Checklist & Guide For Moving to a New Home

If there’s ever a time to embrace a comprehensive checklist, it’s when moving house.

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.

Moving day

  • 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.