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House removal guide: tips and FAQs

Moving homes is an exciting time, but it can also be incredibly stressful, especially if you’ve never done it before. All that packing and organising can seem daunting – but it has to be done! Your new home awaits…

Below, we’ve compiled some useful information about how you can make your house removal as stress-free as possible, as well as other top tips and budget friendly advice. Further down, we’ve also answered the most frequently asked questions about house removals, so you can be fully prepared when it’s finally time to jump ship.

Picture of a room with moving boxes and a chair wrapped in bubble wrap

House move checklist and timeline:

  1. As soon as your house goes on the market, purchase packing supplies (tape, boxes, etc) and begin to declutter your home of items you don’t want in your new home. If you’re renting, you may need to hand in a notice of intent.
  2. Start to pack away things you don’t frequently use, keeping them hidden (such as in a garage or loft) so they don’t get in the way during house showings.
  3. Once you have a moving date, decide on whether you’re planning to make the move yourself, or hire moving specialists. If you want movers, you’ll need to start requesting quotes. Only hire moving specialists when you have set your moving date. If you don’t want movers, you’ll need to think about renting a van and asking friends or family for help.
  4. Continue to pack up everything other than essential items right up until the last few weeks before your move. Make sure you’re updating your address details and cancelling services that are connected to the home you’re leaving (such as newspapers, subscriptions and cleaning or gardening services) and start setting them up for your new address. You’ll want to notify your local council, your GP, your employer and your phone and internet providers too. Gather all important documents regarding your move and keep them in a convenient place where you can access them easily. The same goes for other important documents such as your passport, birth certificate and insurance.
  5. As you finish packing, clean all the rooms in your home and cancel any homeowner insurance coverage. Confirm the route you’ll be taking to your new home (if you’re driving the van yourself). Don’t forget to start defrosting food from your freezer so you don’t end up having to throw things out.
  6. The night before your moving day, move all your boxes as close to the front door as you can. If all your boxes are near the door and in one place, this will make moving them to the van easier and quicker.
  7. On moving day, if you have hired movers, supervise them throughout the process to ensure everything goes smoothly and nothing gets damaged. Go through your whole house checking all cabinets and drawers, under beds and in any other spot where you might have forgotten possessions.
  8. Once everything has been unloaded in your new home, unpack the essentials…then relax!

Remember that pets and plants will need additional care during the moving process, so don’t forget to take the necessary steps to ensure they get to your new home safely.

Picture of a hand holding tape dispenser taping a box shut

Tips for a stress free house removal

Moving homes is an undeniably stressful experience, due to the fact that there’s so much to do, and often not that much time to do it! Following the below tips should help you get through a stress free moving process:

  • Give yourself plenty of time to start planning ahead. Everything is less stressful when you give yourself the time to go at your own pace and organise everything carefully. Create a moving schedule and stick to timelines. Remember that moving is a laborious process that includes decluttering your home, creating a comprehensive inventory and packing and unpacking. Rushing things can cause items to break and for you to get burnt out and hyper-stressed.
  • Declutter! Go through your things and decide on what you really need, and what should be donated or sold. This will cut down on the time it will take you to pack, move and unpack all your things, and will also help you feel more organised and in control.
  • Create a packing system, then stick to it. For example, you might want to label each box by contents, or by the room it’s going in. You might also want to decide on a schedule for when each room in your house is going to be packed up. Any system that will help you unpack things further down the line will save you time and energy.
  • Consider using a professional removal company. If you can, a professional removal specialist will take the stress out of your move by ensuring all your things are packed and moved safely and efficiently. To find the right moving company for you, post a job on Rated People to request a quote.
  • Pack a moving day kit. On the day of your move, most of your things will be packed away and difficult to access. Packing a kit with your family’s essentials for the day of your move (as well as a few days later), will help ensure you don’t get stuck without something you really need. This will also give you time to unpack things slowly without rummaging frantically through boxes.

The key things to include in your moving kit are:

  1. bedding
  2. toilet paper
  3. toiletries
  4. towels
  5. work clothes
  6. pyjamas
  7. a first aid kit
  8. food for the next few days
  9. bin bags
  10. antiseptic cleaning wipes
  11. medicine
  12. pet food and necessities

This will help you get through the first few days as you begin to slowly unpack your belongings to create your new home.

Picture of a woman ticking things off on a clipboard with boxes in the background

Moving on a budget

Moving can get expensive, but not if you know how to cut back on costs. Read our tips for your budget move:

Sell or get rid of unwanted items

The less stuff you have, the less it will cost you to move your things. Getting rid of items you no longer use will help you cut down on costs. You can then sell these items to make back some money.

Always ask for multiple quotes

If you’re hiring a moving service, make sure you do your research, compare prices and shop around for an affordable service that will still get the job done properly. Post a job today to get started.


Don’t buy new boxes

Try sourcing free boxes from friends, family or local stores. Your loved ones may have ordered something recently, meaning they might have a spare box lying around. Same goes for stores that order tons of deliveries! Know anyone who moved recently? Might be worth contacting them as well.

You can also get second hand boxes and discounted boxes online off of sites such as Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and Freecycle.

Move during off-peak times

If you’re hiring a service, it often costs more during peak times such as the weekend and during holiday periods. To avoid higher rates, book to move when it’s quieter.

Rent a van

If you’re not moving far, or don’t have a lot of stuff, consider hiring a van and doing the move yourself.

Want expert help? Speak to a skilled removal specialist to get started.

Picture of stacked boxes in an empty room during a move


What do house removal companies do?

House removal companies provide a range of services that go beyond simply moving your belongings from one location to another. They can also help you with packing (and can provide you with boxes/tape/bubble wrap if you need it). Some moving services also offer unpacking as part of your overall package.

As part of the moving service, they will load and unload all of your boxes from your front door to their van and back out again. This includes really heavy furniture like sofas and televisions.

If for whatever reason you don’t have somewhere to move your things to yet, a moving company can also move your things into storage, with many moving services offering storage solutions.

Picture of a man and a woman packing things into boxes for a move

When should you contact a removal company?

You should contact your chosen removal company as soon as you have a confirmed moving date. In most cases, at least between 8-12 weeks in advance is the necessary amount of time.

Make sure you have all the information your removal company will ask you when you book their service. This includes things like the size of your home, the distance of the move and special requirements. This will help them provide you with an accurate quote.

The earlier you book, the more likely you are to get your chosen date and good rates. It will also make the overall experience less stressful.

Ready to get started? Request a quote today.


What will removal companies not move?

Removal companies will typically refuse to move hazardous or illegal items. This includes anything that could put their team at risk. As well as this, unless specified otherwise they won’t take live animals (this sometimes includes plants) and perishable items like food.

You might need to take out additional insurance if you want your removal company to move very expensive valuables. Removal companies also sometimes refuse to transport documents like passports and wills.

Picture of a couple standing in front of a house holding boxes with a small child in father's arms

How do I find a good removal company?

The best way to find a good removal company is to:

  1. Research and compare multiple removal companies to find one that suits your budget and needs. Look out for ratings and reviews, and try asking friends and family if they have any companies they recommend. Make sure you check their license and insurance policies
  2. Always request multiple quotes! We recommend at least three
  3. Ask for a written contract outlining exactly what their service will provide, accurate timelines and costs

Thinking of hiring a removal service?


What is the average removal cost in the UK?

You can expect to pay anywhere from £1,000 and £3,000 to hire professional movers. Local moves within 50 miles will be on the lower end of this bracket, whilst long-distance moves will cost on the higher end.

This is just an approximate – for an accurate quote, you’ll need to speak to a removal company and outline your specific needs. How much stuff you have, and additional requirements you might need, will have an impact on the overall price.

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