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Moving House Checklist: Essential Tips Before You Move

Moving homes can feel like navigating a maze filled with boxes, checklists, and a never-ending list of to-dos. But fear not! A well-orchestrated move is like a well-oiled machine – smooth and efficient. In this guide, we’ll unravel the complexities of moving, ensuring you’re armed with essential tips and tricks. Whether it’s your first move or your tenth, a thoughtfully planned move can transform chaos into calm. Let’s embark on this journey together, making your next move not just successful but also surprisingly stress-free. Welcome to the ultimate moving house checklist New Zealand residents can rely on!

Initial Planning

Start your moving journey with three pivotal steps in the initial planning phase:

  • Setting a moving date: It’s the cornerstone that aligns all other moving activities. Consider factors like work schedules, school terms, and seasonal weather conditions. Early planning helps in securing your preferred date, especially since moving services can be in high demand during certain periods.
  • Budgeting for the move: Next, let’s talk about the budget. Moving isn’t just about packing boxes; it involves various costs like hiring movers, buying packing supplies, and possibly paying for storage. Start by outlining all potential expenses to avoid surprises. Remember, the more thorough your planning, the closer your budget will align with reality. 
  • Choosing the right moving company: Choosing a moving company is a balance between cost and quality. Research is key. Look for a removal company with good reviews, transparent pricing, and a range of services that match your needs. Don’t shy away from asking questions about their process and any additional fees. A reliable mover can make a world of difference, turning a potentially stressful day into a smooth transition to your new home.

Embarking on these initial steps with careful consideration sets the tone for a well-organised and successful move.

One Month Before the Move

With a month left before your big move, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and dive into the heart of preparation. This phase is all about decluttering, packing, and notifying the right people.

  • Start Decluttering and Organizing: Decluttering is about making decisions on what to keep and what to let go. Create three categories: keep, donate/sell, and discard. Be ruthless yet thoughtful; if you haven’t used something in a year, it’s probably time to part with it. This process reduces the load and can also be emotionally liberating. Think about organising a garage sale or donating items to charity.
  • Begin Packing Non-Essential Items: Packing early avoids last-minute rushes. Start with items you won’t need for the next month. Seasonal items, special occasion wear, and rarely used kitchen gadgets are good starting points. Pack methodically and use this opportunity to inventory your possessions. Clearly label each box with its contents and the room it’s destined for. Proper labelling will streamline the unpacking process in your new home.
  • Notify Important Parties About Your Move: This step is crucial for a seamless transition. Inform your employer to arrange for any necessary time off or address changes. Notify your children’s schools to facilitate records transfers. Contact gas, water, and electricity providersr to schedule disconnection in your current home and set up your new one. Also, update your new address with banks, local council, insurance company, and any subscription services to ensure continuity. Remember, the sooner you inform these parties, the smoother the transition will be. Arrange transit insurance or ask your moving house company.

Two Weeks Before the Move

As your moving day inches closer, being two weeks out means it’s time to focus on advanced packing strategies and organising your belongings efficiently.

Packing Strategies for Different Types of Items

  • Fragile Items: Use bubble wrap and packing paper for dishes, glassware, and delicate ornaments. Place them in sturdy, well-cushioned boxes.
  • Electronics: If possible, pack electronics in their original boxes. Otherwise, wrap them securely and label the boxes as ‘fragile’.
  • Clothes: For everyday clothes, consider using suitcases or vacuum bags to save space. For formal wear, garment boxes or bags are ideal.

Tips for Labeling and Inventorying Your Belongings

  • Label Every Box: Write the contents and the destined room on top and at least one side of each box. This makes it easier for movers to place boxes in the correct rooms.
  • Colour Coding: Assign a colour to each room and use coloured stickers or markers on the boxes accordingly. This visually simplifies the moving process.
  • Inventory List: Keep a detailed inventory of what’s in each box. This list can be a simple notebook entry or a digital spreadsheet. An inventory is especially useful for insurance purposes and for keeping track of your belongings during the move.

One Week Before the Move

With just one week to go before your move, it’s all about finalising the packing process, preparing for the first day in your new home, and double-checking arrangements with your movers.

  • Final Packing Tips: By now, most of your belongings should be packed. Focus on double-checking closets, drawers, and other easily overlooked areas. Ensure that fragile items are securely wrapped and stored in moving boxes. Also, dismantle any large furniture if necessary.
  • Preparing an Essentials Box: Pack an essentials box (or suitcase) with items you’ll need immediately upon arrival at your new home. This should include toiletries, a change of clothes, basic kitchen supplies, medications, important documents, chargers, and snacks.
  • Confirm Details with Movers: A crucial step is to reconfirm the moving arrangements with your moving company. Verify the moving date and time, and ensure they have the correct addresses. Discuss the transportation of any special items, furniture removal,l and confirm if they can aid with lifting and unloading that particular piece. It’s also a good time to ask any last-minute questions you might have about the moving day process.

Moving Day

Moving Day is finally here, and it’s time to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

  • Morning of the Move Checklist: Start your day early and go through your checklist. Ensure that all last-minute items are packed. Keep your essentials box and important documents handy. Do a final walkthrough of your home to check for forgotten items.
  • Tips for a Smooth Moving Process: Keep a positive attitude and maintain good communication with your movers. Protect your old and new homes by placing mats or covers on floors and door frames. Take photos of your belongings before the movers arrive for insurance purposes.
  • Upon Arrival at the New Home: Conduct an initial inspection of the new house to check for any pre-existing damages. Guide the movers to the right rooms with each box or piece of furniture. Once everything is unloaded, start with unpacking your essentials box to make the first night comfortable.

The moving day might be long and tiring, but with a well-organised approach, it can also be a day filled with anticipation and excitement for your new beginning.


After the move, it’s time to focus on unpacking and settling into your new home.

  • Unpacking Strategy: Begin with the essentials. Set up your bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen first. This will provide comfort and functionality. Unpack room by room, starting with the most used spaces. This keeps the process organised and less overwhelming.
  • Getting Settled in the New Home: Take your time to arrange furniture and decorate. It’s important to feel comfortable and at home. Explore your new neighbourhood, new school campus in the area and introduce yourself to your neighbours.
  • Final Checklist Items: Ensure all utilities are working correctly. Update your address with any remaining services or institutions.

Settling in is a process; don’t rush it. Allow yourself to gradually get used to the new environment and start this exciting new chapter at your own pace.


As you close one chapter and begin another, remember that moving is more than just a physical transition; it’s a journey filled with opportunities and new experiences. Each step, from planning to settling into your new home, is a chance to reshape your world. Stay positive, embrace the adventure, and know that every box packed and every item moved, brings you closer to your new beginning. Your efforts will soon culminate in a space that’s uniquely yours, filled with new memories and possibilities. Here’s to your successful move and the many joys and discoveries it will bring!


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