The clock is ticking. It’s a month until moving day. And with so much to do, the only way to tackle such a daunting task to have a plan – and stick to it.
Susan Williams, founder of The Finishing Touch, one of Australia’s leading home packing and unpacking services, shares a comprehensive four-week moving plan, starting a month out and finishing on moving day.
– Book a removalist. Get them to estimate the number of boxes of belongings, and therefore the packing materials required.
– Book help with a packing and unpacking service, if required.
– Book cleaning of existing home for on or after moving day. Check the new house will be professionally cleaned.
– Start to sort through house and belongings. Take it one room at a time and sort into what to keep, what to throw out and what to give away. Consider using a professional pre-move service to help if this is a big job.
– Throw out or donate garage items, old clothes, papers no longer needed, toys kids have grown out of, etc.
– Begin to use up supplies in the kitchen, fridge, freezer and pantry. Throw out out-of-date food.
– Create a folder for all moving documents.
– If necessary, organise schooling and other essential services in new location.
– Organise connection of utilities at new place and disconnection at old.
– Organise packing materials delivery for at least a week before move.
– Organise phone, internet, water, gas, power and pay TV connections to be disconnected at the old house and connected in new.
– Notify local council, for rates purposes.
– Return any library books or other locally-hired items.
– Notify Australia Post of change of address and arrange mail re-direction, if needed.
– Organise for children and pets to be look after on moving day.
– Stop watering pot plants.
– Collect all instruction manuals for appliances in old home, for the new owner. Leave them out for new owners, along with contact details and some local “intel” about great restaurants, etc.
– Gather any usable paint, tiles for old home and leave for new owners.
– Have packing materials, including boxes, paper, tape and marker pens, delivered.
– Dismantle any furniture not used regularly. Tape screws and cords to the item to ensure they aren’t lost.
– Collect dry cleaning.
– Cancel newspaper and any other regular home deliveries.
– Confirm details and plans for moving day with removalist and cleaners.
– Collect all spare keys and put them together for new owners.
– If it’s a DIY move, start packing. Start with less frequently-used items, such as toys, clothes, office items, kitchen non-essentials, etc.
– Continue packing.
– Organise parking for removalist and all other service people for moving day.
– Pack a “survival kit” containing kettle, tea, coffee and snacks, favourite toys and PJs for the kids, baby food and supplies, a change of clothing and sleepwear, chargers and cables for electronic devices, toiletries, medicines or prescriptions, bowls, food, collars and leads for pets and any other essential items. This kit will make the first few hours in the new home much less stressful, with key items on hand.
– If using a professional packing services, their staff will most likely arrive the day before the move, to get everything packed and ready. If it’s a DIY move, all packing should be done by the day before.
– Have several moving boxes spare for last-minute items, such as bedding, food, clothes, chargers, medicines and cleaning supplies for new house.
– Think about food for moving day. Ensure there is some breakfast left to eat and have plenty of snacks on hand for what is a tiring day. Plan for lunch and dinner.
– Empty fridge and freezer into an Esky.
– Collect keys, ensure gas and electricity meters have been read and phone disconnected.
– Check all cupboards are empty and that no chargers are left in power points.
– Turn off power.
– Lock house and leave keys as organised for new owner.
– Check cupboards are clean before putting clothes and kitchen items away. If not, wipe over.
– Start with kitchen crockery, cutlery and glassware, then move onto clothes and wardrobes, to get everything away.
Make beds and get kids’ rooms set up, to make them feel at ease.
As soon as the fridge is unloaded, put all cold food in.
Work methodically through entire home, unpacking priority areas first.