Tips for moving house

Read our tips before you start packing – have a clean-out and plan ahead for the actual moving day. Check out our general tips for moving.

General tips for moving

  • If you’re moving cities, find out if your new employer/s will pay some or all of your moving expenses.
  • If you have children discuss your move with them in advance to ensure they understand what is happening. Children can become upset by the packing process. On moving day it is a good idea to arrange for small children to be looked after by friends or family.
  • 240x2403Go through all of your possessions and decide what you want to keep, sell, recycle, throw out or give away and start making plans for their disposal. This is your big chance to declutter!
  • Use our countdown to moving checklist for the weeks before the move. This will mean you are less likely to forget anything.
  • Packing an entire household can be exhausting. You may want to get a quote from a moving company for packing all your possessions. If so, make a list of items you’ll be taking with you. This list will help a professional moving company to quote. It can be difficult to get full insurance coverage for items you have packed yourself.
  • When choosing a moving company ask for references from past clients. Compare the quotes carefully to make sure they are all offering the same thing and check the insurance policies on offer.
  • Will you need temporary storage? If so, ensure it is near to your new home. (Some storage facilities charge for a minimum of two weeks even if you only require a few days.)
  • Start packing items that are used less often.
  • If you have pets, book them into a boarding home on moving day (they must be vaccinated). It is extremely difficult to keep animals safely shut away if they become agitated.
  • Make sure items that aren’t to be packed (such as the car keys, wallet, documents and any required medication) are put in a clearly labeled area.
  • Make sure your insurance is adequate to cover unforeseen accidents during moving.
  • Make sure everyone stops to eat and drink to keep energy levels up.
  • Use disposable utensils on your moving day.


Countdown to moving

Moving your household can be a very busy time – when small (or even vital) things can be easily forgotten. To prevent this from happening to you it is helpful to write yourself a moving checklist. Below is one we’ve put together to get you started.

5-8 weeks prior

  • Liaise with your bank regarding finance on your next property.
  • Liaise with your solicitor – is your sale definite yet?
  • 240x2403Select a firm date for moving.
  • Book a removals truck and consider getting a quote for professional packing.
  • Keep a list of incoming mail and notify change of address of any subscriptions.
  • Advise friends and relatives of your move.
  • Prepare an inventory of everything and store it with your valuables.
  • Plan how and when to pack your belongings.
  • Begin collecting large sturdy cardboard boxes for any items you wish to pack yourself.
  • Advise your children’s school/kindergarten of your impending move and decide, if not already arranged, on a new school/kindergarten.
  • Check out potential schools and childcare facilities in your new neighbourhood and begin the enrolment process.
  • Have a thorough clean-out. Don’t forget the garden shed, garage and basement.
  • Begin to run down supplies of frozen/perishable foods.
  • Check that larger appliances and pieces of furniture will fit in your new home and make a list of anything you will not take. If selling, advertise them for sale in plenty of time.
  • Start assembling boxes and cartons. If you’ll be doing the carrying, choose smaller boxes!
  • If you will be doing the packing and moving yourselves, start to ask your family and friends for support.
  • If you’ll be moving cities, make your transport arrangements.

4 weeks to go

  • Ensure you have signed the required documents with your real estate agent or solicitor.
  • Collect your family’s dental and medical records, letters of introduction and children’s school records and transfer to the appropriate locations.
  • Transfer allowance benefits.
  • If renting, advise your current landlord.
  • If you have a post office or safe deposit box you may want to change these to your new location.

3 weeks to go

  • 240x2403Advise your solicitor, local council, insurance companies, accountant, hire purchase companies, stores where you have accounts, and clubs of your change of address.
  • Start packing and labelling boxes. Colour code each room’s items with a strip of different coloured tape, so that each room can be distinguished at a glance.

2 weeks to go

  • Ask friends and relatives to help on moving day. You may need someone to look after your children and/or pets.
  • If moving a fair distance, have your car serviced.
  • Advise your bank(s), where you have accounts, including credit cards.

7 days to go

  • Notify NZ Post about re-direction of your mail.
  • Arrange an Electoral Roll transfer.
  • Advise the Inland Revenue Department.

6 days to go

  • Advise the motor vehicle registry (your licence, motor vehicle registration etc.)
  • Settle any final accounts for gas, water and electricity.
  • Ensure continuity of these services to your new address.
  • Move your valuables to a safe place.

5 days to go

  • Contact your telecommunications provider about disconnection of your phone and final billing. Confirm the new number and date of connection.
  • List essential items that you’ll need on moving day.
  • Confirm your removal company.

4 days to go

  • Collect any items outstanding, for example lay-bys, dry cleaning, shoe repairs, etc, from your old neighbourhood shops.
  • Return library books.

3 days to go

  • Return anything borrowed from neighbours, friends, etc.
  • Cancel paper and milk deliveries.

2 days to go

  • Cancel local arrangements, for example lawn mowing, gardening.
  • 240x2403Clean out your medicine cabinet. Dispose of any outdated medicines by delivering to a pharmacy.
  • Empty rubbish bins.
  • Do final clean-out of the garage, shed or basement.
  • Dispose of inflammables. Refer to your local council for information about where to drop off such items. Drain fuel from lawn mower and other machinery.
  • Wash and dry any laundry.
  • Take down any curtains, venetians and other blinds that belong to you and which were not included in the chattels with the house.
  • Prepare any items requiring dismantling which are being moved, for example, trampolines, garden furniture, etc.

1 day to go

  • Place things you want packed together in separate groups, for example, linen, toiletries, etc.
  • Make sure gas, electricity and water meters have been read.
  • Defrost the fridge and freezer and remove food. Wash out the interior.
  • If moving a long distance, have your pet picked up or drop them off at a kennel or cattery.
  • If your car is being transported and it’s not needed, have it picked up.

The Big Day

  • Carry all the essentials with you in the car that you’ll need on arrival.
  • Carry all valuables and important papers with you personally.
  • 240x2403Tighten all taps.
  • Check gas, electric switches and lights.
  • Clean the house for the future owner or tenant – including cleaning all floors, windows and blinds or curtains and the bathroom and kitchen.
  • Lock all doors and windows.
  • Check nothing has been left behind.
  • Remember – you don’t have to get everything unpacked on the first day. The priority is setting up your bed and your children’s beds – then the kitchen.


To print the Countdown to Moving checklist, download this PDF PDFicon.jpg


Change of address

To print the change of address checklist, download this PDF. PDFicon.jpg

Remembering everyone who needs to be advised of your new address isn’t easy, so we have put together a checklist to remind you of who needs to be contacted when you move.

Change of address checklist

  • Power/Gas company
  • NZ Post
  • Electoral Roll
  • Newspaper and magazine subscriptions
  • Registration (vehicles and other)
  • Driver’s licence
  • Inland Revenue Department
  • Solicitor
  • Accountant
  • Banks
  • Credit cards
  • Other financial institutions/credit accounts
  • Other direct debits
  • Insurances
  • Doctor
  • Dentist
  • Other medical (optometrist, etc.)
  • Veterinarian
  • Employer
  • Lease/rental companies
  • Library
  • Clubs
  • Kindergarten/schools
  • Memberships
  • Family and friends