The Ultimate NZ Moving House Checklist [2021]

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Last Updated January 20, 2021

All those things you have to do when you’re moving to a new home — they’re all here, in one handy list.

This is the moving house checklist I wish I’d had for my first big move. 

It’s taken a lot of moving since then to complete this checklist. Whether moving overseas or within NZ, every time there’s been some new must-do or don’t-forget task to add.

Stick to this checklist and you’ll remember all the important stuff and get everything done in time.

There's over 90 items in this super-comprehensive checklist. Not all of them will necessarily apply to your situation. But most will. And while some might seem obvious, they're included because they are easy to overlook. 

Our best advice? Stay organised — and start as soon as you can.

Let’s get to it!

House Moving Checklist Contents

A printable version of the full checklist can be downloaded here.

Eight Weeks To Go 

Allow enough time to get everything done. For most moves, eight weeks is about right. But you can get things done in less time.

You can get everything done in six weeks, if you’re quick about it. Four weeks is possible, just, and only if everything goes your way.

Anything less and you’ll be up against it – you’ll have to take some shortcuts.

Moving date

1. Decide Your Moving Day

Fridays are the popular choice, since that gives you the weekend to start unpacking and settle in. But it’s also the day when movers are most likely to be fully booked, so don’t delay confirming your date.

If you can be flexible on the day you choose, it may save you some money and stress.

If you choose to move on a long holiday weekend, be aware of the risks. You can pay premium prices for moving, and it may take longer than normal to sort things out if something goes wrong.

On a holiday weekend, you’ll have to wait if you need a plumber or electrician, have issues with utilities or broadband, or need to talk to your bank.

Once you have a preferred date, get some quotes and lock in a moving company for your move day.

Make sure you can get time off work (and ask for the days before and after your move day).

giving notice

2. Renting? Give Notice

Your lease agreement will tell you how much notice you need to give — usually it’s a month. Make sure you give timely notice, and agree on timing for your final inspection.

Clean up to increase your chances of getting all of your bond back. (Your rental should be in the same condition as when you moved in.) 

Inventory list

3. Make an Inventory List

Decide what stays behind, what you are going to sell or give away, and what (if anything) goes into storage. Make a note of anything that requires special packing.

Decide now whether it’s worth it or not to move any hefty or awkward items like fridges and stoves, garden fountains, plants, and pianos. If it’s something that’s replaceable, and has no sentimental value, you could be better off selling it on Trade Me, and replacing it after you’ve moved.

If you’ve bought a new home, you need to know that everything will fit. Ask your seller or realtor for a floor plan, or see if you can get access to take measurements. And confirm what fittings and fixtures will be left for you in your new property.

Make a plan for where your furniture will go. Check widths of doors and stairwells to make sure that you can get large tables, settees and the like into the rooms where you want them. Some items may need to be disassembled in order to get them up tight stairwells or through narrow doorways. Donate, sell, or give away any furniture that won’t fit, won’t look right, or you’ve outgrown.

If you’re planning to put some things into temporary storage, get cost estimates from storage companies. Your removal company may also offer storage, with the advantage that they can take things there on the same day they move you to your new house.

Companies that offer self-storage units usually charge less for storage. Some of them will let you rent one or more moving containers (they deliver them to you, then pick them up after you’ve loaded them up with your gear). Otherwise, you’ll need to consider the time, cost, and inconvenience of having to take your stuff there yourself.

Now that you have your list of what’s coming with you, you can estimate how much truck space you need (if you’re moving yourself). If you’re using a moving company, you can now get quotes for how much the move will cost you.

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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