Want a stress-free moving experience? Our comprehensive moving checklist is essential. With this, packing and moving locally or interstate will become far more manageable.

Even if you haven’t found or been approved for a rental yet, it’s important to start preparing for your move. Here are some of our best tips for organising your move and packing up as safely (and quickly) as possible.

How many weeks do you have before you move? Pick your moving date and work backward from there. Now’s the time to set small milestones which will help with planning.

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4 to 8 weeks before your move

You’ll be surprised how quickly time flies before your big move. Getting things organised early is the best way to reduce stress on the day. Here are the tasks to start actioning well in advance, including determining your moving needs, including booking removalists, preparing for your end-of-lease clean and organising your bond and utility connections.

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Set up your moving docs:

  • Get copies of your family and pet medical records, as well as school and dental records. Set up a folder (physical or online) where you can keep all those useful documents.

Arrange mail forwarding and your change of address:

  • Arrange with Australia Post to have your mail redirected or held from the date you move into your new home.
  • Need repairs done at your current home? Now’s the time to get those actioned.

Get your money matters sorted:

  • Organise your bond money. You’ll need your bond and rent in advance for when you get approved. You can get a 21-day interest-free loan through RentBond to cover the gap between moving and getting your money back.

Prepare to pack:

  • Create a rough inventory of everything you own and use this to note any individual items that will require special care when you move.
  • Declutter your belongings and donate anything you don’t need.
  • Sort out the items you have in your garage, garden shed or under the house.
  • Does your washing machine have moving instructions? If in doubt, check the manufacturer’s manual.
  • Start using up the items you have in your freezer.
  • Return any outstanding borrowed or rented items

Plan your move:

  • Too much stuff? Look into a leasing storage facility if you need somewhere to keep items on a temporary or long-term basis.
  • Arrange to have your power and gas connected for free. Use RentConnect to organise your connections when you move. You can even score a $100 shopping voucher.
  • Thinking of using removalists? These services can book out quickly, so use this time to book your moving date. Then, establish your budget and get a written quote. You can bundle your moving costs with a RentBond loan if you need help funding your move.

Plan your end-of-lease clean:

  • Don’t forget your vacate clean! If you don’t have the time – or would prefer to have it done professionally, now’s the time to book a cleaner.

Hot tip: What does the floor plan look like in your new place? Furniture placement is key. For example, will large items like your fridge and couch fit through the front door?

You might also like:
> Love Afterpay? We do too. But could it affect your chance of buying a house?
> How much rent can I afford? Budgeting for a rental property
> Saving up: Why it pays to have an emergency fund

Need help paying your bond? RentBond is 21 days interest-free.

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2 to 3 weeks before your move

Now’s the time to start getting ready to pack, work through those essential admin items, and prepare for your end-of-lease clean to ensure you get your full rental bond back.

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Sort out those moving admin essentials:

  • Your mail needs to move with you! Contact all relevant authorities, your bank, superannuation, Medicare, the ATO etc and notify them about your change of address.
  • Redirect or cancel any newspaper or magazine subscriptions.
  • Have any library books at home which need to be returned? Take them back before you go.
  • Have kids? Connect with friends and family to arrange for someone to look after them on moving day.
  • Facing a long-distance drive when you move? Book your car in for a service if it’s due.
  • Refill any prescriptions you might need before and during the move.
  • Use meal delivery services like Hello Fresh? Remember to redirect or cancel any subscriptions if they’re no longer relevant.
  • Are you moving mid-week? Book in some time off work to make life easier.
  • Start shopping smart. Use up your existing perishables and create a meal plan that will empty your fridge, freezer and cupboard by moving day.

Get ready to pack:

  • Gather packing materials like boxes, packing tape, labels and bubble wrap for padding. Consider using Facebook Marketplace or your local Buy Nothing page for free/cheap packing boxes.
  • Come up with a box labelling system. For example, you could number or colour-code your boxes, or label by room (lounge, kitchen, bedroom, etc).
  • Start packing. Safe and secure packing is time-consuming, so allocate longer than you expect. There’ll be a lot if items you don’t use regularly, so start with those.
  • Disassemble any outdoor items or play equipment.
  • Make up a box with handy items like screwdrivers, lightbulbs, nails, and Allen keys for the move.

It’s time to start booking your move:

  • Not using a removalist? Book your van or trailer in advance. These can be tricky to get at the last minute.
  • Organise your electricity and gas connections. RentConnect is free for Rent.com.au users and will help arrange your power and gas connections when you move. You’ll even score a $100 shopping e-gift card.
  • Arrange to have your internet and telephone connections transferred. Consider home wireless broadband for a fast turnaround and take it with you when you move.
  • Own a boat or trailer? Arrange to have these items removed.

Moving with pets?

  • If you’ve had a cat or dog at your rental, you may be required to fumigate your property, depending on the conditions of your lease agreement. Book fumigation through a pest control company (your property manager may be able to recommend one) once you’ve vacated the property.

Get ready to clean:

  • Using a professional cleaner for your move? It’s time to book them in if you haven’t already. That means getting your carpets cleaned and booking a professional cleaner in for your full end-of-lease clean.
  • Not hiring a professional cleaner? Ensure you’ve scheduled a day (or two) to complete this clean yourself.
  • Add cleaning products to your shopping list if you plan to clean yourself.
  • Are you responsible for maintaining your gardens? Make sure you’ve organised or booked your final lawn mowing. If you plan to do this yourself, check you have fuel for your mower and the gardening tools you need. Order a small skip or green waste bag if you have plenty of weeds.

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1 week from moving

Sometimes this may be all the time you have once you’ve been approved for a property. Double-check all the previous items to ensure you haven’t missed anything important.

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Last-minute admin items:

  • Are there any outstanding services you’ve forgotten to contact? Don’t forget your babysitters or home cleaners.
  • Do you use online shopping or meal services? Don’t forget to update your home address with places like Woolies and Coles.
  • How’s all that packing going? Time to finish what you’re doing and check that your belongings are well protected for the move.
  • Arrange access and parking for the removalist on the day of the move.
  • Do you have regular prescriptions at your local pharmacy? If you’re moving out of the area, either collect your scripts or move them to a pharmacy in your new neighbourhood.
  • Ask your property manager for a copy of your rental ledger.
  • Organise the changeover of your contents insurance policy. Some policies may include moving cover for any possible item damage during your move.
  • Download (or update) your rental payment app. RentPay let you manage your rental payments however you like and includes optional Scorebuilder features.

Time to start packing:

  • Keep a box aside for bed linen and sheets to use on your first night – everything else can wait.
  • Remember to use the box labelling system you designed earlier as you pack your boxes. It’ll help save a lot of time and stress at the other end.
  • Lightly water your plants if they need it and start packing them into plastic-lined boxes.
  • Visit your local secondhand store (Salvos, Vinnies), donate any unwanted foods, sell items online or have a garage sale.
  • Have pets? Consider finding someone to look after them on the day of your move. You could also use a cattery or dog daycare service for the day.

Removalist instructions:

  • If you booked a removalist, reconfirm your arrangements for moving day. Make sure your removalist has all relevant contacts and detailed instructions.

Outdoor cleaning:

  • Have outdoor furniture you haven’t packed away? Give it a good clean before you move.
  • Arrange for any gardening to be done, including lawn mowing and weeding.

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The day before your move

Things might be crazy at your house right now. Take time out, grab a coffee and run through this final checklist to make sure nothing’s forgotten and you’re feeling organised for what needs to be done tomorrow.

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Important admin items for the big day:

  • Go over your action plan for moving day and collect your keys from your property manager if you haven’t already.

It’s time for the final pack:

  • You should have almost emptied your fridge by now! If you’ve made it this far, it’s time to defrost your freezer and empty anything remaining from the fridge. Find a portable esky you can use to transport light food and drinks for the day to keep everyone hydrated.
  • Drain any liquid from your washing machine, iron and icemakers.
  • Working from home? Back up your computer and make sure any files you need are packed separately and clearly labelled.
  • Charge your phone and keep your chargers somewhere safe.
  • Pack any personal items you want to have with you on the day.
  • Are you using professional packers? Leave out essential things for that night and the following day.
  • Unplug and tie up any appliance cords.
  • If you’re not using professional removalists, consider keeping some blankets/drop sheets handy to protect your floors when you’re moving furniture or appliances in and out. Scratched floorboards on moving day could impact your future bond refund.
  • Keep bottles of water aside for moving day – it can be thirsty work!

Get ready to move your pets:

  • If you have pets and can get access to the property before the day of the move, consider taking them with you the day before to familiarise them with the home. This can help reduce their stress on the big day. Check out our moving with dogs and moving with cats articles for more tips.

Tip: Also read our piece on tips for a stress-free move with pets

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MOVING DAY

The big day is finally here! Skipping important tasks could make your move unnecessarily stressful and getting your bond back more complicated. Take a few minutes to check out our moving-in and moving-out checklists.

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Moving out

Your final essential admin tasks::

  • Now the house is getting emptied, take photos of your rooms, walls and any damage. This will be important when it comes to getting your bond back.
  • Lock all your doors and windows and turn the power off on switchboards.
  • Return your keys to your property manager.
  • If you had an electric/remote garage opener, remove it from your keyring and return it to your property manager, along with all copies of the keys.
  • Thank your property manager, where possible. It’s important to leave on good terms, as they may be called for a reference in future.

Cleaning:

  • Don’t pack up any cleaning products until the last minute in case you need a touch-up. See if you can borrow some extra cleaning equipment (e.g., broom, bucket, vacuum, dustpan, etc.) from friends or family. You may need to have some for final cleaning and some in your new place too.

Removalists:

  • Give your removalists final parking information for your new address.

Final pack:

  • If your kitchen items are a priority, ask the removalists to load them last so they’re first off the truck. Keep all your pet needs on hand. Check along the top of your cupboards, around your garden and the garage. Check off all your boxes as they go into the truck or your car.

Moving in

Essential moving in admin tasks:

  • Get your Property Condition Report from your property manager. Document the condition of your new property, along with any included furnishings. Consider taking your own photos for your records.
  • Report any identified issues with your rental to your property manager.
  • Do a quick check around the property. Is the security satisfactory?
  • Check for any items left behind by previous occupants
  • Check that your gas and power are connected. Is the hot water turned on? A common issue you might run into when you move is that there’s no hot water. If you have a gas system, the pilot light may need to be re-lit. There’s nothing worse than a cold shower on your first day!
  • Seen any toxic substances around the house? Make sure they’re moved and that your garden is now safe for children and pets.
  • Do you have all the keys and relevant instructions for your new place?
  • Is anything missing from your move? Get in touch with your removalist.
  • When’s bin day? What about your watering days? Contact your local council for information and welcome packs.

Unpack:

  • Make sure everyone has clear directions on where the boxes and furniture need to go. Ideally, these will have already been labelled.
  • Turn on your fridge/freezer as soon as you can.
  • Get your kitchen unpacked, ready to feed any hungry helpers.
  • Make the beds up, ready for that well-deserved rest.
  • Settle your kids into the new place. Giving them small tasks can help distract them and make them feel comfortable.

Settle in your pets:

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The week after moving

Now that you’ve moved in, here are a few helpful next steps:

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  • Introduce yourself to your new neighbours
  • Make sure you’ve returned your signed Property Condition Report to your property manager, along with any issues that need attention. Don’t forget to keep your signed copy!
  • Make sure your contact details have been updated with all relevant companies and authorities. We’re talking about big ones like the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), and your details with the Department of Transport.
  • Update your Renter Resume, if you created one, with your new address.
  • Suspend your property alerts (email) if you haven’t already. You can use them in future if you plan to move again.
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