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Moving House Checklist (Should You Hire a Removalist?)

March 23, 2023   By Clarisa Mcdonald

Moving houses is a huge and exciting step for many. But let’s face it – we’d all love to skip the packing, paperwork, and moving parts and fast-forward to when we actually move. There’s so much to prepare, yet so little time – although not if you start on time and prioritise tasks per week.

To save you a bit of time and effort, we put together a comprehensive moving checklist you can use and customise for moving houses.

Moving House Checklist

4 Weeks before Moving:

✔ Book a removalist.

‣ This works best if you’re busy and can’t do the packing by yourself. Invite the removalist staff to your house to get the best estimate of the boxes and materials needed for the move. Make sure to get a written confirmation of all the details and costs. Proper communication with moving companies and moving service providers should always come to mind for a stress-free experience and to avoid last-minute fiascos.

✔ Start packing if you’re DIY:

‣ Go through your entire house, room per room. Begin sorting your things and identify the ones you’re getting rid of. Put them in a separate box until you decide what to do with them. You can donate, sell it on eBay, do a garage sale, or dispose of it completely. Make sure that your important documents and most valuable items are prioritized rather than lose them and blame your utility provider, the removal company, or the professional removalist.

** It’s easy to claim that hiring a removalist or a utility company will be the more expensive option but when you do a thorough research of every possible detail to help you choose the option, it’s easy to find the best out there. It’s not just the cost you should consider, but also safety and stress factors. See Removalist VS DIY Comparison Table below to guide you in your decision-making.

Comparison Checklist: SHOULD YOU…

Hire a Removalist

Run a house inventory of furniture, appliances, and other sizeable possessions. Consider this list at all times when battling between hiring movers and DIY-ing.

  1. Narrow down the list with sufficient research. Go to the Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA) website to find a list of accredited removalists who can service your area.
  2. You may also grab a list of recommendations from friends and family.
  3. Collate these and choose 3-4 removalists. Call them up to get a quote. Don’t forget about your pre-made inventory – removalists will ask for details about your items so they can give as close an estimate as possible.
  • Mention any unconventional door entrances, steep stairs, and other paths/tasks that would take time to manoeuvre especially when you’re vacating an old house. This is important if you’re paying them on an hourly basis.
  • Some companies will suggest doing a free and no-obligation house visit so they can survey it first-hand and give a quote.
  1. Make sure you’re being covered by home insurance. The good thing about AFRA-accredited removalists is that they can organise Customer Goods in Transit and Storage Insurance for you. Don’t be afraid to call your insurance company to review your insurance policy and see if you have contents insurance included.
  2. Look into the extra services they provide. Some companies will provide moving boxes, packing and unpacking materials. Some may even offer to include their moving trucks for free. Do ask them how much additional charges this will cost, if any.
  • Some companies will charge per box or carton so it would be helpful to refer them to your inventory list.


  1. Look at your furniture, appliances, and other heavy items. Are some of them foldable or easily dismantled? Consider their size and weight against yours. Can you handle them by yourself or will you get someone like a family member to help you move?
  2. Check if you have the original boxes of your items or other boxes lying around that can be used for storing and moving.
  • If you need to purchase boxes, look for bulk orders to save money.
  1. Consider the type of vehicle to be used, petrol costs, distance to be travelled, and duration of the hire.
  • Trailer – always check if the trailer can be towed by your car. Furniture trailer hires start from $70 for a full-day hire. Plan how many rounds to and from houses will be made.
  • Truck – don’t forget to check if your licence allows you to drive a truck you want to hire. Hiring a small moving van can cost you a minimum of $85/day.
  1. Factor in your time constraints. Are you only taking a day off from work? Maybe it’s best to start your moving date on a Friday so you have the whole weekend to do it. Having less time to do it with so many things can turn into a stressful event for you.

✔ Book a cleaning service if unable to do it yourself. Some landlords would require you to have the carpet professionally cleaned and might even ask for an invoice. The price will depend on the size of the house or the number of bedrooms to be cleaned. The 2018 national average for carpet cleaning is $175.
✔ List down an inventory of your items, furniture, and appliances. You can itemise them per room or box, so you don’t lose sight of anything.

‣ This is also the time to note stuff you need to buy for your new home. Prioritise those you need straight away in the first week of moving in – a new mattress, kettle, microwave, extension cords, washing machines, light bulbs, toilet paper, etc.
‣ Separate your valuables into a box that you’re moving yourself.‣

✔ Notify your agent/landlord of your decision to move. Most places would require at least 28 days’ notice.

3 Weeks before Moving:

✔ Gather all important documents in one envelope or binder for easy access on moving day.
✔ Change your address manually or organise a redirection through Australia Post.

‣ Bank
‣ Superannuation
‣ Medicare
‣ Insurance
‣ Memberships
‣ Car Registration
‣ the Australian Tax Office
‣ Children’s school(s)

✔ Transfer utilities from your old place and connect to the new one. Only cancel if necessary.
✔ If you’re buying a new house, your solicitor/conveyancer should handle your water connection transfer.
✔ Begin to use up all supplies in the fridge and pantry that are perishable.

2 Weeks before Moving:

✔ Organise childcare or babysitter services for your kids on moving day.
✔ If you have pets, organise a pet-minding service for them, too.
✔ Schedule a day off work for moving day.
✔ Confirm cleaning and/or removalist services.
✔ Contact utilities to confirm that your energy, water, gas, and internet are all connected when you move.
✔ Apply for any new permits you’ll need at your new place. (e.g., parking permit)

✔ Contact a storage facility if you have items that you do not want to dispose of yet but also do not want to bring on to the new place
✔ If you have spare time, collect instruction manuals for the appliances at home and give them to the new owner. You can also gather any items still usable and give it to them.

1 Week before Moving:

✔ Continue packing. Have your packing materials ready for the move: boxes, packing tape, markers, bubble wraps for fragile items, and scissors (if DIY).
✔ Clean out fridge and/or pantry. Leave only food that will be consumed within the final week.
✔ Dispose of flammables and other chemicals in the house.
✔ Set aside things you’ll need on your first night in your new home.

‣ Put together a valuables box or boxes of things you need on the first night. This helps you settle in better without having to open all boxes right away. You would probably need a kettle/coffeemaker, coffee, cereals, sleepwear, chargers, toiletries, and prescription medicine.
‣ This is also the perfect time to order new stuff you need in the first week and have them delivered to your new address. Factor in the delivery times for these. A new mattress-in-a-box, for instance, can be delivered any time within four hours to five days depending on where you’re located. A new bed can also come in handy to settle in in your new home.

1 Day before Moving:

✔ Defrost and do a final cleaning of the fridge.
✔ Reconfirm all appointments made for the following day – child and pet-minding, removalist, cleaners.
✔ Prepare food for moving day – breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Moving day:

✔ Do a final walk-through and create a comprehensive to-do list: check each room if there isn’t anything left.
✔ Provide the removalist with a floor plan as a guide for leaving your appliances and boxes.
✔ Collect keys and ensure all metres have been read.
✔ Turn off all power, lock the house and leave keys including spares. Contact a locksmith if any of the keys to any locks have been lost so that it would not be a major inconvenience to the new owner
✔ Leave a note with your forwarding address in case. You may expect mail and subscriptions to arrive at your old home, so make sure that you’ve made a change of address for all billings.
Once you’re at the new house, keep track of items listed on the inventory before the removalists leave.
✔ Check if all the utilities are working.
✔ Prioritise moving the most important stuff in first – food for the fridge, important house appliances, and beds. Remember that valuables box you set aside? You can thrive on that for now.

Congratulations on your new abode. We hope you make yourself at home and settle in how you imagined it to be. The next part sure is promising – is there even anything more exciting than decorating a new house right now?

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