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Moving House Checklist

Last Updated Aug 16, 2012 · Written by Craig Gibson

Moving house is something that we all do at least once in our lifetimes and it can be an incredibly stressful task.  This is why we have put this list together to help make the process easier and save your sanity.

The First Things to Consider

As soon as you know that you will be moving, you need to decide if you will be using removalists or if you are going to do the move yourself.  Even if you are doing it yourself, you will still need help, and the sooner you enlist the help of friends and family, the better.

When you know where you are moving to, consider the access in your new home.  How easy will it be to move furniture and other large items into?  Is the home on the ground floor or on a higher level (this is especially important if you are moving into an apartment)?

Also, consider how much the move will cost and how much time you will have for the move.  If you are time poor, or cannot get time off work, a removalist is your best option.  If you are on a budget, shop around to find a removalist that you are comfortable with that you can afford, or consider doing it yourself.  Remember, the DIY option will still require hiring a truck or trailer.

Changing your Address

Changing your address is one thing that is often put on the backburner or overlooked.  As a result, people rush to change their addresses with the relevant companies and run the risk of leaving some important companies out, creating problems down the track.  Four to six weeks before moving, begin the process of changing your address. Australia Post also offers a mail redirection service, which is a great idea if you have left it too late to notify bill providers and important contacts.

People that will need your new address include:

• the taxation office
• the road traffic authority
• phone company
• mobile phone provider
• internet provider
• pay TV provider
• electricity company
• landlord/real estate agent
• doctors
• dentists
• solicitors
• councils
• insurance companies
• superannuation fund
• employers
• Centrelink
• schools/day care
• banks/building societies
• Medicare
• magazine/newspaper subscriptions
• relevant charities
• club memberships
• libraries
• loyalty memberships
• catalogues
• electoral office


Packing is an inescapable part of the move but you can make it easier.  You will need:

• sturdy boxes in varying sizes
• wardrobe boxes
• packing tape
• scissors
• permanent markers
• packing materials such as polystyrene, paper, and bubble wrap
• a handcart or trolley

When packing, start early and pack one room at a time.  Start in the rooms you don’t use often, and as you are packing, create a list of each carton and what it contains.  Numbering the cartons will help you find the box you need in your new home and minimise the risk of anything getting lost in the move.

Place some cushioning at the bottom of each box to protect against breakage.  Items that need wrapping should be done so individually.  Pack heavy items into smaller boxes where possible or at the bottom of larger boxes.  Load the boxes containing essential items into the removal van last, so that you can access them straight away when you reach your new home.

Four Weeks to Go

Four weeks before the move, these are the things that you should be doing:

• select your furniture removal service, if you are using one
• collect dental, medical, and school records
• organise the connection of phone, internet, gas, and electricity at your new place
• settle outstanding bills
• create an inventory list of the things that you will be moving
• if moving to a new city, research the city – check out local supermarkets, schools, train stations, child care facilities etc
• back up the computer hard drive
• if renting, formally notify the landlord of the date that you are leaving the premises
• arrange for a property inspection to recoup bond
• begin using up frozen food

Three Weeks to Go

Three weeks before the move, do the following:

• begin the change of address process (see above)
• update insurance coverage where relevant
• start the packing process, starting with items that are not often used
• arrange rubbish removal
• disassemble outdoor items
• disassemble all prefabricated furniture – a computer desk for example
• obtain pet records from the vet
• move valuables to a safety deposit box
• organise storage if necessary

Two Weeks to Go

Two weeks before the move:

• finalise any additional moving documentation such as transit insurance
• make arrangements for any pets to be moved to the new home 
• make accommodation and travel arrangements for the duration of the moving process
• return library books, DVDs etc

One Week to Go

One week before the move, the following items should be carried out:

• reconfirm the moving details with the removalist
• change your contact details with your employer
• arrange mail redirection at the post office
• arrange final accounts for utilities – gas, water, phone, internet, electricity, etc
• ensure that the utilities will be connected to the new home ready to move in
• give any spare keys to the real estate agent or new tenant
• begin using any remaining food in the fridge
• take valuables out of safety deposit box
• pack personal luggage last – carry valuables yourself

Moving Day

It’s moving day!  Here’s a handy checklist:

• check cupboards before you leave
• make one final check of the home 
• remember to take any electric garage door openers out of your car
• ensure that taps are turned off
• check all switches, heaters, air conditioners, and lights
• lock doors and windows

You might also like: Easy Guide to Downsizing, Trailer Hire

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