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Moving house: The checklist you need

In between packing, booking removalists, organising mail redirection and ensuring you have home and contents insurance, a house move typically rates highly on the stress-o-meter. However, moving house doesn’t have to result in sleepless nights. Here are some pointers to help you through the three stages of moving, from preparing to move, to the settling in stage.

Prepare to move

Don’t underestimate how much preparation time is needed when moving house. The weeks before moving day are actually the most important, as that’s the prime time to get all your life admin sorted before the moving day storm.

1. Cut the clutter

The less stuff you have in your life, the less stuff you’ll need to pack and unpack. Before you move, go through your wardrobe and book shelves and cull anything that you don’t need. You’ll be surprised how many things you own that are simply gathering dust. Donate used clothing, books and working appliances to charity shops, sell items on eBay or Gumtree, or pass things onto friends in need. Whatever you do, just reduce the amount you have to move and you’ll be happier on moving day.

2. Sort your mail

Whether you choose to organise mail redirection to your new address for a few months or arrange a simple mail hold during the move, ensuring your mail’s safety is a good way to avoid the stress of missing out on important things like bills, wedding invites or letters from the ATO.

3. Update your details

Changing your address can be a tedious but unavoidable process. Most organisations allow you to update your mailing address online, so be sure to do so with your bank, superannuation and private health insurance provider. Don’t forget to change the address on your driver’s licence as well as on the electoral roll. You may also need a land title transfer if you’re not renting.

4. Book removalists

Whether you choose to hire professional removalists or hire a van and do it yourself, make sure you book well ahead of time, especially if moving on a busy weekend. If you book well ahead of time, you’ll be able to have first pick of moving times – with first move of the day being a smart way to avoid waiting around for removalists to complete other scheduled moves.

5. Wrap it up

Ensure your valuables are safe by taking the time to pack your items properly. While it’s tempting to cut corners and throw everything in haphazardly, think about how you’d feel to find your favourite item broken. Before the move, stock up on cardboard boxes of various sizes, packing tape, old newspapers to wrap dinnerware and bubble wrap for fragile items. Buy some sticky labels and a black marker to label each box – you’ll save time when it comes to moving and unpacking if you know what’s inside each box.

6. Don’t forget Fido

If you think moving house is stressful, spare a thought for what your pet may be experiencing. Think ahead and arrange support for your pets during the move. Many people choose to take their pets to a trusted friend or family member’s house during the move, to minimise stress or injury to animals.

Execute the perfect move

If you get the preparation stage right, the actual move should be far easier.

1. Get help

Don’t be a moving day martyr. Even if you have hired removalists, you’re still likely to need some support on moving day. Whether they assist with moving boxes (to cut down on removalists costs), lend a hand cleaning out the horrifying amount of dust that magically appears when you move furniture, or they simply keep an eye on your pets, having a few extra hands on deck makes all the difference when moving house.

2. Leave enough time for the clean up

It can be easy to forget how long it takes to clean out an entire home, even once its contents are gone. While you can hire cleaners to do this for you, if that’s not an option, be aware that it won’t be a ‘quick’ job and you’ll need to dedicate at least half an hour per room. Leaving the clean up for the day after the move is ideal, but when that’s not possible, ensure you have all your cleaning gear easily accessible, preferably in one large container that’s simply to take with you at the end.

3. Stay nourished

With your pantry packed up and fridge cleared out, cleaned and turned off, it pays to have a few snacks on hand to keep your energy up when moving (especially when dealing with flights of stairs). Stay hydrated by having a water bottle on hand, and keep snacks like muesli bars, trail mix, crackers and apples around to keep hungry bellies at bay. You really don’t need to deal with ‘hangry’ people on moving day.

Settle in

There is nothing like that feeling of settling into your new home after you’ve unpacked and arranged your furniture. Moving house isn’t easy, so you’ve earned some time out. Rest up in the knowledge that your home and valuables are covered by organising home and contents insurance1. Important for both renters and homeowners, home and contents insurance may appear to be just another thing looming on your to-do list, but it’s worthwhile sorting out sooner, rather than later. Do your research to find the right policy for you, and no matter what level of cover you choose, protecting your most valuable assets is a smart thing to do.