Moving home essentials

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Moving home can seem like a mammoth undertaking, but being organised will help things go more smoothly.
Here's a handy checklist:

Before the move...

  1. Look for and book a moving company. Or, if moving yourself, shop for and book a rental truck. 
  2. Prepare an inventory of everything you will be taking with you.
  3. Have a big clean up and throw out. Organise a garage sale, give away to friends, sell your items online or donate to charity.
  4. If relocating long distance, give notice at your job and/or schools.
  5. Also, if moving long distance, book travel arrangements.
  6. Confirm new school and childcare places if they have been pre-arranged. If not, explore the options and apply for places.
  7. Let the relevant people and organisations know you are moving.
  8. Investigate local health facilities and sporting and social clubs in your new area.
  9. Organise a farewell party.
  10. Give notice to your landlord or agent, if you are in rented accommodation.
  11. Organise boxes and packing materials.
  12. Start using all food items in the freezer.
  13. If possible, visit your new home and start getting familiar with the local area.
  14. Check your insurance to make sure your goods will be covered during the move.
  15. Get packing! Have a plan and do one room at a time, leaving just the essentials out until the last week.
  16. Check on how best to move pets and plants.
  17. Keep important documents, receipts, bank statements and final bills in one place.
  18. Organise new homes for plants that won’t be going with you.
  19. Arrange utility disconnections and reconnections. 
  20. Organise to have your mail redirected with New Zealand Post.
  21. Arrange to have the carpets professionally cleaned just before you move out.
  22. If necessary, organise a babysitter for the day of the move.
  23. Clean and defrost the fridge and freezer.
  24. Back up your computer files before your equipment is packed away.
  25. Prepare white goods for packing.
  26. Collect dry cleaning and return library books and any borrowed items.
  27. Cancel any deliveries (e.g. Of newspapers, milk and groceries) – and organise them to start up at your new home.
  28. Arrange an inspection with the landlord or agent so that your bond can be released.
  29. Collect the keys for your new home.

On the big day itself...

  1. If moving yourself, collect the rental truck on time.
  2. If using a moving company, make sure the driver has your correct mobile number and new address.
  3. Dispose of food, empty bins and leave the place neat and tidy.
  4. Check that all items included in your Tenancy Agreement (if applicable) are intact.
  5. Check that nothing belonging to you has been left behind.
  6. Make sure you have valuables, essential items, food (e.g. sandwiches and snacks) and drinks with you.
  7. Read meters so that you won’t be overcharged on any utility bills.
  8. Make sure that the property is secure and that the lights, hot water system, gas meter and electricity switchboard are turned off.
  9. Leave the keys with the appropriate person or agency.

At your new home...

  1. Double-check that everything in the property is in order and meets the terms of your purchase contract.
  2. Check that the electricity, gas, hot water and telephone connections have been switched on.
  3. As you begin the unpacking process, check for damage or missing items.
  4. Check security. If you are concerned, arrange to have the locks changed.
  5. Update your electoral enrolment details to ensure you’re correctly enrolled to vote – go to to enrol or update your address.
  6. Update your will – this should happen whenever your financial circumstances change.
  7. Introduce yourself to the neighbours and get acquainted with the neighbourhood.
  8. And last, but certainly not least... crack open that bottle of bubbly, set a date for a housewarming party and start celebrating your new home!

Moving day essentials kit

A simple moving day essentials kit can go a long way in helping your move go smoothly.

You spend the better part of a day shifting box after box into your new home, excited to finally sit down and enjoy a dinner of pizza or fish and chips on the living room floor.

Then someone spills tomato sauce on the carpet and you spend half an hour digging through boxes trying to find your cleaning products.  Next, you realise there’s no toilet paper – and where on earth did the toothbrushes get to?
Before you shift home, put together a moving day kit so that all your first-day essentials are in one handy place.

  • Craft knife/scissors
  • Rubbish bags
  • Paper towels
  • Toilet paper
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Paper plates and cutlery
  • Vivid
  • Toothpaste/toothbrush
  • Hand soap
  • Pet food
  • Pain killers/medication
  • Plasters
  • A bottle of champagne

Consider putting aside some items for your first night and the next morning, too:

  • Pizza vouchers
  • Flashlight
  • Phone charger
  • Bedding
  • Towels
  • Beauty products
  • Tea/coffee/mugs
  • A bottle of milk
  • Breakfast supplies


22 January / latest news
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