Moving home can be extremely stressful. I should know; I’ve moved 22 times in my adulthood, including four times to the other side of the world! We recently moved to Mortdale, in Sydney’s George’s River region and I’m hoping to stay here for many years to come…mainly so I don’t have to go through the stress of moving again. A successful move can take weeks of organisation, but over the years I’ve learnt what needs to be done before and after any move, whether is from down the road or to a different continent. Below is my Moving House Checklist to make your life a little easier.
Please note, I can help you with everything listed here, plus anything else you need assistance with.
Before the move
- Decide if you are going to hire someone to pack your items, or if you will do it yourself;
- If you decide the latter, it’s the perfect opportunity to declutter (including food past its use-by date). Also, make sure you mark boxes with breakables as fragile, and which room they are for;
- Offload everything you have decided you no longer want or need. Donate to Vinnies, a clothing bin or this Facebook group; Sell on Facebook Marketplace, Ebay or Gumtree; or organise a council collection. If you have a lot of items to dispose of, you could hold a garage sale;
- Pack your boxes as if you will be lifting them yourself (i.e. not too full);
- Book a reputable removalist company who are accredited by Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA);
- Ask on your local Facebook group if anyone has moving boxes they don’t need and collect them, or ask your removalists for some (it’s a good idea to get more than you think you will need, as you’ll be surprised how many you go through and removalist companies shouldn’t charge you for those you don’t use);
- Contact your utility providers (electricity, gas, internet, water, landline/Foxtel if relevant) and insurance (car, home and contents) companies to let them know your new address and arrange final readings of gas and electricity meters;
- Moving to a new house is also a good time to renegotiate any utility contracts you have and check if there are any better ones available;
- Book cleaners for the day after you move;
- Change your address with the following, as relevant: driver’s licence, car rego, banks, credit cards, Flybuys, Everyday Rewards, electoral office, newspapers, gardener, regular cleaner, mobile phone, airline frequent flyer memberships, superannuation, clubs, friends and family and anyone else you get post from;
- Set up Mail Direction with Australia Post, in case you forget anyone in the above step;
- Download and print out the floor plan of your new home from realestate.com.au or Domain, and check all your furniture will fit. Work out if you need to buy anything new;
- If you have any children and you are moving more than a few km, you will probably need to organise a new daycare or school. Ensure there is someone to look after your child(ren) on the moving day;
- Confirm with your real estate agent what time you can collect the keys as this will determine your moving day;
- Fix or hire a handyman for any necessary repairs required, in your old as well as your new home;
- If you’re are leasing your old home, arrange a property inspection, take photos of any damage or general wear & tear, and arrange to get your bond back;
- Collect dry cleaning if you’re moving out of the area;
- Book time off work if you’re moving on a workday;
- If you have bought your new home, arrange an inspection the day before you settle to check everything looks and works as it should;
- If you don’t have a small bar fridge to keep your perishables cold/frozen on moving day, make sure you have a large esky and lots of ice;
- Create a box with all the things you will need on the first night/morning, such as bed linen, towels, medication, phone chargers and teabags. Make sure it has everything you need if there any problems. For example, our first removalist turned up on moving day, in pouring rain, with no roof (it had blown off in a storm the day before)!
- The evening before or the morning of the move: Defrost and empty your fridge and tape the door shut; Don’t forget to check the tops of cupboards, your garden, shed and garage for anything you may have forgotten; and return all keys to the real estate agent.
After the move
- Make the beds;
- Check all utilities are connected, the lights work, and the hot water is on;
- Settle children and pets with familiar items for reassurance;
- Check that nothing was broken or went missing during the move;
- Check the gas and electricity meter readings;
- Make your new home baby/child-proof if you have any children, especially if there are stairs or balconies;
- If you purchased your new home, and even if you don’t have children, bolt all your big, heavy furniture to the wall;
- Go furniture shopping for anything you need and build the furniture if it’s not already assembled
- Do any repairs or renovations if required, such as painting, floorboards, bathroom tiles, blinds etc;
- Once you’ve unpacked, advertise your moving boxes on your local Facebook group, for someone else to utilise;
- Consider rekeying the locks;
- Get a spare set of keys cut and add a lockbox, hidden near your front door;
- Don’t forget to put your own mark on your new home, such as adding a feature photo wall;
- Introduce yourself to your new neighbours and explore your neighbourhood.