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, the 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.
Four weeks before moving
- 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 Throw out out-of-date food.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.
Two weeks before moving
- 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.
- 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.
Week before moving
- 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.
Two days before moving
- 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.
Day before moving
- 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 a portable cooler.
- 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.
At new house
- 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