10 tips to move house – and stay sane in the process…

So anyways, the moving thing? It’s happened. It’s finished. We’re in. We’re unpacked – yes, every single box. The end.

Ok, we might be completely unpacked, but we’re not quite done:

  • There are still pictures to be hung on walls
  • Our dog is still in Sydney – as is my car. We’ll collect both of these when we get back from holidays at Easter. Did I mention that amongst all of this moving palaver we’d also booked a holiday to Vietnam?
  • Telstra is due to come out today and do the wifi thing and Foxtel (thanks to a stuff-up by Telstra) are still about 10 days away.

Everything has – so far – gone to plan and to schedule. I have my suspicions that the Telstra/ Foxtel piece of the puzzle will be the piece that doesn’t.

Anyways, here are a few of my do’s to a successful interstate move.

Do expect that it will cost you more than you thought it would…

Not only are there the solicitor’s/ conveyancers fees associated with buying and selling, but there are also connection fees/ reconnection fees for utilities. House insurance here in Queensland was more expensive than it was in Sydney – on account of the storms, I suspect.

We also played it super safe by arranging a locksmith to change the locks on settlement. Sure, the expense wasn’t budgeted, but we received a lot fewer keys at settlement than we would have thought – and I didn’t like the idea of someone else potentially having keys to our property. Besides, it satisfies the all reasonable efforts to secure the property clause in the new, expensive, insurance policy.

Do arrange mail redirection…

And do allow 10-14 days for this to take effect. Yes, this also costs, but within that 6 months you should have received something from everyone of the contacts or suppliers that you need to inform.

Do buffer – time and budget….

Ok, this could be my project management training at work, but build in contingency and allow more time than you think you will need on every task. Unfortunately, even this wasn’t sufficient to allow for Telstra/Foxtel issues… We gave them an extra couple of weeks on the requested lead time.

Because hubby and Miss T moved up in time for the start of the Uni year, we also had the expense of rental accommodation. To cover any potential delays in settlement of the house I took that unit for an additional week.

As it turns out – it’s lucky I did. Miss T had assignments due by today and we have no wifi here at the house yet (thanks, Telstra) and limited reception to hotspot into mobile data. She was able to scoot back to the unit as she needed to – and they were able to take their time about moving out..

Do consider your removalists options carefully…

We were leaving a 5 bedroom house that we’d spent the previous 18 years spreading into every corner of.

Although we’d de-cluttered a lot, I had a heap of china – at least 2 dozen of those posh cup/saucer/plates trios that I never got around to selling. I also had a display case full of china figurines and animals, and at least 4 dinner sets and who knows how many sets of glasses. And that’s before we even started to think about all the books. For this reason – and the fact that because hubby had already moved I’d be doing it pretty much alone – we included pre-packing in our budget.

We obtained quotes from some of the major carriers, and a couple of local movers. There was, wait for it, $5000, between the highest and the lowest quote – and one major mover wanted 10 days to get our stuff up here. Aside from the inconvenience, that would have been an additional 10 days accommodation I’d need to pay for in Sydney.

In the end, our movers found us. I’d sold an antique sideboard and it just so happened that the purchaser was a partner in the company we chose: Above and Beyond Removalists.

They did a fabulous job – even if they reckoned we had more book boxes and kitchen boxes than they’ve ever packed and moved before. I packed my office, the bathrooms, personal items and some clothes, but they did the rest. They were on schedule, worked quickly and efficiently and we had no breakages at all.

Do designate a no-pack zone…

On packing day I designated the dining table as a no pack zone. Anything on this table was not to be boxed. This is where I kept my computer, my phone, drinks station, cleaning bucket. Anything else, anywhere else was fair game to be boxed up.

Do unpack as quickly as you can…

As painful and exhausting as the job is, the sooner your boxes are emptied, the sooner the house begins to feel like home. Besides, if you used your towels as insulation (as our movers did) you’ll need to keep unpacking in order to stock your linen cupboard – and find the TV remotes.

We still don’t have wifi (thanks, Telstra) but everything else is now as we want it. We were even able to have friends over for a barbecue last night.

Brekky by the pool

Do make sure the movers hook the washing machine up correctly…

And if they don’t, do ensure that you have heaps of (previously) clean and dry towels available for mopping up.

Do make sure that you keep some essentials out – or handy…

By this I mean practical things like a mop and a vacuum; and an esky with cold drinks – and something to drink them out of. My coffee mugs out did double duty as wine glasses.

I kept out a bucket of cleaning products and cloths so I could clean rooms as they were emptied.

Our lovely real estate agent up here brought us some wine to celebrate settlement – and thoughtfully included two glasses to drink it from.

Do expect delays, stress, and exhaustion…

No matter how well you’ve planned and buffered, moving house is one of the most stressful things you’ll do. It’s when you expect it to be perfect that the trouble starts…

Do ask for help…

This is a huge thing to do on your own. My mother helped me with the post move clean and my neighbour’s help was invaluable – even when she was just pouring me wine when it all got too overwhelming.

And finally…

Our move in date coincided with Miss T’s 19th birthday. We booked a nice restaurant for dinner and made a deal that we’d stop work for the day before we were too tired to enjoy it. If possible, I wouldn’t advise scheduling a move around important birthdays or upcoming overseas holidays!

Because it’s Monday, I’m linking up with Life This Week…

In late breaking news, Telstra has just advised me that they can not provide an internet connection as they originally confirmed they could. Watch this space. It’s one of those occasions where I hate being right…

Telstra update – the landline number they allocated to us is someone else’s. How do I know? Because we received an automated call from TELSTRA call centre asking for him.

Morning walk on Mooloolaba Beach – just 12 minutes away

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

14 thoughts

  1. My mother forced me to unpack more quickly than I probably would have, which was good in retrospect.

    When I moved and the government paid they did the packing and unpacking as well which was great. Bending over boxes and lugging them from room to room is a back-killer. Although, now that I’ve moved so much I’ve culled each time and have less and less to worry about.

    It’s very exciting that the move is done and nice you have the Vietnam trip to look forward to.

  2. Thanks Jo, good tips as I’m seriously thinking about moving in the near future and I’ve been here 12 years so have also ‘spread out’. I think I need to start de-cluttering NOW!!

    1. The only stuff we unwrapped that we should have decluttered was the posh china. I really should have sold that (sighs). Have a great week.

  3. We haven’t moved since 99, so it will be a big job if or when it ever happens. They sound like excellent tips. I’m glad you’re settling in now and hope you enjoy the trip.

  4. Oh that read so well till TELSTRA…what the heck?? They have this so-called Moving House service. We did it with them for Telstra and Foxtel from Sydney to the coast (not to this place) and BOY did they stuff up. Some parts were and some parts were not. I have the folder full of printed emails and communications. This time we did it by ourselves and all has been ok. Just dont ask how they mucked up the NBN. I agree that you need to factor in more money as you go. In the end, we were down to our literal last dollars once we had moved….because we had chosen to move to the new place (rental) 2 days before settlement on the Friday. I had ‘no idea’ that settlement money would not happen into our account immediately BUT we had an awesome conveyancer in Sydney and she arranged with the RE we sold with to deposit their part of settlement asap. I am still shaking thinking about how we got through that very rough patch…anyway, glad you are all going well. Thanks for linking up for #lifethisweek 13/52 Next week: Daylight Saving is Over.

    1. Yep, we used the Moving House service too. They rang & said ‘great news – we’ve connected your landline ‘- the landline we never really use. Just checked it after we got an automated call from TELSTRA for someone else that they’ve connected the wrong number. It’s so bad that it’s laughable.

  5. I’m happy that you’re all sorted! I needed your tips because we will be moving again this September and I’m hoping it will not be too difficult. xx


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