Making your move

Making your move

Anyone who’s ever undertaken a house move will agree it’s one of the most challenging life events, both emotionally and physically, that anyone can experience. In a 2016 survey, two thirds of people voted moving house on the top of their stress list, with it triggering more anxiety than relationship breakdowns,...

Anyone who’s ever undertaken a house move will agree it’s one of the most challenging life events, both emotionally and physically, that anyone can experience.

In a 2016 survey, two thirds of people voted moving house on the top of their stress list, with it triggering more anxiety than relationship breakdowns, divorce and starting a new job.

I have friends and siblings that have lived in the same home for 10, 15, 20 years.  I am not one of these.

Perhaps it is a result of being in the real estate industry, but in the past 13 years we have moved house 7 times and are about to move again! This will be our third move in just over three years.

You would think that with this many, we would have black belts in the art of moving. But sadly, frustratingly, not so.

We are moving in two weeks and this time, this move, I have decided will be different.

How am I going to make it so? Checklist time!

By consulting friends, work colleagues and good ol’ Google, I have discovered great ways to make it all easier and so much smoother.

“The Smooth Move” checklist will help to make this next move of ours- and yours – the smoothest yet.

The Smooth Move checklist


Book the removalist
Try to book your removalist at least 4 weeks in advance to get the date you want. If you’ve left it a bit late, opt for a less popular move day- Monday through to Thursday, as Fridays and Saturdays are THE most popular moving day.

Buy your boxes
Friends and family often have their past moving boxes stored in the shed and are more than willing to let you use them, so ask around before you buy.

Sites such as Gumtree sell used boxes, which are cheaper than buying new.

Places like Kennard’s and Bunning also sell boxes and have a buy back option as well.

I love the big orange blue, and white bags Kennard’s sell. I can get all our linen, towels, clothing etc. packed in these and they are so easy to store and move.

Grab your gun
You are definitely going to need one of these little beauties!

The tape gun. Best. Purchase. Ever.

Make your mark
Get a good quality marking pen- actually get two!

Write on the side as well as the top so when the boxes are stacked up on top of each other, you can still see where they are meant to be going and what they have inside.

Take the opportunity while packing to purge items you no longer use. Sell, donate or throw these items away, don’t take items you no longer use to clutter up the new house.

If you are getting packers in from the removals company you will find if you don’t clean out your cupboards before they arrive, they will literally pack everything. Empty packets, old pegs, rubbish. Believe me, they will, and they do.

Colour it
Buy post-it stickers or coloured paper to attach to the side of boxes to easily identify which room they belong in. Have a poster showing which room is what colour.

Star rating
Give each box a star or number based on the priority it needs to be unpacked. The more stars mean the higher the need to unpack. Less stars – take your time.

Code name
We usually take all our valuables in the car, packed in there before removalists arrive, for safekeeping. If you have valuables that can’t be transported in your car, write on the box a code name, such as baby clothes, laundry, anything but “valuables”.

Eat up
Limit the amount of groceries you purchase in the lead up to the move. Work your way through the packets and cans and freezer items. A great opportunity to go through all those back shelf items and throw away any items that are out of date.

When there is less in the cupboards and freezer, there is less to pack, and less to unpack!


Sketch a plan – draw out a plan of where you want your furniture in your new home.

Pack an overnight bag
Have each family member pack an overnight bag with their toiletries, toothbrush, PJ’s, and a change of clothes. This saves rummaging through bags and boxes to find what you need for the night.

Pack a bathroom bag
Include toilet paper, towels, soap and a bathmat- after moving house everyone will need and want a shower!


Arrange an “exit clean” for the house you are leaving, and an “entry clean” for one you are moving into.

Nothing is worse than placing your plates, cutlery and personal items into drawers that are showing remnants of the previous occupants meals and life.

The last thing you want to do after moving is to have to wipe out somebody else’s mess from helves, drawers, bathrooms etc.

Get rid of the pests
IF you are able to access your new property prior to moving in, arrange for the pest controller to spray before you move in.


Babysitter / Pet sitter – Try and organise someone to look after your children and your pets.

Valuables – keep your most valuable items with you during the moving process i.e. jewellery, passports etc.

Esky – have an esky and ice packs on hand to put in all the food from the fridge.

Clean fridge – take the opportunity to give the fridge a clean out while it’s empty.

Bed assembly – Get the removalists to help you assemble any furniture like beds, it’s a job that you really don’t want to be doing late in the evening while everybody is exhausted and tired.

Which room first – After the bedrooms, decide which room you want to unpack first so at the end of the day you can relax in a not so cluttered space.

The Kitchen is generally a good idea so that meals can be prepared and eaten in a relatively normal environment.

The Big E

Create an essentials box filled with all the items you may need on the day of the move, such as:

  • clean bed linen for each bed
  • toilet paper
  • paper towel
  • snacks
  • cups, plates and glasses (including wine!)
  • coffee and tea bags
  • all purpose cleaner
  • bin liners
  • scissors
  • hand soap
  • first aid kit, including headache tablets.
  • tissues
  • pet supplies
  • dustpan
  • kitchen sponge
  • detergent for dishes
  • scented candle – to make it smell and feel, like home
  • bottle of wine!

And there you have it, the checklist to make your next move, so much smoother.

Now to start!