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Essential tips for moving house

Posted on 13 May 2016

Relocating to a new home is considered one of life’s most stressful activities, not only is there the emotion of saying goodbye to your old home, but the logistics of packing and moving can be overwhelming.

It’s helpful to have a plan and tackle the move as you might handle a major project at work; create a timeline and work backwards from moving day, breaking down the tasks into manageable chunks. Begin weeks, or even months in advance to avoid last minute stress.

First on the list is to identify any of the household goods you won’t be taking with you. Be ruthless at this point; if in doubt, throw it out – or if it may be useful to someone else, sell or donate it. Remember anything you keep has to be packed, moved and unpacked at the other end.

You may find you have a substantial pile of unwanted goods, enough to warrant a garage sale. Schedule your sale a few weeks before moving day to give you time to dispose of anything that doesn’t sell. Bigger ticket items may be sold via online sites like eBay and Gumtree but the selling process can take several weeks, so get in early.

If you’ve been in your current home for many years, chances are you’ll have accumulated plenty of rubbish – it’s not unusual to discover forgotten items stored under the house or in the garage such as old mattresses, sporting gear, empty paint tins and broken appliances. Many of these items require special disposal. Circle all the upcoming council clean up days on your calendar so you don’t miss the opportunity for free collection.

Removalist companies will drop off packing boxes a week or two before you’re due to move so you can get started with books, toys, out of season clothing, linen, crockery and glassware – just leave out the essentials for day to day living.

A few tips for packing:

- Label boxes clearly including all contents and which room they’re from
- Pack books in small boxes, fill halfway and add cushions to avoid overloading
- Wrap breakables in tissue paper and tea towels for added protection
- Use proper packing tape top and bottom to ensure boxes stay together

Moving with children adds another element of complexity. If your children are older, give them the responsibility of packing their own special box. They can include their favourite toys and books, label it themselves and have it ready to unpack in their new bedroom. For younger children and babies, ideally ask family or close friends to mind them for a couple of hours – that way you’ll have some uninterrupted time to pack while the littlies are happily occupied elsewhere.

There will be a range of administrative tasks to organise, including: notifying people of your new address, setting up a mail forwarding service, finalising existing electricity, gas and water accounts, and setting up new accounts. Many suburbs now have parking restrictions and you may need to pre-order new permits.
On moving day, focus on working with your removalists (or friends and family) to ensure it all goes as smoothly as possible. Imagine you’re going away overnight and have everything you and your family will need such as toiletries, pyjamas and a change of clothes packed in a small travel bag and keep it with you.

Once the removalists have emptied the house, do a final walk-through of every room checking drawers, wardrobes and cupboards for anything that may have been missed.

At the new property, switch on the refrigerator and unpack what’s needed for the first night – make the beds, put towels and toiletries in the bathroom and find any items needed for school, sport or work the next day. Order a takeaway meal to avoid the stress of locating cooking utensils and most importantly, get a good night’s sleep ready to start a new day of unpacking and settling in to your new home.


Hopefully before moving you'll have already organised a building or strata inspection through Compare Inspections. That way you avoid any unwanted surprises in your new home and can simply get down to enjoying the features that appealed to you so much.



By Darel McBride


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