The Ultimate Packing List for Moving House
The Ultimate Packing List for Moving House
Like any large-scale event, moving house has hundreds of tasks. From notifying Australia Post of your change of address to recovering the bond, it can be overwhelming no matter how much help you have. Even for those with past moving experience and professional movers, the moving process isn’t something to be left for the last minute. Preparation and organization are crucial to making a stressful house move a more straightforward approach and reducing anxiety.
Three months before the move
Make a list or lots of lists
A task list is the greatest tool available to you when facing the challenges of a successful move. Starting your list begins weeks or months before moving—not the day the removalists arrive. This ultimate packing checklist is full of expert tips for moving house that will keep you on track, whether moving locally, moving interstate, or moving overseas.
Budget for your move
Moving homes in Australia can be costly. If you are on a budget, use a moving cost calculator to plan for the expenses and disclose some you may not have considered. Most removalists have a calculator on their website. Take advantage of this free, online tool so moving doesn’t break the bank.
Any type of loss during the move can be devastating—after all, these are your most valued possessions. If you are not moving to your new home straight away, consider budgeting for both moving insurance and storage insurance to protect your belongings.
Two months before the move
Preparing for moving house
Before you start packing boxes, prepare for the move ahead of time. While task lists are a great way to start, an ultimate moving checklist ensures everyone knows where you’re going, when you will leave and how you will get there. This way, when the day finally arrives, everyone and everything makes the move with the least amount of tension and worry.
With the ultimate moving checklist, you can track and, to the extent possible, control the entire process as your move date approaches. Our ultimate moving-house checklist for Australia is ideal for moving interstate or from state to state.
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The packing and moving processes generate a lot of documents or computer files. Print these and save them all in a single folder. This will include information such as your current rental agreement, the new lease or purchase contract, new addresses, removalist contract, storage insurance, and more. Having these printed means you have access to them even once you’ve packed the computers for the move.
Preparing to pack
Before you invest more money in purchasing packing materials, develop a system for labelling boxes. This ensures items from your current house will be placed in the correct room of the new house. Mark the box on top and side with the name of the room in which it belongs. The moving company will appreciate the use of a colour code system as well.
Most of the packing supplies on this list are found at the local hardware store or shopping mall. A packing calculator estimates how many boxes you need, what type, and the various kinds of packing materials required.
Even if you are using professional removalists, accidents do happen, so pack carefully, and your possessions are more likely to arrive damage-free.
Shopping list for packing
- Box cutters
- Broad-tipped markers in various colours
- Packing tape
- Garbage bags
- Paper towels
- A crate for pet transport
- Bubble wrap and packing paper for fragile items
- Cardboard boxes or speciality moving boxes for lighter items
- Crates for heavy items
- Original boxes for computers and other electronics
- Wardrobe boxes for hanging clothes
- Plastic wrap or bubble wrap to protect surfaces, hold in dresser drawers, and secure loose parts of furniture
One month before the move
Another excellent packing tip for moving house is to avoid shopping for new household items before the big move. These types of purchases can definitely wait until you are in your new home. Packing and moving is a time to declutter and reduce, not collect—there will be plenty of time to shop for your new home once you have finished moving house.
For many, moving is the best time to reduce a lifelong collection of items. By considering each item before it is packed, you can reduce your possessions to only those necessary—creating a fresh start as you move house.
Place packing boxes and packing materials in each room of your house. Start the packing process early (as much as three months in advance) and begin in the least-used rooms. Ask yourself if each item is in use and, if not, bin it or create a large box for drop off at a donation centre.
Many of us still have stored boxes we packed for the last move; this is the time to open them and assess the contents. Again, if it’s not something you need, don’t move it to the new house.
Quick list of packing tips
- Purchase packing materials well in advance
- Place packing boxes and packing materials in each room
- Start with the least used room; avoid mixing items from multiple rooms
- Consider each item before packing and declutter as necessary
- Open stored boxes and repack, decluttering as you go
- Use the best box type for the job; use crates for heavy items
- Fold in opposing sides of the box and tape, do not overlap
- Mark each box on the side and top with the destination room and contents; different coloured labels will help the movers
- Wrap small items in bubble wrap and place them inside larger items when possible
- Do not overpack; items should not move around inside the box but also should not be tightly packed; use linens or packing paper to fill in gaps
- Disperse heavier items across several boxes instead of one overweight box
The day of the move
Moving day packing list
Create an overnight bag or box for the new house. Keep this with you during the move–don’t add it to the moving truck, even if it’s readily accessible. If there is a delay with the moving truck or you are travelling separately, you will have at least enough to see you through a day without your belongings. Your essentials bag should at least contain:
- Your moving folder of documents
- Change of clothing for all family members
- A favourite toy for each child
- Pet food and bowls
- Pet bedding
- Light bulbs
- Technology chargers
- Toilet paper
- Towels, soap, shampoo
Unpacking boxes at the new house
Before you begin to unpack boxes, verify each box is in the correct room and, if not, move it to where it belongs. While this might not seem like a critical moving tip, it’s much easier to move a taped and packed box to a new room, than the one already opened and partially unpacked.
- Ensure boxes are in the correct room
- Assemble or place all furniture in the correct room, so you have a place to put items you unpack
- Enlist the children’s help to unpack their boxes—this will help to keep them busy
- Unpack one box at a time; use the first empty box as a receptacle for packing materials
- Cut the tape and lay flat each subsequent emptied box; find a place outdoors or out of the way to store these until they can be recycled or thrown out
- Before you choose to store a full box, remember it’s not too late to continue decluttering
Last thoughts and tips
Your friends and family likely have moving and packing tips as well. Consider them all—there’s never too much planning that can go into making your move less nerve-wracking. Most people collect tips for moving based on their own experiences, and these can be invaluable in preparing you for unforeseen events. They may also be able to provide savings tips, such as removalists that offer referral discounts, the best place for storage, worthy charities for your donations, and the like.
Find a child sitter and board your pets for the day. Moving is stressful, with lots of adults running around with heavy items. Keeping children and pets out from underfoot will make things go more smoothly and reduce their anxiety.
It’s unlikely you will make it through moving house without tension, but using lists and planning can reduce the chaos. Moving house is an exciting time for the entire family and will become a pleasant memory if managed well.