Moving houses should be an exciting time for all the family, particularly if you’re a first-time buyer getting your hands on the keys to your very own first place. Unfortunately, moving day can be a source of great stress too. Ticking as many things off the ‘to-do’ list early on in the process will most certainly make the final hurdle much easier to manage.
Here’s some of our tips and tricks for taking the stress out of moving day, in a logical order of when you might want to do them…
Early Days (6 weeks+ prior to move)
Declutter and Organize
You’ve likely already done this if you’re selling a home but once you know you’re moving, it’s the perfect opportunity to go all marie kondo on your unused stuff. Marie is a great advocate of “clearing away clutter so that you can live the life you want” and in this case, that means being ready to move to the house of your dreams without taking years of unnecessary baggage, whether that’s clothes, furniture, paperwork or tools.
Spend time sifting through items by category and donate anything that you don’t need; this will save money on moving things you don’t need and time at the new place sorting through it. A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t used something for a year or you get no enjoyment from it, it’s probably time that someone else made some use of it.
Reserve Removals and Storage as Soon as Possible
Moving and storage services are in high demand, especially at peak moving time in Summer. Once you have a moving date, reserve the services you need straight away and agree costs up front to avoid any moving day expenses not accounted for.
Mid-Move (1-4 weeks before)
Pack moving day essentials boxes
You’ll need at least one box with some essentials that might be needed on the first night in your new home. This could include snacks, a small tool set with screwdrivers and hex keys, batteries, toilet paper, bread, tea/coffee and milk and cutlery. A small refrigerated bag or box with an easy meal for the first evening and something for breakfast the next morning can be a real weight off. Don’t forget personal items too - think toiletries, change of clothes, medications and device chargers.
If you’re making the move with kids, make sure that they have their own first night essentials too including the special stuffed animal they can’t sleep without and their clothes, nightlight and toothbrush.
Contact New Suppliers
Make a list of utilities and other suppliers who will need to be ‘switched on’. Call them in enough time that they can have your services up and running on the day you move in, including Wi-Fi, TV, water, hydro, gas and others. Two weeks should be plenty for most suppliers, however, proof of home insurance may be required earlier by your lawyer and if you need to switch providers, it can take some time to set up new accounts.
Colour Code Boxes by Room
As well as writing the room and brief contents on the top and side of each box, you can go a step further and colour code boxes by room to make it easier for you or your movers.
Use Up as Many Supplies as Possible
You don’t want to be taking frozen food or having to dispose of all your fresh food on the day of the move so start using these items in the weeks before moving so that the freezer is empty and clean by the day before, ready for transporting or fresh for the new owners.
Arrange a Grocery Delivery
This one can be a real timesaver when you’re busy unpacking - around a week before moving, why not order a grocery delivery to go to your new home on the day after you move in? It saves you wasting valuable settling in time walking the aisles of an unfamiliar store - win!
If you have furniture to come apart, dismantle it one or two days before the move and put the parts into a ziploc bag marked with what it’s for. It’s better to be sleeping on a mattress for a night than having to take things apart on the morning of moving day.
Take Final Utility Readings
Although the utilities companies will usually take their own readings on the moving date you provide, it’s always sensible to take a photo of your gas, electric and water meter readings in the case of any dispute.
Do a Final Walkthrough
Ensure that everything is clean and accounted for if you’ve agreed to leave it behind and that any minor repairs are completed (holes in walls after removing personal pictures for example). It’s always a good idea to take some pics of the home before you leave it behind for the last time.
Allocate a ‘Holding’ Room
If you know you have some work to do on a new home or you just want to work methodically room-by-room, it makes sense to have one room as a storage centre for boxes which will give you space to get organized without every room being a sea of cardboard.
Have Cash and Water Ready
You might need a small amount of cash for tipping people that are helping you on the day and having lots of water on-hand will ensure everyone is well hydrated for a long day.
Ideally before the movers arrive, make a room by room list of inventory including furniture items big and small and boxes with their contents. This will be invaluable in the unlikely event something does go astray.
Congratulations! You made it to moving day and can now concentrate on making your new place a home. For more home buying and selling tips, follow me on social and subscribe to my monthly newsletter here.