Depending on the circumstances of your separation, it is possible that you may need to move house. Whether you are buying or renting, the practicalities of a move can seem overwhelming at such an emotionally-charged and challenging time in your life.

Yet, like everything, there is a process. And moving home is no different. The key is to focus on what ‘needs’ to be done to ensure you and your children are safe and comfortable. Then (and only then) you can sit-back and consider what colour cushions look best on the couch.

Here’s our list of important tasks to keep you on-track on moving day.

1. Label the keys

It is an exciting moment when you receive the keys for your new home .. but beware. Firstly, don’t put them down just anywhere as they can very easily get lost amongst the tower of moving boxes. Put them somewhere safe or stuff them in your pocket for now. Secondly, if they are not already labelled DO IT NOW. It will save you time trying to work out what key is for what door, when it should be easy. Plus, when you collect the keys, ask if there is anything you need to know i.e. does a particular door handle need three turns to the left, one to the right and a generous shove to unlock?

2. Turn on power, water, fridge and freezer

Let there be light! For without it you will be stuffed as night falls. Having assumed you have made suitable arrangements with your utility company, turning on electricity and gas should be as simple as the click of a switch. Do it straight-away to ensure it works. Next, get power to your fridge and freezer ready to store the perishables .. and perhaps a beer or wine for the end of the long day ahead.

3. Connect to the world i.e. hook-up your internet

The essential requirements for human life: Air, water and the world-wide-web. You may be reluctant to admit that your family needs the internet the minute you move into your new home, but let’s face it, you probably will. Be it to check your emails, keep the kids entertained or order a pizza, it will be inconvenient in its absence. Like utilities, this should be organised prior to moving day so it’s a simple ‘plug-in’ mission. However, we do recommend allowing some time and deep breaths just in case it doesn’t go to plan. Most internet providers have excellent customer service now, so make a call and get support if needed.

4. Do a child safety sweep

Depending on the ages of your children, you will need to ensure your home is sufficiently child proofed. If you are super-organised you can plan before the move date and arrive with suitable stair gates and cupboard locks. Or, temporary fixes will suffice. Block-off the stairs and areas of concern with furniture or boxes while you work out a more permanent solution. And don’t forget the garden. If it’s not completely safe don’t let your children out to play unless they are supervised. A trip to emergency on moving day is not the ideal start to your new life.

5. Pack an essentials box

The mother of all tricks when moving home is to pack an essentials box (or two). It should include the items you will need for your first day and night. As a starting point, we suggest:

  • Tea, coffee, milk, mugs, kettle, washing-up liquid
  • Snacks and cold drinks
  • Panadol and other required medication
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Garbage bags
  • Personal toiletries
  • Clean sheets
  • Children’s favourite toys and comforters
  • Night clothes and a change of clothes for everyone
  • Devices and chargers
  • Tool kit

6. Make sure it’s clean

Houses should be spotless when you move into them, but it is not always the case. If your new home doesn’t meet your cleanliness standard stay calm and do these things. If you are renting take photos of the problem areas to email to the rental agency in a day or two. Next, clean only the areas which are unhygienically dirty. For example, grab some anti-bacterial wipes from your aforementioned essentials box to wipe-down the bathroom or kitchen. Do not, we repeat NOT, start sandblasting the patio or cleaning the gutters.

7. Take control of your boxes

As your moving boxes pile-up in your new home it can make unpacking seem like an overwhelming task. Whether you have professional removals or generous friends, save yourself untold stress by labelling boxes and making sure they are put in the right rooms. Also, kindly ask your helpers not to stack the boxes too high and to keep the door and walkways clear. When your removal team have headed home and you are left alone to unpack, you will in a better position to start the job to hand.

Belinda Eldridge
Posted by Belinda Eldridge
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