The ultimate moving house checklist

The only checklist you’ll ever need.

So, you’ve decided to move and set up home somewhere completely new. From the moment you decide to move to a new area, you’re on a clock to make sure that this is the smoothest possible process for you and your family.

Planning and managing your time effectively is crucial for a successful household move and it starts right now. One tool that can help you stay organised is the Ultimate Moving Checklist – and luckily for you, we’ve got a downloadable version for you to use

Let’s dive in by discussing the differences between a move with the help of removalists vs a DIY move:

A DIY move

There is a lot that you need to do on your own when you don’t use the professionals to help you to move to your new home. Here’s a checklist of things to consider when you have a DIY move ahead:

Assess your DIY options. Do you have friends who can help you? Are you able to get hold of moving dollies and blankets to make getting your furniture out easy? Do you know how to disassemble your larger items to get them through the doors of the house?
Reach out to friends and family. If you know you have a move ahead of you, reach out and ask your friends and family to help you out with enough time for them to plan their own schedules. 
Research and book a moving van. The size of the moving van you choose to hire will depend on how much you have to move. You’ll need the right size so that you can do it all in one go, so start researching which companies you should hire from and get quotes for your move.
Check if you need a permit. If you’re living in the city, you might need a parking permit for your truck or van to sit outside the house while you load it up. Ideally, you’ll have enough room on the driveway but if not, research whether you need a permit.
Buy or rent your moving equipment. Do you need moving dollies or furniture sliders? What about hand tools or moving blankets? If you can’t borrow the equipment, start looking at whether you can rent it.
Buy your packing materials. Boxes, bubble wrap, tape and blankets are all a must when it comes to packing and wrapping your furniture. If you don’t want to use a professional packing company, make sure that you buy everything you need in advance.

A professional move

Some prefer to hire the professionals and take the stress off of their shoulders. Considering it? Here’s a few things to think about:

Long distance move? Whether you are moving interstate or you are moving to the other side of the state you’re already in, you need to shop around for a removalist who can cover the entire move.
Set a budget. We’re not going to lie: hiring removalists isn’t always cheap. Be ready for that if you plan to get a company in to help you with getting to the new place. Once you’ve set your budget, shop around for movers who meet it.
Ask for an in-home survey. It’s always a good idea to get a moving company to come out to your home to give you a cost in person. This way, it will be more accurate than a quote over the phone.
Read reviews. Once you do choose a moving company to go with, read some reviews from previous customers. This way, you’ll have an honest opinion from customers who have used the service.
Consider moving insurance. Most removal companies will have insurance to cover your belongings when they’re in transit. It’s still a good idea to research moving insurance just in case something happens. 
Book the move early. The last thing that you want is to dawdle on making a decision only for the company you want to be booked up in advance. Book the move right away to get your moving date locked in.

Have you made a decision? Great – let’s take a look at the moving checklist that’ll get you to moving day:

Asian couple surrounded by boxes with a moving checklist

Eight weeks to go

Set up a moving binder to keep all your moving-related documents organised. Use it to store documents such as moving estimates, contracts, inventory lists, receipts, and any personal notes related to the move.
Declutter your belongings by sorting them into categories: keep, donate, sell, or dispose of.
Consider donating items to local charities or hosting a garage sale, and properly dispose of unwanted items.
Familiarise yourself with your new community by researching local amenities, schools, and services.
Talk to your employer about any moving expense benefits or reimbursement options available to you if you’re also swapping jobs.
Obtain a floor plan of your new home and take accurate measurements to plan your furniture arrangement.
Complete any necessary repairs or maintenance in your current home before the move-out date.

Six weeks to go

Start buying packing materials such as boxes, tape, markers, and bubble wrap.
Use up stored food to reduce the amount to be moved and box up the rest to donate.
Talk to ConnectYourHome on 1300 749 641 to set you up with the right electricity, gas, broadband and water plan from the start. All sorted in just one call.
Got kids? Talk to their school about the upcoming move and request copies of their records if they are moving to a new one. If not, just update the school with your new address information.
Review your insurance policies and make any necessary address changes.
Cancel or transfer memberships with health clubs if moving to a new area.
Update important records including medical, dental, prescriptions, legal, and financial documents. Don’t forget to let the electoral office and transport department know.
Take inventory of valuable items and keep a list in your moving binder.
Clear out items from storage sheds or attics so they can be wrapped and packed.
Compile a list of people and organisations to notify about your move, including creditors, subscriptions, family, and friends.
Plan your packing and loading schedule, considering the need for storage between homes.
Inventory your belongings, taking a note of any dents and scratches so you can be sure that your stuff didn’t get damaged during the move. 
Book a skip to arrive the week you move so that you can get rid of any items you can’t take with you. 
Arrange mail redirection with the post office

4 weeks to go

Begin packing items you don’t use often, starting with those that are less essential.
Identify valuable items that may require additional insurance coverage from the moving company.
Label each box with the destination room and its contents for easy unpacking.
Set aside valuables that you will transport personally and mark these boxes as “DO NOT MOVE.”
Make any necessary arrangements for the transportation of your pets during the move – this is more if you’re going a longer distance.
Have your car inspected and serviced before the move; you need it ready to be on the road.
Prepare a box containing tools or parts that may be needed on moving day.
Create a list of serial numbers for electronics and other valuable items for reference.
Confirm with the real estate agents the time you will be collecting the keys.

2 weeks to go

Arrange to have the day off work on your moving day.
Organise for family or friends to look after your children and pets during the move.
If you’ve hired a full-service moving company, double-check and confirm all arrangements to avoid any scheduling conflicts.
Plan your meals for the remaining two weeks and try to use up any food you have in your fridge.
Compile a folder with important information for the next homeowner, such as manuals and warranties for appliances.
Pack suitcases with personal items you’ll need during the move and immediately after arriving at your new home.
Refill any prescriptions you may need in the coming weeks.
If you’re moving far away, notify your credit card company of your new address.
Dispose of flammable items like paint, propane, and gasoline. Drain gas and oil from lawn equipment and heaters.
Arrange for final readings of your gas and electricity metres, and remove batteries from devices.
Cancel any delivery services, newspaper subscriptions, automated payments, and local memberships. Pick up any dry cleaning.
Make sure your new home will be thoroughly cleaned, including the oven and carpets, before your move-in date. Plan for the same cleaning in your current home after you move out.
Disassemble any outdoor items and children’s play equipment in preparation for the move.

1 week to go

Create a detailed plan for moving day, including tasks and timelines.
Set aside boxes containing items you’ll personally transport.
Measure doorways and furniture to ensure everything fits through.
If possible, disassemble furniture to make it easier to move.
Defrost your freezer and clean out your fridge before the move.
Pack an essentials box with items you’ll need immediately upon arrival at your new home.
If you’ve hired a moving company, prepare specific directions to your new home for them.
Set aside bed linens and towels for the first night in your new home.
Create a plan for each room in your new home, including furniture placement, to share with your moving supervisor.
Water your indoor plants lightly and pack them in boxes lined with plastic.
Notify any services you use, such as a babysitter, gardener, or cleaner, of your upcoming move.
Back up your computer’s hard disk and prepare your printer and scanner for travel.
Arrange access and parking for the removalist’s truck on moving day.

The day before

Clean the oven
Pack the car with any of the items you need immediately
Unplug and tie up appliance cords to prepare them for moving.
If your house will be empty for a while, inform the police and neighbours for security.
Say goodbye to your old neighbours before you leave.

Moving day

Provide the removalists with floor plans and parking information for your new address.
Ask the removalists to load kitchen boxes last so they are first off the truck for easy access.
Stand at the entry point and provide clear directions to the removalists for furniture placement.
Try to minimise visitors to your new home on moving day and ensure you have all pet needs at hand.
Check off all items as they are loaded into the moving van.
Lock all doors and windows, and turn off the hot water system if necessary.
Check the tops of cupboards, garden areas, sheds, and garage for any missed items.
Return all keys to the Real Estate Agent or new tenant, lock the house, turn off power, tighten all taps, and check gas and electrical systems.
Remove the electric/remote garage opener from your car.
Place carpet, floor, and door frame protectors throughout the home to prevent damage.
Do a final walkthrough of every room and closet to ensure nothing is left behind.
Leave a forwarding address for the new owner for any stray mail.
Wave goodbye to your old home as you start your new chapter.

A family happily moving into their new home

After the move

Review your damage list to ensure your furniture wasn’t damaged during the move, especially if you didn’t pack or load it yourself.
Ensure all previous utilities have been paid for and cancelled.
Keep all important documents in your moving binder and store it in an easily accessible place.
If renting, document the condition of the property and furnishings with the appropriate agent.
Check that all utilities and broadband are connected and the water service is on.
If you moved from storage, interstate, or overseas, check and sign the inventory.
Assemble beds and make them up as soon as possible.
Notify the moving company immediately if anything is missing.
Ensure you have all keys and relevant instructions for your new residence.
Contact your new local council for garbage collection information and new residents’ folders.
Unpack at your pace, focusing on essential rooms first.
Find a family physician, dentist, and veterinarian if needed.
Register your vehicle in the new state and renew your driver’s licence if necessary.
Consider hosting a party to meet new neighbours.
Leave a review for your moving company to help others find reliable movers and potentially resolve any issues you had.
Greet your new neighbours with a smile and a friendly hello!

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