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  • Moving Home

    The Ultimate Moving House Guide

February 2018

All the things to do when moving house. Read on for our moving home checklist and list of top tips.

Moving can be a stressful time. However the more organised you are, the easier your move will be. We have compiled a complete moving house checklist with things to do when moving house. This checklist will help you organise your move with a minimum of fuss and combat moving home stress.

Moving house tips: leading up to moving house

It goes without saying, you should always finalise your new home before giving up the old. If you’re renting, ensure you have confirmation that the outgoing tenants are leaving on the pre-arranged date.

Give notice or change your address, particularly if you’re moving house to a new suburb or town:

  • Schools - If your children will be moving to new schools, give notice now
  • Delivery Services - Suspend newspaper and other deliveries, or submit a change of address to take effect on move day
  • House alarm / armed response security company
  • Monthly subscriptions services, such as wine-of-the-month, or magazine subscriptions

Expert Tip: For a comprehensive checklist, refer to our guide on who to notify when you move house.

Compile important documents:

Before you start with the big cleanup that goes hand-in-hand with moving, compile all your important documents. The last thing you need is everything to be scattered in different boxes, or for important items to go missing. Create a folder with all the original documents and scan them onto your computer. Also consider making another physical copy of all the documents, including:

  • School records
  • Medical records and prescriptions
  • Driver’s license
  • Passports
  • Bank statements
  • Receipts of new appliances that are still under warranty
  • Hire purchase agreements
  • Lease agreements for the old and new homes
  • Any important communications
  • Documents and receipts relating to moving house

Expert Tip: This might be a good time to take your children along so that they can see their new rooms. Change can make some children insecure, so it can help to make them a part of the process.

Put all important documents, jewellery and valuable items together.

  • Consider keeping these items in a safety deposit box until after the move
  • Arrange special insurance for these items, if you don’t put them in storage

Go through your current home, room by room, and decide what to take and what to dispose of. To help make the decision easier, here are some tips and questions you can ask yourself:

  • Will I have space for this in my new home?
  • Will it suit my new life?
  • When did I last use it and what are the chances I will use it in future?

Decide what you will sell, give away, and throw away.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. By sorting items into different piles you can clear up space to pack the important items.

Expert Tip: To learn more about disposing items prior to a move, read our guide on how to get rid of stuff before moving.

Start collecting packing materials:

  • Instead of buying expensive boxes, visit your local stores. Most supermarkets and department stores are happy to get rid of boxes
  • Buy tape, markers, labels or coloured stickers to organise your boxes

Moving house checklist: four weeks before the move

By now, your move is becoming real and you may be getting nervous. Don’t worry - we have you covered!

  • If you are renting, formally notify your landlord of your moving date
  • Begin packing; clearly label all boxes with their full contents and the name of the room they are for
  • Create three piles - 1. “For Sale” 2. “Donations” 3. “Give Away”. Then sort any possessions you no longer want into each pile
  • Grocery shopping: From here on in, just buy the items you need, and avoid bulk buying.
  • Garden / pool services - If you’re renting, arrange the final service dates to coincide with the day before your landlord’s final inspection. This helps to ensure the garden is impeccable

Packing Tips:

  • First pack up the room you use least often, and turn it into “Packing Central”. That way you can continue living a reasonably orderly life until Move Day.
  • Pack one room at a time, clearing out the items you don’t need until you arrive at the new home.
  • Pack your books flat, in order from biggest to smallest. Never pack books in a spine-up position, as the weight may drag them down and cause tearing from the covers.
  • If you kept the original boxes for your appliances, re-use those boxes. This applies especially to large, valuable appliances such as television sets.
  • Always pack heavier items in smaller boxes to make it easier to carry.

Expert Tip: To learn more about how to safely transport your items, read our packing tips guide on how to pack for a move.

Moving house checklist: 3 weeks before the move

  • Organise new home and contents insurance
  • Organise storage for items you want to keep but don’t need at your new home
  • Locate your spare keys in preparation for handover
  • Request moving quotes from comparison sites and compare quotes from at least 3 companies. Or, if you prefer, get quotes on a moving truck if you want to handle the move yourself. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each:

DIY Move:

  • More flexibility (in terms of how many loads you can do)
  • You have greater control
  • Hiring a truck is cheaper than hiring a removals team
  • You may need to hire labour to handle large or heavy items
  • You might need a few friends to help

Professional Removalist

  • Everything is usually loaded and carried in a single trip
  • Moving companies employ trained, permanent staff.
  • If you have lots of items, professional removalists know how to make the most of space in the truck
  • Removalists can handle your move quickly saving you precious time
  • Removalists can cost upwards of AU$500

Expert tip: Budgeting for moving day can help with keeping a handle on expenses. Read our helpful guide to find out how much it costs to move house. How to save money on your move:

  • Get rid of anything you no longer want or need. Quotes are calculated on a per hour basis, so less is more
  • Use recycled packing materials
  • Opt for a mid-week move in the middle of the month, if you can. Some removal companies have mid week specials. Weekends, especially at month-end, are busier and usually more expensive

Expert tip: Don’t compromise on insurance. Most removalists include insurance in their quotes, but be sure that it’s sufficient to cover your goods.

  • Be sure to notify the moving company of the following issues:
  • Gated communities: Does your community offer access to large trucks?
  • Stairs: Will the removalists have to carry items up stairs? If so, how many stairs?
  • Lifts: If you have big items such as a king size bed, check to see if it can fit in the lift

Moving house checklist: 2 weeks before the move

  • Book and pay the removalist (or truck hire) for the move to your new home
  • Organise your electricity, gas, telephone, Internet and Pay TV connection
  • Organise your mail redirection
  • If you’re renting, book a cleaner and carpet cleaner for your current home

Final house cleaning checklist:

These final two weeks before move day can be busy. So it makes sense to invest in a professional cleaning service to take care of the dirty work. This lets you focus on those crucial last-minute arrangements. Here are the items to pay most attention to:

  • Stains and scuff marks on floors and walls
  • Dents and stains on carpets
  • Windows
  • Mould and mildew in the bathrooms and kitchen
  • Shower doors and shutter panels
  • Toilets and bathtubs
  • Oven, stovetop and extractor fan
  • Light fittings and other fixtures
  • Doors, door frames, and window sills
  • Cabinet doors (inside and out) as well as the racks inside

Expert tip: Pay attention to outbuildings and garages... as well as the attic and basement.

Moving house checklist: Final week before the move

  • Notify any relevant businesses of your change of address
  • Organise the disconnection of your utilities at your old address
  • Arrange a kennel or pet sitter for your pets on move day
  • Arrange a babysitter for your kids on move day

Pack a “Move Day Essentials” box. This will save you digging around in boxes at your new home. This box should include:

  • Coffee, tea, sugar and nibblies
  • Cleaning supplies for the new home: dishwashing liquid, bleach, air freshener, rags, and dish cloths
  • A picnic basket or plastic cutlery, paper cups, and paper plates
  • A pot and pan, and a microwave dish
  • A clean set of linen for each bed
  • A towel and washcloth for each person

Pack a small overnight bag with the following items for each family member:

  • Pyjamas
  • Clothes for the next day
  • A book to read
  • One favourite toy for each child

Moving house checklist: Last 3 days before the move

Defrost and clean the refrigerator two days before you move. Here’s how:

  • Get rid of any food that will spoil
  • Unplug the fridge and leave the door open
  • Wipe it down inside and out (the door seals too) using household bleach or white vinegar
  • Let it stand unplugged with the doors open until moving day, and then tape it shut

Clean your washing machine, dryer and dishwasher according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This usually involves:

  • Unplugging the power cable from the wall socket
  • Removing drain pipes from the outlets and drain
  • Clean the appliance inside and out, and dry it thoroughly
  • Place all pipes and loose items in a ziplock bag and into the machine. Then tape the doors shut
  • Wrap the cables in cardboard, and then tape it to the machine

Moving house checklist: Moving day!

The day has arrived! Be sure to get an early start, so that you are ready when the moving truck arrives:
  • Make any last-minute arrangements for the children and pets
  • Put all your overnight boxes, bags, and valuables in the car
  • Do a final clean and check of all of the cupboards
  • Give the house a final sweep and lock up

The final word

Moving house is one of the greatest stressors we go experience. By going through our checklist and ensuring you have everything in order, you can reduce that stress and make the process a bit simpler. Follow our tips to lower your moving anxiety and prepare yourself properly with enough time, so you can enjoy being in your new environment.

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