Moving House Checklists for Every Step
Moving to a new home is a huge process, regardless of whether you’re a first time homeowner, it’s your first time moving out of your parents home, you’re downsizing, or moving to a house with more space. Find all the tips, tricks, checklists, and guides you might need to organise your move, by reading more below.
Packing checklist, tips, and tricks
Packing is, arguably, the worst part about moving to a new home. It might seem like a better idea to just throw everything into boxes and hope for the best but packing smart, and starting early, can make the entire moving process easier from start to finish.
Packing tips and tricks
Labels: Label each box clearly on the sides and the top with the room, if it’s fragile, and the contents. Consider color-coded tape if you're a visual person, or even create an online spreadsheet with numbered boxes and an itemized list of what is in each box, so you know exactly where everything is, and where each box goes. There is no wrong way to label as long as it works best for you.
Keep a box or bag separate for essentials: Keep one box open with your night-before, and day-of, moving essentials. Throw your toiletries and change of clothes in this box on the day you move, and bring it with you separately so it doesn’t get mixed up with the boxes the removalists are taking.
Take photos or make copies of important documents: Take all important documents (passports, bank information, deeds to the house etc) with you, separate from the removalists, so they don’t get mixed up in the move.
Pack home decorations and out-of-season clothes first: You won’t need these before you move (though your current home might feel bare), and you can use your seasonal clothes to protect fragile decorations.
Pack heavy things in small boxes: Don’t load up a bunch of small, heavy, items in big boxes. Distributing heavier things across multiple, smaller, boxes, will make it easier to move.
Things you need for packing up your home
Boxes: You can often find boxes for free and secondhand, online or from friends and family, or ask around local shops like liquor stores for extra boxes. Get different sizes, and make sure they’re in good condition.
Bubble wrap & newspaper: Protect your fragile things with bubble wrap and newspaper. You can also use clothes, towels, cleaning clothes, and other soft things, but this might mean your boxes aren’t as well organised.
Packing tape: It might seem smart to fold the bottom of your boxes, you don’t want to lose all your dishes because the box gave out. Make sure to tape up your boxes, to prevent a disaster later.
A dolly: If you have a lot of cumbersome, heavy things, consider buying, renting, or borrowing a dolly to help you bring things to and from your home.
Moving house checklist, week-by-week
Packing and moving can seem like a huge task, but when it’s broken down week-by-week it becomes a lot more manageable. Starting your move 6-8 weeks before your actual moving day, and taking it little-by-little, can keep your stress low and make the entire moving process cheaper, easier, and less of a hassle.
5-6 weeks: Clean and purge
The biggest thing you can do to help yourself stay sane during the moving process is to get rid of what you don’t need. The more you get rid of, the less you need to pack and the less you’ll need to pay for removalists (if you decide to go this route).
Go through each room, and organise the things you don’t want or need into sell, donate, and throw away. You’ll feel better getting the clutter out of your house, maybe get a little money for the things you sell, and won’t need to pack as many things to take with you.
3-4 weeks: Organise
If you want to find a removalist to help you move, get at least three quotes from reputable removal companies. Do your research online, and ask friends and family for their referrals. You might also want to request an in-home estimate if you live in a larger house to get a more accurate quote. Remember, moving during the week can be cheaper than moving on the weekends. It might be more economic to take a few days off work for your move, rather than try and get everything done over the weekend.
If you don’t want to hire removalists, this is also around the time you should consider looking into the DIY moving options. Look into rental truck services or a storage pod and coordinate with friends and family who will help you during your move. To make sure your friends and family are ready to help, make an email with the date and time, addresses, and anything else they might need to know in order to help. And don’t forget to bring snacks, drinks, and gratitude for all the help!
About a month before your move, once you have the date locked-in, you might need to take time off work. Make sure to request the days off as soon as possible so there is time for any issues that might arise.
2-3 weeks: Begin packing
Get the things you’ll need to start packing - boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and newspaper - and begin packing the least essential items. Decorations, seasonal clothes, things in storage, in the garage, and any valuables you won’t want others touching should be packed away as soon as possible.
Figure out how you’re going to label your boxes. Whether this is just with a Sharpie, or you want to go all-out and create a full spreadsheet online, the sooner you get your packing organised the easier it will be when you move.
A couple weeks before you move is also the time you should contact your internet service provider and energy retailer to either organise your relocation or sign up for a new service with a new company. Check to see if you’ll need to pay any broken contract fees, compare energy providers and internet providers in your new area, and see whether it’s better to stick with your current plan or switch to something new.
1-2 weeks: The final countdown
The final week or two is crunch time, but if you’ve been smart in the weeks leading up then this step will be a breeze. Pack room-by-room, and leave the boxes in those rooms with the correct labels.
The final week is when you should get to the kitchen and bedroom. Keep dishes and cups organised, and use bubble wrap and newspaper liberally to avoid breaking things. Leave out only what you need (enough clothes and dishes for the final week, bedsheets you’re using, and toiletries), and keep an empty box in each room to pack these up the night before or day-of your move.
The night before you move house
It might seem impossible to sleep before moving day, but doing a little more the night before can make the day of your move seem like a breeze.
Make sure everything you don’t need is already packed, with boxes clearly labelled for your removalists. This includes washing and packing up any final dishes and boxing up dirty clothes.
Leave out everything you’ll need first in your new home: A change of clothes, toiletries and towels, chargers for phones and computers, and bedsheets packed separately can make it easier to get settled into your first night in your new home.
Do a sweep: You’ll probably be doing lots of “final sweeps” but no one has ever double-checked too often. Make sure you’re not forgetting anything in frequently forgotten drawers or on shelves, and check your washing machine and dishwasher to make sure nothing was left behind.
Sleep early: Early to bed, early to rise, and the earlier your wake up on the day-of, the less rushed you’ll feel. A good night’s sleep will do wonders to make the day of your move as stress-free as possible.
Day-of your move: Moving house checklist
It’s moving day! If you’ve stayed organised up until now (or as well-organised as possible), this day should go off without much of a hitch.
Wake up early: No matter how prepared you think you are, there will always be more to do when it comes to the day of your move. Going to bed early, and waking up early, will help you feel less rushed when it’s day-of.
Eat a hearty breakfast and get some coffee: Whether you’ve already packed up dishes and need to pick something up from the local cafe, or want to cook breakfast at home; eat well, get caffeinated, and clean any last minute kitchen items before boxing them up too. Once the moving starts, you might find it difficult to find the time to eat again.
Pack your last minute items: The final items you need are probably the first things you’ll want in your new home - toiletries, coffee maker, bedsheets, etc. It’s helpful to keep these in a separate box or bag you take yourself, so you know exactly where your most needed items are to unpack quickly in your new home. If you carry a purse or bag, keep some snacks, valuable documents, and essential electronics like phones, here for easy access.
Do a final check of your home: Look under the bed, under the counters, behind the washing machine, and in difficult-to-see places to make sure there isn’t something hiding you might easily miss. If you have food leftover in the fridge, make sure to either throw it out or pack it with you.
Meet & help the removalists: Help your movers by telling them how you want things packed in the truck (furniture towards the back, for example, or certain boxes set aside). Sticking around while the removalists load everything up can also give you peace of mind when you see how everything in the truck is loaded.
Do (another) final check: One last final sweep, to make sure nothing is left behind. Take out any trash, clean if you need, and make sure all the food is out of the fridge.
Help the removalists at your new address: Once you’ve done a final sweep, go to your new place to help the removalists unpack. Let them know which room your boxes should go in, and offer a snack or water if needed.
Unpack only what you need: These will probably include everything you packed up this morning such as a toothbrush, bedsheets, pajamas, and things to shower. You might also want your curtains unpacked and installed so you can have some privacy and a better night’s sleep in your new home.
Time to relax: Order takeout and open a bottle of wine, or go explore your new neighborhood and get a bite to eat at a local restaurant. It’s been a long day, and there’s more to unpack another day but for now it’s time to enjoy your new home.
New home checklist: Everything you need for your first house
If this is your first home, and you’re not quite sure what you need yet, it can seem overwhelming (and expensive) to furnish and equip your new house. Below are lists of the basics for anyone living on their own for the first time to help guide you through this exciting transition.
- Pots and pans
- Plates, bowls, & cutlery
- Cups & glasses
- Cutting board & a set of knives
- Cooking utensils
- Paper towels
- Garbage bin and garbage bags
- Bottle opener & can opener
- Kitchen table & chairs
- Bed frame & mattress
- Bedside tables
- Lamps & lighting
- Pillows & blankets
- Bedsheets, duvet covers, and pillowcases
- Clothes hangers
- Closet organisers
- Clothing dressers or wardrobes
- Sofa or couch
- Coffee table
- TV & TV stand
- Lighting & lamps
- Area rug
- Throw pillows & blankets
Study and working from home
- Desk and chair
- Desk light
- Computer mouse & mousepad
- Surge protector
- Pen & paper
- Bath towels and hand towels
- Bath mat
- Toilet brush
- Toilet plunger
- Toilet roll & holder
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Garbage bin
Other new home essentials
- Cleaning supplies: Multipurpose cleaner, microfibre cloths, vacuum or broom, mop, handsoap, and disinfectant
- Window treatments: Blinds or curtains, curtain rods, tie backs
- Electronics and utilities: Lightbulbs, surge protectors, extension cords, batteries, flashlights, fans, and basic tool kit
- First aid: A premade first aid kit which includes bandages, tape, antibiotic ointment, pain relievers, antiseptic spray or liquid, and gauze
- Tool kit: Screwdriver with multiple interchangeable heads in different sizes and shapes, a small hammer, measuring tape, and pair of pliers
- Safety: Smoke alarm, carbon monoxide detector, flashlight, and fire extinguisher
Change of address checklist for moving house
It’s important to remember to change your mailing address as soon as possible, to avoid lost bills, missed packages, or other issues. However, you can also request up to 12 months of mail redirection from the Australian post office, to give yourself a bit more time to make sure all your subscriptions, services, letters, and billing addresses are up to date.
- Insurance providers
- Post office
- Government departments
- Drivers license and vehicle registration
- Healthcare providers
- Banks and financial institutions
- Work and school
- Newspapers and subscription services