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Your ultimate moving home checklist

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If you thought the house hunt was stressful, brace yourself for the move. In the hustle and bustle of a move many necessary steps can be forgotten, so make sure not to skip the important stuff by checking off the following from our handy moving home checklist:

Step 1: Update your address

The first thing you may think of when moving is to grab the cardboard boxes and start packing. However, before you begin with the bubble wrap, there are a number of government and non-government organisations that need to be notified of your change of address.

Yes, it's tedious, but this is an extremely important step in the moving process. These organisations should be your first port of call:

  • Australian Electoral Commission: This one may not be at the top of your list, but it should be. If you forget to notify the AEC, you’re at risk of not receiving that Jury Duty notification and may be slugged with a $2,200 fine (in NSW). Change your AEC address details here.

  • State and Territory Road Traffic Authority: Update your registration, license and E-Toll information for NSW, Victoria and South Australia.

  • Human Services: Don’t miss out on vital correspondence from your human services providers. You can update your address details for Centrelink and Medicare here.

  • Australia Post: Sometimes it takes some time for details to be updated, so to avoid having to go to your former house and collect old mail, notify Australia Post and have your mail redirected to your new address. You can do so here.

  • Schools: Notify your children’s school of your change of address. Similarly, any TAFE or university that you or a family member attends needs to be notified.

  • Your finances: Notify your bank and any lenders you may have of your new address.

  • Insurance: Don't forget to update your health insurance and car insurance provider of your change of address.

    • Home and contents insurance - Ensure your current plan covers you during your move. Many do not cover any damage or loss to possessions during the transit period if it is not done by a professional. In this case, you may want to consider investing in moving insurance.
  • Your pet’s registry and microchip: If you don't update your pet's microchip information, you may be in for a hefty fine. Plus, it may be tricky to reunite you with your pup if your details are incorrect. You can update microchip details here. Different states and territories have their own policies, so check your local council to ensure you are complying with their regulations.

    • For Sydneysider’s, you can update your pet's registration details here. Many are unaware of the fees that come with this often overlooked step. According to the NSW Government, failure to update your address will incur a $165 fee, and not registering your pet ‘as required’ may lead to a $275 fine.
    • In Brisbane, QLD, the Brisbane City Council will fine pet owners who have not registered their pet with the council every year after it is 3 months old $261.10.

Don't forget to inform:

  • Your employer
  • Superannuation funds
  • Pay TV
  • Any concession cards
  • Magazine/newspaper subscriptions
  • And of course, your family and friends

Step 2: Switching utilities and internet

couple-in-kitchen One thing you often take for granted is that flick of a switch that turns on your light, your quick google search, or your hot shower at the end of the day - something you’ll definitely need after your long day of carrying and unloading boxes into your new home. Follow these tips to ensure that you can go about your day to day with ease once moved in.

Electricity & gas

Connection and disconnection; two things you need to worry about when transferring your electricity and gas account to a new home.

Disconnection: Notify your current energy provider of your move at least one week before your move date. Notify them of your moving dates and organise disconnection for the day after you move. By disconnecting your electricity as soon as you move, you remove any issues that may occur between yourself and the new homeowner when the next electricity and gas bill comes. Provide your electricity and gas provider with your new address so that they can send you the bill for the electricity that you have used.

If you’re renting with roommates and the account with your provider is under your name, ensure you change this. Put the account in a tenant’s name that continues to live there. This is necessary, as you don’t want to be held liable for any issues that arise after you have moved out.

Connection: If you plan to stay with your current provider, notify them with your new address and organise a connection date. However, this may be the perfect opportunity for you to evaluate your current energy bill and look for cheaper options. With many new providers, your plan may not be the best on the market anymore. If you wish to change providers, exit fees may apply to your current plan.

If the electricity has already been disconnected at your new home, ensure all fuse box switches are turned off for a smooth connection.

Changing providers within NSW, ACT and Victoria is a rather easy process. However, there are tighter regulations with energy providers within QLD, SA, WA and NT, so you may need to pay extra attention.

Water

Unlike electricity, there is no disconnection and connection with your water supply. This means you have running water from day one - you just need to make sure the rightful person is paying for it.

In order to ensure your water debts are resolved before and after you move, you must contact a conveyancer or solicitor who assists in the process. Water debts are held against the property, not the owner, so outstanding balances must be resolved before new occupants arrive. A conveyancer or solicitor will contact the current water provider and disclose the amount due. They settle this amount between the seller and buyer of the property.

The NSW Registry Services notifies the water suppliers of the new occupants so that bills are delivered accordingly.

Internet

Internet has become a vital part of our lives, so to ensure you can update your Facebook feed with ease, make sure you have your affairs in order.

If you have a fixed line, broadband or any pay TV connected through your internet provider, you can request an appointment online or over the phone. For mobile phone, mobile broadband or wireless services you need to ensure you update your billing information before moving. For those who rely on home wireless broadband, make sure your new suburb has 4G coverage, as there can be limited service in rural or remote areas. If you are switching between a cable service to the NBN service, a new modem is required.

Some providers may charge a relocation fee of up to $140 depending on your provider. If you need to end your contract, an early termination fee may be charged, and can cost up to $830 depending on your provider.

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Step 3: Getting organised for moving day

packing-tape Packing, moving and unpacking can be an emotionally draining, physically challenging and frustrating process. The move can be made a little easier if you follow our moving tips.

  • Load up on bubble wrap, tape and boxes. Ensure all your belongings survive the journey with a cushion of bubble wrap to protect their fall, that all loose and fragile items are secured, and your moving boxes are sturdy enough.
  • Label. When packing up your prized possessions, make sure you label the box. To avoid the unpacking frustration, include the room it belongs to as well as the box’s contents.
  • Dismantle. As much as you wish you didn’t have to, dismantling your furniture is a necessary part of moving. When you do so, keep any screws and instructions in a labelled zip-lock bag and tape to a piece of the furniture it belongs to. If you choose not to dismantle, check the measurements of any entryways the furniture has to fit through in your new house.
  • Organise a council pick up. Packing can be a good opportunity to give your home a good clean out. If you have hoarding tendencies, this is the time to give those unwanted items you’ve held onto for the last ten years the chuck. Call your local council or hold a garage sale.
  • Book movers. Hiring a moving truck can reduce the number of trips between the old and new house. They take the stress out of heavy lifting and the real-life game of Tetris that occurs when loading boxes.
  • Load strategically. Load your van or car with the heavy items on the bottom, and lighter items on the top. Keep in mind the items you will want to use straight away, and make sure they’re easily accessible.
  • Pack an essentials box. Your picture frames and desk chair can wait, what can’t is the necessary cup of coffee the morning after. Pack a box of your everyday essentials including toiletries, spare clothes and underwear, coffee, tea, first aid, cooking essentials and snacks.
  • Clean. Clean both your new and old home. Make the move a pleasant one for the new occupants by leaving your home clean and presentable. If you are leaving a rented space, ensure your clean is thorough. Many people hire cleaning services to perform an end-of-lease clean. Landlords may withhold bonds if you have not maintain the standards of the home. There may also be cleaning requirements stated in your lease agreement such as organising a professional carpet clean before vacating.
  • Sketch a layout of how you want your furniture to be arranged. If you’ve got movers, this can help them unpack according to your preferences. It also helps yourself to know where to unload your boxes in the home so that they don’t congregate in the entryway.
  • Have a toolkit on hand. When moving into your new home, it’s ideal to set up your bedding and commonly used furniture first. Having your tools on hand means this can be done straight away, without having to rummage through boxes.
  • Make your home yours. Add personal touches to make this unfamiliar place more comfortable. Hang a familiar painting or lay out a rug so that the emptiness of this new home doesn’t feel overwhelming.

There are many things that get overlooked during the moving process, and are only realised that little bit too late. Avoid the post-move regret and organise all your documents and belongings before the move. These tips will make your transition into a new home that little bit easier.

For even more moving tips, the Australian Government has provided a thorough checklist of who to notify.

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Tags: family home, home, new purchase, new home, pets, relocate

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