Moving House

Moving home can be a traumatic time in anyone’s life, and there are certainly many things to consider when thinking of making a move. This information focuses on the help available to older people or those who have a disability, although some of the information may also be relevant to anyone who is moving home.

Advocacy Advice

Help and Care employ Advocates who may be able to help you explore your options, including moving to Sheltered Accommodation or Assisted Living properties where support is available through the services of a Warden or on-site care staff. The Advocate can also help with finding a Residential or Nursing Care home, if you decide this is what you need.
Contact Help & Care on 0300 111 3303 for further information.

Fact  Sheets

Help & Care also have a range of fact sheets available containing information to help maintain your independence and remain in your own home as long as possible, in particular:

Carers Rights and Assessments

Carers Allowance

Support Groups for Carers

Day Care

Money Matters

Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment

Legal Matters, including Power of Attorney

Care in the Home

Help with daily living

If you would like to receive a copy please contact Help & Care on 0300 111 3303. Our Fact Sheets can also be viewed on our website

If you currently have a Social Services Care Manager, or are living in Warden Assisted property these people will also be able to advise and facilitate your move.


General advice and information

Visiting a prospective new home

Visiting a prospective new home can be an exciting and enjoyable experience but it is worthwhile taking steps to ensure your own safety while viewing a property. Most Estate Agents, Letting Agents, or Landlords will arrange to meet you at the property and show you around. If possible try to take a family member or friend with you, this also has the added advantage of having someone else to help remember details about the property and possibly ask questions you may not have considered asking the agent.
If no family member or friend is available you may be able to ask for a volunteer from a local volunteer agency, charity or support group, church group, or doctor’s surgery to go with you. Listed below are some organisations that may be able to supply a volunteer to visit with you:

Help & Care (Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, some of East Dorset)
tel: 0300 111 3303 – ask for Volunteers Co-ordinator.

Age UK

Blandford Forum: - 01258 458250
Bournemouth: - Tel: 01202 530530 – Community Support Services
Christchurch: - Tel: 01202 488311
Dorchester: - 01305 269444
Ferndown & District: - 01425 475874
Gillingham & Shaftsbury: - 01747 853966
Lychett Minster & Upton: - 01202 622744
North Dorset: - 01258 473038
Poole: - 01202 666 195
Weymouth: - 01305 761828

Packing up and moving out

Draw up a list of the items that need to be packed, those that can be disassembled, and furniture that can go ‘whole’. Don’t forget curtains and blinds, shelves and pictures. The removal company will pack your things for you but this will mean an extra charge, ask for an estimate before committing to this. Below are some points to remember when packing:

• Use sturdy durable boxes.

• Try not to pack in too many items, you may not be able to lift or move the box afterwards.

• Take care when packing breakables. Remember to wrap in tissue or bubble wrap.

• Remember to keep important documents separate (i.e. driving licence, passport and so on), you may need to refer to them before you are able to unpack.

• Don’t forget to check the attic/loft move the items downstairs prior to packing and try to dispose of any unwanted items before moving day.

Electrical Equipment

• Electrical equipment should all be disconnected prior to the arrival of the removal company

• The drums of automatic washing machines should be secured to avoid damage with the proper brackets obtained from the local authorised retailers.

• Fridges and fridge freezers should be washed out with a strong solution of bicarbonate of soda and hot water – NOT DETERGENT. THEY SHOULD THEN BE DRIED OUT THOROUGHLY.

• Equipment such as TVs, Hi-fi, video, DVD players, and computers are best moved in their original packing (if possible). Secure carefully any free moving pieces of this equipment such as the pick-up arm of Hi-fi record decks.

• Don’t forget to label the cables as you remove them from the back of your TV or computer so that it is easy to re-connect when you are putting it back together.

Food Stuffs

• If you have a freezer full of food, try to use it up prior to moving.

• If this is impossible, on the day, pack everything into large freezer/plastic bags so that the items can be lifted out and replaced once the move is over.

• Don’t forget to ask friends to help store frozen items as well. This can be especially helpful as fridges and fridge freezers need up to 24hrs to ‘settle’ following a move before food can be placed back into them.

Contents of garages and garden sheds

• These should be sorted out well in advance and any rubbish thrown away.

• Tools should be bundled together and tied for ease of carrying.

• Dangerous chemicals and liquids should be securely sealed with tape to prevent spillage.

Care of pets while moving home

• When moving, your pet should travel with you. The mildest tempered animal can become upset when it can see the family being moved.

• It will comfort the animal (cats & dogs) if they can have something with a familiar scent on it and can hear familiar voices, rather than travelling with someone they don’t know or having to stay in kennels.

• Humane travel cages or cardboard carry cases (for smaller animals) are available from most pet retailers for a reasonable price and will prove useful later on if you need to transport your pet again maybe to the vet or on holiday.

Access to property

• A few days in advance of the move, ask your neighbours if they would be mindful of leaving enough space outside the property for the removal lorry when parking their cars.

• Be sure to check access to your new property to advise the removal company particularly if you are moving into a flat where access to a lift will be needed if possible.

• Make sure you are absolutely certain of the correct moving dates both from your old property and into your new property and that the correct keys are exchanged beforehand. Good communication with the Estate Agent or Letting Agent/Landlord is essential here.

Help & Care Handiworks Plus (available to residents of Bournemouth, Poole, East Dorset, Christchurch and Purbeck)

Handiworks Plus is available to anyone over the age of 18 living in the Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, East Dorset and Purbeck areas. Members of Handiworks Plus can call one number 0300 111 3303 and report any repairs or household maintenance issues and we will arrange for an appropriate police checked tradesperson who is skilled in their trade to carry out the work required. The Handiworks Team provide experienced, competitively priced tradespeople and will arrange all works on your behalf. The contractual relationship for each job is between you (the Handiworks Plus member) and the tradesperson. Handiworks Plus is a social enterprise, this means that 100% of any profits from the service provided by Handiworks Plus will fund Help and Care’s charitable work. Membership of Handiworks Plus costs £30 a year. The services available include:

General Handyman – small building works and maintenance build flat pack furniture, fit draught proofing, put up curtain rails/blinds, moving furniture within the home, hanging mirrors and pictures, clearing gutters.

Electrical – rectifying loss of light or power, installing and repairing sockets and lights, fixing/replacing doorbells, installing outside security lights, installing power to new areas.

Carpentry – Door and window repairs, door furniture fitting and repairs, shelves fitted, skirting and architrave installation, repairs to sheds, fence and gate installation or repair.

Plumbing - Tap repairs and replacement, bath and sink traps unblocked, internal leaks fixed, WC flushing faults rectified, radiators bled, baths and sinks sealed, washing machines and dishwashers plumbed in.

Security and Safety – Window and door locks, spy holes and door chains fitted, smoke detectors, supply and fit key safes, grab rails.

Gardening – Weeding, mowing lawns, planting flowers and shrubs, trimming hedges, pruning.

Gas and central heating – rectifying loss of heating, rectifying loss of hot water, repair faulty radiator valves, installation of boilers, gas cookers and fires, servicing boilers and gas fires.

Painting and decorating – internal and external painting, wallpapering, woodwork painting/staining, tiling, small areas of plastering.

Flooring – carpet and vinyl fitted, laminate and ceramic floor tiles laid.


Checklist of people to inform that you are moving – include the date of your move

Try to plan your move as far in advance as possible, and when you are certain of your moving date begin to inform people so that all your necessary bills and correspondence can delivered to your new home and friends and relatives can contact you. It is also important to inform your GP, Dentist, and if necessary Social Services (if you are receiving care) particularly if you are moving out of the area. You may need to register with a new GP and Dentist when you arrive at your new home, and any care needs you have with Social Services may need to be transferred to a new authority. Below is a list of some of the people you may need to inform of your move:

• If you are currently renting, your present Landlord/Housing Association

• Family and friends

• Local authority – for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax, the Electoral Register (for voting)

• Utilities such as water, gas, and electricity suppliers – remember to arrange cut-off and reconnection dates and times.

• Your GP, Dentist, Social Services Care Manager

• Your Bank, Building Society, Credit Card companies, Store Card, loan or Hire Purchase companies

• Insurance (life, car, household contents etc.) companies, Pension companies

• Telephone and TV channel suppliers (Sky, Virgin Media, British Telecom), and mobile phone companies

• The DVLA (if you own a car)

• Blue Badge Scheme (local town hall if you have a permit)

• Any pre-paid arrangements with local pharmacists if you medication supplied on a regular basis. Some meal providers if you have your meals delivered.

• Care agencies who may do shopping or housework for you

• Milkman/woman if you have your milk delivered

• Local newsagent if you have newspapers delivered

• Any clubs or support groups you belong to who may send you mail

• The Post Office to redirect mail. You will be charged for this and can choose how long you wish this service to last, anything form 1 month to 1 year.

Form filling and money matters

When you decide to move home this can mean a lot of extra correspondence to deal with involving filling in forms or understanding money matters. Once again a volunteer from a local agency may be able to help you. Contact the following organisations if you would like someone to help you:

Help & Care (Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, some of East Dorset)
tel: 0300 111 3303 – ask for Volunteers Co-ordinator.

Age UK

Bournemouth: - Tel: 01202 530530 – Community Support Services


If you need help and advice about benefit matters contact the Pension Service on 0345 6060265 or log on to to arrange for a Visiting Officer to visit you at home.


Help finding low cost items of furniture

Dorset Reclaim (Bournemouth)

69 Windham Road
Tel: 01202 773384
Gen Enq: 01202 394963
Fax: 01202 772091

Dorset Reclaim (Poole)

3 Didcot Road
Nuffield Industrial Estate
BH17 0GD

Dorset Reclaim’s aim is to provide low cost furniture to people on benefits and local people on restricted incomes. Open Monday – Friday 10am – 4.00pm contact them if you have good quality items of furniture or white goods that you believe someone else could make good use of, or you are looking for items for yourself. Dorset Reclaim will arrange to come and assess and collect the goods.

Other useful information

British Gas Energy Trust – Dorset’s Healthy Homes Project

Loans and small grants to help towards energy efficiency improvements such as heating, help with fuel bills, debt relief orders and other needs. For further information contact Joanna Keats on 01305 216403 or 07421 994591, email:

Energy Saving Trust

Tel: 0300 123 1234

Advice about energy saving devices and products within your home. Information and advice about how to apply for grants to help you meet the cost of making your home more energy efficient.

Furnicare Re-Use Project

Unit 1a & 2 Lawrence House
Southgate Road
Tel: 01963 34565 – open on Mondays & Tuesdays 10am – 3pm, other times contact branches at:
Chard Office: 01460 68221 – covers area from Chard, Somerset to Honiton and Wellington in Devon, to Lyme Regis and Bridport in Dorset.
Yeovil Office: 01935 433416 – covers area from Street in Somerset to Blandford in Dorset.

Furnicare provides furniture, electrical and other household items for people on low incomes. We collect unwanted and re-usable household items for checking and resale at affordable prices to people on benefits or whose income is £15,000 or less per year. Membership is £2 per year and once approved, members are issued with an annual membership card and can buy from any of our 3 stores in Chard, Wincanton and Yeovil. Our service is open to people from North and West Dorset, we currently have members
from Gillingham, Shaftsbury, and Sturminster Newton areas, our Chard depot has members from Bridport and Lyme Regis. Proof of being in receipt of benefits is required.

Health Through Warmth (HTW)

HTW is an RWE Npower community initiative set up by npower in 2000 working together with the NHS and National Energy Action (NEA), the national fuel poverty charity. HTW offers help to vulnerable people living in England and Wales who have long term, cold related illnesses and need assistance to fund and install heating and insulation in their homes. For further information contact:

Npower Health Through Warmth Team

Tel: 0845 070 2809
Fax: 0845 120 7195

Public Health – Dorset Healthy Homes Scheme

Tel: 0300 003 7023

Assistance with cavity wall and loft insulation. Applicants need to be over 65, suffer with a cardiovascular or respiratory illness, or live with a disability, be on certain benefits, be pregnant or have a child under 5. Contact for more information about qualifying criteria.




Was this information helpful?
Acceditation logos