Photo: iStock/Millann.

A comprehensive moving checklist is crucial for a stress-free house move. With this checklist, packing and moving locally or interstate will become far more manageable. Here are some of’s best tips for preparing and packing as safely and quickly as possible.

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1-2 months from moving

  • Pick your moving date and work backward from there. You can start to set small milestones to plan your move in increments.
  • If you plan to use removalists, book the service and choose carefully. Establish your budget and get a written quote.
  • Think about the floor plan of your new home for furniture placement. Will large items be able to fit through the doors (e.g. your fridge/couch).
  • Create an inventory of everything you own
  • Note down any individual items that will require special care when moving
  • Detox your belongings and donate anything you don’t need
  • Does your washing machine have moving instructions? If in doubt, check with the manufacturer
  • Start using up the food you have in the freezer
  • Sort out the items you have in your garage, garden shed or under the house
  • Keep aside a folder for all your useful moving documents
  • Arrange with Australia Post to have your mail redirected or held from the date of moving in
  • Redirect or cancel your newspaper subscriptions
  • Return any outstanding borrowed or rented items
  • Do you need repairs done at your rental? Now’s the time to get them actioned
  • Research a storage facility if required
  • Obtain copies of your family and pet medical records, as well as school and dental records
  • If needed, book a cleaner to do your exit clean before your rental inspection
  • Contact RentConnect to arrange to have your utilities disconnected and reconnected when you move

2-3 weeks from moving

  • Begin contacting all relevant authorities and notify them of your change of address
  • Gather packing materials like boxes, packing tape, labels and bubble wrap for padding.
  • Devise a suitable box labelling system. You could number your boxes or colour-code.
  • Start packing. Safe and secure packing is time-consuming, so allocate longer than you expect.
  • Organise contents insurance (choose a low-cost policy with all the goods, like Contents Insurance) to ensure you’re covered for any damage that takes place during your move
  • Return all library books and DVDs that you still have
  • Have kids? See if you can arrange family and friends to look after them on moving day
  • If necessary, arrange the transfer of internet, telephone, gas
  • Have a boat or trailer? Arrange the move of these items
  • Service your car – especially if you will need to drive long distances for your move
  • Fill any prescriptions you may need the week before and after the move
  • Service your car if required and drain your mower
  • Discontinue any delivery services and local memberships if no longer relevant
  • Arrange time off for your moving day
  • Make sure you’ve made time for your rental to be thoroughly cleaned before you move
  • Disassemble any outdoor items or children’s play equipment
  • Make up a box with handy items (screwdrivers, light bulbs, nails, Allen keys, etc.) for the move
  • Start shopping smart. Start to use up your perishables and create a meal plan that will empty out your fridge, freezer and cupboard by moving day.

1 week from moving

  • Keep a box aside for bed linen and sheets to use on the first night – everything else can wait.
  • Lightly water your indoor plants and pack them into plastic-lined boxes.
  • Any outstanding services to contact? Consider your babysitter or cleaner.
  • Back up your computer and prepare your printer and scanner for travel.
  • How’s all that packing going? Finish packing and check that it’s all been done correctly to protect your belongings.
  • Re-confirm all moving details with a removalist, your landlord or real estate agent. Make sure your removalist has all contact numbers and detailed instructions.
  • Arrange access and parking for the removalist on the day of the move.
  • Visit your local second-hand store and donate any unwanted goods, sell items online or have a garage sale to help pay for the move.

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The day before the move

  • It’s time to defrost and empty out your fridge. Find a portable esky that you can use to transport light food and drinks for the day of the move to keep everyone hydrated.
  • Drain any liquid from washing machines, irons and icemakers.
  • Charge your mobile phone and place your chargers in a safe place.
  • Pack any personal items that you want to have with you on the day
  • Using professional packers? Leave out essential things for that night and the following day
  • Unplug and then tie up any appliance cords
  • Keep money on hand for last-minute costs
  • Will your old rental be vacant for a while? Let your trusted neighbours know you’re leaving
  • Say goodbye to your neighbours!
  • Consider your action plan for moving day

Moving day

  • Gather your essentials and valuables, so they’re on hand for the day
  • Give your removalist the parking information for the new place
  • If you want your kitchen items as a priority, ask the removalist to load them last, so they’re first off the truck
  • Keep all pet needs on hand
  • Check off all boxes as they go into the truck or your car
  • Lock all your doors and windows and turn off the power at switchboards
  • Check along the tops of your cupboards, the garden, garage and sheds
  • Return your keys to your real estate agent. Lock the house, turn off the power and tighten the taps
  • If you had an electric/remote garage opener, remove it from your car and return it to the real estate agent

Moving into your new home

  • Give clear directions to your removalist (or partner!) as to where all the furniture needs to go.
  • Take your Property Condition Report from your real estate agent and document the condition of your property and any included furnishings. Consider taking photos for your records.
  • Check for items left behind by previous occupants.
  • Spot any poisonous or toxic substances around the house? Make sure they’re removed and that the garden is safe for your kids and pets.
  • Check that all your utilities are now connected (why not try RentConnect?), and the hot water is turned on
  • Do a quick sweep of the property – is the security satisfactory?
  • Make up the beds as soon as you can
  • Settle in the kids and pets
  • Is anything missing from your move? Get in touch with your moving company
  • If you have cats, keep them inside for a few days to acclimatise to the new surrounds
  • Check that you have all keys and relevant instructions for your new rental
  • When is your rubbish day? What about your watering days? Contact your new council for this information and welcome packs
  • Introduce yourself to your new neighbours
  • Enjoy your new home!

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