Together with divorce and the death of a loved one, moving house is widely considered one of life’s most stressful events. And yet for the most part, relocating to a new home should be marked by positivity and excitement – overflowing boxes and hidden costs aside. There’s no denying that moving is a mammoth job, but these tips and tricks are designed to cut the chaos and take the pain out of packing.
6 weeks before
Book a removalist (experts agree to lock in the earliest slot of the day so you won’t be at the mercy of other jobs running overtime). Charles Tarbey, CEO of Century 21 in Australia, suggests getting quotes in writing and organising moving transit insurance, which could save you in the long run. Plan where furniture will be placed in your new abode – there’s no point paying to relocate your weighty marble-topped dining table, only to find the shape’s not right for your new space. Now’s also the time to organise a garage sale or charity pick-up for unwanted goods, or to start listing them on Ebay or Gumtree.
4 weeks before
Admin may be tiresome, but getting it done early will be a weight off your shoulders and your to-do list. Arrange to have mail redirected and inform your financial institutions, plus the Australian Taxation Office and Electoral Office, of your new address. Then stock up on boxes and masking tape and get packing. Start with non-essentials (books and ornaments), and work your way up to necessities closer to moving day. Use small boxes for heavy items and large boxes for lighter items, clearly marking packages containing breakables with “Fragile”. Be sure to label each box with its contents; or you could go high-tech and take photos of what’s inside. If your budget permits, consider a professional packing (and unpacking) service.
Two weeks before
Contact your utility providers to arrange the final reading of your meter and relocate any services (this may be an opportunity to negotiate a better deal). While you’re at it, transfer your newspaper, magazine or streaming subscriptions, then switch your focus to scrubbing and sweeping your home, room by room. Of course you’ll also need to schedule in a deep and sparkling clean before you hand over the keys – preferably after all your possessions have been loaded into the removalist’s van.
One week before
Prepare a moving-day kit packed with the essentials – an Esky with food and drink, medical supplies, phone chargers, plus a kettle, toiletries and toothbrushes for the other end. Also keep bedlinen and some towels close at hand, along with legal documents and valuables you wouldn’t risk losing. The day before you move, defrost the fridge and unplug all appliance cords. Finally, organise a friend or family to babysit your children (and/or pets!) on the big day.