anxiety, organisation, planning

10 Steps to Moving Sanity

As regular readers will know, my husband and I relocated last year. We sold our home in Queensland and made the sea change to Tasmania.


We are currently renting a house while our new house is being built. At the time of writing, we are about eight weeks away from moving in to the new place. How exciting is that? We are watching our new home rise before our eyes and we can hardly wait to be living there.


Avoiding the Stress

The moving process from Queensland to Tasmania was extremely stressful for me, mainly because I was not emotionally prepared for it. It had all come as quite the surprise for me and I struggled to cope with the whole exercise. Even though I was my normal highly organised self when it came to the nuts and bolts of the move, my mind was in total uproar.

This move, however, will be different. I am not emotionally attached to the house we are living in right now and I have had plenty of time to plan ahead. So with the affirmation of “Planning Conquers Stress” ringing in my head, I have set out my plan for the move.

Step by Step

Start early.

Organise removalists, packing and unpacking services (if you are going to use them), and start collecting boxes. We still have at least half of our stuff in packing boxes so we already ahead of the game. Yay!

Go through your house and conduct a ‘sell, donate, chuck’ offensive. Anything that has not been used in the last six months needs to thought seriously about. It doesn’t make sense to pack (and pay for) unwanted items. You might be able to make some money from a garage sale or online marketplace.

Allow plenty of time to pack. It takes much longer than you think it will. Pack your belongings into boxes to keep them clean, safe and easy to transport. Always pack lighter items in large boxes, and heavier items in small boxes. Things like artwork, televisions, golf clubs, wine may require special sized moving boxes. We had to purchase a special box to transport our large screen television.

Use clean white paper or butcher’s paper for wrapping & packing items. Do not use newspaper as it can leave black newsprint on your possessions and home. You will need around 1kg of paper for every 3 boxes to be packed. For a 3 bedroom home, you will need around 15kgs of paper. A tape gun is also invaluable to tape boxes.

Pack room by room.  Have some large markers to label your boxes. Include Your SURNAME, ROOM (e.g. kitchen, bathroom), CONTENTS (e.g. glassware, books) and FRAGILE if appropriate.

The revivalists will be able to place well-labelled boxes in their correct rooms, and you’ll be able to find specific items quickly. Write on the tape and not the box if possible, so they can be re-used. There are online sites where you can sell your used packing boxes if they are in good condition.

About a month out, sort out cleaning of your current residence and set up mail  redirection. Organise services and utilities to be disconnected in your old home and connected in your new one.

Important Items Box. As you go create an important items box. This should contain ‘easy to lose’ and ‘hard to find’ items such as remote controls, shelf supports, keys to furniture cabinets, hammer, screwdriver, Allen keys and manufacturers’ instructions for reassembly of items.

Two Weeks out, throw out expired foods, damaged packages, and start using up the food you have in your fridge and freezer.You will need to have an Esky to transport cold/frozen food on the day.

Moving Day Survival Kit.

On the day of the move, there will be a certain amount of (hopefully organised) chaos. A survival kit is essential. In a box or suitcase in your car, pack these things.

  • kettle, tea, coffee and snacks
  • favourite toys and pyjamas for the kids
  • a change of clothing and sleepwear
  • chargers and cables for electronic devices – mobile phones, laptop, ipad, home phones etc
  • toiletries, medicines or prescriptions
  • bowls, food, collars and leads if you have a pet
  • any other essential items for your home
  • menu for the local takeaway

Kids and Pets.   If it is at all possible, arrange for your (small) children and pets to be looked after while you move so they can come home after the chaos has cleared, their belongings put away and your new home organised. It makes sense to set up kids rooms early so they can get themselves settled into their new room while you focus on the rest of the house.  Teenagers can help carry boxes and usually prefer to set up their own rooms.

Celebrate!  Phew!  You are beginning a new phase of your life. You have loads of wonderful memories of your old house. Take a moment to be grateful for those good times and, at the time, salute the future.

Here is a detailed checklist, courtesy of Moving House Services, that will help you to make sure that you haven’t missed anything.

Moving Checklist


I am trusting that the builders are going to clean this window before we move in.


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