The daunting process of shifting homes – whether to the next suburb or another state – can be streamlined by using a detailed checklist and timeline.
Six weeks until moving day
- Start a file for moving documents.
- Book removalist.
- Research insurance.
- Create a floor plan of new property and plan placement of furniture.
- Assess current furniture and arrange to sell items not required at new place.
- Plan packing. Discuss needs with removalist.
- Organise delivery of boxes.
- Organise moving supplies, such as tape, labels, markers etc.
Two weeks until moving day
- Check the garden, garage, shed and under house for items to be packed, thrown away etc.
- Hold a garage sale or speak to removalist about getting rid of unwanted items.
- Use up all frozen food, unless moving locally.
- Dispose of garden chemicals, paints, fuel and other flammable items, as suggested by supplier.
- Get BBQ cylinders professionally purged.
- Make arrangements to have pets looked after for at least two days before move. If moving interstate, book a pet transporter.
- Ensure pets are vaccinated.
- Arrange school and childcare transfers.
- If a DIY move, start packing.
- Label every carton and identify by room and keep a separate list of contents.
- Notify family, friends and businesses of change of address.
- If any furniture needs to be dismantled before move, begin to do it this week. Put all bolts and screws and other small attachments into a small self-sealing bag and tape to the base of the item or label clearly and put all in one box.
- If travelling any distance by car on moving day, ensure it’s checked.
- Arrange telephone, electricity, gas and water supplies for new property.
- Return library items and things borrowed from friends.
- If moving a boat or trailer, ensure all items inside are secured.
- Buy a street directory of the new city or town, if required.
One week until moving day
- Arrange mail redirection.
- Cancel and re-arrange newspapers and any other deliveries.
- Re-confirm travel arrangements for vehicles and care for pets.
- Make a list of things to do on moving day.
- If moving a waterbed, prepare as per manufacturers’ directions.
- Remove batteries from battery-powered items going into storage.
- If taking any light fittings, arrange with electrician for disconnection.
- Drain fuel from lawn mower and empty other containers.
- Check cut-off or final reading dates for electricity, water, phone and gas.
- Collect anything being repaired or on loan to friends and family.
Two days until moving day
- Arrange necessary finances for payments on moving day.
- If travelling by car, check oil, water and tyres.
- Pack luggage or items needed immediately after moving.
- Collect dry cleaning.
- Do the laundry; fold, and pack.
- Dispose of remaining chemicals, flammables and garbage. Do not tip poisons down the drain.
- Ensure all jars, bottles and cans containing non-flammable liquids are tightly sealed and packed in waterproof containers or plastic bags.
- If keeping blinds or curtains, take these down now and pack.
- Finish packing. Ensure all items are on inventory and each box is numbered and matches inventory.
Day before move
- Be ready for professional packers to arrive. This is normally done the day before the move.
- Defrost and clean out fridge and freezer. Check with manufacturer if the fridge motor needs to be specially secured.
- Dispose of food that is open or will go off soon.
- Wash and dry all dishes ready for packing.
- Clean out medicine cabinet and dispose of unwanted drugs.
- Check all drawers and remove items that are heavy, breakable or hold liquid.
- Prepare washing machine according to manufacturers’ directions.
- Leave forwarding address and contact number for new owners.
- Notify the police and neighbours if the property being vacated will be empty for long period.
- Ensure removalist knows where parking is available at new property.
- Walk around the house with the removalist, explaining what needs to be done and what will be needed first, so they can pack these items last.
- Pack a survival kit with toiletries, tea, coffee, milk, water, personal items, first aid kit, spare clothing, tea towels and other dish cleaning equipment.
- Ensure pets are confined and keep children out of removalists’ way.
- Collect all house keys.
- Make a final check of all cupboards, cabinets and storage areas to make sure nothing has been left behind.
- Make a final check in all sheds and the garden area.
- Before the removalist leaves, walk around and check all areas.
- Turn off the power to the house, tighten all taps and make sure gas and all electrical switches are off.
- Lock all doors and windows.