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Buying a home

10 Ways to make moving house easier

It’s all yours! A new home just waiting to be explored, loved and turned into your own space.

But first, you need to get through moving day.

Our 10-point check list to survive the moving day challenge.

1. Pack an 'Open Me First' box

This important box is going to be your lifeline for the next 24 hours. Fill it with the essentials you’re going to need – a kettle, tea, coffee, some long life milk, a few items of crockery, snacks, basic medicines (we’re thinking headache relief) some toys for the kids, maybe a screwdriver and pliers, and that absolute must-have - toilet paper.

2. Have a flashlight handy

When you wake up at night in a strange new place having a torch at the ready means no stumbling around to answer the inevitable calls of nature. Better tuck a few light globes away too – there’s no guarantee the previous owners left them in place.

3. Secure the area

If you have pets or young children, scope the garden for possible escape routes. The last thing you need is to spend moving day wandering the neighbourhood calling “Here Scooby” in search of your lost pooch.

4. Check your street number

If your home’s street number can’t clearly be seen from the road your removalist could struggle to find the place, and that’s going to hurt your hip pocket if you’re paying by the hour. If you are moving into an apartment ask the property manager if there is a key that holds the lift doors open for the moving team.

5. Take photos

We’re not talking happy snaps of you and the kids doing star jumps in the driveway (though it’s a fair bet you’ll take these too). Before the removalists arrive take some photos of the bare rooms. This way if the walls or floors cop dents or scratches you have documented evidence if you need to make a claim.

6. Update your home and contents cover

It’s not until you move into a new home that you have a really good idea of what the place is worth from an insurance perspective. Take a few minutes to be sure the insured value of your home and contents is spot on and that any noteworthy inclusions like a swimming pool are covered. Let your insurer know about any additional security features you may have overlooked like window grills or security doors – they could lower your premium.

7. Focus on unpacking the important boxes first

There’ll be plenty of time later to dust off Aunt Edna’s Wedgewood tea set. Right now you need to focus on the essentials. In particular keep an eye out for the box labelled ‘bed linen’. As soon as the bed is in place, grab some sheets and make the bed. By the time you’re ready to call it a day you’ll be grateful you prepared a cosy bed while you still had plenty of energy.

8. Check your belongings for breakage

If you use professional removalists you may have a limited time to report any damaged or missing items. Switch on major appliances like fridges or microwaves to be sure they’re working property, and keep a copy of the removalists contract in the car so you know exactly where you stand if there’s a problem. Check your home and contents cover too to see if you’re protected here.

9. Get a better deal than the previous owner

A new home offers a great opportunity to make big savings on utilities like power and gas. Don’t just go with the providers the previous owner used. Take a look at your previous bill to know how many kilowatt-hours you use each quarter, then head to the government’s Energy Made Easy website to compare providers and pocket big savings.

10. Meet the neighbours

The folks next door could be a big help when it comes to settling into the area. If you’re looking for an ice breaker try asking about the best local home deliver pizza place – you’ll be way too tired to cook an evening meal. Best case scenario, your new neighbours could suggest a barbie at their place. Score!

Case Study

One thing I learned from moving...

Nicky and Andy* learned a meaty lesson about contents cover from their recent move.

“When Andy and I upgraded to our second home – a gorgeous terrace house, we faced a timing gap of about a fortnight between selling our old unit and settling on the new place. We filled the time couch surfing with relatives while our belongings were tucked away in self-storage.

Moving day went off without a hitch, and Andy and I finally sat down in the evening to pop the cork on a bottle of bubbly. The champagne wasn’t chilled so Andy suggested giving it a few minutes in the freezer.

But oh! When we opened the freezer door the house was flooded with the most appalling stench. We covered our noses and peered inside to find a thoroughly mouldy leg of lamb. To this day I don’t know how the lamb was left in the freezer when we moved. But after two weeks in storage it was in pretty bad shape and no amount of scrubbing cleared the smell from the freezer.

Long story short, we had to replace the fridge. Luckily our home contents insurance covered us for items held in self-storage so we weren’t left out of pocket. It was a lesson learned about the value of contents cover – and double checking everything before it’s packed for moving. Still, it’s fair to say it was a long time before either of us could face a lamb roast.

*Names changed for privacy.

Article written by Josephine Sargent. Repurposed from the original post, 10 Steps to Make Moving Day a Breeze on The Courier Mail.

Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. You should make your own enquiries, consider whether advice is appropriate for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Product Information Document before making any decisions about whether to acquire a product

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