Moving into a new place can cost a lot. Here our breakdown of everything you’ll need to keep in mind for your budget.
The best moving house checklist ever
Moving can be daunting and a lot of work. It doesn’t have to be this way. HOOD has put together the best moving house checklist ever.
Moving can be daunting and a lot of work. We want you to know it doesn’t have to be this way. We’ve put together the best moving house checklist ever to make this transition as easy as possible for you. Our list will help you keep on track and stress-free.
Along with packing and decluttering, changing your registered address and hiring a removalist company, you’ll need to disconnect and then reconnect utilities like electricity, gas, water and broadband, as well as electrical appliances such as your television.
We’re thinking about you and your new home. So here’s a detailed moving house checklist. We’ve broken it down into simple week-by-week steps to keep you on track.
Moving house checklist
Here’s an overview of everything you need to do, starting from eight weeks to your moving date.
6-8 Weeks Before
With your moving house checklist in hand, walk through every room to:
□ List what to keep
□ List what to leave
□ List what to donate
□ List what to sell
□ Create a rough budget for the costs of moving
4 Weeks Before
□ Research, get a quote and book your movers
□ Buy packing supplies
□ Begin packing
□ Get insurance
□ Have a pet plan
2 Weeks Before
□ Ensure every piece of furniture fits at your new address
□ Book a cleaning service for your current and/or new home if required
□ Inform your contacts list that you’re moving
□ Connect your utilities with HOOD for free
□ Compile important paperwork into an easily accessible folder
□ Submit a request for time off work
□ Begin using or discarding perishable food that you won’t want to transport to your new home
1 Week Before
□ Finish packing belongings other than those you’ll need during your last pre-move week
□ Prepare personal bags
1 Day Before
□ Confirm the moving date and time with the moving company
□ Collect the keys to your new home or arrange to meet the landlord on-site during move-in day
□ Disassemble furniture
□ Unplug or disconnect large appliances
□ Have breakfast and pack a kitchen survival kit
□ Meet the movers or get started yourself
□ Take care of your belongings and supervise the load-in and out (if appropriate)
□ Tidy as you go
□ Do a final walkthrough to ensure nothing gets left behind
□ Supervise the unloading
□ Pay and thank the movers
□ Clean floors and surfaces
□ Assemble and unpack
□ Ensure that your new home’s address is visible
□ Greet the neighbours
□ Enjoy your new home!
How to move house
Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty when it comes to moving house.
6-8 Weeks Before Your Move
Take a walk through your existing home looking through every nook and cranny. We’re talking about every room, cupboard, under the stairs and even the garage if you have one.
List what you’re keeping and throwing away
Leave no stone unturned.
Make an inventory list of things you wish to take with you to your new address. Make another list of things you want to discard.
The lists will guide you on which moving materials and equipment to hire or borrow. Take note of items that need extra transit insurance or special packaging.
If you’re moving any gas appliances, determine whether or not professional help will be required for disconnection and installation.
If you don’t want it, donate or sell it in a garage sale or online. The more you clear, the less you’ll need to unpack or create space for after your move. Check your garden area too.
Learn more about getting started with your moving process with our Top Five Tips here.
Budget for the move
Once you have your lists and you have an idea of what needs to be done, start creating a budget for the entire process.
The budget will be important when you consider everything it will take to make your transition happen, including:
- Hiring removalists
- Cleaning furniture
- Preparing the new house
- Leaving your old home in great condition
- And more.
4 Weeks Before Your Move
Book your movers
If you aren’t able to do all the packing, moving, and unpacking yourself, start researching moving companies.
Word of mouth recommendations are always the best, so ask around or search online for “movers near me” for local reviews.
Check out a list of the best movers in Australia if you’re seeking a company that’s larger and well-known.
Request a written estimate and make sure you understand the charges and terms.
If you provide the moving company with a detailed inventory of the items you’ll need to be moved, they can provide a more accurate quote. The price structure will typically be either a flat fee or a time-based rate.
A flat fee rate will be based on the number of items, while a time-based rate will be on a half-hour or hourly basis. With a time-based rate, you might save money if you help the relocation proceed quickly, but with a flat fee, you’ll know in advance exactly what your price will be.
Other factors affecting your final price include the distance the movers will need to travel and the presence of extra-large or tricky pieces such as a pool table or piano.
It’s also important to be aware of the insurance that your mover provides. You will likely need to choose from a set of insurance options, ranging from comprehensive insurance to none at all.
You may be able to select certain items to insure. Some insurance plans will only cover damages during transit, while more robust plans will cover damages during loading and unloading.
Found a moving company you like? Book immediately because they tend to be booked months in advance. Moving companies commonly require reservations to be made at least one month in advance.
If you’re contemplating a DIY relocation, book a van or truck if needed. You can rent your vehicle from a moving company or vehicle rental company. You can drive a vehicle of up to a 4.5 tonne Gross Vehicle Mass with a C-class (car) driver’s license. Review your options and find a vehicle that suits your needs and that you’ll feel comfortable safely operating.
Your vehicle rental company can also likely provide rental of other items you’ll need for a DIY move, including:
- Ropes and straps
- Moving Blankets
Obtaining these items and learning how to use them will help save you time and keep your possessions in good shape during your move.
Ask reliable friends and family for help and let them know your moving date as early as possible.
Gather packing supplies
Order packing (butcher’s) paper, bubble wrap, containers, and packing tape. Most moving companies can supply these packing items and deliver for an extra cost.
Go for quality packing materials to protect your goods and ultimately save time and money. You can obtain packing boxes at an office supply store or an online retailer, or seek second-hand boxes on websites like Gumtree.
Let the packing begin
Start packing things you won’t need in the next few weeks, such as seasonal clothing, fancy flatware, and whatever long-forgotten items fill the back of your closets – this is also a great time to get rid of some more things you don’t need anymore!
Pack your most valuable items separately, such as jewellery, paintings, or possessions with sentimental value. Photograph the items before packing to document their current condition in case anything happens to them during the move, or to prove ownership in case any of them go missing.
Look for great packing tips for fragile items and valuables to help you avoid damaging your possessions. You may wish to carry some valuable items with you rather than send them with your removalist.
Mark every box with a content checklist and the room where you want it to be placed in your new home. Take a photo or make a copy of these lists. Furthermore, mark boxes containing fragile items to let the movers know they need to handle them with care.
To discourage theft, avoid marking valuable items such as electronics on the box.
Under the Australian Dangerous Goods Code, removalists are not allowed to transport dangerous goods, including:
- Aerosol cans
- Car batteries
- LPG (BBQ gas bottles & gas cylinders)
- Pool chemicals and many other fuels and chemicals
Keep these materials separate and plan to transport them yourself or dispose of them. Check with your removalist for a comprehensive list of prohibited moving items.
Make it fun
Moving house shouldn’t only be about packing, unpacking and handling all the logistics. It also needs to be a fun and entertaining experience. You want it to go smoothly, and what better way to do so than to add music?
Start a playlist of songs that give you the energy you need during the whole moving and packing process.
You can start with a few of your favourite upbeat songs and add them to the playlist as moving day gets closer and closer. Time will fly by when you’re in a good mood. If you need inspiration, check out this mood booster playlist or this playlist full of songs specifically about moving house!
Consider all your insurance requirements including home, contents, and car.
Update all of your insurance policies with your new address, and discuss any new needs with your insurers, such as addressing needs that may have shifted due to your change in location. This could include adding or removing policy components associated with regional concerns such as natural disasters or security.
Moving house provides an opportunity to shop around or seek out some new discounts, such as by bundling a home and auto policy.
Your existing policies may include coverage during a move or you may need to get additional coverage. Call your insurance provider, and ask for clarification in writing.
Don’t forget the insurance coverage for any items kept in storage.
Have a pet plan
Make arrangements for a pet sitter or pet care facility if needed. Boarding a dog or cat overnight at a facility will cost between $15 and 70, depending on the level of care.
Check pet-sitting websites that match pet owners to local sitters who care for dogs and cats, including short-term care to lend a hand for a few hours while you move.
If you’re moving interstate, make travel plans and ensure your pet is current with their vaccinations. The freight handler will need to sight documentation before your pet is allowed to fly. Note that different states have varying pet requirements.
You also want to find a vet for your pet close to where you’re moving to. It’s best to cover all of your bases and have your pet taken care of in advance in case of any emergencies.
2 Weeks Before Your Move
Ensure everything fits
Contact your moving company and double-check plans for moving day.
Decide who will be responsible for dismantling and reassembling your furniture. Check with your movers to see what their service covers, and seek extra help online from a site such as Gumtree if needed. Some assemblers specialize in Ikea furniture or other niche assembly needs.
Consider whether you’ll need temporary or permanent storage for some items. Research all your options.
Ensure all of your larger items can fit inside your new home:
- Take measurements of any wide, tall or oddly-shaped pieces, such as couches, bookshelves, and dressers.
- Measure tight spaces and doorways and examine stairway dimensions to avoid surprises on a moving day.
- Create a ‘plan B’ for moving items in through an alternative entrance (e.g. side door, back door, french door)
- Discuss any anticipated challenges with your removalist.
CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN
Prepare to clean or have your existing home thoroughly cleaned once you’re in your new house.
Discuss your maintenance obligations for your current home with your landlord or real estate agent.
If you have large floor rugs, now might be a good opportunity to clean those also. A cleaner can send them back wrapped and ready to transport to your new location.
Notify those you need to
Start making your change of address notifications for your:
- Road and Traffic Authority (driver’s license and vehicle registration)
- Electoral role
- Household insurance company
- Family and friends
Furthermore, arrange a mail redirection or hold through Australia Post.
It’s also a good idea to leave a forwarding address with a trusted neighbour as a backup plan. Provide your neighbour with a handful of pre-paid forwarding envelopes.
Get your utilities taken care of
Be sure to ask your existing utility companies to disconnect your services a few days after you’ve moved out. You may still need those services for cleaning.
You’ll need to arrange your new utility providers and have your services set up before you settle into your new house.
HOOD is a world-class utility connection service that is absolutely free to use, saving you time and money during your busy move. Read more here about who we are and what we can do for you.
Save the paperwork and take a break from work
As part of your moving house checklist, create your folder and use it to keep important paperwork such as your lease agreement that you might need over the next few weeks. Use a labelled and brightly coloured folder so that you won’t misplace it.
Include all documents related to your new address. But make sure you can still access them from a phone, laptop or tablet. Just in case anything goes wrong, backup your computer at this point.
You also want to keep essential documents in a safe place. These include:
- Birth certificates
- Financial documents
- Legal records
- Medical documents
Also, it’s time to take a break from work. Gauge how long moving will take and submit a request to your employer for the time off. Give them a fair estimate that takes into consideration unplanned delays.
Use what’s in your fridge and pantry
Use up frozen food items and other perishable foods. Focus on buying less new food so there will be less to bring.
Do some meal planning for the next two weeks, focusing on using up what you already have in your pantry, freezer and fridge.
1 Week Before Your Move
The goal is to finish the general household packing a few days before your official moving day. Aim to get everything that can fit in a box, in a box with the lid closed and taped… your removalist will love you for it.
Don’t forget your laundry. Collect laundry, dry-cleaning, sewing or any items that you may have at repair shops.
Return library books and check that you don’t have any outstanding deliveries, bills, cleaners, garden collection, handyman or newspapers that haven’t been cancelled,
Ensure you have a full set of keys for locks in your new and old locations.
Keep what you need close by
Pack a personal bag with one change of clothing for every family member, or more if you plan to relocate interstate. Include other essentials like toilet paper, bed linens, credit cards, toys and a phone charger, or anything you need to get by for a few days if you run into delays.
Prepare yourself for any eventuality:
- Movers might arrive late.
- Accidents may happen.
- You might run into unforeseen complications when you get to your new home.
A Day Before Your Move
Confirm everything with the movers
We’re getting closer to moving day so it’s time to check in with the movers:
- Triple-check your moving arrangements.
- Verify the cost.
- Verify accepted payment methods.
- Ask for a mobile phone contact number and confirm the arrival times.
Check out your new home
Collect the keys to your new home. Or make arrangements for your landlord or real estate agent to meet you at your new address.
Confirm your new place is clean and ready to settle into. It’s also a good idea to take photos of the condition of the house and any existing damage.
Unplug and dismantle
Dismantle your furniture and place brackets, screws and fasteners in a plastic bag. Label and attach to the underside of your furniture or keep it somewhere safe.
Clean & disconnect the large appliances you want to move. Defrost your freezer and clean it.
Turn off your hot water system. Cancel your internet.
Print your furniture floor plan and provide contact details to everyone helping you move, including service providers.
Don’t forget to take any lightbulbs or fittings that you’d like to keep, within reason.
With all that hard preparation work now behind you, moving day has arrived!
Here’s a quick final moving house checklist of what to do as you start moving and once you’re in your new house:
In The Old House
- Prepare a kitchen survival kit. Have a quick breakfast, you’ll need it. Then put your kettle, toaster, a few plates and cutlery, a loaf of bread and other essential items into a box. Make it easily accessible in your new home.
- Greet the movers as they arrive and discuss the job with them. For DIY moves, pick up your hire van or truck and get started.
- Watch the crew stack your items in the truck, and watch for damage. If you’re the one moving, take care to avoid any damage or injuries.
- Make a point to tidy up room-by-room as you load your items. Take pictures of the now-empty old home as proof that you’ve left it in great condition.
- Take a final walkthrough of the floor plan. Make sure there’s nothing left, and lock the windows and doors.
In The New House
- Supervise the entire unloading process. With your floor plan in mind, be clear on which rooms the boxes go in.
- Pay and thank the movers once everything is unloaded and in the correct rooms. Don’t forget to give them positive reviews and a good star rating for a job well done.
- Do an initial clean. You may like to mop and vacuum the floors before you go ahead with your furniture placement. Clean the showers, baths and toilets if they aren’t perfectly clean already.
- Some good news: unpacking is usually quicker than packing. But if you notice damage, snap pictures and inform the moving company ASAP.
- Ensure that your new home’s address is visible from the street.
- Get to know your neighbours once you’re settled.
- Most importantly, begin enjoying your new home!
Additional things to consider for long-distance moving
- If you have children, contact their school as early as possible, to let them know you’re moving. Get copies of transcripts and contact the new school(s) to start the enrolment process.
- Get in touch with your doctors and get copies of your family’s medical records. You can also request records be sent to your new doctor. If you don’t have one yet, ask for recommendations. Then get any important prescriptions to cover you until you find a new doctor. Remember to also consider finding a new dentist and a vet if you have pets.
- Visit the pharmacy for the following month’s refill. Then arrange to transfer any repeat prescriptions to your new pharmacy.
- You may also need to update your health insurance, contents insurance, car registration and consider additional insurance requirements like medical evacuation if you’re relocating overseas.
- If moving overseas, cancel your local mobile plan, then arrange for a new plan.
- Empty your safe deposit boxes, storage units and any off-site storage facilities you have.
You’ve got this!
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