Moving and Relocation Tips and Preparation Checklist

While you search for the perfect Brisbane apartment, you should also start preparations for the anticipated move and relocation. So that when the time comes for you to move, everything is organised and ready.

Moving is stressful. It takes a lot of preparation, hard work, and organisation to smoothly uproot from one home and to settle in another. Lost or damaged items, penalties for missed bills, extra expenses, lost documents, cranky babies, lost sleep and disorientation are not uncommon during moving days. Many people are just happy to survive a home relocation.

But with proper and ample preparation, moving can be seamless and you less frazzled. Here is an easy-to-follow relocation and moving checklist;

As soon as you decide to relocate:

  • Conduct a home inventory. Check for supplies, food items and home essentials. Stop buying things you will no longer use in the house like curtains, bed covers or a new washing machine. Start purging and using up items in your closets, pantries and cabinets.
  • Research school, hospitals, and other facilities. An indispensable part of the home search is ensuring that your new neighbourhood will fit your needs.
  • Organise your documents. You know you have your important papers like birth certificates, land titles and bankbooks stashed somewhere. Now is the time to check, organise and secure them.
  • Find storage. You might need to store some of your valuables during relocation. Find a storage facility that will fit your needs, budget and is ideally located.

As soon as you found your new home:

  • Identify repairs and other work needed in the new house. First, you need to make your new home liveable. Estimate its time of completion as well as the budget.
  • Schedule moving day. Once you confirmed work completion of the new home, you can set the date to move. Getting the right timing is an important aspect of a smooth relocation. Consider holidays, school days, work days and even the traffic. It is best to set your move to the least busy day of the week or month.
  • Know your new neighbourhood. Take a walk around your new neighbourhood. Find its grocery stores, restaurants, parks, pharmacy and other facilities. Get your bearing around and try to befriend as many locals as you can.
  • Find movers. Finding the right movers is essential to a smooth and easy relocation. The best movers are usually booked well in advance, so it is best for you to find your movers as early as now. Communicate with several providers and discuss with them how your needs will fit with their services. Some movers include packing and storage to their services.
  • After your talks with the movers, you will now have a good idea of your relocation expenses. Add to the matrix the accommodations, packing supplies, storage and incidentals, you can now set your relocation budget.
  • Call you home insurance agent to advise on your move and cancellation of your old home insurance.

One month before moving day:

  • Identify furniture to bring, store or discard. Pack items for storage. Donate, sell or discard unwanted stuff.
  • Buy packing supplies. You now have a clear idea of the stuff you need to pack. Some movers also offer packing service and materials.
  • Book storage and movers. Ship out items for storage and confirm date and services required with the movers.
  • Apply for utility services in the new home. This will ensure connection and service availability by the time you move into your new home. There is nothing worse than moving into your new home, tired and hungry, only to find out that your power is not yet connected.
  • Pack unnecessary items. Start packing up items that you don’t need on a day-to-day basis. Books, off-season clothes, picture frames, your daughter’s doll collection, your son’s drum kit and the barbeque grill can now be boxed.
  • Book a babysitter or pet sitter if necessary. This can be your friend or sister, or a local centre that can take care of your little ones while you’re busy with the move.
  • Book overnight accommodations if necessary. This is especially important if you’re moving to another city or town and if you have young kids with you. Ask friends or relative if they can provide a room for the night, if not book in a nearby hotel.
  • Secure necessary records like employment, hospital records and school records. Some records take some time to process and release, so it is best to secure them early.
  • Advice people you might need help from on moving day. Everybody would love to help, but it would be inconsiderate if you don’t give them enough time to prepare and clear their calendar.
  • Schedule a few days leave from work. Ideally a week, few days before and after the actual move.

Two weeks before moving day:

  • Notify your banks, post office and other mailed subscriptions of your change of address. Give them your moving day and your new forwarding address.
  • General outside and storage cleaning. This is the best time to clean out the attic, the garage, the garden shed and the basement. Do one final mowing and gardening, then pack the equipment. Give out potted plants you’re not bringing with you.
  • Organise valuables and important documents. These shouldn’t go with the other stuff you’re packing. You may want to pack them in a tote back you will carry yourself or secure them in a safety deposit box.
  • Open bank accounts in your new neighbourhood.
  • Tune up the car.

One week before moving day:

  • Walk through your new home. Check if all repairs and work are done. Confirm utility service connections in the new house by the time you move in.
  • Start emptying the house. Ship items to storage, discard unwanted items by donation or a garage sale.
  • General cleaning inside the house. Clean out cabinets, pantry and closets. Vacuum the house one last time and then pack the equipment if you’re bringing them with you.
  • Settle open accounts. Pay off and close your accounts with the local grocery, restaurant or barber shop. Cancel local subscriptions.

Three days before moving day:

  • Pack everything except necessities. If you’re bringing the refrigerator and freezer, this is the time to defrost and clean.
  • Refill subscription medicines and buy baby’s formula, pet food and other necessities that will cover for at least two weeks.
  • Confirm arrangements with the movers. Call your movers and confirm with them your moving day, the services you need, the addresses and the time you will be expecting them to come.
  • Pack, pack, pack. Start packing in earnest. You may want to take some time off work. If the movers are also doing the packing, set-up a schedule a few days before the move. Need help? Organise a packing party. You can ask your friends to come over and help you pack. This event can double as your farewell party.
  • Print out tickets, permits and travel pass you will need on moving day.
  • Backup computer files. Desktop computers should be boxed today. Just leave out one handy electronic device that you can use to check emails and for other important stuff.

A day before moving day:

  • Gas up your vehicle.
  • Prepare cash for last minute expenses, incidentals, tips, toll fees.
  • Packing should be done by now. Label the boxes for hassle-free unpacking.
  • Pack your first-day survival kit. This will include at least three change of clothes for each member of the family, toiletries, medicines, milk, baby and pet food for at least three days, packed or easy-to-cook dinners, few blankets and few toys to entertain the kids. This can be in a box or a suitcase you can put in the car.
  • Call your babysitter and/or pet sitter to confirm your arrangements.
  • Collect the keys and write down entry and alarm codes for the agent or the next resident.
  • Don’t bother cooking, take the family out and say goodbye to your favourite local restaurant.

Moving Day!

  • Wake up early, this is an exciting day!
  • Always ask for identification from the movers showing up.
  • Unplug all electronics and appliances.
  • Turn off gas, power and water supplies.
  • Lock all doors and windows.
  • Focus, relax and enjoy the experience.