Ask anyone who has moved house in the past 5 years and they'll tell you it was hell. Any more than 5 years and we're convinced the human memory removes any trace of the experience as it was so traumatic. On the face of it, moving house seems pretty simple, pack the boxes, give the house a quick clean and lock the front door as you leave. But when it gets down to the nitty-gritty, moving house takes a lot of planning and organisation to ensure everything goes smoothly come moving day.
Having a strategy and taking advice from those who have packed and moved before can be the difference between an all-out stress-fest disaster and organised controlled chaos.
Knowing what to do and when can take the edge of the mad panic as moving day approaches. Many jobs can be done weeks in advance to ease the pressure of last minute tasks.
Getting organised to move house
Power disconnection/connection - 2 weeks +
This can be arranged with your gas or electricity provider a couple of weeks before you move out. In fact, the more notice you give them the better so they can set up a meter reading and final billing. Often it is as easy as a phone call but check your power bill or power company website for their preferred procedure. Make sure you find out about any extra charges which may occur for disconnection or early contract termination.
If you are moving within the same city you may be able to just transfer the current agreement to your new property. Speak to your power provider for more details on these options and charges.
Arranging for the connection of power in your new home on the right date is very important as well. There's nothing worse than moving into a house with no power. If you are moving interstate make sure you research your options so you get the best deal available and set up your new gas or electricity agreement as soon as possible.
Phone and internet - 2 weeks +
This service may be able to be transferred from one property to another, however, some phone and internet providers do not cover all areas of the country. Check your options and the best coverage choices for the area you are moving to.
Phone companies recommend submitting a relocation request at least 2 to 3 weeks in advance to allow for processing.
For services like Foxtel allow at least one month's notice for the company to transfer the service to your new address.
Redirect mail - 6 weeks
Moving house means having to change your address with the bank, insurance company, your mechanic, your doctor, magazine subscriptions, Aunt Ethel who sends you a Christmas card every year and so many more which you never think of until that letter or parcel is due. Setting up a mail redirection, at least for a few months after you move, reduces the chance that you'll miss any post from organisations or people you haven't got around to notifying of your change of address.
This can be done anytime but you need to give Australia Post at least 3 days to action the redirect. Find out more here - austpost.com.au
Rent - 30 days +
If you're renting your home in WA you are required to give your landlord or property manager at least 30 days notice at the end of a fixed term agreement. Check your lease for the specific requirements for your rental agreement.
They will then issue you with a set of instructions and checklists for moving out, cleaning, and handing over keys.
Removalist - 4 - 8 weeks
The earlier you book your furniture removalist the better. Allow 4 to 8 weeks for local moves and more if you are moving interstate to ensure you can get your stuff picked up and delivered on the dates you require.
Securing a date early also gives you a deadline to work towards when packing.
Insurance - 4 weeks +
Transferring home and contents, building, health, and car insurance when you move can be more involved than just changing your address with insurance providers. Premiums can increase or decrease depending on the area you are moving to and some insurance companies don't cover some areas.
Make sure you set up a new policy before cancelling the old one to ensure you're always covered, right up to and including moving day.
Car rego and drivers licence - 14 days and 3 months
If you are moving within your state this job will be as simple as changing your address with the Department of Transport once you move.
However, if you are moving interstate you will need to change the rego to the new state within 14 days of your arrival and apply for a new drivers licence (in WA) within 3 months.
Animal transport or kenneling - 4 weeks +
If you are flying to your new home make sure you begin arrangements for pets to travel as early as possible as some flights don't allow pet transportation.
Booking a stay in a kennel or pet resort can reduce the stress on your pet during the moving process. Book as early as possible to ensure they get in, holidays and local events can mean these facilities fill quickly.
Home alarm monitoring - 4 weeks +
Notify your alarm monitoring service 4 weeks before your move so they can cancel or transfer the service on moving day.
Order packing boxes - 4 to 6 weeks
Getting a jump on packing earlier on can cut down the last minute workload. Order your packing boxes 4 to 6 weeks before moving day so you can pack away items which you don't use often and stack boxes ready to go.
School - ASAP
Notify your child's school as soon as you know you are moving to allow them to transfer records and liaise with your new school. Contact the new school to enrol as early as you can as well. More information on what to do when changing schools can be found here - aussieeducator.org.au
Home services - 4 weeks +
Notify or transfer home services as soon as you know you are leaving such as the cleaner, gardener, food deliveries, newspaper delivery, and home help.