Ultimate Moving House Checklist

“What a nightmare I had moving, so much work and I unpacked for days and couldn’t find a thing! Never again!”

Sound familiar? If you are in the process of moving or wanting to move, the mere thought can be really daunting. However, it does not have to be like this. Moving can be a breeze, if you are organized and on top of things.

Read on as I share these Ultimate Moving Tips, based on a recommended timeline, to ensure you have a successful, stress free, exciting move.

moving checklist

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Moving Planner and Moving Tips for House or Apartment

Biggles Removals helps with every step of the move including packing service, packing materials, shared loads, disassembly, storage and more. Its best we start the journey well in advance to ensure all ducks are in a row when it comes time to move. We have created the most comprehensive moving checklist in order to make the move stress free and less daunting. The moving checklist will help you stay on track during relocation whether you are moving down the road locally or nationally to another city.

Getting Organised : 10 Weeks Before The Move

  1. Create a moving checklist

    When deciding to move from one home to another, you’ll start to realise just how many belongings you have. Thus, creating a checklist will ensure that none of your belongings get left behind. Go from room to room and create separate checklists where you will be able to log and keep track of everything that needs to go with you to your new home

  2. Block out time on your calendar

    Moving can take anywhere from days to weeks, depending on multiple aspects such as the amount of belongings being moved. Have your family sit down and take time to look at when you will have the availability to set everything else aside to focus solely on the move. Having more time set asid for the move, the quicker the whole process will go.

  3. Budget for your move

    Moving all of your belongings can be more expensive than you thought. Go through all of your household and personal items to see what can be moved yourself and what should be moved by a removal company. Heavy objects such as refrigerators, couches or washing machines should be handled by the professionals while smaller objects such as clothes and nick nacks can be moved yourself. This will make the moving process cheaper and much faster.
    Related: How much do moving companies cost in South Africa?

  4. Track your expenses

    When having a budget in mind, it’s crucial to keep track of your expenses during the duration of your move to ensure you stay within that set budget. Keeping track of everything will help you to decide where your money should be prioritised and where you can cut a few corners by handling some things yourself.

  5. Speak both to your old and new landlord

    Before moving into your new forever home, it’s important to have a meeting with your current landlord to discuss the termination of your current lease and to resolve any old issues. Ideally, you should also confirm with your new landlord when your new home will be move-in ready and discuss if there are any outstanding documents needed to confirm your new lease agreement.

  6. Contact your insurance

    One of my favourite tips to share with clients and friends who are moving is to check in with their household insurance. Far too many people are not even aware of the fact that their household insurance company will cover their move in transit at no extra cost. Simply inform OUTsurance or Santam, or whoever you are insured with, that you will be moving homes on your specific date and they will see to it that you are covered.

  7. Notify your utilities/service providers that you will be moving

    The last thing anyone wants is to unpack, settle in and not be able to Netflix and chill because you forgot to notify your internet provider that you would be moving and will need a new line or a new connection. Make sure that your internet service as well as all other utilities such as your water and electricity have been notified of your new address. You will be connected and up and running immediately when moving in, making it easy to pick up right where you left off and carry on with life.

  8. Schedule time off work for your move

    Moving is something that needs all of your time, attention and energy. Having a meeting with your boss and scheduling time off from work will ensure you have the time to focus on your move without having to worry about missing any important tasks at work.

  9. Change your address in terms of receiving mail and packages

    One of the most frequent issues that arise with moving is mail being sent to the previous address. Notify each and every person or company that will require your new address in order for correspondence to arrive at your new address to continue without a hitch.

  10. Arrange for any painting or renovations

    Make a point to arrange a handyman or painter to patch up any holes, bumps and scrapes that are left behind when you are moving house. Ensure that you arrange for both your current home as well as the one you are moving into. It’s rather an unnecessary hassle to have people in and out of your new space painting and fixing up when all you want to do is make your house a home and get things into place. The new person or family moving into your home would greatly appreciate this as well.

Planning The Move: 8 Weeks Before The Move

“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” We all know that saying and it’s too true! Having a proper plan in place for your move, however big or small it is, will make all the difference in the world. Put pen to paper or whip out that iPad and get going on those lists!

Book your removal comapny
  1. Book your removal service

    Driving up and down for an entire day with load after load is exhausting and makes the entire process all that much more hectic. Make things easy and hire a removal company to move your goods on the day of your move. The teams are experienced and know exactly that they are doing. Be sure to book well in advance as most reputable companies can become very busy, especially around month end, and the earlier you book will make it easier to request an early start. Here are a few things to consider when arranging with a moving company:
    –   Research reputable moving companies
    –   Get estimate prices to see who will fit with your budget
    –   Remember to sign a contract to protect both you, your belongings and the movers

  2. Get helpers if planning for a DIY-move

    Who said moving couldn’t be a family affair? Sometimes, a complete professional move is just not in your budget. Enlisting the help of family and friends can make the move 10 times faster and ensures the whole process runs as smoothly as possible. Having extra helping hands can also ensure heavy items such as beds can be moved without hurting the new house or the people moving in.

  3. Get ready to ship your vehicles

    If the household plans on moving between homes in one car, what will happen to any other vehicles? The best advice is to hire a car shipping company. Do your research on any reputable car shipping companies and choose one that will fit best with your moving timeline and budget. Make sure the arrangements are also approved by both your and the shipping company’s insurance providers.

  4. Visit the area you are moving to and get excited about your new home

    Take the time to really check out your new environment. Pop into shops and surrounding areas and explore the new place that you will be staying, before you make the physical move there. This will allow you to become familiar with your new space, meet some new people and work up some positive vibes for this next phase you are moving into.

  5. Research emergency service beforehand

    Moving to a new location means moving into a whole new environment. Researching your new surroundings will help you to be prepared for any emergency situations. Research emergency services and their contact numbers such as vets, schools, police stations and hospitals to ensure you are prepared for anything that might happen.

Declutter your old home: 6 weeks before the move

This is the perfect time to donate to charity and those in need, to freshen up your life and your home and rid yourself of all those unnecessary bits and bobs that clutter your home. A move is the best way to rid your home of extra things you don’t need ad that could perhaps help someone else in a very big way.

declutter home and donate
  1. Dispose of any unused or unsafe items

    A small gesture like cleaning your home before new tenants move in, can make a huge difference. Go through your whole house and remove any items that are used or even hazardous. Any old wiring, broken appliances, expired food and cleaning products should all be exposed to keep the house as safe and clean as possible.

  2. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

    Moving house is usually a fresh new start for many, which means getting rid of a few old items in order to start on a clean slate. Go through all of your old clothes, books, games and even casual houseware items. Anything that is not used but can help someone else, consider selling or donating it. Selling or donating a few items can help to declutter your own things and make the move a bit lighter. Read our complete guide on how to declutter your house.

Preparing to move with little ones: 6 weeks before the move

Whether you have little babies or fur-babies, moving with our precious kiddies is an important task. They too feel the stress and unsettled atmosphere that goes hand in hand with packing up and moving house. Here are some great tips to make this experience fun for them too.

moving with children
  1. Moving with Children

    If you have an army of children wondering why things are being packed up, sit down and have a talk with them about what is happening and why you will be moving. Having everyone, even the children comfortable with the move will make the whole process more enjoyable. Also, do some research on your new area. Where are the schools and daycare centers, where are any child friendly parks to play at. This will help any parent or child to get back into their routines much faster.

  2. Getting children ready for school

    When moving to a different location, the first thing you do is register your child at a new school. This will give the new school time to prepare to welcome a new student and this will also give the old school a good notice period that they will be losing a student.

  3. Moving with Pets

    Pets are considered part of the family, hence they also need to be prepared for the move. Do some research on any vets in your new area or look around for some doggy daycare centres. Make sure to get all the necessary information and documentation from your old vet, so that your new vet will have everything they need to add you little creature to their databases.

  4. Arrange for child or pet care for the day if needed

    Pets and small children, no matter how much we love them, do not need to be with them when moving. To keep things on schedule, and to keep the little ones safe, try and arrange for a nanny or sitter to take care of the little critters. This will allow the adults to move as quickly as possible, while knowing they don’t have to look over their shoulders to keep the little ones safe and happy.

Preparing to pack: 2-4 weeks before the move

Perhaps the biggest challenge of all. Packing. Yikes, the word alone can already make you feel exhausted! With only a few simple steps and by ensuring you have the right things in place, your planning can be quick and easy. Read on as we offer you some great tips!

preparing to pack
  1. Get your supplies ready

    Having moving supplies ready for the big day can make the whole process much faster and safer. Be sure to have multiple boxes on hand where your belongings can be packed together and stored safely. You can pick up free, unused boxes at any retail store in town if you don’t have any on hand. Make sure to also stock up on bubble wrap or old newspaper to protect breakable items such as glasses or ceramics.

  2. Label moving boxes by categories

    When deciding to move between houses, there is one thing that can make an enormous difference: labelling your boxes. By packing items and belongings by categories such as living room decor or kitchen utensils, you will make the transition between houses very simple. You can make trips to the truck based on which room you would like to unpack, keeping things tidy and organized.

  3. Research packing tips and tricks

    Packing and moving your belongings should be done correctly to avoid any serious problems. Make sure to read up on how to pack your belongings to ensure a smooth process e.g. packing boxes light enough to carry or wrapping breakable items before storing them in boxes. Doing research ahead of time will save you valuable time and money on the day of the move.

  4. Take note of your old home for your new home

    To make things easier, look at what you have now and how they will fit into your new home. Measure your larger furniture so that both the movers and you know exactly what will fit where. Also, a handy tip, take pictures of all your electronics and how they were installed. This way, you will have a good reference when reinstalling your electronics at your new home.

Starting to pack: 2-4 weeks before the move

Preparing yourself mentally is one thing, physically packing up your whole life is quote something else! There are loads of little things you can do to make this process easier, such as starting with all the items you don’t use on a daily basis and wrapping up furniture that’s also not regularly in use. Start with items that are not essential and work your way through.

  1. Preparing to move some furniture

    Preparing some of your furniture to move will help speed along the process on the big day. Start to wrap up the couch or bed that is not being used. Pack away any unnecessary nick nacks or utensils. Go through your house and start to think about what can be prepared ahead of time and what should be left for the professionals.

  2. Update your inventory

    After packing away some non-essential items, check off those items on your checklist. This will help you keep track of what has been done and what needs to be done in the future.

  3. Pack your first week’s essentials

    Some of us have a lot of things to move and sometimes you arrive at your new home while the rest of your stuff is still on its way. Pack overnight bags that include clothes, necessities and even toys for the little ones. This will ensure that the family stays comfortably while the rest of the belongings are on their way. This includes any essentials that will make yourself, your kids, and your pets more comfortable during the first few days in your new home.

Getting ready for the move: 1-2 weeks before the move

You’re in the home stretch and things are coming together now. Let’s keep this process stress free and organized by checking in with your removal team, babysitters, check lists and your itinerary for the day to ensure you are on track and ready to tackle this.

  1. Reconfirm the plans with your helpers

    Whether you are enlisting the help of professional movers or casual family members, it’s important to reconfirm the big plan with everyone to ensure all involved parties are on the same page of how the big move will go down.

  2. Create a moving day itinerary for the little ones

    Whether the children will be with you or a caretaker, they need to be kept busy during this stressful, yet exciting time. Create a list full of activities to stimulate your young and keep them distracted in a fun and efficient way.

  3. Reconfirm your vehicle shipping plans

    Just like you need to prepare yourself, the kids and the new home, your car also needs a solid plan for the big day. Remove any personal belongings from your car and confirm the date, time and location where the shipping company will pick up and drop off your vehicle. Remember to take photos of the condition of your car before it’s picked up to ensure any damage done in the process will be held liable by the shipping company.

Finishing up the odds and ends: 1-2 weeks before the move

This is the time when last minute little details really come into play and things tend to creep up on you that you either forgot about or didn’t realize you needed to do. Take this time to make sure your home is ready for its new owners, plan meals for the day before, day of and day after and make sure all final moving bills have been settled.

clean home and get it ready for new tenants
  1. Prepare your old home for the new owners/tenants

    Moving into a new home is very exciting, but you need to remember you’re not the only party that will be moving in a few days’ time. To make the move more enjoyable for the new tenants, you can:
    – Spring clean your home
    – Mow the lawn and water the garden
    – Take out all of the trash that is still in your current home
    – Ensure all utility bills are paid in full
    – Inspect for any damages that might need to be repaired

  2. Plan meals ahead of time

    No matter how much you dream of it, moving houses won’t happen in one day. It’s important to plan meals ahead of time for unplanned situations that might arise, e.g your stove needs installing the day after you move in. Ready-made meals are your new best friend in this situation, keeping the family fed while everything else still needs to settle in.

  3. Settle all of the moving bills

    The day of the move is getting closer and closer. To ensure your weeks’ worth of planning don’t go to waste, make sure all payments that need to be made to any moving or shipping company are paid in full. This will secure the company’s commitment to you and ensure they are reminded of the big day looming ahead.

The Big Day: Moving Day

It’s finally here! Moving day has arrived and we’re sure you’ve been up since early getting ready to hit the road! This day can become very busy and chaotic, so make sure you have the necessary things in place to make this day a success. Prep snacks, drop off the kids if needed, check in with your removal team, make sure your furry loved ones have water and are comfortable and above all make sure to leave your keys for the new owners!

moving day with moving company
  1. Keep the movers on track

    Use the checklist and colour clouded boxes to help movers move the way you want. Be clear on which items you want moved first and which rooms you want completed in which order. This is your house after all, so be clear on your instructions and speak up if you want something done differently.

  2. Pack snacks and plenty to drink the day of your move

    Moving houses is not a small task. When moving from one place to another, things can get lengthy, and the day can fly away from you. Preparing snacks and drinks to have on hand while moving can be a lifesaver. Many people don’t have the time to drive around to look for something to eat, hence preparing beforehand can save you time. It is important to stay hydrated and fed during a moving day to restore some of the energy you will lose.

  3. Make sure keys are handed over to new owners

    When deciding to move, it usually means someone else will take your place. When arranging the moving day, take time to make sure those tenets taking over your old house are given the correct keys and codes to the house. Take the time to hand over any remaining keys and explain to them how the house works in terms of locking and opening.

  4. Receive the keys to your new home

    The day of the move, arrange for the new landlord to be present during this big day. Have a walkthrough through the house to ensure everything is in order and ask any questions you may have. Then, make sure to receive the keys to your new home.

  5. Get your cleaning sorted for the day of and after the move is done

    Moving into a clean house can make the whole process a lot more enjoyable. The day of the move, make sure to arrange for a spring cleaning session either by yourself or a professional. Moving your belongings can be messy, in both your old and new home. Cleaning will allow both you and any new tenants to feel more comfortable in a new environment.

  6. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself

    Moving is never the same for anyone. Some people like to move all in one day and others like to take their time when adjusting to a new space. Figure out what will be best for you and your family and use your time as you feel fit. Bigger families with kids will take longer than those newlywed couples. Whatever works for you, do it. Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Settling In: After the move

The move itself is done and dusted and now it’s time to settle in and make your new space a home. Ensure that all your amenities are working properly, that the doors and gates are locked to avoid your pets escaping while they are sniffing out their new surroundings and put some time aside to take a minute and breathe after this busy experience. Above all, enjoy your new home!:

making your new home and settling in
  1. Make sure you have access to all the facilities

    When settling into your new home, make sure all the facilities on the land are working properly. See if your water and electricity are up and running the way it should be.

  2. Make your new home your own

    Moving into a new house can be daunting and the changes might be uncomfortable for some members of your family. Take your time to set up the things that make the space more comfortable such as pillows, photos, or memorabilia. These small things will make the move way more comfortable and will help you adjust to the new space a lot faster.

  3. Take care of common household tasks

    When moving into a new home, make sure to test and confirm that all of your household items are working properly. Test you smoke alarms, change the locks so that only you have access to the house and find out who will be managing your waste pickup.

  4. Settle into your new life

    Now, it’s time to relax. Here you have the time to do the fun things involved with moving. Meet your new neighbours, take time to get involved with your community and have some fun in your new environment. The possibilities are endless.

Biggles Removals will guide you through the process from start to finish as well as provide a professional all inclusive moving service to allow you to focus on your new journey. Our moving service includes full value insurance to give you peace of mind should the unexpected happen along the journey.

See additional box and packing tips here.