two people carrying box

The moving house checklist

Moving house – it’s one of those things that seems like an okay idea in the abstract, but it really starts to lose its appeal the closer you get to moving day.

But if there’s anything that’s going to keep you motivated, it’s knowing you’re prepared. Or maybe it’s the pizza you’ve already ordered for 7:30pm on move day – either way, a moving checklist can’t hurt, so here’s our list of tips for movers.

In the 4-ish weeks before moving

1. Organise the power

When you’re moving house, gas and electricity are big ticket items for getting settled quickly. Tell your current provider when you want the gas and electricity disconnected and organise the connection at your new address. If you’re a Momentum customer, you can do all this through MyAccount.

If you’re thinking about switching to Momentum at your new home, check out our plans and prices.

2. Organise the internet

Call your provider and let them know you’re moving and find out what you need to do so things run smoothly.

3. Set up your water account

Let your current water utility company know you’re leaving, and set up your account at the new address.

4. Clean out your cupboards

Set aside a weekend to offload the stuff you don’t need from wardrobes, hall cupboards and bottom drawers (the mate helping you move doesn’t want to lift one more moving box than is necessary).

‘Ancient grain’ doesn’t mean quinoa that’s travelled with you to three different houses.

5. Empty the pantry and freezer

Start clearing shelves by using up any beans, legumes, grains or pasta you have kicking around in the pantry, as well as any frozen meals. It’s also a good time to check use-by dates on everything. (The same bottle of hoisin sauce made three moves with me before I noticed it was 5 years out of date.)

6. Organise a move-out clean

Knowing someone is taking care of the clean can make the move a lot less stressful. If you’re planning on getting a cleaner in for the job, book them well ahead of time, in for the day after you’ve moved everything (or at least most things) out.

7. Start collecting packing supplies

Check your community Facebook pages to see if people have cardboard packing boxes and other packing materials to give away, or ask your local grocer and supermarkets. Gift shops and chocolate shops will often have excess bubble wrap for your fragile items, too.

8. Put things up for sale

If you’ve got household items that won’t be coming to the new home, put them up for sale (or even free to a good home) online.

9. Check your hard rubbish collections

These work differently for different areas, so check with your council what your options are for getting rid of larger unwanted items before you move.

10. Book your moving company or moving truck

Decide what you’ll need to move all your belongings (will you need a professional removalist for heavier items?), and book it ahead of time – even if it’s just sending a text to that mate who’s got a ute.

If you need a set of wheels, you can usually rent these from hardware stores, moving companies or handy friends.

11. Pack up the outdoor area

Put the furniture, plants and garden tools you’re taking with you all in one place so you can clean up the rest of the yard.

12. Return anything you’ve borrowed

You’ll have less stuff to move, and your mates will love you for ‘remembering’.

In the two weeks before moving

13. Change your address

For things like bank accounts, insurance, subscriptions, Centrelink, Medicare, the Electoral Commission, and your drivers licence. If you’ve got kids, let the school know too (and the kids, come to think). You can also get your mail redirected with Australia Post.

14. Start packing the stuff you won’t need

That includes books, clothes for a different season and lesser-used kitchen appliances. To make sure you’re not digging through the dress-up box when you’re looking for lightbulbs, make a note of the contents on your moving boxes.

15. Organise insurance

If you need moving or house and contents insurance for your valuables, get it ready ahead of time.

Make sure you know your sausage dogs from your packing peanuts.

16. Make a plan for your pets

Not everyone’s furry friends handle relocation well, so make sure you’ve got a plan for yours that keeps shedding and shaking to a minimum.

17. Do a round-up of all the keys

Make sure you’ve got all the keys for your current place ready to hand over when the time comes.

18. Collect all the user manuals

Get the guides and important documents for any appliances in the house (things like the dishwasher, aircon and oven) and put them somewhere the people moving in will find them.

If you're looking to upgrade some appliances at your new home, see more information on how 'Energy efficient appliances save power'.

19. Tell your frequent visitors

Let people who come over often (like cleaners, gardeners and dog walkers) know that you’ll be moving home. If they’re coming to your new home, let them know your moving date and what day you’ll need them to be there instead.

On moving day

20. Check the power

If your power company has told you the new address is connected, but the lights aren’t coming on, it could be because the main switch is off. In that case, you’ll need to switch it back on at the switchboard. Switchboards are usually on the outside of your house toward the front or (particularly in apartments) in linen closets, kitchen cupboards or on hallway walls.

If your power isn’t on when you expected it to be, get in touch with your power company and they’ll help you sort it out.

21. Turn on the hot water in your new place

Do yourself the honour of a warm shower on moving day. Systems generally take a few hours to warm up so turn yours on the minute you get there on moving day.

22. Get the big stuff in first

Depending on the layout of your new place, you might need to move things like the fridge and washing machine before anything else, so make sure you plan it out in the unloading process. If you’re using moving services, let the mover know too.

23. Check where your router goes

The last thing you want to do is cover up the port with furniture or other heavy items, so plug in your router before moving anything else in.

Moving house tips
Shortly after moving, Annie and Greg uncovered their shared passion for not moving.

24. Set up your bed

That way, no matter how far into unpacking you get on the day, you’ll be able to go to sleep the minute you need to.

Final touches

25. Turn off the power at the old place

It’s easier for the person moving in to sort their power if it’s switched off at the main switch.

26. Wait to turn on the fridge

If you’ve moved your fridge on its side, you may need to let it sit upright before turning it back on – sometimes for up to 24 hours – to let the compressor oil settle. (We recommend checking what your fridge manufacturer says.)

Did you know?

You can organise your power connection up to 4 weeks ahead of time? To see the plans we offer at your new pad, click on the button below.

See our plans

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