The practicalities of moving home

Once you’ve made the decision to move house, the next steps of sorting all the practicalities can seem quite daunting. There is a great deal to think about when you move house, and it is worth taking plenty of time to consider things and to plan your move well ahead of time.

Planning your move

Moving home can be a stressful experience, so it is a good idea to make a list of the jobs that need doing in advance of the move itself. Here is a list of things that you might want to think about:

  • Look at the floor plan of your new home and decide where you want your furniture to go. This will make the unpacking process go a lot smoother.
  • Make a list of items that you will need to pack last minute, for example kettle, food items and toiletries. It’s a good idea to mark the boxes that will need unpacking first so things like your kettle are easily accessible.
  • Arrange a removal service well in advance. If you are doing your own packing you will need to think about getting hold of enough boxes.

If you need help with the move planning and process, you may want to consider using a Senior Move Management service. These companies specialise in helping older people move home, and can take care of many aspects of the process including:

  • helping you find a new home
  • help with decluttering, sorting and cleaning
  • arranging a packing and removal service
  • carrying out utilities and change of address tasks
  • help on moving day

Contact the Senior Move Partnership for more information.

Transferring your address

As you will be getting a new address, you will need to contact the relevant organisations and departments below to let them know your new details:

  • Utility services. You should also arrange any meter readings so final bills can be issued.
  • The post office and ask them to redirect any mail to your new address
  • The council to get a statement for Council Tax.
  • The Department for Work and Pensions and the tax office.
  • Your bank and insurance companies
  • The DVLA if you own a car
  • Your GP or health provider

Sorting and decluttering

Sorting through your possessions and decluttering is often the most difficult and emotional part of the whole moving process.  Give yourself enough time to do this at your own pace, and sort your belongings one room at a time. You will need to do this before you or your chosen removal firm start boxing things up.

  • Be realistic about what’s needed in the new home, and go for quality over quantity.
  • Don’t be tempted to put things into storage. If things aren’t needed you can sell them or give them away.
  • See if you can sell any items of value that you no longer want, such as antique or vintage furniture, rugs, paintings or other collectables.
  • Try to recycle through charity shops, or by donating items to someone who will use or appreciate them.
  • Use up any frozen food remaining in the freezer in advance of the move, and defrost the freezer. If you are moving to accommodation with catering you might want to donate to your local food bank.
  • Clean your house or arrange for a cleaning service

If the task of decluttering seems too overwhelming to do by yourself, there are organisations that can help with this process. APDO (The Association for Professional Declutterers and Organisers) has a list of accredited companies.

You may also find our article useful on When collecting clutter or hoarding can become a problem.

Getting help with moving your belongings

Unless your family or friends can help you to move house, you will need to hire a removal firm to do the job for you. A good removal firm will offer a range of services including:

  • packing service
  • removal service
  • storage
  • boxes to buy

You should ask for a quote before hiring any service.

Checked and Vetted provide a free list of verified tradespeople who have had their work histories, company details and job reports checked and verified. They also have customer reviews you can read.

Disposing of unwanted furniture

If you have furniture and other items that are too old or too worn to pass on or sell, it’s a good idea to get rid of them before you move.

Your Local Services are a service provided by Newcastle City Council, which can come and take away your furniture items for a small fee.

If, however, you have some good quality furniture or electrical equipment that you no longer use, you might like to donate it to someone who could benefit from it. The following organisations may be able to help you to do this.

Ouseburn Farm restore wooden furniture. Residents of Tyne Housing can work in the workshop and the Places at the finished products are sold to the public or are used in the volunteers’ homes.

Donations of unwanted furniture and bric-a-brac are welcome and they can also arrange collection and house clearances.

Community Transport provide facilities for local people to donate good quality furniture which can then be made available to others in the community. They also offer a house clearance service.

North East Community Link and Cornerstone welcome donations of good quality furniture and equipment, which they can pass on to people in need.

Before arranging anything, it’s always a good idea to make sure there are no charges involved with any services.

Betel UK welcome donations of good quality unwanted furniture and will also collect items and carry out house clearances.

Orange Box North East  collect unwanted furniture, electrical and household items, and re-distribute these at affordable prices to individuals and families on low income. They offer a free collection service of any unwanted goods, from single items to full house clearance service.

Recycle Now is a website that features a Recycling Locator which can tell you where your nearest recycling point is and pass on your unwanted items for re-use.

Reuse Network website can locate your nearest furniture re-use facility where you can purchase or donate furniture.

Foundations Furniture is a charity that have a free collection service within Tyne and Wear for any donated furniture that is in good condition and can be passed on to another home.

Affordable furniture

There are a number of charities and organisations in Newcastle that sell Affordable furniture and some electrical goods. They can also arrange home delivery. You can also donate unwanted items to the charities.

Affordable electrical goods

  • Five Lamps are a charity who can help you with a low cost affordable loan for all purposes including the purchase of white goods through the Co-Operative electrical.
  • Smarterbuys work with Five Lamps to offer affordable white goods, including furniture, kitchen appliances, TVs and computers.

Help to set up your home and live independently

Newcastle City Council runs The Supporting Independence Scheme They provide basic household items and house moving costs to help you live independently. For example beds, cookers or fridges. It’s for people on low incomes who are being supported by Adult Social Care or Children’s Social Care, Community Mental Health Teams, Housing Advice Centre, Probation, Your Homes Newcastle Advice and Support Workers and other housing support workers/resettlement teams to:

  • resettle in the community following a stay in an institution
  • remain in the community rather than enter an institution
  • set up home in the community, as part of a planned resettlement programme, following an unsettled way of life
  • maintain their independence (families)

You can’t apply directly to this scheme. Your apply through your support worker who can help you to maintain your independence. Read more about the scheme on the council’s website. If you do not have a support worker but feel you need support, contact Community Health and Social Care Direct.

Other useful information

Last updated: July 6, 2022