When moving from one house to another, you really want to be able to vacate one property and move on the same day into the new property. It can be challenging to line up the dates, especially if you are working with different real estate agents, but there are things you can do to make your move run smoothly.
Did you know you can book your move online with most energy providers to get power on the next business day? Note that gas connections can take a few days.
Pre-book your electricity and gas connections for the new property in advance. Giving your energy provider notice helps to reduce stress on both sides.
It can help to organise some overlap in energy between your old address and your new one, as this gives you time to move in over several days or to complete renovations to the new property prior to moving. You can then get a fridge delivered to the new property, plugged in and ready to go before leaving the old property, which makes the moving day easier if you have lights available on the day.
At what point do you want to have the utilities disconnected at the old residence?
Many energy providers need a few days’ notice to disconnect services and complete the final meter read. You can pre-book the disconnection for your preferred day. Services can be disconnected from 7 am on your disconnection date, so it is always better to disconnect the day after you move.
This provides electricity for anything you might need as you move. Also, you may need to provide a full clean of the property, including steam cleaning the carpets after furniture is removed, so you may even need an extra day for cleaning after the moving day.
Book your movers ASAP
Highly rated removalists can be extremely busy, and many are booked out weeks in advance. As soon as you know your moving date, book the removalists straight away.
Weekends are a busy time for moving, and it may be harder or more expensive to book removalists for a weekend compared to a weekday. If you can arrange to move during the week, it can be easier to book removalists and cleaners.
The last thing you want to do is try to pack everything the night before the move. Instead, prioritise your belongings and pack the things you use least often first. You can pack some things several days or even weeks in advance of your moving day. Pack the off-season clothes that you won’t use for a few months first.
Do I buy before I sell? Or vice versa?
Everyone’s situation is different, so you’ll need to decide whether to buy before you sell or vice versa, depending on your finances and lifestyle needs. However, you know what is happening in your life, so consider how much lead time you want to build into the sales contract: 30, 60, or 90 days.
Consider things like the holiday you have booked or when the children need to start school, and factor those dates into the equation, so you don’t try to do everything at once.
If you are renting, there will be a minimum vacancy notice period in your lease, usually about 3-4 weeks. Check with your property manager if you are unsure.
Room-by-room: Your energy needs when moving house
When moving into a new property, consider reviewing your energy needs room by room, thinking about power point placement and if you have enough outlets.
Since so many kitchen appliances use electricity, it is a high energy demand room. Only a couple of power points in the kitchen will not be sufficient. Think about where you will use your toaster, kettle, coffee machine, blender, soup mixer, juicer, air fryer, and any other appliance you will use in the kitchen.
If you do need additional power points or to reposition power points, it can be helpful to get the electrician to do this before you move in.
It is also a good idea to measure the spaces for appliances like your fridge, microwave, and dishwasher. You don’t want to realise on moving day that your old appliances do not fit into your new property.
How you heat and cool the space in the living area is a big consideration when thinking about energy. If you have purchased a property with air conditioning, check the energy efficiency rating and when it was last serviced.
Newer appliances with better energy star ratings will use less electricity compared to older ones. Moving could be the right time to update appliances to ones with better energy ratings to save on future energy bills.
Consider the new home’s layout and architectural features that provide natural heating or cooling to reduce energy bills. Things like insulation, double-glazed windows, and cross-ventilation can make a big difference.
Look at the position of power points and consider night-time lighting such as a bedside table lamp. You also want to consider charging phones and tablets at night.
If you want to change where the bed is, you may need to get the power points repositioned before you move in.
Consider where you will be working or using a computer at home, whether it is in a specific home office room or on the kitchen bench. Ensure power points are close enough to prevent an OHS issue. You need to avoid piggy-backing power boards and extension cords off each other to help prevent fires.
Putting power points closest to where you need them, preferably under the desk, is the easiest way to prevent long cords from causing problems.
Outdoors, you may need lights, heaters, musical appliances, and pressure cleaners, so ensure there are power outlets for those items and where you will need them. You may need additional power for areas like work sheds and pool areas. People often overlook their outdoor power needs. If the home you’re moving is without an outdoor power outlet, it may be worth investing in one.
Six things to consider when moving house
Moving house is stressful, and most people just want to get it over with as soon as possible.
You can do a few simple things to reduce the impact on the environment and reduce your stress about moving.
Donate, recycle or dispose of?
The process of packing up all your belongings will help you to find things you’d forgotten you owned. You will find items and appliances you no longer use or don’t want in the new property.
This is especially true when exploring the spaces like the garage and cupboards under the sink, where items get stored and forgotten about. You’ll need to get rid of these items before you move.
Think about what you can donate, up-cycle, or sell before you throw it away.
Donations can help those in need and prevent usable items from going into landfill.
Be careful to obey the rules when it comes to disposing of household chemicals or items like paint, batteries, garden chemicals, gas bottles, and fluorescent globes, as you cannot put these items into the usual council bins.
Check out cleanout.com.au to find the nearest Chemical Clean Out event or Community Recycling Centre to dispose of these tricky household waste items.
Whatever it is that you no longer want, always consider the options for reducing waste by donating, up-cycling, recycling, or reusing the items.
Consider your packing materials.
Pack in an environmentally friendly way if possible. Consider using second-hand boxes, which you can buy or find for free online at places like Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace. You can also buy quality, used boxes through storage places or removalists and return them to a buy-back program when you are unpacked again. This way, you are recycling old boxes rather than purchasing a newly manufactured product.
If you are packing yourself, you can use soft items like linens and towels to wrap delicate items rather than use packing paper.
Your old home and new home will both need a thorough cleaning after moving, so think about which chemicals you need to use for cleaning.
You can even make cleaning products from regular household items such as bicarbonate soda, vinegar, and lemon, which are more environmentally friendly than harsher manufactured chemicals. These three ingredients can be used for cleaning all sorts of things, from stovetops to carpets.
Donate and shop second-hand
Opting to purchase pre-loved furniture and electronics can be better for your budget, as well as the environment.
Donating items and using peer-to-peer online marketplaces to sell your items is a great way to consume less and recycle old, unwanted things.
Charities like the Salvation Army will collect high-quality furniture from you for free. Local libraries, including free community libraries, love donations of books, while animal shelters appreciate old blankets and linens. Kindergartens in underprivileged areas can also need donations of goods. You can also take household items and clothes to op shops to donate them.
If you have time, listing items on places like Facebook Marketplace can help you to connect to local people who will appreciate the donation or the cheap product.
Don’t neglect relationships
While being nice to family and friends during the moving time is good, the relationships here are the landlords, housemates, and neighbours who are impacted by your move.
Give landlords and housemates as much notice as possible. Check the lease to give the minimum notice required or give at least four weeks’ notice. Take time to farewell neighbours properly and remember to leave the place tidy without leaving rubbish for them to deal with when you are gone.
Give yourself a break by planning ahead as much as possible. Don’t book important things like movers or cleaners at the last minute, avoid the huge pack-up the night before, and then give yourself time after the move.
Start the process as soon as you know you will be moving. Go through each room and declutter. Having a floor plan of your new home can help you to decide what will fit and what won’t, giving you more time to sell or donate what you don’t need.
How to terminate your rental agreement
Whether it is your choice, or the landlord’s, you will want to or have to move out of your rental accommodation at some stage. Terminating the lease has certain protocols to follow.
As a tenant, you want to leave
Your landlord or agent will need to approve the request if you wish to terminate your lease early. Simply leaving is a breach of contract, and you may need to reimburse the landlord for lost money, including loss of rent and advertising expenses.
If the landlord or agent agrees to end the lease early, ensure you get this in writing. If the landlord disagrees, you can contact the department of consumer affairs for advice. If your reasons for moving are justifiable, you may need to take the case to court if the landlord refuses to end the lease early with reasonable notice.
If you have a continuous or periodic lease, you will probably just need to provide 30 days’ notice of the intention to leave. Check the lease agreement and the legislation in your state.
You are only justified in immediately leaving if the landlord has broken the lease agreement, or the residence is severely damaged (not through your actions).
The landlord wants you to leave
The landlord must provide proper notice under the law to vacate the premises, and under no circumstances can the landlord force you to move without that notice. The notice must be in writing, state a reason for you to move out, give a reasonable date for you to leave the premises and be signed by the landlord or agent.
The landlord/agent can legally ask you to move out immediately if you cause intentional damage to the premises or if it becomes severely damaged and unfit for living in (even if you are not at fault). You can also be evicted immediately if you endanger neighbours.
If the period of notice expires and you have not vacated the premises, the landlord can go to court for a possession order. Then the police may remove you forcibly from the premises.
After you vacate the premises, you will receive your bond money returned by the landlord or agent within the specified timeframe by the state legislation.
Rent owing to the landlord or a written notice of a claim to compensate for damage caused by the tenant are the only reasons the bond or part of the bond will be withheld from the tenant.
Contact your state’s department of consumer affairs or housing for advice if your landlord does not return your full bond without a good reason.
Leave your forwarding address and a contact phone number with the landlord/agent in case you leave any possessions behind. The landlord or agent is not allowed to take seemingly abandoned goods as compensation for any money owing. Instead, the landlord must contact you and arrange a time for you to collect the goods, according to the strict rules in the Residential Tenancies Act.
Finally, ensure the utility meters are read on the day you move out, so you will not have to pay for a period longer than your residence.