Moving House Checklist

Average customer rating: 4.3/5

A guide to our moving house checklist

Last updated 18 April 2024
Written by Tiana Lee-Collins
Reviewed by Meredith O'Brien

Expert tips for managing your utilities when moving house

Compare the Market’s Head of Energy, Meredith O’Brien, has a few tips for managing the utilities step of your moving checklist.

Meredith O'Brien
Head of Energy

Compare for a same-day or next-day connection

If you’ve left your connection to the last minute, compare on our website for a same- or next-business-day connection. Your eligibility for a fast connection may depend on which retailers are available in your area, the cut-off times for a same-day connection and which business days they offer connections.

Once connected, you can switch providers at anytime

You aren’t locked into a contract, so if you signed up with a provider because they could connect you sooner but their rates weren’t quite as competitive, you can always switch to another provider at a later date when you have more time to compare your options.

Remember to organise a disconnection at your old home

Don’t forget to contact your current utility companies to disconnect your electricity and gas, so you aren’t charged for any usage after moving out. Even though you’ve moved, you’ll still receive a final energy bill from your current energy provider, which may include a disconnection fee. These connection and disconnection fees may vary depending on where you live.

Step one: Hire a removal company

Removalist unpacking boxes on moving day

Unless you own a truck or want to hire one yourself, you’ll probably need to hire a removalist. When searching for the right company, you should consider the following:

  • Only hire a professional removalist company that’s licenced and accredited by the industry’s governing body, the Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA).
  • Do a background check on companies by looking through their online reviews.
  • Get quotes from a range of companies so you can compare, but don’t compromise on quality when considering price.
  • A good removalist company should offer you transit insurance through a third-party partner or themselves. While not essential, it may give you peace of mind if you’re worried about your belongings.

Once you’ve contacted a removalist company and you’re ready to proceed, confirm moving dates and read through the bill of lading. This is the contract between you and your mover that includes a list of your belongings they’ll transport to your new address.

The removalist company should also give you a moving booklet, which explains your rights if any items are lost or damaged. Read the section on your rights and responsibilities and cross-check the list of services they’ve agreed to perform. This helps ensure a stress-free move with no confusion.

Step two: Disconnect and reconnect utilities

Next on the moving house checklist is utilities. Are you a renter or homeowner? If you’re a homeowner, the responsibility falls on you. But if you’re a renter, you should check your rental agreement to determine if disconnecting utilities is the responsibility of the owner/property manager or you. If you live in an embedded network, you may not have the choice. .

Utilities to disconnect and connect before your move can include:

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Water
  • Internet
  • Phone (landline).

Before you move out of your old house, notify your utility providers (e.g. energy companies) of your exit date with at least five days’ notice. Ask them to disconnect the day after you move out and send your final bill via email or to your new address.

When you buy a property, the solicitor or conveyancer should notify the local water service of the change of ownership, but you can always call to double check. Before leaving your old house, be sure to switch off the hot water and then switch it on at your new place.

Compare energy providers for your new home

Step three: Packing up

The removalists will pack the big stuff, leaving the smaller items to you. If you’re looking to buy essential packing materials such as boxes, packaging, labels and tape, most removalists or storage facilities will sell them.

Packing can be made easier if you split it over several weeks, rather than doing it all at once. Not leaving your packing to the last minute will help make the moving process smoother and give you greater peace of mind as moving day approaches.

Several weeks before your moving date, you can start packing items you rarely use or don’t need (like photo albums, books and decorations). While packing, you’ll probably come across items or furniture you never use or no longer need. Consider off-loading them to friends, selling them on websites like Gumtree, hosting a garage sale or donating them to your local charity.

In the week before your moving date, it’s time to start packing anything that’s not needed for the remaining time leading up to the move. Remember, when packing fragile items, you should wrap them in newspaper or bubble wrap to keep them from being damaged during the moving process.

Packing and moving tips

Step four: Moving out

Family and dog unpacking while moving house (1)

If you’re renting, remember to hand over your keys to the real estate agent on moving day and, if possible, pick up the keys to your new residence in advance.

After the heavy lifting is completed and the house is vacant, it’s time to call in the cleaners. Like you did with the moving company, hire a cleaning service based on price without compromising on quality – so get a few quotes!

A professional cleaning service will save you time and effort, and should do a superior job. Plus, if you’re leaving a rental, they’ll often guarantee their work so you have a better chance of getting all of your bond back.

Step five: Update your new address details

There are a lot of organisations and people to update your change of address with when moving. The number of services to update can be overwhelming, which is why we’ve separated them into three levels of priority.

Highest priority

Medium priority

Low priority

Don’t forget about your car, home, contents and other insurance policies

Step six: Organise mail redirection

Concerned you missed someone? Whether you’re moving overseas or moving around the corner, you can get your mail redirected to your new address. Arrange a mail forward for a defined period via the Australia Post website.

You can be flexible in how long you want your mail redirection to be active, and you can even opt-in to let Australia Post handle some of address updating for eligible services and remove some of the burden from yourself.

Step seven: Unpack and relax

Couple carry moving boxes into their kitchen

When the removalists unpack your furniture, show them where you want them positioned. You can also give them a floor plan and label your belongings for each room, so that they can get all your boxes situated in the right place. This will save you some reshuffling later.

After the removalists unpack the larger items, double check all your belongings are accounted for and in good condition. It’s important to do this right away to avoid any time limitations on claims with removals insurance.

Once you unpack the smaller items, you can start to explore your new house and all it has to offer.

With a new house, it’s the little things you need to discover, including:

  • Finding out what day is ‘bin day’
  • Familiarising yourself with the area
  • Checking out fencing if you have any pets
  • Changing the locks if you have security concerns
  • Cutting new keys
  • Meeting the neighbours.

Once you’ve settled in, it’s time to relax. Moving house is a stressful process; it requires time off work, months of planning and a lot of hard work, so make sure you take the time to enjoy your new home!

Meet our energy expert, Meredith O’Brien

Meredith O'Brien
Head of Energy

As the Head of Energy at Compare the Market, Meredith O’Brien believes in educating Australian customers about the everchanging gas and electricity market so they can adjust their energy usage habits and get the most out of their energy plans.

Meredith has six years within the energy industry, following 15 years of experience in financial services and is currently studying a Master of Business Administration. Meredith is a dedicated customer advocate who is passionate about empowering Australians to find the right products to suit their needs by removing the confusion from comparing.