How to line up your dates perfectly when you move

How do you coordinate dates and times to ensure it goes off without a hitch when it comes to moving house?

We spoke to professional home organiser Robyn Amott to find out the best way to align the schedule for your move.

Connect utilities

According to Origin Energy, you can book your move online before 1 pm to get power on the next business day. Meanwhile, natural gas can take up to three days. 

You can pre-book these connection dates in advance. It never hurts to get a jump on this task and give your energy provider notice.

Amott suggests you may want to have some overlap in energy between your old address and your new one — especially if you’re doing renovations or moving in over several days or weeks.

“If you’ve got access to your new house before you have to leave your old one, it helps to have power at both ends for the duration that you’re moving,” she begins. “Especially if you’re having something like a fridge delivered before you move in. You can have that plugged in and ready to go.”

Disconnect utilities

Speaking of overlap, how do you know precisely when to disconnect utilities at your former residence?

When it comes to disconnecting the old house, this can all be booked for your preferred day and usually requires three or four days’ notice for your provider to do a final meter read.

Just remember that services can be disconnected from 7 am on the arranged disconnection date. Consider organising disconnection for the day after you’ve moved, so you’ve got power available if you need it on moving day.

Book your movers ASAP

If you think you can just go to Google and book the highest-rated removalist for the following weekend, you’ll get a rude shock!

“As soon as you have a date locked in for moving, that is when I would book the removalist,” Amott says. “They’re the first thing I would book in once you know your moving date.”

Take into account that that weekends tend to be competitive and more expensive than moving during the week.

Packing hacks

When it comes to packing and unpacking, you don’t want to wind up doing everything the night before. A good rule of thumb is to prioritise your belongings based on how regularly they are used.

“If you have a long lead time, pack the things you don’t need first,” Amott says. “For instance, if it’s summer and you don’t need your winter clothes, you can start packing those well in advance.”

Do I buy before I sell? Or vice versa?

While Amott was hesitant to offer concrete advice — everyone’s situation is different — she did show this: “If you know certain things are occurring in your life, think about the lead time you might need on a sale, whether that’s a 30, 60 or 90-day contract.”

If, for example, you have a holiday booked or you have kids starting school, try to negotiate a settlement period that fits in with your lifestyle, so you’re not trying to juggle too much at once.

If renting, remember there will usually be a minimum vacancy notice period built into your lease. This is typically around three or four weeks, something your property manager should let you know beforehand.

Room-by-room: Your energy needs when moving house

From reviewing power point placement to becoming more energy-efficient, we asked Robyn Amott, founder of home organising service Bless This Mess, for advice on setting up a new home to meet your energy needs — room by room!

Kitchen

The kitchen is the most demanding room when it comes to electricity.

In this day and age, one or two power points in a kitchen won’t cut it. Looking at your new kitchen, consider whether you have enough outlets for all your appliances — big and small — and if they’re in the optimum spot.

“Think about [power outlet] positions and whether or not you can get an electrician in to reposition these before moving in,” Amott shares. “You can just walk around with a pencil and mark where you think a new PowerPoint could go. Consider things like where you’re going to use your benchtop appliances, where you’re going to be making breakfast, where you’re putting the kettle and so on.”

Amott also suggests measuring any cavities for appliances in your new kitchen, such as those for your fridge or microwave. You don’t want to move in and realise your existing devices simply don’t fit!

Living room

Heating and cooling can be significant energy consideration in a living space.

For instance, if you’ve bought a home with air-con, you may want to check its energy star rating and the last time it was serviced.

“Old appliances can suck up a lot of energy as opposed to those that are newer and energy star-rated,” Amott notes. “Moving may be a good time to update your appliances so you can take advantage of more energy-efficient models.”

Furthermore, look at your new home’s layout or architectural features and ask whether it allows for natural heating or cooling to reduce your energy bills. For example, is there cross ventilation, double-glazed windows and proper insulation?

Bedroom

The primary considerations for a bedroom are most likely lighting (i.e. lamps) and phone charging stations.

“Most rooms are set up in such a way that you know where your bed has to go because that’s where the outlet is for your side table and lamp,” Amott says. “But if you are considering using the layout differently, you’re going to have to think again about potentially installing outlets closer to where you want them.”

Home office

While your new home may have an extra room or space tailor-made for a home office, some of us may end up working at the kitchen bench.

Either way, just make sure power points are close by to prevent an OHS issue.

“A big fire danger is piggy-backing extension cords and power boards off one another — you want to limit that as much as possible,” Amott says.

“Put power points closest to where they have their purpose or need. If they’re all close to where your desk is and in one place, it can be easier to conceal the cords rather than running them around the room.”

Outdoors

People tend to overlook their outdoor power needs. If the home you’re moving into doesn’t have an outdoor power outlet, it may be worth putting one in.

“We had power outlets installed outdoors,” Amott says. “For example, [we put one] near the pool because we needed to plug in the pool cleaner. It’s also there for when we want to use a high-powered hose to pressure clean the deck. So, think about these types of needs before you move in.”

Six things to consider when moving house

When it comes to moving house, most of us just want to get the job done.

However, you can make a few easy tweaks to ensure the process goes smoothly for everyone.

Be sure to consider the below points before your moving day so you can leave as little impact on the environment – and others – around you.

Donate, recycle or dispose of?

Moving will always see us coming across piles of things you didn’t even know you had. From your closet to your kitchen, you’ll discover items that you’re no longer using or don’t want to take to your new place.

Things get a bit trickier when you start to explore spaces like the garage or cupboards under the sink, which are often used as storage for those out of sight, out of mind items. Many of these items may require disposal before you move.

Consider what can be donated, up-cycled or sold before you consider throwing it out.

When it comes to household chemicals and problem waste, items such as paint, cleaning products, batteries, garden chemicals, gas bottles and fluorescent globes, can’t be thrown in any of your kerbside bins.

In NSW, you can drop off household chemicals like garden chemicals and poisons, fuels and hobby chemicals at a Chemical CleanOut event for free.

For everyday problem waste items such as paint, oils, and batteries, over 90 Community Recycling Centres (CRCs) are located across the state, where you can dispose of those tricky household waste items safely, all year round for free.

Both options are free and quick, and easy to use. You can find your nearest Chemical CleanOut or Community Recycling Centre at cleanout.com.au.

Regardless of the type of waste, always look for options to reuse, donate, up-cycle or recycle before putting it in the bin.

Consider your packing materials.

Packing can generate a lot of unnecessary waste. To remedy this, consider second-hand sourcing boxes online (and often for free) via Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace. Also, you can usually buy quality, used boxes through storage or moving services and return them through a buy-back program when you’re finished using them.

“You’re not buying a new product; you’re recycling old boxes,” explains Nat Morey, CEO of home organising, decluttering and moving company The Lifestylers Group. “Also, if you’re packing yourself, instead of using [packing] paper, you can use things like towels, linen or pillows to pad your boxes.”

Eco-friendly cleaning

When it comes to making your old and new homes sparkle, consider using less harmful products to the environment.

Better yet, make your products from regular household items.

“I’m a big fan of natural cleaning products — my go-to is always bicarb, vinegar and lemon,” Morey says.

Combining these ingredients can be used for so many things, from getting grime off stovetops to cleaning carpets.

Donate and shop second-hand

As with packing boxes, opting for “pre-loved” furniture and electronics can help the environment — and often our budgets too.

Donating or using peer-to-peer online marketplaces to sell your items is a great way to consume less and give life to your old, unwanted things.

“If you have good quality stuff, definitely talk to the Salvation Army, who will even come pick up things for you,” Morey notes.

“In the past, we’ve donated a lot of books to local libraries. Old blankets and linens can be suitable for animal shelters. We’ve also donated things to kindergartens. If you look at kindergartens in underprivileged areas, they might be grateful for donations.

“Finally, if you’re organised, Facebook Marketplace is a great place to list things you want to get rid of. You may even only want to list them for $1. The objective isn’t to make money; the objective is to donate and avoid the item going into landfill.”

Don’t neglect relationships.

No, we’re not talking about being nicer to your family and friends when they help you move (although this can’t hurt).

Landlords, housemates and neighbours will inevitably be impacted by your move, so it helps to give them a little support as well.

Ensure you give your landlord and housemates adequate notice. Check your lease, as this will likely tell you the minimum required notice period. If you don’t have a lease, aim for at least four weeks.

Want to go the extra mile? Take the time to farewell neighbours with a bit of a gift. At the very least, don’t leave your waste on the curb in your apartment complex for them to deal with after you’re gone!

Plan ahead

The best way to be kinder to everyone during a move — especially yourself — is by giving yourself adequate time.

Don’t book movers at the last minute, don’t try and pack the night before and give yourself a break after you’ve relocated.

“Start sooner rather than later,” Morey begins. “Start by decluttering and going through each room and each space. Get a floor plan of your new home and think about what’s going to fit and what might not, which could give you more time to sell or donate things you don’t need.

“My other tip is that good removalists book out very quickly! So, as soon as you know your moving date, book your removalist.”

How to terminate your rental agreement

You will want to move out at some stage – or have to move out – of your rental accommodation. This means terminating the lease – either by you or the landlord. Both require particular protocols to be followed.

As a tenant, you want to leave.

If you wish to end the lease before the date given in the lease agreement, your landlord/agent will need to approve this request. Simply walking out on the lease is considered a breach of contract, and you could be required to reimburse the landlord for all the money she/he lost as a result (for example, lost rent and re-advertising expenses).

Should the landlord/agent agree to end the lease early, get this agreement in writing signed by the landlord/agent? If your landlord/agent disagrees, contact your state department of consumer affairs or housing for advice. You may need to take your case to court if your reasons for moving out are justifiable.

Things are a little more straightforward if you have a periodic or continuing lease rather than a fixed lease (whereby the ending date of the tenancy is stipulated). Under this circumstance, you should not need to give the landlord/agent any more than 30 days notice. Check the legislation in your state.

Immediate notice is only justifiable when the landlord fails to honour the lease agreement or when the residence becomes severely damaged.

The landlord wants you to leave.

Under no circumstance is the landlord/agent allowed to force you to leave their property without proper notice. The notice must be in writing, be signed by the landlord/agent, state a reason for requesting you move out and give the date when you should vacate the premises.

The landlord/agent is permitted to ask you to move out immediately if you cause intentional damage to the premises or it becomes severely damaged and unfit for living (even if through no fault of your own). The landlord/agent may also have the right to evict you if you endanger neighbours of the property immediately.

If the notice expires and you have not vacated the premises, the landlord/agent may be entitled to a possession order. The police may then be called upon to remove you from the premises forcibly.

Unfinished business

When you leave the premises, the landlord/agent must return your bond money. This must be done within the timeframe specified by your state/territory laws.

There are circumstances where the landlord/agent can keep all or part of the bond money. For example, when rent is due when the tenant moved out or the landlord/agent gives written notice to the tenant of a claim to cover loss or damage caused by that tenant.

If your landlord/agent does not return your full bond without good reason, contact your state department of consumer affairs or housing advice.

Make sure you leave your forwarding address with the landlord/agent, as well as a contact phone number. The landlord/agent should be able to reach you, just in case you leave behind any possessions.

Under no circumstances is the landlord/agent allowed to take seemingly abandoned goods as compensation for money owing. Instead, the landlord/agent should contact you and arrange a time for you to collect them. If they are not managed, the landlord/agent must follow strict rules set out in the Residential Tenancies Act.

Finally, ensure the meters for any utilities are read on the day you move out. Unless this is carried out on the same day as you vacate the premises, you may be charged for a more extended period than you were in residence.

 

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