A to-do list for moving interstate (or 17 hours away).

Now I do realise that we are not actually moving interstate, but moving 17 hours away is pretty much the same thing. It's definitely not the sort of thing that one does every day, and it can take months of preparation if you want the move to run smoothly - especially if you're living on a very strict budget. For this very reason I have been spending the past few months researching every little thing I could possibly think of that might just make this process a tiny bit easier for us when the time comes.

I have compiled somewhat of a to-do list of sorts - broken down into different time frames of ideal completion specifically tailored for our move. I'm not sure how well we'll be able to stick to this list, but at least we have a guide to refer to when we start stressing out. Hopefully somebody else out there will benefit from this list as well. :)

Note: B and I are going to be staying with my Mum for almost a week after sending our furniture away on the moving truck as it will take over a week for our furniture to arrive at our new place. We will be travelling by car rather than by plane because we are taking Ellie with us. We will also travelling in the middle of Summer in a car with no air conditioning, which is why a lot of the dot points are about keeping ourselves cool. ;)

1-2 months before moving:
  • Get quotes from/book a moving company (If you live in the Melbourne area, click here for a hassle and stress free moving experience!).
  • Sell or get rid of any furniture that you don't want to take with you. Doing this can knock a considerable amount off your moving quote.
  • If you plan on driving to your destination, remember to have your car serviced, tires changed, car battery replaced etc. if needed.
  • Depending on when you are looking at moving, you may want to try and extend your current lease so that you can move at the most opportune time possible (e.g. B and I extended our current lease by 3 weeks so that we wouldn't have to move over Christmas).
  • Collect boxes for packing.
  • Start packing items you don't use often (e.g. garage + outdoor items, wardrobe items, kitchen items etc.).

4 weeks before the moving truck comes:
  • Contact real estate offices at your future location and ask them if they can assist you in finding a property (you'd be surprised how helpful real estate agents can be - in our case we can be approved for a property without having to fly up and stay in hotels for a week while we look at different rentals).

2-3 weeks before the moving truck comes:
  • Put in notice at your current place of work if you need to.
  • Book a hotel/hotels to stay at during your road trip and possibly when you first move up there. You may need to book even earlier if you need pet friendly accommodation and don't want to stay in a caravan park.
  • Organise a storage container for your furniture to be stored in at your new location if the arrival date of your furniture conflicts with your new lease start date.
  • Book pest control, carpet cleaning etc. to be done before the move (or after if you have time).

1-2 weeks before the moving truck comes: 
  • Finish up at your current job (or in my case, stop doing design work).
  • Assuming you know where you are moving to by now, this is the time you should be organising your utitlies (internet, power etc.). You may want to do this even earlier if you're lucky enough to know where you'll be moving to in advance.
  • Organise a mail redirection service with your local post office.
  • Think about your upcoming car trip (and in our case the week ahead staying at my Mums place) and start packing items that you will need to take with you in the car (e.g. clothes, esky, pillows, bedding, dog bed, dog food, dog lead, paper towel, carpet stain remover).
  • Pack anything else that you don't desperately need in the lead up to the move.
  • Make meals out of existing food in the fridge/freezer and pantry.
  • You can also use this time to do most of your cleaning as you start clearing out cupboards, wardrobes etc.
  • If you find yourself with some spare time, perhaps write yourself a little shopping list for after you move into the new place. This will save you time and worry later on.

1-2 days before the moving truck comes: 
  • Clean and turn off microwave, oven and fridge.
  • Move items for the upcoming car trip/hotel stays into the car and pack up any items that remain in the house (including your bed, fridge, computer desks etc.) and move them all into a central location such as the living room.
  • Now that your bedrooms (which in our case are carpeted) are completely empty, this would be an ideal time to arrange to have your pest control and carpet cleaning done.
  • Since everything is now packed away you may want to stay with some friends and family for the night before returning in the morning to help the movers pack your furniture into the truck.

The day the moving truck comes: 
  • Get up bright and early and make sure you're there to greet the removalists when they arrive.
  • Keep a check list of everything that goes into the removalist truck.
  • If you're renting, thoroughly clean your old place once the removalists have gone (making sure pest control and carpet cleaning is done) and hand in your keys, cleaning receipts etc. to your real estate.
  • Sign all relevant forms with your real estate in order to get your bond back as soon as possible.

1 day before driving to our new house:
  • Think about what food you can take with you on the road trip and go out and buy it.
  • Purchase some chew treats (rawhide, pigs ears etc.) for your dog to munch on during the long car trip.
  • Put ice packs and bottled water in the freezer.

The day we start driving to our new house:
  • Top up car oil, pump up tires and fill car with petrol.
  • Fill an esky with ice for your bottled water, snacks etc.
  • Leave some bottled water aside at room temperature in case you need it for topping up the car at some point.
  • Fill a spray bottle with water for misting your faces to keep cool during the drive.
  • If you're travelling with your pet in Summer, put an ice pack in their bed and change it for them every few hours when you stop to let them out/cool the car down.

After the move:
  • Notify everyone important of your new address (don't forget the council for dog registration/microchip details - very important!)

B and I are currently knocking off the items under the '1-2 months before moving' section because we're actually due to move into our new place around the 5th of January. I can't believe there's only two months left to go before we move away!

Have you ever moved interstate before?  Is there anything else that is missing from my list?

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