Q. I’m moving home in a couple of weeks and having never done this before wondered if you could help me out with a few pointers to ensure that things run smoothly on moving day and make sure I don’t forget anything important?

A. When it comes to moving home, it can be both an exciting time but equally a very stressful time if you are not organised enough. The sooner you start making headway through the following, the less stressed you will be on the actual move day. Get quotes from a few different removal companies – The British Association of Removers is a good starting point. Negotiate hard to get the best possible price. Make a list of key contacts and start working through the checklist to let everyone know you are planning to move home. Most contracts require a minimum of a month’s notice so the sooner the better. If you have children and they are moving schools, inform the existing one in writing of the final date they will be attending. Call the new school to confirm the start date. Your local council may be able to arrange the removal of large items you no longer want. This service sometimes has a small charge. Take measurements of your favourite/largest pieces of furniture you want to move so you can take this on viewings with you. Start packing the items that you do not use frequently such as things from the spare room. Your main focus will be on the apartment but if you happen to live in a house don’t forget the garden, garage, shed, attic, basement and the other obscure places that are easily forgotten. If you are moving far, you may want to consider storage for non-essential items which allows the removers more time to get the most important items to your new property in a timely fashion. The remainder can follow the next day. It can be tempting to pack as much into a box as possible, but lots of smaller boxes are easier and safer to move about than a few heavy ones. Start collecting boxes as soon as possible or you can usually purchase these on line or via your removal company at a discounted rate. Let your neighbours know in advance so they can expect the removal van temporarily in the area. They may even offer to park their car elsewhere to allow the van some extra room to manoeuvre. Similarly, if there are parking restrictions outside your property, you may need to make arrangements to allow the removers to set up. And a final note if you happen to have pets and they are not accustomed to travel or are of a nervous disposition, you may wish to speak to your vet for any advice to minimise the stress on them. The journey along with unfamiliar surroundings can be distressing for some animals.