Moving home is listed as one of life’s top 10 most stressful events, but it can also be one of the most exciting! Whether you are moving to a new rental, have purchased your first home or are selling your old and buying another, we want to create more time for excitement by making it as organised and stress-free as possible with this solid plan.
So if you’re planning on moving, print the following check-list to take your whole experience from pandemonium to prepared.
6-8 WEEKS BEFORE
It’s easy to leave everything to the final hour, but the idea of this list is that you don’t.
So when you’re several weeks out, it’s time to start getting organised.
- Determine the date. Set your moving date and stick with it!
- Book in a removalist. If you’re in need of a removalist, phone around for quotes to find the best deal and book them in early.
TOP TIP: Avoid making a weekend booking – weekdays are often cheaper.
- Lock in your leave. If you decide to move on a weekday, you might need time off work.
- Pest control and cleaning companies. As you’re already on the quest for quotes, do your research into pest control and cleaning options. Scheduling them in several weeks ahead will be one less thing you need to stress about as the moving day creeps closer.
- Consider other essential services. Enquire about other services you may require at your new location, including schooling. If they are a necessity, organise them now.
- Schedule storage. You’re already in research mode, so if you need storage facilities over the coming weeks, it’s a good idea to tick that off early as well.
- Collate your documents. While you’re feeling methodical, start a file for all of your moving documents.
- Notify your current property manager. Don’t forget: 6-8 weeks prior to moving is also a good time to let your property manager know about your plans.
4-5 WEEKS BEFORE
By now you should be getting excited about your new adventure! But there is still plenty to plan:
- Start collecting packing material. Gather boxes, newspaper, bubble wrap and other packing items so they’re ready to go when you are.
- Check for repairs. Moving home is expensive enough, so if you’re renting, be sure to check the home for anything that may need to be repaired. Make a plan to get them fixed or risk not getting your entire bond back.
- Update your insurance. Insurance is often left until later, but it’s better to tick it off early. Let your insurance companies know about the upcoming changes.
TOP TIP: While on the topic of insurance, consider whether you require moving insurance. Many people assume damage done while moving will be covered by home and contents insurance, but this may not be the case.
- Think ahead with the internet. While you’re making calls, contact your internet company to check what is involved with activating it in your new home.
- Furniture – to keep or not to keep? As you imagine yourself in your new home, consider your current furniture – what are you keeping and what do you want to sell, give to charity or discard?
TOP TIP: If possible, measure doorways, entrances, hallways and areas in your new home to see what will and won’t fit.
2-3 WEEKS BEFORE
Last-minute packing – we’ve all been there! And we all know how it ends: forgetting important items; throwing things in a bag and getting frustrated when we can’t find them; and unnecessary stress – lots of it. But not this time!
- Start packing storage areas.
TOP TIP: Pack strategically – wrap breakables in tablecloths, tea towels, sheets, bath towels or even place pillows in as padding. Place heavy items, such as books, in suitcases instead.
- Next up, seldom-used rooms. Chances are, you won’t miss anything from these rooms over the next couple of weeks.
TOP TIP: Take a picture of any display cabinets or photo displays, so you don’t waste time trying to remember how everything went.
Make a start on the kitchen. There always seem to be rarely-used items in this room, so it’s a good place to start earlier than others. Ensure you put heavy items at the bottom of a few boxes and gradually fill them with lighter ones.
TOP TIP: Clearly label each box (preferably on two sides) with what it contains and the room it belongs in. To take your organisation to another level, colour-code each box based on the room they are from and give them a priority rating on when it needs to be unpacked on the other end. (1 = it can wait a while; 5 = unpack ASAP.)
Purge as you pack. Now is the perfect time to do a spring clean as you move through each room!
Begin selling furniture. A couple of weeks ago, you decided what you do and don’t want to keep – now is the time to act on that. Begin uploading items to Gumtree, dropping furniture at donation depots or taking it to the tip.
Organise a date to have the power and water turned on in your new home.
Use up frozen foods. It’s difficult to transport and a waste to throw away, so eat it early!
Make a plan for pets and children. If you have little ones, decide where they will go and how you will manage them while organising the move. It can be added stress having them under your feet.
Pack up the garden and outdoor shed.
TOP TIP: Dispose of garden chemical, paint, fuel and other flammable items in the safe way suggested by the supplier.
1 WEEK BEFORE
One week prior to moving, your home will probably be looking like organised chaos, with the majority of your items strategically placed in clearly-categorised boxes and an idea of when you’re going to pack the rest of your belongings. So, let’s get this final week’s plan in place:
- Don’t leave any packing for the day of the move. It will only create unnecessary stress – have it ready (at the latest) the night before.
- Update your address. Consider where your mail comes from and make sure you update your details and notify Australia Post to organise mail redirection. Think subscriptions; car insurance; vehicle licence and registration; electoral roll; bank; phone bills; superannuation fund; ATO; and ABN.
- Confirm with removalists. Remember those removalists? Check in to ensure everything is still scheduled as you expect to avoid any undesirable surprises.
TOP TIP: Ensure the removalists know where they can park on moving day.
A FEW DAYS BEFORE
Moving day is creeping closer, but you’re feeling more organised than ever! And this next check-list will ensure that continues.
- Check your car. If you’re travelling a distance, check your car’s oil, water and tyres to make sure it’s safe (or at the very least doesn’t causes unnecessary stress with a breakdown).
- What’s the weather up to? If it’s going to be wet and miserable, head to Bunnings to invest in some tarps to keep your belongings dry as you move.
- Do the laundry. It’s bad enough having dirty clothes you can’t wear and nowhere to wash them, but it’s even worse when you pack them away and they start to smell.
TOP TIP: Keep all hanging clothes on their coat hangers – simply place a group of them in a garbage bag with the hangers out the top or use a large cardboard box with a hanging rail.
- Do an inventory of all boxes. Make sure things don’t go missing between this home and your new one – do a stock-take to ensure they all arrive with you.
- Organise an overnight bag. As you get down to your final items, be sure to pack a bag with the necessities so you don’t have to start unpacking boxes straight away.
- Pack an unpacking box. This list is all about making your life easy: scissors, screwdrivers, masking tape, dust cloths, glue – they’ll all come in handy when it comes to unpacking in your new home.
TOP TIP: Grab some ziplock bags from the supermarket so you can put screws in them as you take furniture apart.
- Sketch a plan of where you want everything. Not only will it make unpacking a breeze, it will minimise the time and effort involved with moving furniture here, there and everywhere.
- Eat all the fresh food in the house. The frozen food should be gone, now it’s time for the fresh.
The day you have been planning for has finally arrived! No doubt you will be up early and ticking off your to-do list!
- Final check. Check all cupboards, cabinets and storage – and don’t forget the sheds and backyard, particularly if you have pets!
- Turn off power and water. Avoid bills that extend past when you moved out by contacting your supplier and turning everything off ASAP.
- Disconnect the internet. Turn off the old and double-check the new is as you scheduled it a few weeks ago.
- Collect they keys. Gather all house keys and hand them in.
- Keep valuables with you when you move. We are all about minimalising stress, so avoid worrying about that box of valuables by keeping it close to you.
- Plan your unpacking strategy. As you take your boxes into your new home, follow your colour-coding and drop them in their designated rooms.
TOP TIP: Unpack the kitchen first before moving on to the bedrooms (especially the kids – they may need an early night!) and then the bathrooms. Every other room can be done in the days to come.
- Get some sleep. After a typical moving-day dinner of takeaway on the loungeroom floor, it’s time to get some well-earned rest in your new home!
Over the coming weeks, you will get to unpack all of your old belongings, purchase some new and turn your house into a home. No doubt, you will have learnt what works well when moving and hopefully experienced what has been the smoothest transition yet.