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How To Prepare Your New Home Before Moving In

By Laura Anderson

When moving house, preparing the home you’re moving into is just as important as packing up the space you’re leaving behind.  Make moving day the most seamless experience possible by completing the following tasks in advance.

Organise a sitter for pets and children

The chaos of moving day is no place for children or pets. Organise a sitter in advance to alleviate added stress, and reduce any anxiety sometimes experienced by pets and children.

“Be mindful that if kids are young, they’ll likely have a lot of emotional distress going on,” says Michael Byrne, owner and manager of Gentle Giant Removals and Relocations.

“Similar to kids, a new environment is stressful for pets. If you can, only move them over when it’s complete or near to it, so at least they have familiar smells and objects.”

Set up your internet

Connecting internet can take longer than other utilities such as electricity and gas.

To ensure a connection on moving day, carbon-neutral internet provider Belong recommends contacting your provider at least two weeks in advance, especially if your home has not previously been connected to the NBN. You can check this and the exact technology available using the ‘Check your address’ function on Belong’s website.

“This will help check your expectations of what internet speeds you can achieve and means you can make an informed decision on the best plan for you,” says Belong CEO Jana Kotatko. “You don’t want to pay for something you’re not getting the benefit of.”

For homes with a previous NBN connection, the standard Belong connection timeframe is one to five business days, with no additional work required by a technician. Be sure to take your existing modem with you, and download the Belong app to track the process of your connection as it happens.

Belong offers customers month-to-month contracts with no lock-in, so you can change your plan at any time should your needs change, or if you move house again.

“You can move up and down plans as you need – for example when you’re working from home and need higher internet speeds – and there’s no penalty for changing plans,” says Kotatko.

Do a deep clean

There’s no easier time to clean a home than when it’s completely empty, so take the opportunity to do this in advance – not on moving day while you’re also trying to unpack!

Cathy O’Keefe, owner of Brisbane-based decluttering and organising business Memorable Spaces says key areas to focus on are the kitchen, bathroom, and carpets, and wiping down any benchtops, cupboards, windows, blinds, and appliances.

Map out your furniture

Mapping out which furniture will go where will help streamline the packing process, allowing you to group items by room. Complete this process in person, or by referring to your new home’s measurements.

“Have a look at the floor plan and photos and decide what will go where. From this, you can then create labels for furniture, meaning a smoother transition on moving day,” says Edel Beattie, founder of The Happy Organiser.

Start de-cluttering early

The more you can declutter before you move, the less you’ll have to pack and spend transporting.

O’Keefe recommends starting the decluttering process six months in advance if possible and setting regular targets to keep you on track. Start with the rooms or items you use the least, such as spare bedrooms and decorative pieces.

“Moving less stuff ultimately makes the job quicker on both ends,” O’Keefe says. “When people see boxes of items they really shouldn’t have bothered moving, they can feel a sense of stress, guilt and hopelessness – it all feels too much.”

Sell unloved items early

Another reason to start the decluttering process early is to allow time to sell any unloved items.

“Get onto this early so you can avoid the trouble of trying to sell your items while you’re going through moving. It’s stressful enough as it is, you don’t want to be dealing with lowballing negotiators and time wasters,” says Byrne.

Properly brief your removalist

If booking a removalist, don’t be cheeky and skip over details of the job including stairs or heavy items like a piano, as this will only add to the cost further down the track.

“People should be aware that large and fragile items have special trucks, so by not mentioning these items, the cost is straight away going to rise,” says Byrne.

Also, advise your removalist in advance if you’ll need help disassembling furniture on the day, and if you have any house plants.

“People always forget to mention how many house plants they have. They’re a frustrating item to move because they’re fragile, take up a lot of floor space in the truck, and they don’t stack,” says Byrne.

Prepare a moving day essentials box

Pack a box of essential items you’ll need on moving day, and ensure this is the last item on the truck and the first to unload.

Some key items to include are towels, crockery and cutlery, phone chargers, toiletries, deodorant, dishwashing liquid, toilet paper, soap, a change of clothes for the next day, and one thing that’s often forgotten – bedding.

“Ensure beds are off the truck first and prioritise making them up,” Ali Broinowski, founder of Perfectly Sorted. “You might be exhausted, but the last thing you want to be doing is searching through hundreds of boxes for sheets!”

Pet-proof your backyard

The last thing you want on moving day is a pet escaping through a backyard fence, so take the opportunity to patch up gaps or holes in advance.

“Dogs in particular love to explore any new environment, and you want to be sure your precious pooch is safe,” says Broinowski.

Collect the keys

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, don’t forget to pick up the keys before moving day!

Byrne says, “You wouldn’t believe the number of people who don’t have a physical key to their new home!”


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