A step-by-step guide to moving into your new home

By Mark Rosanes

Moving into a new house can be a complex endeavour that requires ample planning and preparation. There are several logistics involved and the best way to manage these is to have an organised system in place. This step-by-step guide will help you successfully navigate the often-complicated process of moving into your new home.

One month before moving day

The first step you need to take before moving into your new house is deciding how to transport your belongings. You generally have two options – move your things yourself, perhaps with the help of family and friends, or hire professional removalists. If you choose the latter, here are some of the things you need to consider.

What do professional removalists do?

Professional removalists are tasked to safely transport your possessions to your new home. They are also responsible for unloading your belongings and placing them in their proper positions inside or outside the house. Removal companies typically provide packing, unpacking, furniture and appliance set-up, and cleaning services at an additional cost.

How much do professional removal services cost?

Enlisting professional removal services can cost you between $300 and $3,500, according to trade services website hipages.com.au. The price depends on how far your current residence is from your new home, the number of belongings to be transported, and type of services you will avail.

However, if decide to transfer your possessions yourself or at least do the packing on your own to save on removal costs, here are some useful tips you can follow:

1. Get your packing materials ready.

You will need strong moving boxes, packaging tape, and permanent markers. You can ask local grocery stores for spare boxes if want to save costs, but you may be compromising durability as these may have been exposed to moisture and wear and tear. It is still best to invest in high-quality moving boxes by purchasing them from removal companies or storage facilities.

2. Have a packing strategy.

Prepare a checklist, which includes your timeline. If you have job that keeps you busy during the day, you may want to set aside time after work each day for packing things.

3. Label the boxes clearly.

Note what each box contains and where they should be placed in the house. This will facilitate the unpacking. For fragile items, note which way is up. Place big items in smaller boxes and small items in larger boxes to make them easier to move.

4. Declutter so you can pack less.

If you find items that you no longer need or have not used in a long time, maybe it is time to dispose of them. You can do this through a garage sale or by giving them away to family and friends.

Two to three weeks before moving day

Once your packaging strategy is in order, it is time take care of other moving concerns. These include:

  • Gathering all your closing documents for safekeeping. These include the contract of sale, loan contract, and mortgage document.
  • Arranging for school transfers for your children.
  • Arranging for family or friends to look after your kids on moving day, if needed.
  • Arranging for pet care and transport.
  • Checking out specific instructions for transporting large appliances, such as washing machines, dryers, and refrigerators, if these are not included in the sale.
  • Taking care of outstanding bills.
  • Arranging for electricity, water, gas, internet, and phone connection for the new property.

One week before moving day

As moving day approaches, it is advisable to confirm the arrangements you had made earlier to prevent issues, such as miscommunication, to get in the way of a smooth transfer. Some of the things you can do are:

  • If you have enlisted the help of professional removalists, provide them with a layout of each room in your new home detailing where each furniture should be placed.
  • Arrange for a mail redirection.
  • Notify family, friends, your employer, and other service providers of your change of address.
  • Hire an electrician if you are taking any light fittings.
  • If you are moving indoor plants, lightly water them and pack them into plastic lined boxes.
  • Confirm arrangements you made with family or friends to look after your children.
  • Confirm care and travel arrangements for pets.

Two to three days before moving

With just a few days to go, you should almost be done with your packing and preparing to move out of your current place. Here are some activities you should be focusing on:

  • Preparing cleaning materials – you may be needing plenty.
  • Safely disposing household chemicals, flammables, and garbage.
  • Packing items needed immediately after moving. This can include clothes, bedding, toiletries, medication, food, beverage, and first-aid kit.
  • Removing batteries from battery-powered items going into storage to prevent leakage.
  • If you hired removalists, confirm if they have your mobile number and the right address to your new home.
  • Arranging access and parking for the removalists’ trucks.

Day before moving

If you availed the removal company’s packing services, they typically arrive the day before the move. While waiting for them to finish, you can do the following:

  • Check all drawers and cabinets to make sure nothing is forgotten.
  • Defrost and clean out the freezer.
  • Dispose of food that will soon expire or anything that can spoil.
  • Double check your list to see if everything is properly labelled and ready for transport. Make sure that all valuable items are with you and not in the removalists’ truck.

Moving day

Here are some things you need to do for a smooth moving day:

  • Explain to the removalists what needs to be done and give them clear instructions on where each furniture should be placed.
  • Make a final check of all cupboards, cabinets, and rooms to make sure nothing has been left behind.
  • Turn off the power in the house. Make sure all gas and electrical switches are off, all the taps are closed, and phone and internet services are disconnected.
  • Collect all house keys and lock all windows and doors before you leave.

After the move

It is not always possible to finish unpacking on moving day. Sometimes, it can take weeks or even months before you can be fully settled on your new home. However, there are other things you need to take care of apart from unpacking and arranging your belongings. Once you have moved to your new place, it is advisable to do the following:

  • Make sure utilities have been connected.
  • Change the exterior locks as you are not sure who else may have access to the keys of your home.
  • Review your home insurance coverage, especially if you moved interstate.
  • Create a plan for home maintenance and future upgrades.

While moving to a new house – with all the hard work it entails – can be stressful, careful planning and a sound strategy can help keep the process moving smoothly and your stress levels down. So, make sure you do the necessary preparations, and do not hesitate to get all as much help as possible.

More Mortgage News