The Ultimate Moving Checklist from A Professional Removalist

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According to recent research – a staggering “90.3% of people consider moving stressful and something they would much rather avoid”

Here are 45 simple to follow steps to avoid the stress almost entirely and have an easy – YES EASY – move without fuss and without hassles….


Before we start – I invite you to think about the bigger picture here for one short moment. You may be buying your dream home. You may be upgrading due to a promotion at work or because you are expecting a baby and need more room.

They say change is as good as a holiday! Maybe this is your motivation for moving;

Whatever it is – a new home with new surrounds is exciting. Very exciting!

New neighbours, new smells of freshly cut grass, new flowers in the gardens blooming with fantastic colours. If its autumn – maybe you have red and copper leaves lining the streets and your front yard. Your new home may have a wider entrance leading to larger rooms with more storage space. How about that bigger kitchen with plenty of bench space.

How will you dress your new home?

Where will the sun shine in the morning for your coffee or tea?

Where will you put the Xmas tree?

Where will you hang your favourite photos?

Your friends visit, filled with envy that you have found such an amazing place to call home for years to come.

With all of these new possibilities you pause for a moment and smile with satisfaction knowing – this move was a great decision.

So the most important questions right now is….

How can you get to your new home and new life without stress and without hassles?

The first step is this very comprehensive yet easy-to-navigate Moving Checklist.


FACT: Stress starts as a lack of clarity and certainty which leads to anxiety and slowly bubbles into fully fledged stress – and it starts months before moving day!


With over 15 years’ of experience and more than 15 000 successful moves – we have compiled the most complete, most exhaustive moving checklists that you will ever encounter. Guaranteed!


Packed with:

Handy hints

Insider secrets

and Comprehensive lists!


This guide truly will walk you through the moving process from conceptual to actual.



The Build Up to Moving Day

One Week to Moving Day
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The Day Before Moving Day
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On Moving Day
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The Build Up to Moving Day

As an Adelaide Removalist I can assure you that no two moves are the same!

They are as individual as your fingerprints.

Many poorly written, poorly thought out checklists will try and spell everything out neatly, that at 6 weeks out you should do this, and then when there are 5 weeks until moving day you should do this.

The problem with that type of checklist is that not everyone has six weeks’ notice! Sometimes as you sell your home that last minute condition is thrown in that the new owners want a 28 day settlement, and before you know it moving day is coming at you like a tonne of bricks!

The buildup stage is best defined as the period in which you know when you are moving and you know where you will be moving to.

Even though there will be a later stage in this checklist entitled “the week before” that is not to say that the build-up stage is not happening at the same time!

  1. Start Making Lists: Don’t hold back from writing yourself giant lists of to-do’s and posting them all over the fridge or anywhere you will regularly see them! Moving house is characterized by having a lot to do, so lets not forget any of them! TIP: Adding them into your smartphone’s calendar app is a great way to get them to prompt you at set times
  2. Research Services: Moving house often involves using a whole lot of services that most people would not be calling upon in their day to day life. Some of the services you are going to likely need are; conveyancers, furniture removalists, cleaners, gardeners, packers, unpackers, handy men, technicians and so on. TIP: We have put together a great report on things to look out for in the removalist industry, hopefully it can save you some potential disappointments.
  3. Organise Utility Transfers: The more notice you give to your gas, electricity, phone, pay TV and internet suppliers the better! Whilst most providers claim that they will only need a few business days to facilitate the transfer; in practice this leaves you wide open for the ‘unexpected delays’ that often occur such as needing a technician to inspect before the new connection.
  4. Ditch the Junk: Lets face it, the longer we stay in one place the more junk we accumulate. We start off hiding it in cupboards and as it builds up it moves to sheds, and garages. Moving time is the perfect time to get rid of it all! Depending on how long you have until you move you may be able to book a hard rubbish collection, if not there is always mini skips, dump runs etc. Dump it before you move!
  5. Sell off unnecessary items: Do you have an unused treadmill bought with the best intentions? Most houses are filled with furniture and other items that people no longer use or need. Moving time can be a great motivation to hold a garage sale, list some items on ebay or donate some things to charity. List of places to sell goods, & charities to donate to
  6. Start Booking Services: In the same way that more notice is best for transferring utilities, the same is true for hiring services. For example here at Complete Removals we book out many weeks in advance! You don’t want to miss out on hiring the best quality professionals by doing a last minute call around! Its reactive, not proactive and creates unnecessary stress.
  7. Measure Up: When you get a chance, go to the new house with tape measure in hand and make sure that everything is going to fit! You would be surprised how often key items don’t fit where they are supposed to, such as washing machines and especially fridges! Not only that, it is always useful to know the dimensions of each room layout for planning purposes.EA8A0251e
  8. Eat Your Pantry: Not literally. If you have a large pantry and freezer, then you are probably storing quite a lot of food. Take the buildup period as a chance to go shopping less, eat the stored food and then have less to shift on moving day! It’s a good chance to also dispose of any expired food well before you have to move it all.
  9. Change Addresses: There are so many places where you may need to change your address, here’s a comprehensive list of IMPORTANT organisations, businesses and services to notify of your change of address. Getting an Australia Post Mail redirection can be a great option to give some breathing space- but its a bandaid option- you still have to change your address with key contacts at some point!
  10. Organise Child and Pet Watchers: Kids and family pets, as much as they are beloved, can be more difficult to watch over by yourself on moving day. If possible get family or friends to watch over the kids or any pets during the day. That way you can be focused on the tasks at hand!
  11. Start Packing: If you have decided to pack for yourself- great. Consider some of this before you start. 86% of people say packing and unpacking is the most stressful part of moving. The reason is poor planning and more often than not- underestimating the task of packing. So be prepared. We have a great DIY guide, including instructional videos on all your packing needs! TIP: Do it room by room so you can see the progress easily, packing can be laborious at the best of times and even worse if it looks like you have not packed much so far! If you would rather not pack a thing, we welcome the opportunity to quote on packing your home instead! Don’t pack your Survival Box yet though! (we will explain what this is later)


1 Week Before Moving Day

When there is only one week left before it is time to move house, it is time to put the finishing touches on all your preparation work.

If you haven’t hired removalists yet and you are intending to, this is the absolute latest you should be leaving it! Pick up the phone today. Now!

If you choose to move on a weekday you may still be in with a chance, and you may even be better off for it!

The checklist for the week before involves more ‘finishing off’ tasks rather than new tasks.

It is human nature to procrastinate, and if you are like most of us:

You probably haven’t finished all the to-do points from the Build-up list!

  1. Finalise Addresses: You may have been holding off on a few address changes, just incase they mailed you before you moved; now is the time to switch them all and turn the mail redirect on!
  2. Finish the Packing: As the week goes by you can finish off the last of the packing (unless you are having removalists come and do a pre-pack that is).
  3. Prepare whitegoods: If you have more than one fridge and freezer, now is the time to defrost and prepare the secondary ones and rely on just one for now. Once you know your laundry needs are done for the week you can unplug your washing machine and put the transit bolts in if needed.
  4. Cancel any deliveries: If you have regular food, milk, newspapers etc delivered, this is the time to cancel them and instruct the providers that the next delivery will be to the new address (if continuing the deliveries)
  5. Drain Fuel: If you have petrol powered lawn mowers, chainsaws etc now is the time to drain the fuel out of them. Removalists can not transport goods that have fuel in them as it will void any insurances (as well as be unsafe). Picture fuel leaking onto your furniture.
  6. Stop watering pot plants: It may seem cruel to cut off the water supply to your pot plants for a week, but they will survive. By not watering them you are saving a lot of mess in the removals truck from drainage that can also leak onto your furniture. Not watering them will also help to reduce the over all weight of everything that needs to be moved. TIP: Complete Removals have a specialised kit that gives the highest level of protection against accidental spills from pot plants or other liquids.
  7. Start Preparing your Survival Box: Whether you call it a survival box, essentials box or just personal box – it is a must have! This box will contain everything you need on the day before moving as well as everything you will need on moving day itself. Things like the kettle, toaster, passports, settlement documents etc More critical items listed here
  8. Backup the Computer: Back up your hard drives, safely pack your computer
  9. Re-Check All Confirmations: Most services and utility providers, such as furniture removalists, storage centers, cleaners, electricity providers etc will have sent you confirmation notices regarding your move. The week before is a good chance to re-familiarise yourself with all of the details and make sure you are well prepared to move home!
  10. Double Check Access To The New Place: Apartments need to have the building manager informed of your move day, this means you should be able to lock off any elevators needed, save parking space in-front of the building etc. They may also want to put canvas up in the elevators to protect the interior. If your new place is in a densely populated or busy street, you may need to check with councils about making sure you will be able to have the truck parked outside. If you fail to follow through with this point, it may be very costly.




The Day Before Moving Day

So when moving day is tomorrow- it all starts to get more real!

This checklist is about adding the finishing touches to your preparations:

Without adding undue pressure, the day before can make it or break it!

  1. Finalise All Packing: There is always going to be a few things that you pack at the last minute, whether it be a kitchen implement or something else you didn’t want to miss for a day. This is the time to pack these items.
  2. Put aside your Survival Box: Make sure your Survival Box has everything you need in it, full details of items you may want to include can be found here. Equally important is that you need to mark the box in a distinguishing way, and set it aside. The Survival Box is a failure if it is picked up by your removalists and then loaded with all of the other boxes!
  3. Leave A Note For the Next Resident: This may be as simple as a forwarding address, or as complex as a walk through on your home’s idiosyncrasies (such as ‘the heater handle needs to be jiggled before it will turn on’)
  4. Disassemble Furniture: Pull apart the beds, and just use the mattress for the last night. Pull shelves out of cupboards, flat-pack any particularly fragile kit furniture, take the leaf out of your extender table, pull apart the trampoline and any outdoor goods.
  5. Detach your BBQ’s Gas Cylinder: Removalists are not generally allowed to transport gas cylinders, as they are classed as dangerous goods. Save time on moving day by having it already detached.
  6. Centralise Everything: You can save quite a bit of time and money on moving day if all of your small items and boxes are brought into a front room, or a garage. This makes it easier for the removalists to visualize their load, and quicker for them to move it all! This is of course not a necessary step in having a stress free move; consider it more for bonus points.
  7. Get to bed early: Being well rested on moving day will be a massive advantage in a smooth transition from one home to the next! Maybe a glass of red or a nip of scotch can give you a better sleep if you are a little nervous. Rest assured – most people have pre-moving day jitters and its perfectly natural, if you have followed this checklist thoroughly- you are very well positioned for a successful day.


On Moving Day

When the big day has come, this part of the checklist will help you stay ahead of the game!

During the pick up at the old home

  • Wake up before your removalists arrive: It may seem obvious, but having been in the furniture removal industry for over 16 years I can safely say it is not always practiced. Waking up to the doorbell and the background noise of a rumbling truck will make you feel like you are behind the 8-ball from the word go.
  • Load things you want to move: If you have some personal items, such as last night’s bed linen, sensitive documents etc that you were planning on moving yourself; it is best to get these packed into your car before the removalists arrive. Professional removalists have a great memory, but if everything is too blended together mistakes can occur!
  • Greet Your Helpers: When the movers arrive show them around and be specific about what is going and what isn’t, and any special care that they may have to take with certain things. When the cleaners arrive show them around and explain which rooms they need to start in and what not. When you have multiple service providers helping you, it is important that you encourage them to communicate with one another and work together.
  • Close off areas as they are done: As each room becomes empty and cleaned, close the door. This acts as a visual cue to everyone involved that the room is done, and to focus on the other rooms.
  • Transfer Fridge and Freezer Contents: Use an esky and some ice to make sure that everything that needs to be kept cold stays cold on the trip over; your removalists should be able to load the fridge and freezer last so you can minimize the time you are relying on the esky and ice.
  • When it is all empty: Do a final check of every room, open every cupboard and draw, check all sheds, check that you haven’t got any pot plants or garden ornaments forgotten, make sure everything you are taking with you is on the truck, and every room has been cleaned appropriately. Read this point again. It’s very important.
  • Get Contact Details: Take down the mobile number of your removalists, it always helps to make sure you can stay in contact. Double check the drop off address that they have recorded.
  • Lock Up: Turn off all lights etc, make sure every window is closed, and lock each door. Drop off keys as necessary.


At the New House

  • Inspect each room: You may have thoroughly checked and cleaned each room as you left the old house, but the previous residents at your new house may not have! Have a quick check in each room, each draw and each cupboard. Organise anything left behind so you can notify the previous residents when you get a chance
  • Check all utilities: Make sure you have power, gas, and a dial tone. Make calls as necessary if something is not on yet.
  • Check appliances: Make sure the hot water service is working, the air conditioners work, ceiling fans etc; if these are faulty you need to report them as soon as possible!
  • Check all keys: Make sure that all the keys you have been given work and that there are no ‘mystery keys’ or ‘mystery locks’. If you are security conscious you may consider changing all of the locks and getting new keys cut.
  • Plug in fridge and freezer but don’t turn them on!: These appliances need to rest and let the gases settle before you turn them on. Modern fridges are not as bad as the older models, so an hour would generally be enough to be safe. If you want to be extra cautious (and can afford to wait a little longer) then give it more time!
  • Show your removalists around: Take a moment to show the workers where each of the rooms are, and give them all a number or a name. TIP: Have one person directing the removalists on where everything goes- otherwise there can be time consuming contradictions.
  • Station yourself by the front door: You will save a lot of time and hassle if you stay by the front door and direct the workers to designated rooms as they bring out each item. You don’t want to pay your removalists to carry an item around looking for you in order to tell them where to put it, and you also don’t want them guessing where it should go.
  • When it is all unloaded: Request any last minute changes to the position or location of various items before you send the removalists off. Sign off on an inventory if you have used one (this is most frequently used for storage jobs or interstate/international).
  • Unpack or rest: Some adventurous people will unpack on the same day, others will prepare a simple meal from their Survival Box or get some take away. At this point there is no right or wrong way to go about things! Enjoy your new home, meet the neighbours and get ready for the next instalment in your life!

Moving is often described as a stressful experience, but we firmly believe that when everything is organised and all parties involved have communicated well that this doesn’t need to be so!

A new house can feel like a new lease on life!

It is an exciting opportunity to experience the wonders that come from positioning your self in a new surrounding, there is a new local shop, a new restaurant down the road; a whole new plethora of local options!

We hope that this checklist has helped, or will help, on your transition from one home to the next! If you have liked it feel free to share the link with your friends and family!

A well planned move needs highly skilled and organised professional removalists, if you want a well planned move then get a quote here!


These Places can be a great way to list goods for sale

    • Community noticeboards at centers, shops, universities
    • The trading post, The Advertiser, The Messenger
    • Facebook buy, swap and sell pages (there are numerous ones)
    • Car boot sales, often run by schools
    • Garage Sales


Charities who accept donations of goods

    • The Salvation Army
    • Saint Vincent De Paul
    • Goodwill
    • Mission Australia
    • Diabetes SA (will pick up goods)
    • Women’s and Children’s Hospital
    • Red Cross
    • Life-Line

List of Addresses To Change

    • Driver’s License
    • Insurance (health, life, home, contents, vehicle etc)
    • Schools
    • Banks
    • Electoral Roll
    • Work
    • Doctor
    • Medicare
    • Pet registration
    • Accountant and Lawyer
    • Charities or social clubs
    • Dentists and other health professionals
    • Gym
    • Newspaper/Magazine subscriptions
    • Superannuation
    • Union affiliations
    • Political Party Membership
    • Mobile Phone Service
    • Australian Tax Office
    • Centrelink
    • Automobile associations (RAA)
    • Rewards programs (eg frequent flyers etc)
    • PayPal and Ebay (don’t want online shopping delivered to an old address!)

What is a transit bolt?

They are bolts that go into the back of your front loader washing machine, they stop the barrel from moving during transit and reduce the chances of damage whilst being moved. For short journeys they are often not completely necessary but they do add to the level of peace of mind, whilst also being necessary for most warranties to remain valid.

Survival Box Contents Suggestions

You may want to include:

    • Any paperwork you will need on moving day
    • Toiletries that will be needed on the day
    • Fresh sheets and linen for that night
    • Remote controls
    • Shelf lugs (the little things that clip in and hold up shelves)
    • Other little things that would be easily lost, and annoying if missing! (screws from furniture that has been disassembled)
    • Phone chargers
    • Kettle, mugs, coffee, tea, UHT milk
    • Enough crockery and cookware for one meal time
    • Anything that you are likely to need on moving day and wouldn’t want to have to open multiple boxes to find
    • Pet food and bowl
    • Basic tools such as screwdrivers, spanners and allen keys


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  3. Tailored quote and engineered solution to suit yours and your family’s needs.
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  5. Step 1: Confirmation of Booking email
  6. Step 2: 3 days before you move call
  7. Step 3: Day before you move SMS (Re-confirmation)
  8. Professional packing of your boxes and packaging of your possessions (Optional)
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  13. Position Truck in the most appropriate location to load your possessions
  14. Pre-lifting preparations to protect floors, walls and your possessions
  15. The “Complete Removals Safe Loading System” uplift from your home to the truck
  16. Load integrity checkpoints.
  17. Drive to your new HOME or storage.
  18. Guided and Pre-delivery inspection.
  19. Pre-delivery preparation to protect floor, walls and your possessions.
  20. The “Complete Removals Safe Delivery System” unload your possessions from the truck to your new home or storage unit
  21. Professional unpacking of your boxes including putting possessions away (Optional)
  22. Assistance in setting up your home (e.g. Assembly of furniture)
  23. Final tidy and post move checklist
  24. Customer Satisfaction sign off
  25. Step 5: Post move checkup and feedback call for constant and never ending improvement and performance bonusing for removalists