Moving house is always a stressful time, with so much to organise and think about – add on the extra milestone of moving to a foreign country and it can be hard to know where to start! Planning and preparation is key, and that’s why we’ve put together this handy checklist. Here’s what you need to think about in the weeks prior to your move to France.
Preparing to Move to France: 2-4 weeks before
Get started on these tasks early to make sure you have plenty of time.
- Speak with your Removals company: As well as organising the day and time of your removal, talk with your advisor about all the details, including what does and doesn’t need to go, any fragile items, the required customs documents, your insurance options, and packing opions.
- Start packing: If you plan on doing this yourself, begin at least two weeks before your move. Label boxes with the details of their contents and the room in which they are to be placed at the new address. Pack heavy objects with the lighter ones: do not overstrain boxes or backs. Sort out rubbish. Sell unused items, or give them away.
- Get your car ready: If you are driving yourself to France, get your car serviced, specifically if you are going on a long journey. You should also ensure you have all the correct documents for importing your UK vehicle to France.
- Schools: Notify your child’s school of their leaving date and advise new school as soon as possible.
- Landlord/Tenant: Give appropriate notice to vacant your property (if renting) or advise tenants of any change of landlord.
- Book hotels: If you need hotel accommodation during the removal, book your hotel well in advance, especially if the move occurs during the summer months.
- Change your address: Notify your bank of your change of address, as well as any credit cards, store cards, standing orders, and subscriptions. You should also change the address of any insurance companies, financial institutions, mobile phone, etc.
- Notify the Tax Office and Pension Providers: Let the Inland Revenue and your pension provider know you are leaving. Read our article Who Do You Need to Tell When You Leave the UK?
Preparing to Move to France: 1 week before
- Electricity: Contact your existing company and advise your new one of when you are to move into your new home. Give at least a 48 hours notice.
- Water: At least 48 hours notice is required by both your existing and your new authority to arrange for disconnection and re-connection of supply.
- Children: If possible arrange childcare on removal day.
Preparing to Move to France: 3 Days before
- Pack an overnight bag with a change of clothes and essential toiletries. Include a survival kit for the other end: light bulbs, toilet rolls, candles, screwdriver and pilers, matches, paper towels, cash and a note of important telephone numbers. Put this box in the boot of your car.
- Do last-minute laundry. If you plan to store for an extended period, keep back clothes for the opposite season.
- Make sure that the keys for your new home are going to be available.
Preparing to Move to France: 2 Days Before
- Empty, defrost and dry out your fridge /freezer if you are planning to store for any period of time. Food stuffs cannot be moved into storage.
- Make sure any packets, bottles or jars are sealed with tape to prevent spillage.
- Pack valuables and documents and put in a safe place.
- Solve parking problems. Sort out lift access if you live in flats.
Preparing to Move to France: 1 Day Before
- Arrange for food and drink for the trip, bearing in mind that your cooker may be disconnected when you arrive. Moving is hungry work, so pack a carton of tea and coffee, UHT milk, juice cartons, biscuits, fruit, cheese, and something easy and filling. Also include plates, cups, serviettes, cutlery and sharp knife. Don’t forget the kettle, a saucepan and a frying pan.
- Arrange the evening meal for move day. It may be easier to eat out.
- Get a good nights sleep.
Preparing to Move to France: MOVING DAY
- Settle the children with their carer. If they are staying with you , organise a room with their toys and a few treats. Older children may want specific tasks, like packing their own personal box.
- Show the removals team leader around the house.
- Keep the kettle boiling and the biscuits flowing so that everyone is refreshed.
- Undress the beds. Keep the linen in a box that travels with you so you can pull it out for the first night.
- Once the van is loaded, walk around the house with the team leader to ensure all items to be moved have been placed in the vehicle.
On Arrival in France
Once you are happy that everything has been delivered and positioned in appropriate places, you will be asked to acknowledge this by signing the team leader’s delivery sheet, writing any comments you may wish to make.
• With thanks to Removalgroup, Independent Removal Specialists.