string to easily transport clothes;

  • To protect rugs, roll them up, secure with rope and then put a cover or bag over each end to keep them clean;

  • Pack books in small boxes and try not to make the box too heavy. The maximum weight should be less than 13kg;

  • Tape an X across any mirrors and picture glass before covering them tightly with bubble wrap and marking as ‘fragile’;

  • Don’t overload boxes as heavy boxes are awkward to move and can cause back strain;

  • Place screws and nails from dismantled furniture into small plastic bags and label them. This will keep them safe and make it easier to reassemble the furniture;

  • Label your remote controls and wires so that you know which machine they are for;

  • Pack a box of essentials, including toiletries, important cooking items, bed linen and towels so you don’t have to unpack everything straight away;

  • Pack plates vertically to make them structurally stronger and less likely to smash when in transit.

  Organise to have anything you don’t want to keep sent to the tip, to auction or to friends/family or charities who help re-house people and may be grateful of what you don’t need. AnyVan has a clearance department which is ideal for individual items to be sent.
Check what will be required to be dismantled or taken off walls or floors and make sure you know how any damage can be ‘made good’ on the day to avoid problems or money withheld at completion.
Decide if you will dismantle furniture or leave it to the professionals.
Make a separate list of particularly large, heavy or expensive items, such as a piano or antiques. Note the value of each to check they are fully insured and note their widest, longest and deepest measurements.

Decide how you want to move your items. Will you:

  1. Pack everything yourself?
  2. Ask the removals team to quote to pack for you?
  3. Mix of the two.

Think whether it is worth moving the essential items into your new home first and putting the rest in storage. This is especially useful if you are moving to a smaller property and aren’t sure what items to get rid of and keep.

Check with your insurance company what cover your items have when moving. When engaging with removal companies, check what price they charge for insurance and what it covers. Do they insure items you pack yourself? This is key when opting for the self-pack service.
Once you are sure you know what you want from a removals service and have an idea of a date you are likely to be moving, seek quotes from different companies. Do always make sure they have their own insurance to cover you for things like breakages.
It is important not to stint on moving your beloved items, so when comparing quotes, do so based on the service, ratings and feedback of each company, not just the price. Always make sure they are insured.
Once you have agreed who to use, they are likely to need a deposit, so check this is insured too and under what circumstances it may not be returned.
Find out what time you need to have left the property and agree with the removal company that the property will be clear by this time. If you are selling, you are likely to have to be out of the property by 1pm on completion day.
Keep things handy such as a folder with key contacts, telephone, email and address details. A kettle, cold drinks, snacks to keep you going and cleaning equipment are also ideal.
Consider having a professional cleaning company come in after you have left – for some tenancies this may be a contractual requirement, so check with your agent, landlord or legal representative.
Take a photo or note of the gas, electric and water meters – this can be a real source of disputes for anyone renting or buyers/selling.
Whether you are tenant, landlord or buyer, seller, never hand over keys until you have independent verification that the property is now yours/the new owners/tenants – in other words the contracts have been signed and completed.


All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner OBE, author of Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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