Moving to a new house is like having another full time job added onto your daily life temporarily. The numerous organisational tasks, administrative duties, hours of planning, days of packing, phone calls and emails notifying relevant authorities can quickly begin to feel like an endless mountain to climb. On top of all this you’re experiencing the intense emotions associated with the life changing process of relocation. This is why we strongly recommend that you don’t do this alone. In fact, we recommend seeking out as much help as you can.
A professional moving service can turn this mountain into a molehill. Rather than stressing about how you’re going to find time to pack and move everything, the assistance of a moving team can take the load off and allow you to focus on the best parts of moving. Give yourself permission to forget about packing and instead think about where you’d like the movers to put your furniture. Delegate the heavy lifting and spend that extra time scoping out the best cafes in your new neighbourhood.
Once you’ve booked yourself a moving service, don’t forget that there are still plenty of small but important tasks to get done before your move day. In this checklist for moving house, we provide a comprehensive list of all the jobs you need to complete to get yourself prepared for the move. To give yourself time to move through this list without stress, we recommend starting the first stage of the checklist approximately six to eight weeks before your moving day.
Stage 1: 8 weeks pre-move
In this first stage of your moving process, we recommend starting with some of the crucial steps that will set you up for success down the line. First and foremost is scheduling your move date with a premium moving service. It’s important to start with this step so that you can guarantee availability on the day you want. This will also allow you to plan everything else around this date, giving you some concrete timelines from which to work.
Once you’ve got a date locked in, you can start completing some of the small, but important administrative tasks that could easily pile up if you don’t get on top of them early. These include sorting out your home and contents insurance policy for your new house. This early stage is also optimal for initiating some of the longer processes like organising a change of school for your children, purging your home of unwanted items and creating an inventory of everything that needs to be moved.
- Book a mover
- Contents and household insurance
- Organise change of schools
- Make an inventory of everything (note condition + special care instructions)
- Sell, donate or throw out all unnecessary/unwanted possessions
Stage 2: 5 weeks pre-move
Stage two of the moving checklist is longer as you are starting to get into the gritty details of the move. This is the time to start notifying relevant authorities of your move, like the electoral office, postal office, utility services and other relevant agencies. In addition to these administrative tasks, this is the stage to start preparing for the practical aspects of the move like packing. If you plan to do your own packing, start sourcing all of the packing material that you will require. Make sure to get high quality packing boxes and other materials to ensure that your possessions will be secure during transit.
This stage also includes organising any other moving services that you will require. This includes things like storage or extra vehicle transportation. It’s important to schedule these extra services as early as possible to guarantee availability that suits your moving date.
- Notify electoral office
- Transfer utilities
- Setup mail redirection
- Redirect subscriptions (newspapers, magazines etc)
- Acquire packing materials
- Label everything clearly
- Prepare a bag of essential items
- Arrange rubbish pickup with local council
- Set date for key collection with real estate agency
- Pack precious items like jewelry
- Schedule property inspection and final clean if renting
- Dispose of flammable liquids (paint, cleaning fluids, bleach, garden chemicals etc)
- Create folder for all important documents
- Organise any necessary transfer of bank accounts, telephone, internet etc.
- Have your car serviced
- Arrange plans to move extra vehicles like boats, trailers, motorbikes etc.
- Organise storage if needed
Stage 3: 3 weeks pre-move
Stage 3 of the moving home checklist kicks off some of the essential preliminary packing. It’s important when packing to start with your least-used rooms and items to avoid the frustrating process of unpacking things prior to your move. A good place to start is in your garage or storage spaces like under the house. Getting these nooks cleaned can free up a lot of time in the later stages and also gives you a good idea of the size of the packing task at hand.
This stage is also a good time to confirm some extra details for your move day. This includes getting the day off work, arranging for your children or pets to be looked after, booking in a locksmith for your new home if you need the locks changed or extra keys made. We also recommend disassembling any outdoor furniture or children’s equipment to start ticking off the big items from the checklist. Three weeks before the move you should also make sure that you have informed any regular services that you receive of your upcoming move. This includes babysitters, gardeners, cleaners and any other relevant regular services.
- Arrange for children and pets to be looked after on moving day
- Pack up everything in the garage/shed and under the house
- Fill out medical prescriptions needed
- Empty lawnmower/any machinery of fuel
- Schedule final readings of gas and electricity meters
- Cancel any local memberships and automated payments
- Pickup any dry cleaning or other items being serviced
- Return any borrowed items (library books, co-op tools etc)
- Finish off food from fridge and freezer/clean out kitchen
- Book a locksmith to change the keys at your new place on moving day
- Get the day off work for moving day
- Schedule deep clean of old and new home
- Make an inventory of cartons and their contents
- Mark boxes with delicates as “fragile”
- Note any dents and scratches before movers arrive
- Disassemble any furniture
- Carefully store important pieces like screws into a clearly labelled ziplock bag
- Take apart and pack any outdoor items and children’s equipment
- Pack a utility bag with a hammer, allen keys and screw drive for quick access
- Notify any regular services (babysitters, gardeners, cleaners)
Stage 4: 1 week pre-move
With only a week to go until the big move date, stage 4 is a good time to start confirming plans and organising essentials. Putting aside some bed linen, towels and toiletries for your first couple nights in the new home is a good way to ensure you have a comfortable first night in your new place. Stage 4 is also the time to start drawing up a house plan with furniture locations that can help to guide the moving team on move day.
In this last week it’s also a good idea to iron out any of the details of move day. Make sure there is available access and parking for the moving truck and that the movers have all of the contact details and information they need to do their job.
- Pack first night supplies in an accessible bag (bed linen, towels, toiletries)
- Draw up house plan with furniture locations for moving team
- Water plants and pack with plastic lined transit boxes
- Pack home computer and office supplies (backup all info to external drive or cloud)
- Confirm moving plan, details and contact info with the movers
- Ensure there is available access and parking for moving truck
Stage 5: 1 day pre-move
With just 24 hours to go until the move, you should be on track. At this point you should empty and defrost your fridge, clean the oven, get your essentials ready and turn off all your appliances so that they’re ready for transit.
- Empty fridge and defrost
- Prepare an esky for transporting any leftover fridge contents
- Clean the oven
- Pack a bag of essentials that you don’t want the movers to take
- Turn off and unplug all appliances
Stage 6: The move
You’ve done it, you arrived at the big day! At this point you’ve done most of the work you need to and can leave the heavy lifting and transportation to your team of professional movers. It can be a good idea to inform the moving crew of which items you’d like packed last so they will be first available on the other side. You can also mark off all of the items on your inventory list as they go into the moving truck to make sure it’s all accounted for. Now all you need to do is the final check of the house, turn everything off, lock up and return the keys. You’re all set to move into your new house.
- Keep your essential items with you
- Give the movers a detailed floor plan, parking information and packing instructions
- Ask the movers to pack anything you need last so that it will be first off the truck
- Ensure all car keys and house keys are where they need to be
- Monitor and mark off items going into moving truck
- Turn off hot water system
- Final check of house (tops of cupboards, garden, shed etc)
- Lock all doors and windows
- Turn off power, gas and water
- Remove garage remote from your car
- Return all keys to real estate agent
If you have any questions about any of the topics covered in the Moving House Checklist, get in touch with us to speak with one of our friendly removal specialists. You can contact us via phone on 0800 255 433 or by filling out the online quote request form.