Moving House Checklist

Moving house can be quite a daunting task and sometimes it is hard to know where to start. Preparation is key – the last thing anyone wants is to be frantically throwing random items into boxes when the removalists arrive. While moving house is up there amongst life’s most stressful events, it’s also a terrific opportunity to declutter and take stock of your possessions.

To help alleviate the stress of moving day, we have made this checklist. Follow the detailed countdown to take out the guesswork and you and your family will be ready for moving day.

6 weeks prior to moving

You should begin officially preparing to move at least six weeks in advance. This is the time to consider the logistics of moving house and what will best suit your family; will you be hiring removalists, or a truck to move everything yourself? Will you pack yourself or use a packing service? After vacating your current home, will you hire a cleaner?

Downsize, declutter and repair

• Have a thorough cleanout and organise a garage sale or list items for sale/offer giveaways online.
• Start to limit the amount of food that is being brought into the home. Try eating what is currently in the pantry and freezer as this makes moving a lot easier. Creating a meal plan is a great way to make sure all your perishables get eaten in time.
• Organise any home repairs if necessary.

Preplan where things will go in your new home

• If you have the floor plan of your new home, start planning where your furniture and other items will go. This will help you decide what to keep or get rid of.
• Always check if the larger items will fit in the new house, as you don’t want to end up with a fridge that’s a couple of millimetres off from fitting in the cavity. This is a problem that is best dealt with before moving into the new house.

Choose moving services and suppliers

• Select a removalist and packing service, if necessary.
• If you are packing yourself, start to plan how and where to get your packing materials from.
• Book an end of lease cleaner if you are renting.

Begin moving house ‘admin’

• Start to keep track of incoming mail so that you don’t forget anything that needs to be redirected.
• Arrange for the transfer of your utilities. It is always best to arrange this earlier as sometimes, in busy periods, it is hard to get certain utilities connected on time.
• If your children are changing school or daycare, give notice of their departure and collect any necessary paperwork or reports.
• Collect medical records from your doctors, dentists or other specialists if you will be changing these after the move.

Begin packing

• Have a plan for what order you will pack up items in, and where in your home the boxes will go.
• Start to pack non-essential items – books, DVDs, seasonal clothes – as soon as your packing materials arrive. You never realise just how much you own until you have to pack it into boxes, so an early start is crucial.

4 weeks before moving

The four-week countdown begins! Now is the time to lock in services and organise the logistics of moving day. It’s also important to keep packing and doing home admin for the move.

Organise removalist details

• Finalise and lock in your moving date and settlement times if relevant with your removalist.
• Let your removalists know if you have any precious or speciality items that you would like to be handled with extra care and arrange the necessary packing materials.

Continue moving house admin

• If you are renting, notice should be given to your landlord.
• Check with your employer and arrange to have the moving day off and any other time that you may need to complete your move.
• Arrange insurance for your items in case of loss or damage during transit. Also, transfer your home and contents insurance, if necessary, to your new address.
• Advise your bank of your address change.
• Provide your change of address to your local council, insurance companies, accountant, and stores where you have accounts and clubs.
• Make childcare and pet care arrangements for the day of the move, if necessary.

Keep packing!

• Continue to pack up items in order of least priority.
• Make a list of vital items that you will carry with you on the day.

The seven-day countdown

The last week before moving day can be particularly stressful, with so many small but important tasks to do. Follow the daily guidelines below to make sure you remember everything.

7-6 days to go

• Notify the Post Office regarding redirection of your mail.
• Advise the electoral office.
• Advise the taxation office.
• Advise the relevant authorities of a change of address on your licence and car registration.
• Ensure that electricity, gas and any other service is scheduled for connection in your new home for the move-in day.

5-4 days to go

• Make a list of essential items you will need for moving day.
• Pack a couple of suitcases with a few days’ supply of clean clothes, toys and toiletries. That way you won’t have to rummage through hundreds of boxes on your first night.
• If you’re moving out of town, make sure to collect any items such as dry cleaning, lay buys or anything that is getting repaired by a third party.
• Return library books or videos that have been hired. Even if you are only moving locally, it is best to return them as in the frenzy of packing, things can become hard to find.
• Cancel any ongoing deliveries that you have at your current home, e.g. milk, papers, magazines.

2-3 days to go

• Cancel any regular services such as lawn mowing.
• Check with the manufacturer of your washing machine as sometimes it needs to be bolted down for transport.
• Do a final clear out of the garage and any outdoor areas.
• Dispose of flammables correctly as these are items that cannot be transported.
• Drain all fuel from your lawnmower, whipper-snipper and any other machinery that has fuel or oil.
• Prepare any bulky items which are being moved, such as trampolines, kids play equipment, garden furniture, swings or anything else that is not essential for the next few days.

Day before move

• Make sure gas, electricity and water meters have been read.
• If they’re moving to storage, defrost your fridge and freezer. Clean and dry their interior to prevent mould from accumulating over time.
• Begin dismantling or disconnecting any items of furniture that are no longer needed. Washing machines and beds are the most common.
• Finalise packing, remembering to keep important items separate (to carry with you in person) along with some suitcases with essential day-to-day items.

Moving day

Don’t worry! You are probably well organised, even though it may seem like you’re not.

Leaving your old home

• Carry all valuables and important papers with you.
• Make sure all taps are turned off.
• Check gas, electrical switches and lights.
• Lock doors and windows and collect all keys.
• Check and double-check that nothing has been left behind.
• Give your removalists the floor plan of your new home and advise which rooms to put furniture in.

Moving into your new house

• Assemble and make up beds – everyone will be tired, so do this first to ensure tired children and spouses can drift easily to sleep.
• Unpack the suitcases with essential clothes, toys and toiletries.
• Focus on helping children and pets feel comfortable in their new home; prioritise setting up their rooms or play areas.
• Take a deep breath and relax – you did it!

Moving doesn’t have to be a stressful nightmare; with the right planning and preparation, you can comfortably pack up your old house and move into your new home.