Your Ultimate Moving House Checklist

Moving house is one of the most stressful things that we all go through in life from time to time. It is a time-consuming job that requires plenty of planning, preparation, and patience. By prioritising tasks and being well organised, you can save time and avoid a lot of stress. A comprehensive moving house checklist is a must in order to ensure a stress-free move. With a detailed moving checklist, packing all your belongings and moving locally, interstate, or even across the globe becomes that much easier. Your Ultimate Moving House Checklist will assist you prepare and pack your belongings as quickly, easily, and safely as possible, and manage your move as efficiently and stress free as possible.

While you are packing, it is likely you will come across belongings you have not used or even seen for years. Moving house is good opportunity to declutter and get rid of this that you do not need. Be prepared that your belongings will take up more space than you think. An accurate volume estimate is imperative, which is best done by physically measuring bulky items like furniture and packing smaller items in sized packing boxes. Packing safely and securely takes a lot of time. The more time and effort you put into the packing process the easier unpacking will be. Ensuring your belongings are properly packed also reduces the risk of damage during the move.

4-6 Weeks before the Moving Day

  • Book your removal company and choose carefully. A good starting point would be the Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA) Directory.
  • Establish your moving budget, obtain written quotations from several removalists, select your preferred removalist, and establish moving transit insurance.
  • If you are doing a DIY move with help from family and friends, you still need to establish your budget to hire a move truck and moving transit insurance.
  • Organise Contents and Household Insurance for your new home.
  • Complete a floor plan of your new home for furniture placement and measure the spaces to ensure your furniture will fit, particularly the fridge. Ensure that your large items like the sofas and fridges will fit through doors and corridors.
  • Prepare an inventory of everything you own, noting any scratches or dents.
  • Check any moving instructions for your appliances like the washing machine, dryer, television, and home theatre with the original manufacturer’s owner’s manuals.
  • Use up all opened food packets and dispose of foods past their use-by date.
  • Remember to sort through the garage and garden shed to ensure that you only move what you need and get rid of anything you do not need.
  • Gas cylinders and air bottles should be empty with valves open, properly dispose of all flammable liquids (garden chemicals, paint, paint thinners, cleaning fluids, bleach, fuel, aerosols, etc.).
  • Start to use up all food in the freezer.
  • Dispose of everything that you do not need.
  • Arrange a rubbish pick-up with the local Council.
  • Schedule for property repairs and clean up if required.
  • Arrange property inspection and book cleaners.
  • Research storage facilities if needed.
  • Notify Electoral Office of your new address.
  • Notify Department of Transport of your new address.
  • Arrange to have your mail held or redirected to your new address.
  • Transfer and set up utilities at your new address.
  • Obtain family and pet medical records.
  • Obtain dental and school records.
  • Return borrowed or rented items.
  • Redirect or cancel newspaper and other subscriptions.
  • Arrange School, Pre-School, Day-Care transfers.
  • Create a folder for all your moving documents.
  • If you have a pet, be sure to arrange for pet relocation services, that is if you are not planning on relocating the pet yourself.
  • If relocating internationally, organise passports, visas, tickets, currency, credit cards, accommodation, and local transport.
  • Confirm old and new house keys collection date and time with your real estate agents as this will determine your moving day.
  • Make a note of all precious items that require special packaging; collate all your important, personal items and documents – passports, birth certificates, identity cards, legal documents, wills, jewellery, etc. – and store them in waterproof folders. These are the items that you should plan to carry yourself to the new address.

If Packing Yourself

  • Arrange carton and packing materials delivery (labels, bubble wrap, tape, markers, paper) with your removalist or storage company.
  • Use clean white butcher's paper, not newspaper as it soils items, especially china and other precious items.
  • Label every carton clearly, on the tape, noting each carton’s contents and its destination room.
  • Prepare an inventory list of each carton, clearly marking cartons that contain fragile items, noting all dents and scratches.
  • Pack lighter items in large cartons, heavier items in small cartons, with heavier items placed at the bottom of the small cartons.
  • Dismantle furniture that comes apart remembering to tape screws in an obvious location or label and place in a special carton with home entertainment systems remote controls, bed legs, shelf supports, keys to cabinetry and manufacturers’ operating manuals and assembly instructions for reassembly of items.
  • Prepare a package with bare essentials like kettle, tea, coffee, breakfast requirements, special children’s toys, school needs, pet requirements, bathroom necessities, telephone handset, medications, snacks, corkscrew, spare light globes, scissors, tools, paper towels and toilet paper.
  • Consider taking very sentimental and personal items with you in your car. Make a note of all precious items that require special packaging; collate all your important, personal items and documents – passports, birth certificates, identity cards, legal documents, wills, jewellery, etc. – and store them in waterproof folders. These are the items that you should plan to carry yourself to the new address.

2-3 Weeks to Moving Day

  • Contact all relevant authorities to notify of your new address.
  • Return all library books and other hired borrowed subscription items.
  • Arrange for family and friends to mind children & pets on moving day.
  • Arrange transfer of bank accounts, internet, telephone, gas, electricity connections.
  • Arrange move of cars, boat, trailer.
  • Fill prescriptions needed the week before and after the move.
  • Service your car. If you are driving long distances during your move, ensure your car is in good working order
  • Arrange final readings of gas and electricity meters, remove batteries.
  • Discontinue any delivery services, newspapers, automated payment plans and local memberships. Collect dry cleaning.
  • Book a locksmith to change the keys on moving day at your new home.
  • Arrange time off work on moving day.
  • Ensure new home will be thoroughly cleaned, oven cleaned, carpet steam cleaned before your move and original home after your move.
  • Disassemble outdoor items, children’s play equipment.
  • Create a Handyman Kit with hammer, Allen keys, screwdriver, lightbulbs, nails and wall hooks, pen knife.
  • Contact your removalist to confirm the move date, payment arrangements and any other removal requirements
  • Investigate any moving requirements, like parking and access restrictions, lift protocol and traffic management, imposed by authorities such as your local council, body corporate or building manager.
  • Cancel any domestic services such as gardeners or house cleaners

1 Week to Moving Day

  • Set aside bed linens, towels to be used on the first night so beds can be made up as soon as possible on moving day.
  • Draw up your plan of each room in your new home with furniture placement for your removal supervisor.
  • Have indoor plants watered lightly and packed into plastic lined boxes.
  • Advise domestic services, e.g. babysitter, gardener, cleaner.
  • Ensure all computers and important devices are backed up, and files are stored separately and securely, and prepare printer and scanner for travel.
  • Re-confirm all moving details with removalist, real estate agent, lawyer. Confirm that your mover has all contact numbers, new address, and clear detailed instructions.
  • Prepare a friendly welcoming note for the new residents with any relevant information to help the settling-in process and your contact details.
  • Arrange access and parking for the Removalist's truck.

The Day Before the Move

  • Defrost and empty out your refrigerator.
  • Have a portable Esky and ice to transport contents.
  • Clean the oven and cooktop and have vacuum on hand for last minute cleaning.
  • Pack personal luggage / items to take with you.
  • If using professional packers remember to leave out essential items for that evening and the following day.
  • Unplug and tie up appliance cords.
  • Cash on hand for last minute expenses and necessary finances.
  • If your house will be empty for a while inform police and neighbours.
  • Say goodbye to your old neighbours.
  • Prepare an action plan for moving day.

Moving Day

  • Have your package for bare essentials like kettle, tea, coffee, breakfast requirements, special children’s toys, school needs, pet requirements (especially leads), bathroom necessities, telephone handset, medications, snacks, corkscrew, spare light globes, scissors, tools, paper towels and toilet paper on hand.
  • Provide removalist with floor plans and new address parking information.
  • Ask removalist to load kitchen boxes last so they are first off, the truck.
  • Try to keep visitors to your new home to a minimum and have all pet needs at hand.
  • Ensure all meters read, car and house key collection organised.
  • Check off all items as they go into the moving van.
  • Lock all doors and windows, turn off hot water system if required.
  • Check the tops of cupboards, garden area, sheds, garage.
  • Return all keys, lock house, turn off power, tighten all taps, check gas and electrical.
  • Remove electric/remote garage opener from your car.

Your New Home

  • Stand at the entry point and give clear directions as to furniture placement.
  • If leasing the new property, be sure to document condition of property and furnishings with the appropriate agent.
  • Check all utilities are connected, hot water service on.
  • At completion of unloading, check all is to your satisfaction.
  • Have security checked and locks changed if concerned.
  • If move is from storage, interstate or overseas, check and sign the Inventory.
  • Assemble beds and make up as soon as possible.
  • Settle children and pets with familiar items for reassurance.
  • Notify moving company immediately if anything is missing.
  • Keep cats inside for a few days.
  • Check that you have all keys and relevant instructions to your new residence.
  • Contact your new local council for garbage collection information and new residents' folders.
  • Say hello to your new neighbours.

Disclaimer

Information provided in the text above is general in nature and does not consider your specific moving house needs and requirements. The information is not professional advice and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on the information in the text above as an alternative to professional advice. If you have specific questions relating to this subject, we strongly recommend that you seek independent professional removalist advice for all the relevant information and requirements.