The Ultimate NZ Moving House Checklist [Part 11]

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Last Updated January 2, 2021

On Arrival 

You’re there (nearly). If you want to settle in quickly at your new home, it’s important that you get the basics right. 

Pay close attention to unloading and unpacking in particular, and you’ll make it much easier for you and your family to get comfortable in your new settings.

77. Tell Them Where to Put Things

Your moving company needs to know where to put everything. If you can’t be there in time, arrange for someone to be at your new house to meet the movers and show them around.


If you marked each box with the room it is to go in (you may have colour-coded them), add a sticky note to the doors of each room to indicate the room (and what colour boxes go inside).

78. Check the Meters

Record the readings for the utility meters in your new home — gas, electric, and water. Use your phone to take photos for your records.

79. Power On

Plug in your appliances. Confirm that everything — electricity, water, gas, and so on — is working.

80. Inspect In and Out

Check each room and outside the house — look for anything that has been left behind by mistake by the previous owner. If you find something, put it aside where you can easily find it, and arrange for it to be picked up or returned later.


This is a good time, if you haven’t already done so, to look out for anything that might be a danger for pets and children. This includes poisonous plants, broken fences, or ponds and creeks that, if you have young children or pets, you will need to care of.


If you’re a renter, you should document the condition of your new home. Take photos of anything that’s worn or damaged to avoid any disputes with your landlord later.

81. Unpack Your Essentials Box

Set up the things that will help you get through the day as you move into your new place. Tea, coffee, snacks…

82. Keep Track of Everything

Check off each box from your inventory list as they are unloaded from the truck. Keep an eye out for any that looked damaged, or any that are missing.


You’ll need to sign your approval once the move has been completed. Do so once you’re happy that everything’s been safely moved. If anything has been damaged or is missing, make a note of it when signing off and follow up with your insurance provider.


If your moving company has agreed to reassemble beds and furniture after moving them, check that this has been done to your satisfaction.

83. Pay the Movers

Most moving companies want payment before or on the day the job is done.


If possible, pay the agreed amount with a credit card — this gives you more leverage should there be any dispute.


If anything has gone missing, or was damaged during the move, you’ll need to follow up separately with an insurance claim.

84. Prepare For Your First Night

Find your Essentials box and get ready for your first night in your new home. Make the beds, put some towels out.


Plug in white goods and appliances, including your fridge and freezer, and unpack your chilly bin.


Make sure you turn on the hot water heater for evening or morning showers and baths.


You’ve had a big day — it’s okay to leave the rest of the unpacking until tomorrow.


You’ll probably want to visit a local restaurant or order in takeaways for dinner. If you are ordering online or using an app, make sure it’s updated with your new home address first.

85. Settling In With Children and Pets

If you have a small baby or toddler, make sure you child-proof your new home as necessary so that they’re safe and you can relax.


Settle young children into their new bedrooms, making sure they have their favourite toys.


Older children may feel happier if allowed to organise their own rooms (you can always set things right later!)


Pets can take some time to adjust to their new surroundings. If you’ve arranged for them to be looked after during your move, it’s best to wait until you are feeling settled in and things have calmed down before collecting them and introducing them to their new home. Create a safe space for them, filled with pet toys and other things they recognise.

About the Author

Jeremy Templer has moved numerous times. To date, 25 times in seven cities & five countries.


As a result, he's learned many lessons about how to make moving as painless as possible. He shares his tips here.

Jeremy Templer


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