Moving house is said to be one of life’s great stressors. But being organised can help take a lot of the stress out of it – so we’ve compiled the ultimate moving checklist of tips to help you plan your next move, so packing and moving locally or interstate will go as smoothly as possible.

4-8 weeks before moving

  • Choose your moving date, and start building out a plan working backwards from that date, setting small milestones along the way. Ensure you allow enough time to have your home cleaned after you move out, especially in a rental property. When choosing your move date, remember that it’s often cheaper to move mid-week rather than weekends.
  • Consider whether you need to book your move in with your body corporate or apartment manager or what parking will be like on the day of the week you’ve chosen.
  • Select your removalist, and decide what parts of the move you’ll do yourself versus outsource to a moving company. Try to be realistic about what you will be able to manage yourself in the time you have so you don’t end up having to hire someone at the last minute which may make it more expensive. If you’re pressed for time or overwhelmed by the task, consider getting the removalist to also pack up your house for you.
  • Select your removalist and get a quote – try to be precise in your assessment of your items to ensure you get an accurate quote. Use this Rumbles Removals moving inventory form as a basis for asking for a quote –it will also be handy as a reference point when packing and on moving day. Alternatively consider asking your removalist to come and assess the size of your move to get your quote as accurate as possible.
  • Determine whether you will need a storage facility in between moves, and book one if required. If you need to be out of your current home before you can move into your new place, your removalist may be able to store your items for the interim period to avoid you having to double handle items.
  • Make a note of any items that will require special care when moving – things that are particularly fragile, awkward or heavy.
  • Book your removalist
  • If you can, get a copy of the floor plan of your new home so you can plan your furniture placement. Will your current furniture work in your new place? Are there things you won’t need in your new place – will a top loader washing machine fit? Is the fridge cavity appropriate for your fridge? Will your couch fit in the lounge room?
  • De-clutter your belongings – sell, donate or throw out anything you don’t need – try not to leave this to the last minute when you’re packing, as when you’re rushed you’ll likely end up moving things you don’t need.See our tips on the 10 Things Everyone Should Cull Before They Move House.
  • Start using up the food you have in your freezer.
  • Redirect or cancel any magazine/newspaper subscriptions
  • Return any borrowed or rented items so you don’t pay to have them moved.
  • Arrange to have any necessary repairs done in your current home.
  • If your budget allows, book a cleaner to do your end of lease clean in your current home – the last thing you’ll feel like doing when you’re all moved is going back to your old house and scrubbing it from top to toe.
  • Contact Australia Post to have your mail redirected or held at your local post office from the date of moving out/in.
  • Start compiling a list of the mail you receive at your current address and begin updatingyour address with each sender. Opt to receive communications by email where possible instead of mail (e.g. utilities bills, bank statements etc).
  • If you’re moving interstate or overseas, consider whether you need to obtain notarised records from any of your local services to take with you such as medical, dental, vet or school records.
  • If you have pets and you’re moving interstate, work out a plan for how your pets will move. If you need to arrange a pet transportation service, make enquiries and book in early.

2-3 weeks before moving

  • Purchase or collect packing material like moving boxes, tape, labels, permanent markers, butchers paper and bubble wrap – a packing tape dispenser is a life saver when packing lots of boxes! Check what materials your removalist supplies as part of their service.
  • Work out a box labelling system – it can be as simple as writing the room name and general contents on each box, or more organized such as a numbered inventory spreadsheet.Colour coded stickers or labels can be a good visual way of grouping boxes.
  • Start packing – this often takes a lot longer than you anticipate, so get started early to avoid having to pack in a rush at the last minute. If time permits, cull and declutter things you don’t need or use as you pack. Set aside essentials and things you’ll need in your first couple of nights in your new place to pack closer to your move date. Make sure you check out the Rumbles Removals 9Packing Hacks for tips on how to pack your home. If you don’t have time or it’s too overwhelming, ask your removalist if you can add a packing service to your move and have professionals do it for you.
  • If practical, pack small valuables such as jewellery, heirlooms and special documents in a box or suitcase that you can take with you personally to ensure you know their whereabouts at all times
  • Begin contacting all relevant authorities and notify them of your change of address
  • If you have children, work out what you will do with them on moving day – if possible, hire a babysitter or get family or friends to mind them. If you have pets, consider arranging the same for them so all the moving activity doesn’t stress them.
  • Organise the disconnection or transfer of utilities such as electricity, gas, telephone and internet.
  • Cancel or transfer any local delivery services or memberships.
  • Have your car serviced if you’ll be using it to travel long distances on moving day.
  • Try to use your barbecue as much as possible to drain the gas tank – you won’t be able to have this transported if it’s still full.
  • Start using all your perishable food and shop carefully to avoid overstocking. Devise a meal plan that will use as much of your fridge, freezer and pantry contents as possible.
  • Book time off with your employer if required.

1 week before moving

  • Start using all your perishable food and shop carefully to avoid overstocking. Devise a meal plan that will use as much of your fridge, freezer and pantry contents as possible.
  • Book time off work for your move if required.
  • Finalise your packing, except for minimal essentials required for the last few nights in your current home – get takeaway or use disposable plates and cutlery so you can pack up your kitchen.
  • Set aside a box or bag for bed linen, pillows, towels, toiletries and pet essentials for use on the first night in your new home. If you’re moving locally, move this box with you so you know exactly where to find it when you want a shower after moving day. See Rumbles Removals 11 Essential Things to Pack for The First Few Nights in Your New Home
  • Put together a box of useful tools and items you might need to unpack or reassemble furniture in your new home. Scissors or a box cutter to open boxes, screwdrivers, hammer, batteries, light bulbs, allen keys (or an IKEA screwdriver set is very handy). If you’re moving locally, move this box with you so it’s easy to find when you need it in your new home.
  • Back up computers, phones and tablets either to the cloud, or to a portable hard drive that you can move with you personally.
  • Do a final cull of anything that won’t move with you to your new home and either sell, donate or throw it away.
  • Reconfirm your move with your removalist and esure you have arranged building access or parking for their trucks on the day with your body corporate or apartment manager.
  • If in a rental property, reconfirm your final inspection date and details with your property manager, and ensure you have lined up an end of lease cleaner (including carpets) to be complete before the inspection. Consider looking for a cleaner that provides an end of lease inspection guarantee, so if anything doesn’t meet standards they will come and rectify it for no further charge.
  • Buy or borrow an esky to transport the contents of your fridge and freezer on moving day.
  • If you already have access to your new place, do any cleaning or maintenance on the property now before you move in – it’ll likely be much easier to do in an empty property than once you’ve got all your stuff in it. If it’s a rental property, get your property condition report from your real estate manager and carefully inspect, test and document the condition – be detailed and take photos as you go. See The 9 Things Everyone Should Do BEFORE Moving In To a New Home.

The day before moving

  • Empty out your fridge and freezer and defrost them if required. Store food in an esky if you want to take it with you to your new home.
  • Charge your mobile phone and keep a charger with you or in your car for moving day.
  • Unplug and drain your washing machine (including the hose).
  • Set aside all the boxes or items that you will be moving yourself or taking with you, such as boxes containing small valuables, important documents, essentials for the first few nights, medications and pet supplies. Ensure these are clearly marked so they won’t be collected by your removalist.
  • If you haven’t created one while packing, create a moving box inventory – it can be as simple as counting the total number of boxes and items, or number of boxes per room and a total. It’s useful to know so you can account for all boxes and items when unpacking. See Rumbles Removals moving inventory form.

Moving day

  • If you have arranged a babysitter for your children or pets for the day, drop them off so you can focus on getting things done.
  • Ensure access/parking is available for your removalists at your current and new home.
  • Pack any essentials and valuables that you’re moving yourself into your car or vehicle.
  • Provide any necessary packing instructions to your removalist team. Consider which items you’ll want to have access to first in your new home, so your removalists can try to pack and unload the truck accordingly.
  • Complete a check of each room as your removalists are packing the truck to ensure items haven’t been missed – look on top and in corners of wardrobes and cupboards, under drawers, around the garden, in the garage etc.
  • Ensure all taps are turned off tightly, turn off power at the switchboard, close blinds and curtains, deadlock all doors and windows.

Moving into your new home

  • If you can be at the property when your removalists arrive, provide instructions on where they should place furniture and boxes so you don’t have to shuffle them later yourself.
  • Locate any boxes you filled with essentials you’d need in the first few days.
  • Ensure your utilities are connected.
  • Assemble and make up the beds as soon as possible so you’ll have somewhere to sleep later.
  • Consider changing the door locks to ensure previous occupants can’t access your home.
  • If you have cats, try to keep them indoors for a few days to help settle them into their new environment.
  • Introduce yourself to your new neighbours.
  • Check out what takeaway options you have nearby and treat yourself on the first night in your new home.