Moving house is one of the most stressful life events you’ll experience – which is why it’s so easy to forget the small things.

This room-by-room checklist will ensure you don’t forget to pack (or buy) essential items for your new home. The list is in order of ‘pack first to last-minute’: some rooms can be sorted weeks before your move!

We’ve also added in some handy hints and tips to help you pack your belongings safely and securely ready for the move.

Loft space

The attic is the most commonly-forgotten space when people move house. It’s easy to forget the years of belongings, old Christmas decorations, camping gear, or even empty boxes from when you first moved into the property.

Take time early in your packing schedule to empty your loft space. If you’ve not needed the items in a while, consider if you need to take them with you or if this is a good opportunity to get rid of some excess stuff.


Pack up items in your garden shed and be ruthless: if you’ve been storing broken bicycles, old suitcases, or ancient tools, it’s time to get rid of them.

Don’t forget about:

  • Garden furniture
  • Parasols
  • Gazebos
  • Toys
  • Gardening tools
  • Bicycles
  • Workshop tools

And larger appliances, such as lawn mowers, will need to be put on the removals team inventory list.


Often one of the least-used rooms, a conservatory can be packed up early in the schedule and used to store some of your boxes, too!

Remember to pack:

  • Indoor plants
  • Books
  • Bookcases
  • Sideboards
  • Chairs
  • Tables
  • Lamps
  • Soft furnishings
  • TV and sound equipment

Pack plants in tall crates to prevent damage during transit. You can put these in the removals van with the rest of your stuff, but fragile plants may be better travelling with you in your car.

Hallways and foyers

Don’t forget your practical spaces!

Check your hallways, entrance foyers, and porch to make sure you’ve packed:

  • Coats
  • Wellingtons
  • Shoes and shoe rack
  • Umbrellas
  • Coat stands or hooks

You should also do a walk-through of your entire home to remove items from your walls. Pictures and mirrors are easily forgotten but are one of the first things you can pack as they’re not essential items.

Study or home office

Your paperwork can be filed and packed at least a week in advance of your move. As soon as you’ve completed your final day working from home, the rest of it can be put into boxes, too.

Don’t forget to pack:

  • Shelving units
  • Cables
  • Computers
  • Laptops
  • Chargers
  • Paperwork and files
  • Books
  • Filing cabinets
  • Desk ornaments
  • Lamps
  • Desk chair
  • Desk
  • Printer
  • Paper shredder

Make sure any sensitive paperwork, such as your personal files and passports, are kept in a box that you can keep close to hand on moving day.


Take your time packing the kitchen as you’ll need some items until the last few days before the move.

Items you can pack a week or two in advance include:

  • Your best china
  • Slow cooker
  • Most glasses and mugs
  • Baking equipment
  • Food mixers
  • Ironing board and iron

Remember to eat your way through items in the freezer in the last week, too – you’ll need to switch it off and defrost it at least 24 hours before you move. 

Freestanding appliances you’ll need to remember for your removals inventory include:

  • Oven
  • Microwave oven
  • Fridge
  • Freezer
  • Washing machine
  • Tumble dryer
  • Dishwasher

If your current home has integrated appliances, these may need a professional to disconnect and remove them from the housing. Many people negotiate the inclusion of fitted appliances as part of the sale price of the property, instead.

Finally, a day or two before you move, it’s time to pack:

  • Pans
  • Plates
  • Bowls
  • Cutlery
  • Stuff that’s in the Drawer of Everything (Every kitchen has one!)
  • Toaster
  • Pantry food items
  • Pet food and bowls (the night before you move)
  • Kettle

Remember to keep some mugs, milk, coffee or tea, cutlery, plates, and a snack or two in a box alongside your kettle separate from the rest. Make sure it’s one of the last boxes you load up – because you’ll want it to be the first when you unpack in your new house!


Bedrooms are simple to pack up and most of it can be done a week or so ahead of your move. Remember to keep enough clothes unpacked for your final few days!

Clothes pack well into suitcases if you have them. Otherwise, keep items on the hangers: put a hole in the bottom of a bin bag, gather together several hangers, and put the bag open-end first over the clothes. The hangers will poke out of the hole you made – tie or tape them together. If you want, add another bag the other end to full protect your clothes.

Doing this makes unpacking easy, too: you can hang the grouped hangers up in your wardrobe immediately on arrival without the need of hanging up individual items.

Bedroom furniture that needs dismantling or taking by your removals team include:

  • Wardrobes
  • Dressing tables
  • Bedside cabinets
  • Chest of drawers
  • Shoe racks
  • Shelves or cabinets
  • Ottomans
  • Beds

Pack small trinkets in boxes with plenty of bubble wrap – or save on packaging costs by using your socks, t-shirts, and even pants as packing materials! This saves on space, too.

Don’t forget you’ll also need to pack:

  • Underbed storage boxes
  • Televisions and consoles
  • Computers
  • Floor lamps
  • Table lamps
  • Lamp shades
  • Curtains
  • Books, games, and DVDs

A good tip is to put fresh bed linen on your pillows and duvets when you pack them. That way, they’re instantly ready to throw on your bed in your new house without the last-minute late-night scramble to find linens at the end of moving day!


Bathrooms are the simplest room to pack as most items are fixed and not things you’ll take with you. However, that often means they’re forgotten until the last minute!

Make sure you pack – and have easy access to unpack – the following:

  • Shampoos and shower gels
  • Hand soap
  • Towels
  • Toilet roll
  • Bathroom cleaner like bleach
  • Bath mat

It’s a good idea to put some of these items – such as bleach, a toilet roll, hand soap, and towel – in a quick-access box that’s easy to find when you arrive at your new home.

Living room

The living room is the hub of the home so you might want to leave this until a day or two before you move. It’ll be a place of respite when you’re living amongst all the boxes before you move!

Don’t forget:

  • Televisions and consoles
  • Shelving units
  • Sideboards
  • Sofas
  • Armchairs
  • Occasional chairs
  • TV stands
  • Lamp tables
  • Floor lamps
  • Ceiling lampshades
  • Desk
  • Indoor plants
  • Side tables
  • Coffee table
  • Books, games, DVDs
  • Bookshelf

Scatter cushions from your sofa and chairs are bulky but light items. This makes them ideal for padding out larger boxes with fragile ornaments or lamps without adding weight.

Your final box

The very last box you should pack is the first one you’ll need at your new property. It’ll contain some of the items we’ve suggested you set aside already – such as tea and a kettle – but also your important identity documents.

You’ll need to prove who you are to collect the keys to your new property! Make sure you’ve got your mortgage and house purchase paperwork, driving license, and other ID documents close to hand in case there are any hold-ups you need to sort with the estate agent when you collect the keys.


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