4 - 6 Weeks Leading Up To The Move
Start getting quotes from removalist companies. Give them a date for moving so they can give you a quote (the date is not set in stone at this point). Quotes can vary by thousands of dollars. Don’t always go with the cheapest. Go with the company you feel most comfortable with. Reputable firms that have been in operation for many years will, in most cases, be your best choice.
Book the Removalist once you have your Settlement date. Start collecting (or buying) boxes for packing. The removalist company you are using should be able to supply you with boxes. Ensure you buy some heavy duty tape as well. Many removalists will also offer packing as a service so you do not have to do any of it yourself.
Label the boxes by the rooms that they should be delivered in to.
List the contents on each of the boxes and number the boxes. It will be bedlam when the boxes are delivered and it could be days before you realise you have a box missing. Some things can be packed weeks in advance e.g. if it is summer, pack all your winter clothes. You can pack all your linen, Manchester, your library and study, garage, workshop, your sporting equipment and your good china.
BUT before you pack anything, have a good clean out and garage sale if you need to. Dispose of things you will never use again, especially clothes and those “I might use that one day” items.
Clean everything before you pack it. You don’t want to be taking dirty dusty things into a clean new place.
Take time off work on moving day. You are going to want to supervise the move and be there for the last minute things that can’t get packed until the morning of settlement – like breakfast dishes and food.
Check your insurance policy about loss and damage when moving. Home contents insurance is usually part of the insurance on the home. Be careful not to cancel the home insurance until the day after the move i.e. Settlement date. It’s a good idea not to cancel the policy until after Settlement has occurred rather than calling the insurance company in advance and cancelling it from the Settlement date – what if Settlement is delayed? You’ll have no insurance to move.
If you are moving into or out of an apartment, book a moving time with the building manager to arrange access for the moving truck and the lift.
Organise a cleaning company to come in on moving day. You will not have time to clean the home after the movers leave. You will be going to the new address. Usually the cost of hiring a professional cleaner outweighs the time and trouble it would take for you to do it yourself. In addition, they have appropriate equipment and are aware of real estate standards that you might overlook (e.g. wiping skirting).
If you like, you can prepare an information pack for the new residents of your old home. Include details such as how to use equipment, manuals for the appliances, local information such as which days to take out the rubbish and recycling bins. If you are so inclined, you might leave a bunch of flowers (in water) or a bottle of wine with a welcoming card.
If you are buying a new home, you should have already arranged insurance to cover the new home and property effective from the date of exchange of Contracts. If you will be renting, ensure you arrange any necessary insurances you may need.
3 Weeks Before Moving
Somewhere in the last few weeks before your home starts looking like an evacuation centre, you might like to mark the occasion of your leaving. Perhaps a dinner party for your family or close friends to remember your life there and be grateful for what the home gave you. Leaving your home can be a very emotional experience. You’re leaving something behind that you will never see or experience again. Your home was part of you. If you don’t get some closure it is not uncommon to be depressed afterwards and not know why. Saying goodbye to your home is an important ritual. Being grateful for what you had is always an important acknowledgement.
Arrange to have utilities disconnected at your old home and connected at your new home so you have electricity, phone and internet when you arrive. Cancel any newspaper subscriptions in your old home.
Organise to have your mail redirected by Australia Post to go into effect on moving day. This is your safety net. You’ll be surprised who writes to you and who doesn’t know about your new address – including parking fines, missed tolls, offers, opportunities and long lost friends. Often even after you’ve told others about an address change, there’ll be departments in the organisation whose data bases have not been updated and things “just go wrong” at some places.
Start to notify people, organistions and institutions of the change of address – much can be done online and Australia Post has a free service. These people would include: Anywhere you have money deposited e.g. bank, credit unions, companies you have shares in, your stockbroker.
Anyone who owes you money e.g. your employer, superannuation fund, your debtors.
Anyone you owe money to e.g. bank, credit union, private lenders, credit card companies, hire purchase or lay by companies, places where you have store accounts e.g. David Jones’, Myers, rental companies, or any other place that you hold a plastic membership card to.
A company you have insurance with e.g. car, home, medical, life, disability, glass, landlord-tenancy.
A government department you have dealings with e.g. motor registry (car registrations and driver’s license), tax office, electoral roll, social security, work cover, road toll company etc.
Someone from whom you receive goods or services e.g. electricity, gas, water, telephone, mail, newspapers, child minding services, doctor, dentist, vet, solicitor, accountant, meals on wheels, Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, subscription services (like magazines), video hire store etc.
An organisation you belong to e.g. trade union, professional body, gym, NRMA, RACV etc.
Your family and friends, especially overseas people, people on your Christmas card list.
Start using up the food in your freezer, fridge, and pantry to reduce waste when you begin moving home.
Draw up a floor plan of your new home and decide where you will place all your main furnishings. If you’re paying a removalist by the hour, you might as well make sure they put everything in the right place so you won’t have to move it again later.
Protect delicate items during transportation by wrapping them in tissue/butcher’s paper (avoid newspaper as it can leave ink marks). Use large boxes for light objects and small boxes for heavy ones so you are able to manage them once they’re full.
Anticipate that the new owners will change the locks but you will still need to leave all your keys with the Real Estate Agent so that the new owners can get into the home after settlement.
Pack the kitchen last. It will take the longest but it is the room you use the most. Some things you will want to carry in your car – fragile and precious things. Make sure you have room for them in the car.
Last Minute Tasks
In the days leading up to moving, eat out or keep meals basic. This will allow you to pack up most, if not all, of your kitchenware.
If you have children, arrange for them to stay with a relative or friend on moving day. If you have pets, organise some boarding for them. You don’t want either getting under foot or aggravating you or them freaking out.
Check the weather forecast for your moving day. If it looks like it will be wet, purchase some tarps to protect your furniture as it moves between home and truck.
Separate all the items you will require immediately after the move, such as bed sheets, towels, toiletries, work/school clothes, toilet paper and pet food.
Make sure you have something to sustain you through the day. Pack a kettle, some cups, cutlery, tea/coffee and some snacks in a separate box for easy access when you need a break. Make sure documents are easy to access in case you need them during or after moving home.
Consider storing valuables in a security deposit box at the bank until you have finished moving. Otherwise, keep them close to you as it is easy to lose track of things during the chaos of relocation. Depending on the items, you may want to look into whether these are covered by your contents insurance.
The day before moving home, defrost and clean your fridge out so water doesn’t spill out when you’re transporting it.
Backup all important files on your computer and give it to a friend for safe-keeping until you have safely transported the unit.
On The Day
Wake up early, shower and dress, eat, wash the dishes, strip your bed and pack your toiletries so when the removalists arrive you have nothing left to do.
Place all heavy boxes at the front of the home. Removalists generally like to put these in the truck first so it will speed the whole moving process up – something you definitely want to aim for if you’re paying by the hour.
Put padding around any areas which are difficult to manoeuvre in both your old and new homes to avoid any dents and scratches to walls as the removalists shift bulky belongings.
Check items off your moving home checklist as they go onto the moving truck and later on as they come off it to ensure you haven’t left anything behind.
Do a walk-through and double-check everything before you leave, including all storage areas such as cupboards and drawers.
Turn off the power at the switchboard.
Check all doors and windows are locked.
At your destination use the floor plan you created a couple of weeks ago to guide the removalists in placing your furniture and possessions.
Change all the locks at the new property.