Moving house: week by week checklist

Moving house, along with renovating and getting married, is one of life's most stressful tasks. If you don’t have some level of organisation – tearing your hair out and losing your sanity is inevitable.

Easing the anxiety and stress that comes with the move starts with preparing well in advance for the big day - then you can focus on the excitement of settling into your new pad.

Strategic planning is essential. Moving is always a major upheaval, no matter how many times you’ve done it before, breaking up that massive to-do list into more manageable week by week chunks will make a massive difference.

unpacking stock

Fast track your move with this handy week by week checklist:

7-5 weeks to go

  • Start decluttering! You never realise how much ‘junk’ you’ve accumulated until you have to move house, so at the seven or six-week mark start organising what you need and don’t need. Make a pile of items to give away to friends and family, waste to be collected and other bits and pieces that can be donated to charity. If you don’t love it or use it, lose it – your new home will thank you for it and make the move that little bit easier.
  • Plan a garage sale. For everything that isn’t getting thrown out or donated, try to earn some extra cash to assist with the moving expenses by arranging a garage sale. Get it done early so you have time to get rid of anything you don’t sell on the day.
  • Search for a reliable moving company. Some places can book out well in advance, especially at peak times (weekends, school holidays, before Christmas etc.) so get onto it early to be on the safe side. Depending on who you go with, they may provide you with some packing boxes or purchase or hire some yourself to get started early. Don’t forget some heavy duty packing tape and paper and bubble wrap to wrap up fragile valuables – butcher’s paper is best as newspaper can stain items.

4 weeks to go

  • Book a cleaning company to help you with the final condition inspection.
  • Consider travel plans. Are you moving interstate? Are you moving local? Map out the easiest route for yourself and your moving truck to take on the day. Ensure any travel bookings are made to avoid a headache and extra costs down the track. Don’t forget to arrange passports and travel documents if you’re going long distance. If you have pets, ensure you’ve arranged their travel plans too.
  • Get packing! Start clearing out anything you won’t be using between now and the moving date. Seasonal items in particular can be boxed early. Here are some packing tips to get you started.

3 weeks to go

  • Transfer and set up utilities at your new place. Make sure your energy company are aware of the moving date so you’re not paying utilities bills for two properties at once.
  • Hire a skip. Depending on the volume of stuff you want to get rid of it could be worthwhile to hire a skip. A reputable skip bin hire company will dispose of the waste according to the latest requirements so you don’t have to worry about it. Your residential bins will only handle so much of your moving waste so a short term medium sized skip bin will save you the hassle of overloading your wheelie bins or having to visit the tip.
  • Arrange insurance. Make sure your new home has got all the right insurance policies in place.

2 weeks to go

  • By this stage you want a good deal of things packed. Continue packing away anything you won’t use for the next two weeks.
  • Cancel any deliveries to your new home and redirect mail.
  • Collect all copies of house keys, including spares you have lent to family and friends.
  • Arrange for time off work on the moving day, if required.
  • Arrange a sitter for moving day if you have children or pets that can get in the way.
  • Arrange for carpets to be steam cleaned in your old home.
  • Disassemble outdoor items ready to be moved.
  • Sort out groceries by eating as much of the food from the fridge and freezer as you can. Don’t do any big food shops until you move into your new home, as chances are it’ll go to waste and spoil during the move.

1 week to go!

  • You're in the home stretch. Re-confirm your moving date and time with the removalist and real estate agent. Ensure everyone has all the correct details, contact numbers and addresses and any additional information.
  • Get the last of your washing done and put aside fresh linen and towels for your first night in your new place.
  • Start cleaning your fridge and packing up pantry items you won’t need. On the evening before your move, defrost the freezer if required.
  • Pack everything. This is your week to shine! Make up a moving survival kit. Set a box to the side to keep all the items you’ll need over the next few days. Don’t forget to leave out a few toys for children and pets to make the transition as easy and as stress free as possible. Make sure all boxes are labelled clearly.
  • Get the keys to your new pad and arrange to hand your old ones in.

Moving day tasks

  • Create an action list of all important information for the big day.
  • If you have pets, keep them in the old house as long as possible with their bed, toy, food and water. Settling both children and pets with familiar items will keep them reassured. Check out these tips for moving with pets.
  • Keep your moving documents on you so they don’t get lost in the move. Pack in your car (if the move is local) items you’ll need immediately so you don’t need to stress finding them in the new house.
  • Do a final walk through of your old home to make sure you haven’t left anything behind. Check all cupboards, drawers and shelves.
  • Lock all the doors, garage and windows before you leave. Keep clear from the removalists as much as possible and leave them to do their job.
  • Cleanup your new place. Here are our three tips for keeping the post-move cleaning to a minimum

What next?

Grab a glass of wine, order some takeout (because let’s face it, no one cooks on moving day night!) put your feet up and settle into your new pad. The unpacking can wait until tomorrow!

Author bio:

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Instant Waste Management – leading skip bin providers and larder waste management services for your next home move. You can catch Jayde on Google+ to discuss this piece.


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