Whether you’re downsizing, upgrading, or just needing a change, moving house is tough. It’s time consuming, expensive and emotionally challenging, however, with careful planning and the right resources, it can be a relatively stress-free process.
Here is a handy checklist of things to do before moving into a new house.
4-8 weeks before moving
- Confirm when you can pick up your new home’s keys based on the time of settlement—this will determine your moving day. If you are renting, formally notify your property manager of the date you plan to vacate the property, so that keys can be returned and a new tenant organised.
- Plan your moving transportation, whether a removalist or truck rental. With removalists, research their services to confirm the following:
- Their rates
- Whether they have insurance
- The moving process and the costs involved if your move needs to be rescheduled
- Provide your chosen removalist with a layout of each room in your new property, which can assist them with furniture and box placement on the day. If you are booking a truck and moving yourself, consider also hiring a trolley to move large furniture, as well as blankets to prevent it being scratched.
- Before moving into a new house, acquire the following packing materials:
- Boxes (new moving boxes can be expensive, so consider sourcing used boxes from local retailers)
- Strong packing tape
- Bubble wrap
- Paper for wrapping and labels
- Check the weight limits of boxes and try to pack heavier items in smaller ones and lighter items in larger ones, to make them more manageable. Fragile and breakable items should be wrapped carefully in bubble wrap or clean white paper as newspaper ink can stain. Alternatively use towels or linen for padding. Porta-robes are a great option for transporting clothing as there is no folding (and unfolding) involved!
- Label all boxes clearly with content details, its room destination and an arrow that shows the correct way the box should be standing. This is particularly important for boxes that contain fragile and breakable items. Create an inventory list of both furniture and boxes to use as a checklist on moving day.
- Hold a garage sale or donate, sell or dispose of any unnecessary items in skip bins, kerbside pickups or resource recovery centres. Research storage facilities if you need to store any items in between moves.
2-4 weeks before moving
- If you have been renting, you’ll need to arrange a bond clean to meet your end-of-lease agreement. You can then arrange for a property inspection to recoup your bond. If you have purchased a new house, you are entitled to inspect the property before settlement to ensure it is presented in the same way as when it was sold.
- Before moving into a new house, organise mail redirection via Australia Post. Mail will be forwarded from your old address directly to your new address and the service can be arranged for one, three, 6 or 12 months.
- Change your contact details with your service providers including your bank, solicitor, insurance companies, Medicare, and your medical contacts. You will also need to update your driver’s licence details, employer payroll and electoral registration, and redirect any newspaper and magazine subscriptions. If you have a pet, you will need to update its registration details with your local council.
- Cancel all services and utilities in your old home and arrange to have them installed in your new residence with your new contact details. These include your pay TV, telephone, internet service, water, gas and electricity providers. Some utility providers may require access to your new house, so have a contingency plan in place in case of delays.
- Organise home and contents insurance for your new home. Home insurance covers the building itself and its fixtures, and can also cover legal costs if someone is injured on your property. Contents insurance covers personal belongings and household items. If you are renting, you will only need contents insurance as the landlord, property owner or body corporate is responsible for insuring the building.
- Prepare an “essentials box” containing important items like remote controls, keys, mobile phone chargers, medications, toiletries and furniture assembly instructions if required. Valuables like legal documents and jewellery should be stored in a safe place off-site. Bed linen and towels should also be packed to use on the first night in your new home.
2-4 days before moving
- Prepare an action plan for moving day, including confirming your mobile number and new address with the removalist and the time they will arrive, and arranging the appropriate parking and access for them. If you are moving yourself, confirm the details for the pick up of your rental truck.
- Pack a bag with your valuables, keys, wallet/purse, a pen and paper, important documents and other essentials. Set aside the boxes and items you have decided to move yourself.
- Clean your fridge and defrost your freezer, drain fuel from your lawnmower, and discard any flammable or hazardous substances that may prove dangerous during the moving process.
- Before moving into a new house, you should also purchase a range of cleaning supplies—you will need them on moving day!
On moving day
- Check all rooms and cupboards in your old property for any forgotten items, and tick items off your inventory list as they go into the removalist truck.
- Lock the windows and doors, turn off all the lights, and return the keys if applicable.
- Unpack essential kitchen and bathroom items first, assemble and make the beds as soon as possible, and check that utilities are working including the phone, internet, water, gas, electricity and hot water.
- Contact your local council for information about garbage collection days, introduce yourself to your new neighbours, then prepare to enjoy your new home (after all the unpacking of course!)
- Shay Waraker, 2017, Moving House Checklist: Things To Do When Moving, Canstar
- 2020, Choosing Home Insurance, moneysmart.gov.au