Vacating a Property: Preparing for Moving Day in 7 Easy Steps

Although often very exciting, moving out of an old home can often be one of life’s most stressful events. It’s really fun to start planning how you’re going to make your new house a home, but there’s a lot to sort out in your current home before you can get going.

The pressures of selling your existing home or ending your rental contract, plus all the legal paperwork and arranging movers can also get too much. Then there’s the packing. If you need to add in finding new schools and new jobs, there’s even more to do.

The good news is that there a few preparations you can make in the weeks and months before you move to make life easier, and to make actually leaving on moving day much less stressful. Here they are:

1.    Start decluttering ASAP

Getting on with decluttering your possessions as soon as you make the decision to leave is wise. Firstly, it’ll make your home feel much more spacious and, thus, make it easier to stage for selling or to be shown to would-be new tenants.

Secondly, you can reduce moving costs substantially. All you need to leave behind are the bare necessities that will keep the family functioning in the weeks leading up to the big move. You can keep the rest in storage. Whatever essentials you will be moving with you can be neatly boxed up and stacked in the garage (or a designated space) for the time being.

Decluttering can leave you feeling cleansed and refreshed, too.

2.    Declutter in an orderly fashion

To avoid feeling too overwhelmed, break organizing your possessions into small bite-size tasks, tackling one closet or area at a time. Aim to do one or two tasks per day, or whatever you feel is manageable.

If you are decluttering yourself, start with clothing and remove anything that is worn out or no longer fits. Then tackle unused or unloved ornaments, toys and other bric-a-brac lurking around the home.

Like many of us, you probably have at least one drawer that gets filled with the clutter you don’t know what to do with: old chargers, broken bits and pieces you didn’t want to throw out, and a thousand old pens. Have a ruthless sort through these; bin what is no longer useful.

Anything you’ve collected by now can be donated to charity or simply given away. Alternatively, arrange a yard sale for funds to spend on your new home.

3.    Partner with an efficient and professional removalist

There are lots of reasons why the decluttering process can be too much to bear: ill-health, time constraints and, in the instance of deceased estate clearance, for example, there is the added emotional stress of it all.

In this case, a friendly pre-move decluttering service will make light work of this big chore. In this case, it would be wise to find a removalist that also offers pre-move decluttering services.

4.    Take care of household waste

Remember to tackle bathroom cupboards, the medicine cabinet, the garage, garden shed, and other outbuildings. These often all contain items that are hazardous and can’t be disposed of in your normal household waste.

Moving companies may not be able to take hazardous chemicals and flammable items such as household paints. Unneeded medicines can be safely disposed of with a pharmacist.

5.    Clear out your kitchen

In the kitchen, you may be surprised how old some of your packets and tins are.

Obviously, you need to remove food that is out-of-date and design meal plans to use up in-date food from the fridge, freezer and store cupboard over the coming weeks. This will mean there will be less to move, and you might save a little more cash to put towards spending on your new home.

By doing this, you can also give your kitchen appliances a much-needed pre-move clean.

6.    Don’t forget the admin tasks

Finally, tackle all paperwork.

Shredding or recycling useless papers/print materials will clear a lot of space. Meantime, you can drop off old newspapers and magazines at a recycling facility.

Carefully file essential documentation and start a dedicated folder for all your moving paperwork. This should include passports, certificates, bank, insurance and other similar documents. Keep this in a handy folder or marked envelope.

While you’re at it, inform the local post office, your bank, utility and other service providers of your move.

7.    Take care of repair work

It’s always correct etiquette to leave your old home orderly, fresh and clean for the new occupants, whether you’re leaving a rented home or selling your property to a new family.

An expectation to leave the property in good order is likely to be written into your sales or rental contract. Fix any damage, including repairing holes in walls where pictures have been removed. Sort out any plumbing and/or electrical issues, if any.

And since it’s frustrating to have to stay back and clean your old home when you’d rather be setting up your new home. Arranging for professional end-of-tenancy cleaning services will definitely lessen the stress, and should be fairly inexpensive.

Careful planning and preparation should ensure that you are ready come moving day. This way, you can focus solely on enjoying the excitement of settling into your new home.

Whatever happens, don’t let the big day be ruined by frantic last-minute sorting, packing and cleaning.


Craig Jones is the Managing Director at Aussiemove, Australia’s largest independent moving alliance. Craig is a respected member of the removalist network in Australia, having served in senior positions, including the President of the removal industries governing body, the Australian Furniture Removals Association (AFRA). With 23 years of experience at Aussiemove, he has the skills and the highly trained team to move families safely and reliably, in Adelaide, across Australia and around the world.

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