Moving house isn’t a ‘one and done’ task. It takes a few weeks of preparation before your move to ensure that everything goes smoothly on moving day. Even then, moving house can be highly stressful. To help, we’ve put together the ultimate moving guide for a completely stress-free home move.
Why should you start planning your move six weeks in advance? Two words: fine print.
Some gym contracts have hidden fine print that requires a minimum of 30 business days to cancel. At the six-week mark, you should prioritise going through any contracts that you might need to cancel or change.
Create a folder online (like on Google Drive) and save any moving documentation into it. This folder is where you should store your moving quotes, agreements, home inventory list and any other moving-specific information.
There are a few reasons a home inventory is a good idea. Measuring your furniture will help you get a more accurate quote from movers. You’ll also have an easy reference that can help you arrange furniture in your new home. Keep a list of the items, measurements, place of purchase, and price in a document in the cloud, which can help with insurance quotes.
We recommend booking a mover as soon as you can. Certain times of year are notoriously busy for moving companies in New Zealand. If you’re looking to move cities in early February, keep in mind that you’ll be competing with university students for booking a mover. In many places, tenants start their lease between late January and early March. Make sure you book in early if you need a mover over these dates.
If you rent and are choosing not to renew your lease, it’s courteous to let your landlords know that you will be moving out. If you’re renting a room and choosing to move, make sure you give your flatmates enough notice to find a replacement. Between two to four weeks notice is usually sufficient.
Start decluttering your home. Go through all your cupboards, old boxes, bookcases, closets and storage and start getting rid of things you don’t want to take with you. There’s no point in paying money to lug things around you don’t need. A good rule of thumb is to get rid of anything you haven’t worn or used in two years.
Items that are in good condition can be donated or sold online. It’s a good idea to allow 2-4 weeks for items to sell. If they sell quickly, that’s one less thing you need to worry about. List your items on Facebook Marketplace or Trade Me.
If you don’t have any moving tape or scissors you can buy those closer to the move. Now is an excellent time to start ‘collecting’ soft materials for moving. Keep any bubble wrap, soft packaging, or junk newspapers that get delivered. Use these soft papers to wrap your delicate belongings before putting them in a cardboard box.
Hopefully, you’ve completed any significant repairs around your home. Now is not the time to consider renovating your bathroom. Instead, see to the small jobs that tend to get put off around the house, such as hiring a Rug Doctor, buffing out any scratches on your walls, spraying for moss on the outdoor pavers.
If you can’t move from your current home into your new abode straight away, make sure you book a storage unit in advance. Storage units in New Zealand can cost anywhere from $115 to $400/month, depending on the size of the unit.
If you’re not moving far, you may not need to invest in moving coverage. However, if you’re moving cities or even islands, protecting your belongings with insurance is a great idea. There’s nothing worse than spending money on items that broke during the moving process. If you choose to move with Wise Move , each moving company has their insurance policy and details stated on their profile.
Now’s the time to book your flights, ask for time off work, recruit your friends to help and just generally plan the logistics of your move. If you are driving the moving truck yourself, plan out your route and arrange how you'll get to the movers to pick up your vehicle.
Rather than buying brand new cardboard boxes, find out which day local businesses put out their cardboard recycling. In Wellington, companies put their deconstructed cardboard out on the street for pick up on a Tuesday afternoon. You can collect them off the road for free. If you don’t live near a city, try ringing your local supermarket and asking if they can put some empty boxes aside for you to pick up.
Pack strategically by keeping similar items together and keeping each box a reasonable weight. It will be easier for you to move them around once delivered to your new place. Label everything with the room it belongs in and the type of content. E.g. Kitchen. Pots & Pans.
Now is a good time to tell your electricity provider, internet, gas, insurance, bank and any other providers of your upcoming change of address. If you keep the same provider for electricity or internet, find out their process for switching utilities to a new address. If you have home insurance, you’ll need to talk about the coverage at your new home and whether it's different to your current policy.
Start eating your way through the fridge and freezer over the next week so that your whiteware is empty come moving day. Make sure to give your fridge a good clean and defrost the freezer if you need to. A clean fridge will stop ice from leaking or dripping during the move.
Do as much deep cleaning as you can before packing everything away. Start with the rooms you don’t use as much and leave the ‘busy’ rooms, i.e. your kitchen and bathroom, for last. If you can, clean a room and leave it unused until your move.
Make a moving kit so that you can still get basic tasks done without going through your boxes. Store this kit in a container that can go with you in your car rather than with the movers. Add things like a pen and paper, torch, kettle, tea and coffee, one set of sheets, chargers, a roll of toilet paper, washing up liquid, plastic utensils, cups or plates that can be washed and stored on moving day.
Ring your mover and confirm the date and time of the move. You should have this information saved in your online documentation folder.
Dismantling furniture can take longer than you think. Living without a dining table or television console for a few days is less stressful than pulling apart furniture at 3 am the night before you move.
An online grocery shop will save you time and your sanity on moving day. Arrange for your groceries to be delivered in the evening. You should have your fridge moved by then.
Leave a few boxes open until the day before you move. Trust us; you’re bound to have items you’re still using that need to be put away. Keep your packing tape and scissors in your moving kit for this reason.
You’ll likely be handing keys over to a real estate agent or landlord on the day of your move. Ensure you’ve collected all the keys before you need them and put them somewhere they won’t get accidentally packed up. Don’t forget about garage door openers or your mail key.
With everything packed up in your home, remember to take photos of the walls, floors and surfaces. If you are a renter, this is essential. You’ll now have proof that you left your home in good condition should anything happen after you vacate the premises.
Think of tomorrow as an excursion day. Buy or prepare some fruit, sandwiches, snacks and drinks that don’t require cutlery or napkins to eat.
If you’ve followed this list, there shouldn’t be anything left to do tomorrow except physically move. Get to bed early so that you’re up and awake at a reasonable time on moving day.
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