The Ultimate NZ Moving House Checklist [Part 2]

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Last Updated January 27, 2021

Seven Weeks To Go 

You’ve got a moving date.

You’ve given notice (if you’re renting). You’ve sold your house or it’s on the market.

Good going – but we’re just getting started.

Book house movers

4. Book A Moving Company

If you’re not planning to hire a van or truck and take care of the packing and moving yourself, get a removal firm to do the job for you.

Most moving companies will also do your packing, or you can hire specialist packing companies. You’ll save money if you do the packing yourself, of course, but check to see what impact that has on your insurance coverage.

Decide whether or not your moving company will need to disassemble and reassemble furniture like beds, tables, and desks. Doing it yourself will save money, but you may prefer to pay extra for speed (and convenience).

Make sure you know what items your movers won’t transport, so that you can make separate arrangements if you need to. Moving companies won’t move hazardous substances, plants, and perishable items, for instance, but you may have other things you will have to move yourself.

Ask friends and neighbours if they have any moving companies they recommend, but also check online reviews. Get a provisional quote from 3–5 companies, and verify they are available for your moving date. For all but the simplest moves, arrange for an on-site estimate — this will give you a firm quote.

Don’t just go with the cheapest quote you get, particularly if the price is significantly cheaper than any others. Compare the details in each itemised quote to make sure you’re comparing apples with apples.

Make sure the firm you pick is reliable (check for recent customer feedback), and look to see if they are industry-accredited. There is no governing body for domestic-only moving companies in NZ but if a local moving company ships internationally, it should belong to FIDI (the Federation of International Removers). It should also have earned FIDI’s FAIM accreditation, and be a member of NZOMA (New Zealand Overseas Movers Association).

If you’re moving to another country, see if you’ll be dealing with another company at your destination, and check their credentials and reviews.

If you’re relocating for work reasons, find out if there’s a moving company that your employer regularly uses and recommends.

If there are any access issues that might complicate your move (such as one-way streets, sharp corners, low bridges, or parking), make sure that any surplus charges are included in quotes. And if, once the movers are at your house, they have to negotiate obstacles like narrow stairs and doorways, steep stairwells or small elevators, be sure to mention this upfront.

Allow for additional insurance coverage for specific high value items, particularly if they are at risk of being damaged when moved.

5. Get Organised

Keep track of moving-related paperwork and other important documents — put them together in a folder or document wallet.

Set up a folder on your computer for any digital files.

Include a printable version of this checklist, your to-do lists, important contact numbers, and your notes. Add your inventory list, moving and insurance quotes — all should be easily accessible.

As you find them, add other important documents to this folder, such as birth and wedding certificates, and passports. Include user manuals for any appliances you’re bringing.

setting budget

6. Set a Moving Budget

Moving costs can quickly mount up, even when you think you have accounted for everything. Track your moving-related expenses closely if you want to keep costs down or just need to know you’re not spending way more than you had planned for.

If you’re moving because of your job, find out what costs your employer will cover and keep a record of what you spend, including receipts, so that you will be reimbursed.

parents and kids

7. Talk to Your Kids

Discuss the move with them — why you’re moving, and what it means for them. Younger children may have a lot of fears and worries. They probably don’t want to be changing schools, and having to make new friends. Accentuate the positive — do your best to comfort and reassure them.

8. Start Tidying Up

You have a list of what’s going with you on the move. Now let’s look at what stays behind.

If you’re downsizing, you’ll obviously need to declutter, but regardless there’s no time like moving house for a good clean out. There’s really no sense in paying to pack and move things that you no longer need.

If it’s something you’re not using (and don’t plan to use), it’s time to find it a good home.

List what you don’t want on Trade Me or Neighbourly, have a garage sale, or donate your stuff to charity such as your local hospice, Dove shop or the Salvation Army.

If it absolutely must go, but you can’t sell it in time or donate it, try Freestuff or Free for All.

For any rubbish you still need to get rid of, get in touch with a junk removal service.

What’s left after your clean up is what you will be moving. Once you’ve finished tidying up, you’ll have a better idea of the boxes and other supplies you’ll need for packing.

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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