A Comprehensive Checklist For a Wise Home Move in The UAE

In this guide:


For most ex-pats and residents based in the UAE, the happy atmosphere (jaw ayjabi) that follows moving into a new home is one of the most refreshing ‘feels’ since Shawarma (or Falafel, if you’re a local.) It’s even lovelier when you’re a homeowner looking to move into your newly-acquired property, (bonus points if it’s the urban hubs of Dubai or Abu Dhabi!)

The dopamine rush of kicking on with this thing called ‘living life’—albeit in a new environment, making new friends, decorating your new living space with fabulous designs aesthetics. Indeed, It is the ‘newness’ of it all that makes moving homes far from a chore.

Speaking about chores, Isn’t it crazy that what we consider unexciting about the move is more about ‘the move’ itself. Unless you’re blessed with insane strength levels like Salem Herzallah, then you probably know that moving is riddled with a smorgasbord (plenty) of tasks that can require huge mental and physical strength. From purchasing packing supplies to packaging your belongings safe and sound to the cleaning, the carrying, the fixing, the arranging. Urgghhh.

But don’t worry. You’re probably in need of some direction. And we read maps quite well! To help you with reliable direction, we’re rolling back the curtains on the process of moving with an exhaustive checklist that contains everything (seriously, this checklist takes no prisoners!) for you to be in the driving seat of your moving.

The thing about Moving Homes

If moving homes was so easy, there wouldn’t be a million-dollar industry built out of moving in the UAE. Notwithstanding the stress though, house moving can be a fun experience especially when you engage the help of friends and family. In a world where everything moves at an alarmingly fast pace where making time for others is such a struggle, home moving can be a great bonding time!

So, whichever you choose—whether to hire the services of moving companies(movers and packers) or enlist your friends’ help—you must plan your move properly. Moving homes does not begin with packing boxes. It’s a whole lot more complex than that.

Think of moving homes like juggling balls. Unless you’ve honed the art for years (professional movers) or you’ve learned the ropes with a cheat sheet (like this one) There are many things to consider and careful preparation is vital, so you should dot the I’s and cross the T’s. And without a list to guide you, there’s only so much clarity and precision you can operate with.

Wise Moving—A Comprehensive Checklist

Many times, we’ve messed up our moving because we didn’t have a crystal-clear picture of how our moving would happen. Moving homes is already complicated enough, and there’s no use making heavy weather of the task by winging it (doing it alone.) The key is to be proactive. Remember, there’s a straight-line correlation between lacking a rock-solid plan and failure.

For the sake of simplicity, clarity, and speed, you need a super-handy checklist to guide you through the process. It may seem basic, and make you look like a learner, or it might even seem awkward, but if there’s anything we’ve learned, it’s that things get easier when you not only know what to do but also the steps preceding your move and what comes next.

Flowing from this, we’ve prepared a comprehensive checklist for you:

1. Declutter & Tell Everyone Who Needs To Know

To declutter means to reducing the number of things you have to pack, transport, unpack, and arrange. It is the simplest method to make your move into a new house easy. Take a thorough look at everything you have in your present house, room by room.

Make a list of everything you want to retain and everything you want to get rid of. There’re a few things that may not necessarily need moving, like soon-to-be-expired food, frozen food, and other items that may be difficult to move. Attempt consuming or disposing of these goods before your moving date and avoid repurchasing them at the grocery store in the weeks leading up to your big move if possible.

If you are a tenant, and your old home doesn’t hold the most pleasant memories for you, be calm and don’t get ahead of yourself. Inform your Landlord and all parties that may be affected by your move. Some house contracts may make provisions for parties willing to be discharged to inform the other party within a specified time frame.

To avoid conflicts, the first thing you want to do is inform your old landlord of your plan to move out within the agreed period in your tenancy agreement, so that he can have enough time to make necessary arrangements.

2. No-obligation meet-up with the Movers

Once your landlord has been informed, the next thing you want to do is to phone the moving company and set an appointment for the date you want the move to be. You may want to call several companies to get their quotes and enquire about their services, then weigh your options and make your pick. Whatever company(movers and packers) you decide on, you should inform movers and packers of your move date within a reasonable time so you don’t incur extra costs based on what is now an ‘express’ move service charge.

Whether you are hiring the services of movers and packers or you are DIY with the enlisted co-operation of your pals or family members, you should inform your co-movers of the date and time of the scheduled move. In the case of the latter instance, inform your friends and family promptly and also rent a moving truck.

3. Switch Utilities and End Subscriptions

Before moving, you want to put your affairs in order. Settle every outstanding bills and tax that you have, return borrowed items like books from a reading pal and collect yours too, especially if there’s a considerable distance between your old and new homes.

You also want to inform utility providers of your impending move, so that services like electricity, gas, or sewage disposal can either be redirected to your new home or be discontinued. Make sure to give them this notice within a reasonable time, so you don’t continue to incur costs on services that you no longer use.

Likewise, the post office and magazine subscriptions should be informed of your intention to move as well as your new address. Although most of these services have been moved online, it is better to be safe than sorry. Besides, you never know what important news the mail might bring. You also want to be wary of cancellation costs regarding subscriptions you are no longer holding.

4. Sort Your Belongings

Attention to detail is the keyword here. First, you want to make sure you’re using proper packing materials and you start this as early as you can. You also need a boatload of exercise of discretion to know which items need maximum protection.

Ideally, you want to wrap your items carefully with enough cushion and less amount of space in the box before taping to avoid the items oscillating and shaking in the boxes in transit (to avoid damage) It also helps a great deal when you’re able to label these boxes so you know how what each box contains and how to handle it with the care the object/item demands.

Your boxed items should be grouped under certain categories that we’ve gone on to haul off for your use:

— Personal Effects

Items that fall under this category are small and handy items like books, clothes, documents, photographs, prescriptions, shoes, etc.

Meanwhile, other sensitive personal items like documents, certificates, licenses, and checkbooks should be handled with extreme care not because they are frail but because of their inherent importance.

— Furniture

These are movable household items that are usually made from wood. These items have firm structures and so do not require extreme care when they are being packed. Items that fall under this category are usually weighty and they include shelves, chairs, tables, cabinets, etc.

— Electronics

This category features items that though are not too fragile, require a considerable level of care. If handled carelessly, these items can easily get damaged, and they include television sets, printers, computer sets, keyboards, etc.

— Breakables

Now, items that fall under this category should be handled with utmost care because they are extremely fragile. Also, the boxes that they go into must be well padded to properly shield them from the impact of carrying or truck movement.

They include items generally made of glass or ceramic e.g glassware, flower vase, chinaware, etc.

— Miscellaneous/Others

Items that do not have a specific class are usually grouped as miscellaneous items. Items like this include generating sets, lawnmowers, and other gardening equipment, refrigerators, etc.

As is common during a home move, you might not wish to take all your belongings to the new place. So this is the ideal time to sort what you want to take with you to your new home from the ones you no longer need!

5. Label Your Boxes

Sorting your belongings according to the categories suggested above will make your packing easy and organized. You can switch up your ease by labeling your boxes, that way, you don’t get confused about what box to put what in.

Also, labeling helps in how your belongings are handled. When a box is labeled, it informs anyone moving them about the content of the box and consequently, the level of care to be applied.

For instance, when carrying a box labeled ‘Breakables’, a mover knows to exercise the utmost care to prevent them from getting damaged.

Another advantage of labeling your boxes is that it makes the unpacking process at the new house a walk in the park. You might ask, how? It’s because now you know exactly where your stuff is—and that takes away the huffing and puffing that come with a miserable search for these items.

6. Accident-free & Safe (as the Central Bank of UAE!)

The only way to err when making your move is to err out of the abundance of caution. To put it simply, there’s no such thing as being ‘too careful’ when flammable liquids and gases are involved.

One super safety risk to observe while moving is to drain all flammable liquids and gases. The flammable liquid or gases referred to include (but are not limited to) fuel in your generating sets and other similar items. Failure to do this will not only create an unpleasant mess but also poses a potential fire hazard.

It is likewise important that you defrost and clean your freezers and refrigerators. This will not only make it easier for movers to lift, but also prevent the accident of falling objects.

You also never know who has keys to your old locks when you move into a new house. Some of your neighbors, former renters, or prior homeowners, may have extra keys. You want to replace the locks on move-in day, but be sure you purchase a new lockset ahead of time.

7. Prepare Your Moving Kit

Having a moving kit makes your moving so much easier in the sense that you might not necessarily need to unpack the same day you moved.

So, your moving kit should comprise items that will make your first day or week in your new home comfortable, even without unpacking. A few items that may come in handy thus include bed sheets and blankets, chargers for laptops and phones, a screwdriver, a handkerchief, kettle, torch, etc.

8. The Move

Having made all these necessary arrangements, the next thing to tick off the list is to load your boxes into the truck and be on your way. But before this, you should make an inventory of all the boxes and stuff being moved, sign it, make copies of it and give one to the movers.

Afterwards, step back and let the movers do their job.

However, if you are a DIY-er, then it is time for you and your crew to work your magic. While at it, you may decide to pass the time by playing music, having snacks and drinks at hand, or even playing games!

9. To Show Proof, Keep Proof

Before leaving your old house, you should conduct a final inspection of the state you’re leaving it in. You may do this as an in-person inspection with the landlord or make a time-stamped video.

This way, the video shows that you left the house in a commendable condition, and you could be eligible to retrieve your security deposit if that was in your tenancy agreement.

Besides, receipts like this work an absolute treat when you pop up with them as evidence to exculpate (or detach) yourself from criminal, moral, or legal liabilities that may arise as a result of your now-terminated tenancy agreement.

10. Setup Your New Place

Your spanking new abode deserves some squeaky clean TLC (Tender Loving & Care), don’t you think? Taking out time to clean your new home before your belongings arrive is a good way to ensure setting up your home becomes pretty easy.

You could also tweak the set-up to reflect your living needs, and pimp it to your taste too! You could change the painting, doors, window blinds, plugs, and sockets, etc. For security purposes, you should change the locks on the doors even if they are still in excellent condition. You wouldn’t want someone else to have access to your home now, would you?

Afterwards, you can unpack, arrange your belongings and set up your utilities for use. If it was impossible to have had them redirected to your new place, then you should contact the providers that supply your new area and complete all relevant paperwork to get them supplied to you.


Congratulations! You've finally moved into your new house, which is no easy feat (whether you moved in with a few trusted friends or you hired professional movers) and deserves all the aihtifal (celebration) that will follow. So what’re you waiting for? Invite friends, family, and colleagues to a small housewarming celebration. Plus, why be moody when you can shake some booty?

Certainly, the moving process comes with its fair share of stress and headaches, but it does not have to be so complicated. You can even have fun while you are at it—especially when you’ve got just the right resources! With a moving checklist, you can better organize and plan your relocation.

Need help? Say no more. Besides the all-you-need-to-know tips, tricks, hacks that we have instructed for your move, we have a carefully selected pool of professional movers to help you take the guesswork from the execution. So on moving day, you’re as ‘chill’ as a cucumber while you watch them do their job. Fill this form so you can get competitive quotes and get all the details on how we can help you!