First things first, prepare for the move

There are many steps to be taken prior to a move that has little to do with the move itself. Of course, only take these steps if you already have a new home secured. Hopefully this moving home checklist will help you get it done as painlessly as possible.

1. Subscription address change.

Check on your mailbox content and be sure that any physical item sent to your current location is changed to your new address. This includes magazine subscriptions, newsletters, catalogues, book clubs, etc. Also be sure to go online to all your favorite shopping sites and change your set delivery address

2. Bills, bills, bills

In this modern world there are many things that we hardly think about as they become as simple as a number being deducted from the bank account. Change address on all the things you pay for and are responsible for. Think about school fees, movie and series subscriptions, internet services, charity to which you contribute, electricity and water providers, cell phone contracts, banking address, etc. The list goes on and on. If you ensure all these are ordered and updated well in advance you remove a great deal of stress from the normally stressful activity of moving home.

3. Choose The Best Moving Company

And book them as soon as possible. Set the date and be sure they understand exactly how much they are moving and to where. Also be sure to inform them of any complicated or unusual items that may require special equipment or planning eg. piano, fish tank, safe, medical equipment, etc.

4. Get rid of excess

We all do it to some degree or another, hoarding… It’s okay though, realizing you have a problem is the first step to solving it 😉 So, go from room to room and empty each and every cupboard, drawer and armoire. Sort your things into piles of must keep, maybe keep and don’t need. Then go through the maybe pile and repeat until you have one pile of only that which you absolutely must have and are willing to pay to have moved. Get rid of everything else, give to your family or a good will organization.

5. Who does this belong to?

Possession is 9 tenths of the law… Your friends probably don’t feel that way and for the sake of keeping them it’s time to return every book, dvd and machine you borrowed from all your lovely friends. Not only will it make both parties feel good but it’s also that much less to transport.

Hopefully you kept a detailed and dated list of where all your lent things are. Now is a good time to get it back, especially if you’re moving far away from your old home.

6. Renting?

If you are not a home owner then its time for due diligence. Make sure your land lord knows when your moving. Get a carpet cleaning company in to rejuvenate the now slightly more worn and dirty carpets. Arrange for some professional domestic cleaners to clean the rest of the house, espcialyy the back or the cupboards and behind the sink. Arrange for the land lord to come do inspection of the property and thusly secure your deposit.

7. Have pets?

If your answer is yes then now is the time to make sure you are able to transport your pets safely and comfortably. Purchase or borrow and high quality transport kennel and spend a little time getting your pet to feel comfortable with the confined space. It also helps to include a piece of clothing that smells like you, like an old t-shirt, in the moving kennel . This will help lessen stress and give you peace of mind that your beloved (furry or feathery) family member is safe and happy.

Don’t forget to make sure that the new property is able to keep your pet safe. Is the perimeter fencing complete (no holes) and high enough to keep them where you can protect them? Be vigilant for potential predators and access points for them to your home if your pet is a bird or a some other small creature.

8. Ensure you have time for the move

Make sure to inform your employer or employees of the days that you will be moving and make the necessary arrangements so that your professional life does not suffer. Allow yourself one more day to rest, moving can be very stressful, rest is important for a healthy body and mind.

Dangers of a move

That’s almost a laughable heading right? Well, think about the following things and how to handle them.

  • Explosive or corrosive materials such as paraffin bottles, paint thinners or compressed canisters.
  • Computers. Have you backed up, are they padded and carefully packed? Anything can happen.
  • Medicines. Have you packed them in such a way that they are out of reach, out of the son yet still easy to access for you? Have you updated your prescriptions?
  • Domestic Poison. Bug killers and herbicides.

Phase two, packing

Now that all the paperwork and phone calls have been taken care of it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty of moving house.

9. Packing material

A crucial step in this moving home checklist. You will need a lot of this, the more things you have the more of it you will need. You will need some or all of the following items.

  • Strong packing cardboard boxes.
  • Bubble wrap to protect delicate items.
  • Packing paper to fill empty spaces and avoid bumping and breaking.
  • Tape, lots of tape.
  • Marker pens and a writing block to mark the boxes and take note of what is in each one.
  • Cutting devices such as scissors and box cutters.
  • Blankets, styrofoam or some other kind of padded mat to protect mirrors, painting and other delicate furniture.

10. Prepare a temporary living box

What is that? It’s quite simply a container with all your most used items ready for your first few days in the new house. This will include thinks like toothbrush, toothpaste, towls and other toiletries. Include a plunger with your favorite coffee blend or a tea pot and a bag of your most loved english breakfast tea along with sugar/sweetener and some teaspoons. Don’t forget snacks, crockery and cutlery and the means to wash up after yourself. Phone chargers, laptop power cables etc. Just think about a normal week in your life and list everything that you consume or use and include that in this box.

You will want to pack a suitcase that include a change of clothes and underwear and socks for at least 3 days.

Include a cooler box with this and you are able to transport cool drinks for the first night as well as a fine cut of meat for a health meal the evening of your arrival.

11. Packing Time

So, if you did not choose a reputable moving company that offers this as a service or you just decided to do it yourself then getting it done sooner than later is the best advice. It may seem to be a simple process but believe us when we say it never is as simple as you think. If you can have at least 70% of your goods packed before the last week leading up to the move then you are going to thank yourself (and hopefully us) for good advice.

Keep record of what you pack by labeling the boxes/containers and then writing out an inventory list. This may seem like a tedious and even potentially pointless practice but life rarely works out the way we first envision. You may have planned to have all the boxes emptied and your perfect home up and running within the first week but we all know how some boxes tend to be left in storage. This will help save you time down the line when looking for a specific kitchen tool or your child’s favorite toy, not to mention having a complete inventory helps avoid awkward and potentially hostile situations with your moving company or friends who helped you move.

12. Almost moving day

Now for the last bits and pieces.

  • Collect all keys and remotes from anyone who may have had any of those for your old house. Think family members, domestic staff, backup keys kept by neighbors, etc.
  • Defrost and clean fridge/freezer
  • Confirm the removal date with your moving company or friends who are helping you
  • Make sure all plants you plan to move with you are potted and you have a strategy to keep them from getting damaged


Human element

There is more to moving than furniture and baubles. Neighbors and friends are debatably far more important to our lives than any property. So keep this in mind during your next move. Show love to your old friends and neighbors by hosting a braai (bbq), even invite old enemies and try to patch up old wounds.

Don’t wast time after arriving at your new house or flat either. Go door to door like they always do in the movies. Introduce yourself and set the tone early on to improve your chances of having a happy life in your new home. Do this preferably before your have a crazy party and garner enemies with loud music or obnoxious uncles and cousins talking at the top volume of their voices at the next family gathering.