Written by Cara Fitzgerald | 22 November 2023

Congratulations on buying or renting a new home! Getting down to the business of moving can be overwhelming, there literally seems like a million things to do. When it’s time to get packing, knowing where to start and when is the key to a stress-free move.

We’ve put together the ultimate guide to moving, with the best checklist for moving house, to help make sure you’ve got the important things covered in the lead-up to moving day.

Download our ultimate moving house checklist.

Moving house checklist. Woman standing infront of packing boxes while holding a checklist.

General moving house tips

When it comes to moving, there are some known knowns:

  • Start packing early
  • The more time and effort you put into the packing process, the easier it will be to unpack
  • Give away or sell the items you no longer need or use – don’t take it with you
  • Book your removalist early
  • You’ve got more stuff than you think!

Moving house checklist: 4 – 6 weeks before moving day

  • Confirm settlement date and key collection time with your solicitor and real estate agent as this will determine your moving day.
  • Lock in your moving day date and time. Book your removal company, ensuring you obtain a written quote and obtain moving transit insurance.
  • Purchase packing supplies (boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, tape, tape gun, sharpie pens, labels etc.).
  • Book a team of packers and unpackers to assist you when moving if you need.
  • Research and book storage facilities if needed.
  • If you are renting, give notice of to your landlord and organise a final inspection to secure a refund of your bond.
  • If moving from a rental, formally notify your landlord/property manager of the date you’re vacating the property, arrange property inspection to recover your bond, book carpet and bond cleaners as well as the pest control spray if you had pets.
  • Arrange day care, kindy and school enrolments.
  • Book in tradespersons if the contract of sale on your existing home requires it.
  • Book in your transfer of service dates with your utilities providers. Arrange disconnections, final readings of gas and electricity meters and reconnections.
  • Organise house and contents insurance for your new home.
  • Arrange pet transport if needed.
  • Prepare an inventory of everything you own, noting any scratches or dents.
  • Get a copy of the floor plan with measurements of your new home to mark out your furniture placement.  Make sure your furniture will fit. Will large items such as the fridge and lounge fit through the doorways and up the stairs? Does the fridge fit in the kitchen space?
  • Check your appliance manual for any moving instructions for your washing machine, fridge etc. Purchase or order parts if needed e.g. transport bolts.
  • Ease back on the grocery shopping and start using up the opened packets of food in the pantry and the food in the freezer.
  • Begin sorting through the bigger areas such as the garage, garden shed and under the house.
  • Make a list of the items you plan to transport yourself, such as any important legal documents, jewellery and fragile items.
  • Start working through your Change of address checklist.

Moving house checklist: 2 – 3 weeks before moving day

  • Start packing non-essential/rarely used items.
  • Apply for leave from work. Depending on the size of your move you will need at least the day before and day after off work.
  • Arrange for family or friends to look after your children and pets on moving day.
  • Arrange move of boat, trailer, ride on mower, jet ski etc.
  • Notify any household services of your move/ discontinuation of their service e.g. cleaners, babysitters, gardener.
  • Establish new household service arrangements for your new home.
  • Book a locksmith to change the locks/keys on moving day at your new home.
  • If you are driving a long distance to your new home, considering servicing your car.
  • Disassemble outdoor items, children’s play equipment etc.
  • Investigate any moving restrictions at your new property, such as parking, lift access, loading bay access that may be imposed by your local council, body corporate or building manager.
  • Arrange access and parking for the removal truck.
  • Back up your computers and important devices and store external backup drives separately.
  • Return any library books.
  • Collect dry cleaning.
  • Surrender gas bottles to an exchange station or arrange safe transport of your empty gas bottles.
  • Hold a garage sale, donate, sell, or throw out any items you no longer need or use.
  • Continue working through your Change of address checklist.

Moving house checklist: 1 week before moving day

  • Pack any personal items to take with you.
  • Prepare a necessities box and consider taking it with you in your own car. Pack things in it like toilet paper, cleaning products, Stanley knife, scissors, bathroom items, medications, kettle, tea and coffee, chargers, bottles of water, children’s items and pet needs.
  • If you have hired a professional packing service, your packers will arrive at your home today.
  • It’s best to turn your fridge off 24 hours before you move it. This gives its evaporator time to defrost, which reduces the risk of any damage during the move. Empty the last items out of your fridge into an esky with ice to transport tomorrow.
  • Defrost your freezer and clean your fridge.
  • Drain liquid from washing machines, irons, ice makers etc.
  • Fit your washing machine with shipping bolts to prevent damage during transit.
  • Double-check you’ve packed all belongings from the garden, garage, shed, inside and on top of internal cupboards etc.
  • Charge mobile phones and place chargers in your necessities box. Write important numbers down and place in this box also just in case you run out of battery on moving day.
  • Confirm with utility companies that your services are scheduled to be disconnected and reconnected.
  • If you’re flying interstate or overseas, check in online.
  • Prepare an action plan for moving day.

Moving house checklist: The day before moving day

  • Pack your essential linens box and necessities box into your car.
  • Pack your box of other items you had planned to transport yourself, such as important legal documents, jewellery and fragile items.
  • Provide your removalist with the floor plan of your new property and discuss your labelling system. Discuss parking location for the removalist truck at your new property.
  • Ask removalist to load your kitchen boxes, bed frames and any other high priority boxes last so they come off the truck first.
  • Try to check off all items against your inventory list as they are going into the truck.
  • Tighten all taps, turn off all power points, lights and hot water system if appropriate.
  • Lock all door and windows.
  • Complete one last check of the old property to ensure nothing is left behind (e.g. look behind doors, inside cupboards, bathroom etc.)
  • At your new home, try to stand at the entry and give clear directions as to which room your boxes and furniture goes into.
  • Try to check off all items against your inventory list as they are coming off the truck. Notify your removalist immediately if anything is missing or damaged before signing the removalist paperwork.
  • Check all utilities are connected (power, hot water etc.).
  • Once your fridge is in position in the kitchen, it needs time to settle before turning it on. Let it stand, unplugged for a few hours (as a rough guide) to allow the oil and fluids to settle before you switch it on. It’s best to check your manual to find out the recommended time.
  • If renting, complete a condition report of property and furnishings and take photos for your own records.
  • Ensure assembling and making the beds is a priority, then unpack the kitchen and other key rooms first.
  • Check the property and garden for safety hazards before children and pets staying playing. Settle children and pets with familiar items for reassurance.
  • Keep cats inside for a few days.
  • Check that you have all keys and relevant instructions to your new residence.
  • Contact your new local council for garbage collection information.
  • Return the old house keys and garage remotes to your real estate agent, solicitor or landlord.
  • Enjoy our new home!

DIY packing tips

  • Packing supplies (boxes, packing paper, bubble wrap, tape, tape gun, sharpie pens, labels etc.) can be purchased cheaply or even picked up for free off Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree etc. Alternatively they can be bought from Bunnings, Officeworks etc or arranged through your removalist or storage company.
  • Do not be tempted to use newspaper or magazines for packing, the ink comes off onto your belongings. Use clean white or brown paper.
  • Pack non-essential items as soon as possible to avoid the last-minute rush.
  • Label each box with the contents and the room it belongs in to make unpacking quicker and easier.
  • Pack light items in the bigger boxes and heavy items in small boxes. If mixing it up, ensure the heavier items are on the bottom of the box.
  • Take legal documents, precious and personal items with you in your own car.
  • Dismantle furniture, beds, washing machine etc. before moving day to save paying extra time for the removalists while they wait for you to do it on moving day.
  • Use zip lock bags to store and label bed legs and screws, remote controls and cords etc.
  • Prepare a necessities box and consider taking it with you in your own car. Pack things in here like toilet paper, cleaning products, Stanley knife, scissors, bathroom items, medications, kettle, tea and coffee, chargers, children’s items and pet needs.

Rated the number 1 agency in the suburb 8 years in a row, our team at @ap-realty have provided hundreds of clients with advice on moving house. We take great pride in delivering a personalised service that provides you the best results. Get in touch and let us show you what makes us so different, we’d love to assist you in buying, selling, renting or investing.

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