Moving House Checklist

Once you have signed the contracts to purchase your new home, it takes around 4-7 days to arrange the final settlement of your home.

During this time, there isn't anything you need to do. Your mortgage broker will be working to make the final arrangements for the settlement of your home loan. Your conveyancer will take care of the legal documents to transfer title of the land formally into your name, as well as paying the taxes and Stamp Duty.

This leaves you free to start planning to move into your new home.

To help make moving home as smooth a transition as possible, we have put together a timeline with a complete list of the tasks you can do at each stage of the moving process, beginning when you sign the contracts on your new home.

4 Weeks Before Settlement

  1. Book a removalist. Make sure they have insurance in place and are registered with the Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA). Get a written quote and stick to your budget.
  2. You might consider paying to have your things packed - some removalists will do both packing and unpacking - you can choose just one of these too. They'll take care of everything, supplying boxes, sorting and preparing a 'first night survival' box and setting aside the essential items. They'll take care of cleaning your white goods and sorting the out-of-date items in the pantry.
  3. Work out where your large items will go in your new home. You might use a floor plan to map it out. Check that your large items are going to fit through the doors.
  4. If you're packing up yourself, be sure to arrange packing materials - cartons, boxes, bubble wrap. We suggest you use white or butcher paper rather than newspaper to wrap fragile things - sometimes newspaper print can rub off onto items.
  5. Return any borrowed or rented items like library books, DVDs or computer games.
  6. Check the manufacturer's instructions for moving your washing machine.
  7. Start to use the food you've got stored in the freezer
  8. Donate to an op shop anything you don't need but is still of good quality. Start to throw away anything that needs to go
  9. If you have children, arrange school, pre-school and day-care transfers
  10. Arrange Home and Contents Insurance for your new home.
  11. If you're renting, inform your landlord or rental agency of your intention to vacate, and book a final inspection
  12. Arrange with Australia Post to have your mail held or redirected to your new address. You can easily do this online at the Australia Post website.
  13. Update or cancel any newspaper or magazine subscriptions.
  14. Update your car insurance and home and contents insurance.
  15. Arrange to have all of your utilities - electricity, gas, telephone and internet - accounts disconnected and reconnected at your new property.
  16. Update your address on your Drivers licence and on the Australian Electoral Roll - you can do this online. For your driver's licence, you'll need to update your address at the Motor Registry for your State.
  17. Arrange a rubbish pick-up with the local council.
  18. Start sorting out the garden shed, under the house and the backyard. Make sure to dispose of any chemicals safely.

2-3 weeks from Moving Day

  1. Contact any organisations you'll need to change your address with
  2. Arrange time off work on your moving day.
  3. Fill any prescriptions you'll need the week before and the week after the move.
  4. Discontinue your local memberships, like gym or fitness.
  5. Collect your dry cleaning.
  6. Arrange a final clean and to have the carpets cleaned the house you're leaving.
  7. Dissemble outdoor items and furniture like children's play equipment.
  8. Put together a 'handyman kit' with a hammer, Allan keys, screwdrivers, spanner, a pen knife, torch and light bulbs.
  9. Get your car serviced, and be sure to drain the lawnmower.
  10. Start to pack the things you don't use every day - it's a lot easier if you do a bit each day rather than leaving all the packing to the last minute.
  11. Arrange for your pets and children to be looked after by family or friends on moving day.

1 Week Before the Big Move

  1. Pack separately the bed linen and towels you'll use on the first night.
  2. Draw up a floor plan with the furniture placement at the new home marked out for the removalist.
  3. Lightly water your indoor plants and place them in plastic lined boxes
  4. Let your local services know about the move - babysitter, gardener, cleaner.
  5. Back up your computer hard drive and pack your printer/scanner for travel.
  6. Confirm the moving day instructions, contact information and new address with the removalist.
  7. Make sure the removalist can access both houses.
  8. Plan to take your valuables and passport in the car with you.
  9. Let the police and neighbours know if your house will be empty for a while.
  10. Leave the vacuum cleaner somewhere handy for last minute cleaning.

Day Before the Move

  1. Defrost and empty your refrigerator and freezer - have a portable esky and ice for any food you still have.
  2. Clean the oven and stove.
  3. Make sure your personal and first night boxes are set aside to take separately.

Moving Day

  1. Drop off the children and/or pets to be looked after by friends or family.
  2. Collect the keys to your new home.
  3. Disassemble any furniture that you've used up to the last minute.
  4. Give the removalist the floor plan and clear instructions on parking at the new address.
  5. Get the removalist to pack the kitchen boxes/items last so they'll come off first at your new place.
  6. Do a final check of tops of cupboards, outdoor areas, before locking the doors and windows.
  7. Turn off the hot water system if necessary, turn off the taps, and flip the safety switch.
  8. Return your keys to the real estate agent or landlord.
  9. Remember to remove the garage door remote from your car.

At Your New House

  1. Once the unpacking begins you'll want to make sure the big items go to the right places, and assemble the beds.
  2. Make sure you've got all the keys and any instructions relevant to your new home.
  3. Once unloading is completed, check that everything is satisfactory.
  4. Check that the utilities are all connected and switch on the hot water service.
  5. Settle in children and pets with familiar items.
  6. Check with the local council for garbage collection and new residents information pack.
  7. Notify the removalist immediately if you're missing anything.
  8. Time to meet your new neighbours and enjoy your brand new home!

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