The Ultimate Guide to Moving Home
- Planning For The Move
- Choosing A Removalist
- The Removal Checklist
Moving homes can often be both an invigorating, exciting yet also highly stressful experience for many of us. For those who have shifted homes in the past, you will know what we are talking about. Stress and anxiety levels can easily take over during periods of change, and most of us find ourselves feeling overwhelmed and engulfed by the number of things that are expected of us during this period of change. Feel the beads of sweat already dripping down your face? Well, grab a handkerchief and stop worrying because our Ultimate Guide To Moving Home is here to save the day. In this article, we will look into how you can stay organised, ahead of the game and stress free whilst moving homes. Dead set on not pulling your hair out or screaming at your dear partner during your house move? Well, it’s time you read on to find out more!
Planning For The Move
You know what they say, failure to plan is planning for failure. As cliched as that may sound, it is oh so true. When it comes to moving, a lot of the work start in the planning process. You can’t ensure a smooth move without building the foundations first. So, what exactly do you have to plan for?
Pre-Approval and Home Loans
First and foremost, obtaining a moving home loan using a specialised mortgage broker is an absolute integral part to your entire moving process. This is to ensure that you will be able to afford your new property without breaking the bank as well as make repayments that will suit your budgeting plans. Pre-approval is also highly recommended, especially if you are considering buying your new home via an auction. Pre-approvals can be done before you even begin looking for your new home, in order to give you a rough estimate of how much you will likely be able to spend on your new property. Of course, home buying processes and laws differ from state to state, so it is essential that you speak to a qualified mortgage adviser to ensure that you are doing everything by the book - whether that is loan legislation or stamp duty payments.
Create A Game Plan
It is always advised that you plan for the move way before the actual day of the move. Constructing a moving strategy before actually shifting your whole household will indefinitely cut stress levels down by great amounts for not just you, but your family too. Moving experts recommend that you commence packing almost immediately after purchasing your new home. Organising a rubbish removal is also advised, to help you get rid of all the things that you may no longer want. Lastly, we highly recommend creating a floor plan for your new home so that you will know exactly where your furniture goes, making it easier for movers to place things in the correct place the first time, instead of having to spend more time moving things around after.
Choosing A Removalist
Once you have a solid game plan, the time has come to choose a removalist. A quick Google search will bring you a flood of various companies, individuals and moving services that are available in your area. With so many at your disposal, you may just stare blankly at the computer screen, wondering where to begin or who to contact first. After all, you want to ensure that your precious furniture and belongings are in good hands.
Believe it or not, the most expensive removalist is not always the best one. In the world of movers, paying premium prices does not equate to a better service. Higher prices may ensure that a team of well dressed movers rock up at your front door, but it doesn’t mean that you will get the best removalist service just because their moving truck looks fancy and new. So, what should you be prioritising when choosing the best removalist for your needs?
Level Of Care
When moving previous and expensive items from one home to another, nothing is more important than the level of care and respect given to your belongings. You want your items to reach your new property in one piece, not in a hundred shards. To ensure that there are no breakages, your removalists need to treat everything with care and respect. This includes expertly wrapping your items with bubble wrap and packing them tightly into the back of the moving van. Every item of yours needs to be handled with kid gloves.
But alas, nothing in this world is perfect and accidents do indeed happen sometimes. We’re all human, so to keep yourself sane, you should also choose a removalist who offers a reasonable insurance policy for any breakages or damage to your items. A reliable removalist should and will be covered for unexpected events that might occur, such as unexpected road collisions. Always ask your removalist of choice to go into the details of their coverage before actually booking their service.
Of course, we don’t want you going out and breaking the bank on a removal service alone. It is always good to know exactly how much you will be set back before you actually commit to using the services of a removalist. Prior to your moving day, you should be provided with a breakdown of costs, including any additional extras. Most good services will offer you a quote if you call them, or have a handy quote calculator on their website. These calculators are just an estimate, however, as it is nearly impossible to calculate the total cost of your move.
Every move is different, and your move will not cost the same amount as the next person’s move. Factors such as the volume of your contents, size of the moving truck, the number of trips needed and the distance between the pickup and drop off point will all affect your costs accordingly. As a general rule, you can expect to be forking out $500-$600 to shift into a one or two bedroom home, and between $700-$800 to shift into a three/four bedroom home. Prices vary from state to state, and additional costs may be incurred if your property is difficult to access.
Check Up On Online Reviews
Last but not least, you will want to have a look at online reviews when choosing a removalist. With Google Reviews, Facebook and so many other websites out there that give people the opportunity to speak their mind and give their honest opinions about services, you just have to spend some time looking up your removalist of choice. If you find glowing testimonials, then it should be safe to say that the service is excellent and you can finally secure your removalist service.
Here comes the (not so) fun part. I for one, used to absolutely abhor packing and I’m pretty sure most of us share the same sentiments. That is, of course, until I came across a medley of highly useful tips given to me from removalists, friends, family and online resources. Below is a list of tips that we have found to really aid in the packing process.
First Of All, Decide on Your Packing Needs
Choose which belongings you will be packing on your own, and what belongings should be left to the professional packets. This helps you stay organised and doesn’t add unnecessary pressure and worry to an already stressful situation.
Source Packing Supplies and Materials
Ensuring that you have access to quality moving boxes is key. On top of boxes, you will want to have a good supply of bubble wrap, newspapers, packing tape, marker pens and zip-loc bags at your disposal, in order to avoid untimely and last minute shopping trips.
Create A System
Always remember to label every single box that you pack items into. This helps you stay organised, and will assist you in making the process of unpacking later on a lot easier. Using a colour coded system to designate room destination is a great way of keeping organised.
Always remember when packing, you will want to distribute the weight of your items well. Heavy items go at the bottom of a box, with lighter things on top. This ensures that no one breaks their back trying to lift a box, and that none of your boxes come undone in the moving process. Also remember to avoid overloading boxes.
Empty Drawers and Chests Out
As tempting as it is to just move a chest of drawers, contents and all, you will want to avoid doing so. Furniture is not designed to be move, especially not when it is loaded with your belongings in it. Added weight increases the chances of your drawers and chests getting damaged on the way to your new property.
Save On Space
When moving, you’ll want to save on space. This is why items such as vacuum-bags are such a godsend. You can seal up out of season clothing, bed linens and towels in vacuum bags to save space and costs when packing. It is also advised to flat pack or dismantle furniture where possible, to ensure ease of transport.
Careful With The Delicates
When it comes to dinner plates, it is always advised to store them upright (like you would in a dishwasher), to ensure the lowest chances of anything breaking. When it comes to sharp items such as knives, ensure that sharp edges are well insulated, so no one gets hurt. With glassware and crystals, always remember to pack them in newspaper, bubble wrap and label boxes with a “Fragile” sticker so that everyone knows to be extra careful.
Consider The First Night
It took you days, maybe even weeks to pack; likewise, it is going to take you weeks to unpack. This is why it is very important to ensure that you have all that you need for your first night in your new home. Keep essentials in your luggage, or in designated “essentials” boxes. This way, you don’t have to unpack 200 boxes at the end of a tiring day in order to find your toaster, kettle, toothbrush, toiletries and clothing.
Getting Your New Home Ready
With packing underway, removalist appointments booked and everything on its way to moving success, one of the last things you will need to focus your attention on is ensuring that your new home is ready to move in to. What does this mean? This means ensuring that your new property is hooked up to electricity, water, gas, broadband internet and all other essentials that you will need in the home. In Australia, it is your own responsibility to do this, so it is advised that you get on it before you even move into the home.
The process of connecting your new home with electricity will be dependant on whether you are connecting to the energy network for the first time or if you’re simply transferring the existing connection into your own name. If your new home is already connected to a gas/electricity network, all you will need to do is choose a supplier of your liking and set up an account with them. However, if you are connecting the home for the first time, you will need to contact your energy distributor in the first instance. Once you have arranged for a connection to their network, you can browse through suppliers.
Which Supplier Should I Choose?
Depending on where you live, you should be able to browse and shop around for the best deals when it comes to electricity and gas. Consumers in NSW, QLD, VIC, ACT or SA are free to choose their energy and gas suppliers. If you are in TAS, you may have a much more limited variety of suppliers to choose from. Lastly, if you are in NT or WA, unfortunately, there is no option to switch suppliers for the time being.
For those who are in a position to switch, using a comparison service can help you have a look at which suppliers offer a more competitive deal on electricity and gas in your new home. If you don’t make the decision, you will automatically be signed up to the energy supplier that the previous owner used. This may not be the best option for your needs or budget, so it’s best to put some time into shopping around for the best supplier before you move in.
Once you have chosen your supplier, you will have to arrange for your electricity/gas supply to be connected to the new property. This is usually just a case of getting in touch with the supplier on the phone so that they can help you with the connection process. It is better to do this in advance as suppliers may need a minimum time frame to get your new home connected. Starting the process sooner rather than later will help to ensure a smooth transition of energy and gas in your new home.
Arranging a new Broadband Internet Connection when moving home
Don't be left discconected when moving to your new home. When choosing a new broadband connection for your new home make sure you are well and truly prepared as it can take upto 21 business days to get this sorted. This is obviously dependent on the connection available at your new address. You can consider transferring your current provider to your new home, whether that be Telstra, Belong, Mate or any other broadband provider but it's a good time to use a service like ours at Compare Broadband to see what is the most suitable internet plan for your data usage and for your budget.
Click here to use our free tool which can give you a list of providers based on your postcode and your needs for setting up a new broadband internet plan when you are moving home. You can also scroll to the top of page and commence your search there as well.
The Removal Checklist
Lastly, the checklist. Any super organised person always has a checklist to ensure that everything is running smoothly and on time, so here is your very own Removal Checklist.
1. 6 Weeks To Go
- Book a removal company.
- Investigate your Insurance options with your removalist.
- Create a floor plan of your new home and plan the placement of furniture.
- Look at your present furniture and arrange to sell (garage sale, ebay) items that will not be needed in your new property.
- Plan your packing - discuss your removal requirements with the removal company.
- Organise the delivery of boxes from your removalist so you can pack yourself if you choose.
- Organise proper equipment such as tape, labels, bubble wrap, marking pens etc
2. International Move
- If you are travelling overseas, ensure passports and travel documents are up to date and in a safe place.
- Select a removalist capable of international relocation and work with them closely to make sure all your documentation is filled out correctly and at the right time.
3. 2 Weeks To Go
- Check the garden, garage, shed and check under the house.
- Hold a garage sale or speak to your removalists about getting rid of unwanted items, to dump or to sell.
- Use up all frozen foods in the freezer, unless you are moving locally.
- Dispose of garden chemicals, paints, fuel and other flammable items as suggested by the supplier. Have BBQ cylinders purged by a certified Gas Cylinder Test Station.
- Make arrangements to have pets looked after for at least 2 days before you move. If you are moving interstate, book a Pet Transporter through your removal company. Make sure your pets have all been vaccinated before you move.
- Start packing this week if you are doing it yourself.
- Label every carton by room identification. Keep a separate list of the contents for your own reference.
- Contact family, friends and businesses regarding your change of address.
- Check the list of essential contacts and begin to work through these to change your address.
- If any furniture needs to be dismantled, begin to do this this week. Put all bolts and screws and other small attachments that make up this furniture into a small self sealing bag and tape to the base of the item, or, label clearly and place in one box that will contain all items of this kind.
- If you are driving your car any distance to the new address, have the vehicle checked.
- Arrange telephone, electricity, gas and water supplies for your new home.
- Return library books and videos/DVD’s and items borrowed from friends.
- If a boat or trailer is being included in the load, make sure all items within the boat are secured.
- Purchase a street directory of the city or town your are moving to, essential if you are moving to one of the major cities.
4. 1 Week To Go
- Arrange with the Post Office to have all your mail redirected. Cancel newspapers and any other deliveries being made to your present home.
- Make a list of things to do on Moving Day.
- Establish cut off or final reading dates for electricity, water, phone, and gas.
- Collect any articles that are being repaired or have been loaned out.
- Dispose of any articles that did not sell at the garage sale or on ebay.
5. 2 Days To Go
- Arrange the necessary finances for payments on moving day.
- If travelling any distance by car , check oil, water, tyres etc.
- Pack luggage and essentials for the first night. Collect dry cleaning.
- If you are keeping blinds or curtains, take these down now and pack them.
- Conclude your packing. Make sure all items are on your inventory, and each box is numbered and matches your inventory.
6. One Day To Go
- If you are having things professionally packed, this will happen today as per your instructions. Separate any items you have packed and will be taking with you, from those to be packed, and place in an area from which they will not be collected, such as your car if you are driving. This includes all jewellery, handbags, cameras, documents, etc. Defrost and clean out your fridge and freezer.
- Dispose of food items that are open and will go off if not unpacked within 2 days. Wash and dry all dishes ready for packing.
- Clean out your medicine cabinet and properly dispose of unwanted drugs.
- Check all your drawers and remove items that are heavy, breakable or hold liquid.
- Prepare your washing machine according to the manufacturer's specifications.
- Leave your forwarding address and contact number for the new owners/occupants of your house.
- If the house will be vacant for a while, notify the police and neighbour.
7. Day Of The Move
- When removalist arrives, make sure they know where they can park their vehicles. If you can’t be there, you will need to appoint an agent to act on your behalf.
- Show removalists the home and tell them exactly what you want done. Show them what you will want as soon as you arrive at the new house. They can pack these items last.
- Pack yourself an essentials kit with toiletries, tea, coffee, milk and other drinks, personal items, first aid kit, spare clothing, tea towels and other dish cleaning equipment. If you still have pets at home, make sure they are confined and keep children out of the removalists way.
- Collect all house keys and keep out of the removalists way.
- Place all items that are being transported by yourself securely in your car boot out of sight, locking all doors and keeping your keys in your pocket. If renting, keep keys in the car ready to be delivered to the agent as you leave.
- Make a final check of all cupboards, cabinets and storage areas to make sure nothing has been left behind.
- Make a final check in all sheds, and the garden area. Before the removalist leaves, walk around and check all areas.
- If moving interstate or your goods are going to storage, check and then sign the inventory.
- Turn off the power to the house, tighten all taps, make sure the gas and all electrical switches are off. Lock all doors and windows.
8. Your New Home
- If renting, look through the house before delivering furniture, documenting the state of the house in a conditional report.
- Have the removalists place heavy furniture in the room and position you want it. It may be difficult to rearrange heavy items once they have gone.
- If your goods are coming from storage, interstate or overseas, check the inventory carefully and sign off on it once satisfied all items on the list are accounted for.
- Locate all keys to your new house. If you are concerned about security, arrange to have all the locks changed.
- Check that the gas, power and telephone are connected.
- Turn on the hot water system.
- Ensure your pets will be safe while settling in.
- When appropriate, speak with your immediate neighbours.
- Last but not least, ENJOY YOUR NEW HOME!