No matter where you are in the moving process, a moving house checklist can be a huge relief. Whether you’re months away or just trying to figure out the last minute details, writing out your tasks and timeline will give you the organisation and structure you need to have a stress-free moving day.
The hard part, of course, is trying to figure out what to include in your list! If you’ve been struggling to pin down your moving day to-do’s, take a look at our moving house checklist. We’ll walk you through the process step-by-step while sharing our tried-and-true tips for moving house.
#1: Write out your timeline
If this is your first time organising a big move, you might be wondering where to start with a moving house checklist. And you’re not alone! 2016 Census data showed that about 33% of people between the ages of 20 and 29, and 25% of people between ages 30 and 39, had moved within the last year. An even higher percentage of people—around 66%—are likely to move every five years. That means that there are plenty of people wondering how to move house most efficiently.
The easiest way to start is to write out your moving timeline.
The timeline for a moving house checklist is going to look different for someone who is moving next week versus three months from now. Likewise, the house moving Melbourne to Perth process is going to look very different than if you’re renting your new flat right down the road.
That’s why it’s important to come up with a realistic timeline for your move and add in the following moving house tasks according to how much time you have and your moving distance.
Here are a few ways to use this guide to plan out your specific move:
- Step #2 should be done as soon as possible. Removalists have been known to book up months in advance so, before anything else, make sure you find one early. Ideally, you want to make a reservation a month or more before your moving day, so start your search at least 6 weeks before you plan to move. If you’re hiring an interstate removalist, you’ll want to start looking at least 2 months before the move so that you can reserve the service at least 6 weeks in advance. For other services, like repair work and cleaning that you’ll need to complete before moving out, you’ll also save yourself a lot of time by booking early.
- Steps #3 through #5 are your second-highest priority, and will ideally be done over the course of at least a month.
- All of the steps involving paperwork and services (steps #6 through #9) should be done two weeks before the move or at least 4 days before moving day. Some of these are relatively quick, but they add up, so make sure that you’re not leaving them to the last minute!
- Steps #10 and #11 should be done within a week of moving. While it can be a bit of a hassle to have a repair person in your home while you’re trying to pack up, it will also mean that you’re able to move out without any loose ends.
- And finally, with steps #12 and #13, you’ve reached moving day! We’ll talk about those last-minute details necessary for moving house success!
#2: Book your removalist, handyman, and cleaning service
These essential services can make moving house a breeze or a hassle, so it’s important that you take time to explore your options and contact them for quotes. Take a look at our article, What are the Best Moving Companies in Australia, to learn more about how to find the perfect removalist for your move!
One thing to keep in mind when shopping around for a removalist is that prices and availability can vary widely depending on your move. Since interstate moves have become less common over the last few years, for instance, you may find that fewer removalists offer this option. On the other hand, 2016 Census data shows that there’s been an increase in people moving to Queensland, so it’s also likely that you’ll find competitive prices for removalists in this area.
#3: Overhaul your belongings
Doing an overhaul simply means taking stock of your personal belongings and giving away or selling the items that you don’t want to bring with you. The main advantage of this process is that you’ll have fewer items to move, which will make moving easier and cheaper. It’s also a great way to experiment with interior design in the new flat or house by starting with a blank slate.
Figuring out what stays and what goes can be harder than you might expect. Here are a few items that can definitely go:
- Clothing that you haven’t worn in over a year. If for the past four seasons, you haven’t worn something, you probably won’t miss it.
- Outdated documents. If you’re not sure whether you can get rid of old tax forms or car registration documents, take a look at our article, What You Should and Shouldn’t Keep and For How Long. Remember that you can also digitise and shred many of your documents to clear up space.
- Duplicate items. It can be tempting to keep extras of some items in your garage just in case you or a friend needs it someday. But, in reality, you’re probably best just letting those items go to someone who can use them right now. That second microwave, sheets that you never use, two different sized instant pots, or whatever other duplicate items you may have can be the easiest to donate, sell or give away. This might also be a good time to take a hard look at your coffee mug collection.
- Expired over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and spices. These small items are easily thrown into a moving box, so lots of people decide to keep them out of convenience. But, no matter how far you’re moving, little items add up. So take the time to go through them and dispose of them responsibly.
- Old electronics or cables that have no obvious use. Chances are, if that tangle of cables that’s been sitting on a shelf for years was hiding something important, well, it wouldn’t be there. These days, there’s really no need to hold onto unknown cables or outdated electronics.
- Books that you may never read, re-read, or finish. It’s quite alright to give away books that didn’t hold your interest or aren’t on your shortlist for future reading.
Even after you’ve gone through and donated or sold what you don’t need, you may have a list of items that you want to keep but not in the new flat or house. In that case, it’s a good idea to book a storage space close to your new home where you can house those items. Whichever part of Australia you’ll soon call home, from Melbourne to Adelaide to Perth, Spacer has affordable storage options to make moving house easier.
Now, exactly when you move your items into storage will depend on how you’re moving house. If you’re moving relatively close by, it’s a good idea to store these items well in advance of moving day so that they’re not in the way or accidentally picked up by the removalist company.
If you’re moving interstate, then you should ask your removalist company whether it’s possible to deliver items to two different locations. If this is the case, you’ll want to keep the items that will go into storage separate or clearly marked.
#4: Stock up on packing materials
No matter if you’ve moved in the past, it’s easy to forget just how many supplies are needed for a successful move. In reality, moving boxes are just the beginning. So, even as you start the process of downgrading your personal items, make sure that you’re stocking up on these useful moving materials:
- Moving boxes of various sizes
- Smaller boxes, bags, or containers that can house your smaller items within larger boxes
- Bubble wrap
- Multiple roles of packing tape
- Packing paper such as white butcher paper or newspaper
- Labels and permanent markers
#5: Pack with a plan
Once you have your supplies, you can get down to the actual packing. But, instead of immediately throwing items into boxes, it’s a better idea to be strategic. Here are a few key tips for safe and convenient packing:
- Pack infrequently used items first. Some moving house articles will say that you should pack room by room, but we find the best approach is to pack what you won’t need first. That way, you’re not digging through already packed boxes whenever you need something from now until moving day.
- Pack like items together. While you want to pack your less-used items first, you also want to make sure that you’re packing like items together to make life easier while unpacking. This might mean that you have a few unfinished moving boxes in each room of your house that are waiting for you to pack up your frequently used items closer to moving day. It can be kind of an eyesore leading up to your move, but trust us – you’ll appreciate getting into your new home and having your most-used items easily accessible and your like items packed together.
- Don’t overpack your boxes. It’s common to buy a big box and fill it to the brim with as many items as possible. But, you risk your moving boxes not being able to hold up structurally and your movers getting injured while trying to move them. A better alternative is to pack heavy items in smaller boxes and fill up your big boxes with lighter materials. And, make sure to keep an eye on the weight of your boxes—and label the heavy ones—as you go.
- Label everything! You’ve heard this piece of advice before, but it bears repeating. It’s especially important to label items that are fragile or need to be stored upright. You may remember that a certain box contains your family’s treasured china, but the movers won’t know the difference between the boxes unless you label them.
#6: Sign up for insurance
If there’s one thing that can add to the stress of moving house, it’s not knowing whether your items will be protected. And because moving insurance is quite confusing—Is the removalist insured? Does your new house insurance cover the move? Do you have to look for separate moving insurance?—you might find yourself overpaying or signing up for the wrong kind of coverage.
Here are a few questions that can help you nail down your insurance plan:
- What does the removalist insurance cover? Many companies will state that they are fully insured, only to point to the fine print in the case of damages. Make sure that you ask before you book a removalist what exactly they cover. And, if they’re not liable for damages to your items, then it’s time to look into a separate insurance option.
- Does your new home insurance cover the move? In some cases, when you sign up for insurance for your new address, moving insurance will be built into your plan. But, this isn’t universal, and it’s important to ask your insurer in advance of your move so that you can look into separate moving insurance if need be.
- Is moving insurance necessary for you? If, after asking the first two questions, it looks like your items won’t be insured during your move, then you’ll need to add moving or transit insurance to your moving house checklist. This will cover any gaps in coverage so that you can have peace of mind while moving house.
Once you have your insurance plan arranged, it’s a good idea to print out your documents or have them easily accessible on your phone in case you need to refer to them during the move.
#7: Organise your services in the new place
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could move into your new home and have internet, electricity, and all other services automatically connected?
Unfortunately, that’s not possible. But, you can make the process much easier by setting up installations ahead of time.
Make sure to prioritise the most important utilities, like gas, water, and electricity, first. Then, you can contact your internet and cable provider. Luckily, many of these utilities can now be updated online.
#8: Cancel or redirect the services in your current place
When you’re moving house, it can be easy to focus on what’s at the other end of your moving day. But, there are still a few loose ends that you’ll want to tie up before you leave.
First, make sure that you pay any outstanding bills and that you set up a plan to pay any bills that may arrive after you leave. This may be done using automatic payment or when you call to cancel your services.
#9: Update your address and redirect your mail
From the ATO to your doctor’s office to your food delivery app, you’ll want to keep everyone updated on your new address.
And, while you might not get much paper mail these days, it’s still a good idea to redirect your mail every time you move. You can do it yourself by reaching out to your service providers and personal contacts, and consider paying for a mail redirecting service so that you don’t miss anything!
#10: Last-minute maintenance tasks
Whether you’re a renter trying to get back a bond or putting your house on the market, you might have a few last-minute repairs to do.
Your list of maintenance tasks will vary depending on whether you’re a seller or a tenant, but it’s still a good idea to go through and fill in any holes left by picture frames, swap out dead lightbulbs, and make any other minor repairs that will leave the place in good shape.
#11: Confirm your removalist
Make sure you call your removalist 24 to 48 hours before you move to confirm your reservation. It’s a five-minute task that will allow you to sleep easier leading up to the big day, and help you avoid the nightmare of the removalist not showing up at all.
If you booked a move-out cleaning service, there are a few things to keep in mind for maximum success.
One, do a bit of light cleaning before the cleaning service arrives so that they can get down to the deep cleaning faster. This could be as simple as sweeping up the floors as your removalists carry out your furniture and boxes, and keeping a bottle of cleaning spray handy for a quick wipe down in each room.
Also, consider taking a few before and after pictures. If you’re at all unhappy with the cleaning service, pictures can help you convey the issue, and they can also help with any bond disputes.
#13: Final walkthrough
Your items are all packed up, the cleaning service did an amazing job, and you’re ready to hit the road. But before you do, take one more final walk through the house to make sure that:
- You didn’t leave any belongings behind
- You turned off all lights
- You closed all windows and locked all doors
Your moving house checklist is complete!
Once you get to the end of the moving house checklist, you can officially say that you’ve moved! We hope that the Spacer moving house checklist has made your moving process a little bit easier and that you have a successful moving day!
Are you moving interstate? Be as prepared as possible, by checking out our list of the top Things No One Tells You When You Move Interstate.