We’ve just finished moving to a new house, hence the lack of updates around here recently. I’m hoping to get back to my twice-weekly posting schedule ASAP now that most of the unpacking and so on is finished and we’re a bit more settled in.
So anyway, I thought I may as well make a post about moving, considering this recent experience.
Here’s some tips for a smooth move…
Tips for preparing to move
- Don’t pay for boxes! There’s loads of businesses around who will give you some if you ask, otherwise they’re just going in the dumpster.
- Try to consume all your perishable food before you go or organize a means of storing it if you want to take it with you. If electricity is not connected or there’s delay in your things (fridge) arriving you’ll have a problem and it will get wasted.
- Declutter. Sell, donate or trash anything you don’t want to take.
- Renters, don’t forget to clean your old home well if you want to get all your bond back
- Have your car serviced and make sure it’s in working order for the drive to your new home if you’re moving a long distance.
- Organize connection of your utilities or have things like internet etc transferred over to the new address.
- Shop around for a reliable and reasonably priced removalist if you’re not able to move yourself.
- As removalists in Australia are expensive as hell, you may want to consider hiring a van, trailer, or small truck that you can drive with a regular car licence. This can be even cheaper if you’re over 24 and have a full licence (no L or P plates).
Packing tips for moving
- Have an ‘unpacking box‘ with any tools needed for furniture assembly, screws and fittings in labelled packets (and assembly instructions if you still have them), and a box-cutter for opening your boxes.
- Prepare for any delays in connecting your electricity. Have some candles, matches and/or lighter, torch, spare batteries etc and foods that do not require cooking.
- Pack and label your boxes by room. This will make unpacking and finding things a million times easier. You can move the box the the appropriate room rather than piling them up in the living room and sorting objects into their places one-by-one.
- You may want to prepare some ‘priority’ boxes with essentials like baby changing and feeding supplies, hygiene items, bedding etc so you can find them easily and won’t be looking through every box for them. Consider how much time it will take to assemble and set up your furniture and unpack – you’ll likely need a few days, in which you’ll be needing particular items.
- For body products and liquids, I recommend wrapping them in towels or face cloths to contain any spills. You then just wash the towels if you have a spill. Beats trying to wipe sticky shampoo off other products it’s been stored with and having other items damaged.
- Fragile items can be wrapped in newspaper or any bubble wrap packaging you may have saved. You can also wrap them in towels and clothing, use what you have around. We kept a lot of bubble wrap packing in our garage from furniture and things we bought for the day when we’d eventually need to move. You may also want to pack fragile items into hardier cases rather than boxes.
- Disperse your books. Books will make a box too heavy before they ever fill it. Disperse them among your other boxes , with clothes, linen, kids toys etc.
Moving day tips
- Do a last check of cupboards, wardrobes, closets etc to make sure you haven’t forgotten any of your belongings.
- Put your phone, wallet, keys and other important items you might need at hand during the day in a box and keep it close.
- Pack important stuff into your car. Take your unpacking box, utility delays box, any priority boxes with things you will need on arrival (eg. baby items). You may also want to take valuables or small fragile items with you in the car to increase their chances of surviving the move and not going missing.
- Check you have enough petrol to get to your destination and fill up if needed.
- After removalists take your boxes and furniture, lock up the house and return the keys to the property manager or landlord.
Tips for after moving;
- Don’t forget to update your new address with anywhere that needs to know. Banks, government and so on should be your main priority but don’t forget to also update with any online shopping websites too! Particularly if you don’t use them frequently. I once had something accidentally shipped to an old address and it’s a huge hassle I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
- Order a change of address sticker for your driver’s liscence
- Setup mail redirection at the post office and register to vote at your new address.
- Introduce yourself to your neighbors! Even if it’s just a hi and exchanging names.
- Do a thorough check of your new home for any damage or maintenance issues if you are renting. Use the full time allowed to fill out your condition report (usually one week), so you don’t miss anything. When you move on, it will be your money which is at stake so don’t just trust that the landlord has done this accurately.
- Check what’s on offer. If you move to a new town, check out the local attractions and events, such as market days, playgroups, and other events. You can also look at parks, nature reserves, beaches, lookouts etc.
Saving on Utilities
- When connecting internet, shop around for internet plans. In my previous article on reducing expenses and saving money, I have explained about how there are 3 companies (in Australia) that own the actual telecommunication infrastructure (Telstra, Optus and Vodaphone). These companies can then authorize other companies to use this infrastructure and sell their own plans. Many of these small companies are highly competitive. So, if you’re using Telstra for your phone or internet, you’re paying too much. You can get the same coverage with Boost and Belong, which are also owned by Telstra and offer better plans at lower prices. Another example, Dodo, also runs on the Telstra network, but is not owned by Telstra. Their plans are also very cheap, customer service though, is bad.
- For electricity, the pricing and discounts can be overly complicated and confusing. However, when you do select a provider, don’t forget you can still get a better deal out of them. Ask about offers and discounts. Some providers have a pay on time discount, discounts for pensioners and discounts for setting up direct debit. Some may also offer free connection. If you don’t ask, they often won’t apply the discount if one is available.
Got any other moving tips you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments.