1   Start throwing away unwanted items early

Packing is a big job and the only thing worse than packing is unpacking again when you are in your new place.  It is human nature to accumulate stuff in your home; some of which you need, most of which you don’t.  Moving house is the best opportunity you have to sort through your belongings and decide what it is you still want or need and what you can part with.  You don’t want to be wasting time packing and unpacking items that you no longer want or need.  Why not plan ahead and give away or donate your goods you no longer need.  This will ease the job of unpacking when you get to your new home and assist you in making a fresh start with only the necessities that you need in your new home.

2   Map out your new home

Having a plan of attack will assist your move from start to finish.  Measure out the rooms and plan where you are going to put your furniture and ensure that it will fit in your desired space.  This will assist you in the actual move as you might be charged extra if the removalist needs to keep shifting things around.  Likewise, your friends might not be ‘available’ the next time you need help moving if you make them shift your solid timber TV unit five times to different places around the house!  Also this will help you foresee any potential space issues that might arise as you decorate your new home.

3   Book your removalist early

One of the first decisions that you need to make when planning your move is whether to book a removalist company or shift with the help of friends and family.  At certain times of the year, removalist companies can very busy and book out quickly particularly on weekends.  If you decide to use a removalist company to help you move, it is important to book early to avoid missing out on your preferred moving date.  This also gives you time to shop around and get the best deal possible.

4   Tell friends, family and neighbours your moving date

We love our friends and family because they are there for us when we need them. On moving day, you will need as much help as possible.  Round up your friends and family to help you with packing, cleaning, moving, unpacking and minding the kids and pets.  The more notice you give; the more people you will have to help you when the time comes.  Once you are all settled in you can reward their efforts with a housewarming party!

5   Label boxes with their contents and destination

Label boxes clearly with their contents and also the room they need to go in to speed up the removal process.  This will help with the speed of unpacking and also trying to find items when you need them quickly.  It is also helpful to label boxes on two sides so that they are easily identifiable even if they are leaning against a wall or other boxes.

6   Update your address

It is important to update your address and it is amazing how many people/departments need to know that you have moved.   When you move house it is advisable to redirect your mail so that no important letters, bills or memberships get left behind at your old address. The mail redirection service provided by Australia Post is not only easy to apply for and cost effective, it also gives you peace of mind to know your mail will move with you to your new location.  The table below lists some of the departments, suppliers and businesses to consider when updating your address.

Commonwealth Departments  

Electoral Office / Pensions / Social Services / Embassy – Passport

Utilities  

Gas / Electricity / Phone / Internet / Car – boat licence and registration / Foxtel

Business  

Bank / Insurance: life, car, house and contents, boat / Private health care / Medicare / Your employe r/ Births, Deaths and Marriages – update your will / Australian Tax Office / Accountant /financial planner / Superannuation fund

Family  

Club Memberships / Relatives/friends / Newspaper /magazine subscriptions / Dentist/ Physiotherapist / Blood bank (red cross) / Public library / Children’s schools / Dog licence and registration

7   Keep track of cables, cords, nuts and bolts

There is nothing worse than a missing charger when your phone has run out of battery!  During a move, cords, cables, nuts and bolts have a way of getting lost never to be seen again.  To avoid this happening use masking tape to stick nuts and bolts to bed legs and keep your cords with the appliance where possible.

8   Clean out your pantry

Plan ahead a make sure the kitchen pantry is one of the first things that you sort out.  This way, you can use up as much food as possible in the days before your move.  Throw out any expired food and make sure you put any perishable food in an esky on move day.  You will need to defrost, clean and dry your refrigerator the day before your move so it is important to use up as much food as possible to avoid wastage.

9   Make a survival pack that is easy to access

By survival pack I mean the items that you will need access to the day of and after you move. This includes toothbrushes, PJ’s, pillows, sheets, blankets, medicine etc.  The last thing you need after a busy day of moving is a sleepless night because you can’t find anything to make up the beds! Remember that most of your items will still be in boxes so you need your survival pack to be accessible, easy to find and include everything that you will need in the first few hours of living in your new home.

10   Cancel or redirect any subscriptions

As mentioned in point six it is important to update your address in particular for subscriptions that are posted to you. You don’t want the new owner of your previous home to benefit from your Saturday morning newspaper that you have already paid for.  More often than not, you are able to redirect your subscriptions but if this is not possible you need to ensure that you can cancel them and have your money refunded.