Moving is an exciting time but if too much is left to the last moment, it also has the potential to be a stressful experience.
To help you focus on the fun of your next house move, a little organisation can go a long way – and with this checklist to guide you, making the right move can be easier than ever.
Before you face any big task, learning how to break it down into smaller steps is a practical way to reduce stress and take control – and when it comes to moving house, creating a calendar can help turn your to-do list from terrifying to terrific.
One month before you move
1. Book your removalists
Your treasured belongings deserve to be looked after, so it’s smart to get in early to secure quality removalists to help handle your big day. Do your research and compare prices, services offered and insurance cover. They should be able to create a ballpark quote, based on the size of your home and the distance between the two properties.
Remember that other factors, such as stairs and furniture assembly can all add to the cost, especially on popular moving days such as Saturdays. So be sure to do your research and comparisons and book in your preferred removalists as soon as you can.
2. Confirm your cleaners
If you’re selling your current home, making sure that your property is in clean condition to hand over to the next occupants is the right thing to do. Once all your belongings have been removed, professional cleaners can deal with the grotty grime that may have been lurking behind your fridge or washing machine for years to help the new residents enjoy a space that sparkles. You can also save money and clean it yourself.
Whether you’re moving into a new place as a tenant or an owner-occupier, talk to the property manager or real estate agent looking after it to check that cleaning has been arranged. Depending on your own cleanliness standards, you might also want to use your own trusted cleaner to apply some extra polish to your new address.
Cleaners are busy people, so if knowing things are spick and span makes you smile, it’s a clever idea to get in early and make a booking.
3. Declutter and get organised
Every time you move, it’s a fantastic opportunity to look at your belongings and be brutally honest about how much you need or want them.
If clothes and shoes no longer fit, donate them to a local op-shop. Broken things that can’t be repaired should be thrown out. If there are items that you’re not ready to let go of, but you know you don’t want them on display in your new place, start packing them away in sealed, labelled storage tubs now. If there’s no room for them where you’re going, renting space in a storage facility is a sensible short-term measure – but try to decide about whether to keep them or not soon, to avoid the ongoing monthly fees.
4. Clean out your pantry, fridge and freezer
Culling isn’t just for clothing, old books and DVDs. Moving is a great time to take stock of your pantry goods and finally throw out that jar of tinned peaches with the 2019 expiry date.
If you’ve got a freezer filled with pre-cooked meals or raw food to cook, stop buying and start eating. By working your way through the odds and ends of your fridge and freezer, you’ll save money and time on unnecessary trips to the supermarket – and you’ll reduce waste.
Two weeks before you move
5. Time to pack
Now is the time to source moving boxes and packing tape. You can buy boxes but, depending on how many you need, a call-out on a local neighbourhood social media group can connect you with neighbours who have boxes they’re keen to get rid of for free. Depending on the removalist you’ve chosen, they may also provide boxes and a packing service.
Don’t leave packing until the last minute. Packing carefully might take extra time but it means easier unpacking at the other end, better organised boxes and less likelihood of having your precious possessions damaged in transit. Be sure to use bubble wrap for fragile items.
Organise your packing boxes by room, with clear colour-coded labels for easy identification at the other end. Remember to put heavy items at the bottom of the box, with lighter objects on top. Packing heavy things in smaller boxes will help minimise the risk of boxes breaking – or causing injury because they are too heavy to lift.
6. Protect yourself with home insurance
It’s important that you have your new home and contents insurance in place before you move in, and, depending on the state or territory your property is in, you may need insurance in place from the date you sign the contract of sale.
That makes now the perfect time to call your insurer and swap your policy over if you have not already done it, to make sure you have the right cover in place when you need it. Remember to check that your policy covers moving day itself. Some insurers will make this a standard part of an insurance policy, while others will charge you extra. Check with your removalist about what their own insurance covers, to make sure you are not paying additional charges you don’t need.
One week before you move
7. Dismantle furniture
To save you time and money on moving day, making the effort to dismantle furniture, such as bookshelves, TV cabinets and even beds, can start now. You can store the dismantled furniture with your other packed boxes – ready to move out.
Make sure you put all the screws, bolts, assembly keys, and furniture legs in a clearly labelled bag that you pack in a special ‘assembly’ tub or box, so you can find it easily at the other end. Little boxes like this are better off travelling in your own vehicle to make finding them easy.
8. Get your house in order
Make the transition for the new owners into your former home as easy as possible by gathering remote controls for heating/cooling, as well as instruction manuals and warranty paperwork for any included appliances.
If you leave them all in a cupboard or drawer, complete with a sticky-note to guide them there, you’ll be packing up your own house and helping the new buyers all at the same time. Be sure to collect any spare house keys you may have hidden around the house, or with neighbours, and leave them there as well.
One day before you move
9. Create a survival kit
Create (and label!) a survival kit to suit your needs. Consider including cups, a kettle or coffee machine (complete with tea bags, coffee pods/beans, sugar sachets, teaspoons, and long-life milk), spare light globes, toilet paper, garbage bags, pet supplies, laptops and chargers, scissors, important tools, sunscreen, toothbrushes and any school supplies that kids might need straight after moving day.
10. Tie up loose ends in the neighbourhood
If you’re leaving an area for good, look for any library books to return, pick up clothes from the local dry cleaner and grab any prescription refills from your neighbourhood pharmacy.
Top tips to make moving day stress-free
Moving out means there’s always lots to do, including redirecting mail, or cancelling local fitness club memberships. But by sticking to a to-do list in the weeks leading up to your move, moving day can be managed in a way that’s calm and coordinated – leaving you time to imagine your exciting new future at your next address.
Have a question about the process? Or want to speak to a member of our team? We’re here to help. You can get in touch on 1300 932 738.
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This article is provided for general information purposes only. Its content is current at the date of publication. It is not legal advice and is not tailored to meet your individual needs. You should obtain specialist advice based on your specific circumstances before taking any action concerning the matters discussed in this article.