The Ultimate Checklist for Moving House

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Packing is arguably one of the most stressful elements of moving house. Luckily, it is possible to avoid some of the stress.

We find it easiest to use a room-by-room system, because this both streamlines your packing, and makes setting up your new home easier. To help you establish your own packing system, we've created the ultimate checklist for moving house, and broken it down by space so hopefully, nothing gets missed.

Room-by-room moving house packing checklist

Kitchen

Your kitchen is one room of the house where you're probably going to need a good deal of things to remain available for use, but that doesn't mean you can't get started early.

Your special cutlery and dinnerware, for example, probably aren't going to see a lot of use while you're getting ready to relocate. By the same token, cookware that serves specific purposes can be packed away if you're not going to be making the dishes it is designed for.

Plus, you can probably get by with most of your mugs, glasses and standard dinnerware packed away for at least the last week in your home, and getting this out of the way early is a major help.

It's also a good idea to try to minimise the amount of food you're moving with, especially when it comes to items in your fridge and freezer. For this reason, we suggest keeping trips to the supermarket minimal in the month leading up to your move and doing your best to empty out your current supply.

  • Plates
  • Bowls
  • Mugs
  • Glasses
  • Pots and pans
  • Cutlery
  • Small appliances (blenders, toasters, etc.)
  • Cookbooks
  • Food
  • Pet food

Lounge room

When packing up your lounge room the first thing you're going to want to do is to find a small box or bag in which you can store all of your remotes. Trust us, it's a lifesaver on the other end.

You'll also want to disassemble any furniture that needs to be dismantled as far in advance as you can, and if you're wanting to decorate the same way in your new home, box things in accordance with where you're going to display them to make your life easier on the other end of the move.

  • TV 
  • Speakers
  • Game consoles
  • Video games and DVDs
  • Books
  • Cushions
  • Decorative items
  • Pet beds, toys etc.

Bedrooms

Your bedroom is a gold mine when it comes to packing things ahead of time and freeing up vital hours in the last few days. Any clothes that don't suit the current season can be packed well in advance, as can bed linens and any extra bedding. If you've got a lot of breakables in your bedroom, you can keep these boxes unsealed until you pack those away, as clothes and bedding make great shock absorbers.

  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Accessories
  • Soft furnishings
  • Decorative items
  • Lamps

Bathroom

About a month before your move, try not to buy any new bathroom products that can't be properly resealed. Anything that has a locking lid isn't a big deal, and things like makeup will usually travel well, but things that can't be closed properly are liable to leak which can be a real pain.

Remember to pack cleaning supplies separately from anything that you use on your body so if something does leak, you hopefully won't have to throw everything out.

  • Shampoo, conditioner, soaps and shower gels
  • Cosmetics
  • Basic toiletries (toothbrush, nail scissors etc.)
  • Personal electronics (hair dryer, razor, etc.)
  • Towels

Laundry

You don't want to be doing laundry in the days leading up to your move. Not only does your machine need time to settle and drain properly, but you also don't want to risk having to transport your laundry wet. We suggest ensuring that you get your last load done the week before your move and simply waiting to wash anything that gets dirty afterwards.

Don't forget to tape your washing powder closed and pack everything that's open in a way that will ensure it stays upright during transit. If you don't think something can be sealed properly, we suggest using it up or throwing it out and replacing it at your new home.

  • Cleaning supplies
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Airer
  • Washing basket

Garage

Since your garage is probably where all your tools and products for your car live, you're going to want to pack this area with heavy-duty, preferably waterproof, boxes. Handle any car and home maintenance that needs to be done the week or fortnight before your move, then get everything nicely packed away so that you don't have to worry about anything in the garage closer to your moving date.

  • Tools
  • Recreational gear
  • Seasonal items (e.g. Christmas tree)

Front and back yards

If you have children's play equipment, outdoor furniture, or anything else that needs to be disassembled, make sure this is done well in advance so you're not stressing about outdoor areas closer to your move date. You'll also want to ensure that the lawns are mowed and that any fixed items are repaired if required. This allows you to focus all of your energy inside the house, therefore greatly reducing your chances of forgetting anything.

  • Garden tools
  • Outdoor decorative items
  • Potted plants
  • Pool supplies

Miscellaneous

The biggest point in this section is not to forget to organise final readings and disconnections for all utility services. You'll also want to pack up any storage cupboards or areas that don't fall under the other rooms in this guide.

Usually, this can be done at least a week or two in advance, as you can set the disconnection date for services, and things that are kept in miscellaneous storage don't tend to be used too often.

You'll also want to check any crevices or areas you don't use to be sure that nothing is hiding there.

  • Computer
  • Printer
  • Router
  • Important documents

Pro tips for moving

Declutter as you go

Moving home is the perfect time to take stock of everything you own and decide whether you really want or need it anymore.

If the answer is no, place the item in a separate box and either donate it to charity or sell it on an online marketplace to help cover some of the cost of moving.

Zip-lock bags are your best friend

If you're dismantling your furniture, we strongly recommend keeping all nuts, screws, bolts and other bits and pieces for each item together in a zip lock bag. Label each bag with the details for which piece of furniture it belongs to, and keep all of your zip lock bags in one place so they don't go on their own little adventure during the move.

Label your boxes

In addition to labelling which room each box has come out of, you may also find it beneficial to write the contents on the outside of the box. This will help you find things quickly if you need something straight away, and means you won't have to stress about unpacking everything when you're really just hunting for a single item.

Don't forget to update your address

When you move homes it is important to ensure that all relevant organisations have your new details. We have an in-depth piece on everywhere you need to update your address when you move and it's definitely worth checking out.

Think about whether you need moving insurance

While some people will be perfectly happy going the DIY moving route, others will want professional help. Which side of this fence you fall on will be impacted by whether or not you need moving insurance, so be sure to consider this before the big day.

Prepare for a sleepover

We also suggest packing an overnight bag for each person in your home. Include all the necessities such as phone chargers, a change of clothes, and toiletries so you don't have to stress if you don't get unpacked on the first day. Comfort items for children should also be included in these bags.

Don't deep clean until everything is out

Finally, if you're the type who likes to clean as you go, this tip might make you a little uncomfortable, but we strongly recommend waiting to do your final deep clean of the property until after everything is out.

This is because the house is likely to simply get dirty again while boxes and furniture are being moved around (and you'll almost definitely find a bunch of dust and dirt under furniture that doesn't normally move) so you'll save yourself a decent amount of time and effort by waiting.

Packing and moving is stressful, but being organised and having a system can help. Hopefully this guide streamlines the process for you and makes things a little easier.

Jessica Jones
Written by
Jessica Jones
Jess has been writing educational content for almost ten years with a focus on lifestyle content. She loves coffee, dogs and all things fitness, and can often be found with her nose buried in a book and her music blaring through her earphones.

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