Moving is always stressful. If you plan it properly you can save yourself much of the unnecessary worry, and you may actually enjoy the move.
Ten weeks out
- It's still a long way off, but if you decide to use a removalist you need to book them soon. It may be worth hiring a truck and moving everything yourself.
- Set the date for your move. It probably needs to coincide with settlement and availability of your next property.
- Consider making the move during off-peak times. Removalist and truck rental companies are busiest on Mondays, Fridays and the beginning and end of each month.
- Get prices from at least three companies before booking a removalist or hiring a van. Talk to friends who have moved recently for recommendations.
- Draw a floor plan and make paper cutouts of your furniture to see what fits. You may need to hold a garage sale or give some of it away.
- Use up any frozen, tinned and packaged food. It's just more to carry.
- Spring clean your life. Don't move stuff you don't want to keep. Garage sales are a great way to recycle things out of your life.
- Make a list of those people you need to give your new address. Mark them on a list as you receive mail.
Eight weeks out
- Finalise all details with your removalist, including costs and insurance cover.
- If you are moving yourself, start collecting boxes from supermarkets or friends. You can buy or hire moving boxes from moving companies.
- Start notifying friends and businesses of your new address. It can often take weeks to update their systems. Note: Refer to Moving Checklist here.
- Visit the Post Office (in person or online) to arrange for your mail to be redirected for at least two months after you move.
Three to Six weeks out
- Consider how many boxes will you need. You can pack many less precious items this far out and reduce the stress on the day.
- Consider how your pets can be moved safely. Cats are notorious for hiding on moving day with all the excitement. You could leave your pet with a friend for a couple of days or ask your vet to recommend a pet moving company.
- Arrange for final meter readings of the gas, water and electricity on the day after your move. At the same time you should arrange for services to be connected in your new home before you move in.
- Collect all the packing materials you'll need. This includes:
- Packing tape
- Bubble wrap
- Styrofoam beads
- Old newspapers
- Utility knife
- Packing string
- Marker pens
- Cardboard boxes, lots of boxes
SOUND ADVICE Items you pack yourself are unlikely to be insured for breakage. Therefore, it is a good idea to leave the packing of fragile items, such as glass and china, to the professionals.
Two weeks out
- Cancel all deliveries, e.g. newspaper, milk.
- Speak to your insurance company and ensure your possessions are fully insured during the move. If not, arrange for extra insurance cover for the move.
- Call the council where you are moving to an ask about garbage and recycle pick-up, local regulations and other information.
- It is a good idea to store your jewellery, valuables and certain legal documents with your bank.
One week out
- Tidy the garden and outside area for the new owners.
- Arrange for a locksmith to install new locks on your new property the day after you move.
- Prepare a moving book. Number every box, recording room by room what each box contains.
That way you'll know where everything is when you need it. It is a good idea to colour code each room of the house.
- Clearly mark fragile boxes.
- Take clothing and toiletries with you rather than with the mover.
- Put together a box of items which could be useful for the day of the move: tea, coffee, sugar, a kettle and enough cups for you and the movers.
SOUND ADVICE Drain the fuel from heaters, lamps, lawn mowers or outboard motors etc. before you move. Fuel is heavy and dangerous.
The big day
- Remove all remaining food from your refrigerator and freezer and put in an esky in your car.
- Double check to make sure you've taken everything.
- Turn off all services, including the mains switch and taps.
- Lock doors and windows.
- Drop off your old house keys with the real estate agent for the new owner.
- Check to see if all the services are on and appliances are working in your new home.
- Put a bottle of champagne on ice for the end of the day!
Change of Address
While a general email is a fast way to tell your friends your new address, some things actually require a bit of effort. Work through the list so you don't leave anyone off. (Remember, Government Departments don't talk to each other!)