The daunting process of shifting homes – whether to the next suburb or another state – can be streamlined by using a detailed checklist and timeline.
Don’t leave all the packing to the last minute and hold a garage sale to streamline what you do take with you.
Six weeks until moving day
Start a file for moving documents.
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.
Prepare waterbed for packing.
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.
Don’t forget the cat/dog/fish!