Phil Spencer's essential home move tips

  • Why tea is key
  • Sort out your sleeping arrangements
  • A takeaway is calling, but you must resist

There are few people better placed than TV’s property guru Phil Spencer to guide you through a smooth home move. We asked him for his top tips on making your first few days in a new home as stress-free as possible.


Preparation is key

Moving house is a significant moment in time and you can never do enough forward planning. The more you can do in advance the better. If you’re feeling stressed then give your friends a call and rope in as much help as you can.

Steaming mug with spoon


Don’t forget the little things

The first thing I do once I’ve entered a new house, before facing the mammoth task of unpacking, is make myself a nice cup of tea. I always pack a small box of essential items, which includes a tea bag, cup and kettle. You can never underestimate how the small things, such as drinking a cup of tea, can help you feel at home.

Plate of food with cutlery on the side


Have a home-cooked meal

The temptation when immersed in the task of moving can be to rely on take-out for dinner. Resist that urge, because home-made comfort food is great for boosting your energy levels and making you feel more settled.

Fridge door with a child's drawings and maths results held up by a magnet with the letter G


Make it personal

It can be easy to leave objects like photographs, candles and trinkets unpacked for weeks on end, but these small items can have a big impact in making a property feel like home – whether that’s lighting your favourite scented candle or pinning the kids’ drawings to the fridge. You could even consider packing a selection of these things into a separate box, so you can easily find them after moving in.

Wooden table with a card and a hald dozen bouquets


Redirect your post

This is the task I dread as it can seem like a big exercise; but if you don’t remember to let the Royal Mail know that you’ve changed address, how will all your house-warming cards from friends and family reach you?

Smartly made bed with pillows


Make your bed

When unpacking my bedroom items, I always make sure I make my bed first. By the end of moving day you’re likely to be very tired and the last thing you’ll want is another job before you can relax and go to sleep.

British Gass Hive unit


Check your thermostat and set your hot water schedule

After a long day of moving, my favourite way to end the day is with a nice hot shower. When I get into my new house, I always make sure I locate the thermostat and set a schedule to fit our family routine. If you’d like the flexibility of being able to control your heating and hot water through your smartphone, you could look into a product such as Hive Active Heating – which allows you to do just that.


Don’t forget the basics

There are some quick and easy things you can do to ensure your new home is warm and working, which the previous owners may not have got round to. These include:


Bleed your radiators

If your radiators have cold spots, this means you have air in the system, so bleed them using a radiator key to ensure they’re working efficiently.


Block the breeze

Make sure all of your home’s windows and doors seal properly to stop warm air escaping, and close doors behind you to keep draughts to a minimum. For windows and doors which don’t seal, a draught excluder is a cheap alternative which you can buy from most DIY stores – or create your own by filling an old jumper sleeve or pair of tights with dry rice.


Check your boiler

Ensure your boiler is working properly and running efficiently. If you have a pressure gauge, make sure the boiler is at the right pressure and top-up as necessary.


Take meter readings

Make a note of the readings on your gas and electricity meters. If your new home doesn’t have smart meters already installed, why not consider upgrading so that you always receive accurate bills, without having to take manual readings? Find out more about smart meters here


Check alarms

Test your carbon monoxide and smoke alarms to make sure they’re working properly and the batteries don’t need replacing.



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