Reduce the stress of moving house

18 Jul 11 12:20PM EST
Post by George Perry

Having read a couple of blogs from my colleagues on their experiences with real estate agents and the challenges of buying, I thought that I'd share my experiences of the next step: moving.

Without question, the seemingly never-ending inspections and negotiations in purchasing or renting a property can be very stressful, but the logistics of the move itself can also provide its fair share of frustrations.

For the simple reason that we couldn't find a house to purchase, we rented for six or so months before our planets aligned and we found a new home. It was worth the wait, but we had to move all of our stuff twice.

So in order to make your life easier when you come to move, I've listed some tips that helped me reduce the stress and tears (and there will be tears!):


Everyone has their horror story of removalists. Fortunately, we found a good one, which meant that we used them again for our second move. In fact, because we knew we were moving twice, we negotiated a deal for the second move. I found word of mouth was the best way to find a good removalist.

  • Spend the time packing stuff into boxes yourself. We saved a lot of money and stress by packing most of the stuff ourselves. It's not for everyone, and it took some time, but a few trips to the local storage place and stockpiling newspaper for a few weeks meant that we packed everything the way we wanted to and if anything broke it would be our doing and not theirs. Try to move on a week day - it’s cheaper and you're more likely to get the day you want.
  • When the removalists arrive, be nice to them. Feed and hydrate them. Ask nicely. They are more likely to be gentle with your stuff and help with those small irritating things at the other end.

Be sure to change your address on everything. In the weeks leading up to our move, I found the best thing to do was to create a list of mail that we received as a reminder. Of course, as a back up, we went to our post office and had mail redirected for six months. We picked up a few that we had completely forgotten.

Australia Post will ask you if you want to receive assistance in moving. Say no. Say it firmly. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself up to your neck in useless offers in the mail.


Be sure to give your utilities providers enough time to change over your accounts. We found electricity and gas no problem. Our telco? Not so good. We did the right thing: completed the online “moving house” form, received a number of emails and text messages confirming everything. Happy days, right? Nope. Nothing.

On both occasions, our telco said they there was no record and we had to start again. When you've completed all the online paperwork, you, too, will receive a number of comforting emails and texts. Ignore them all. They count for nothing. Call and call and call.

Review your contracts

While changing all of your accounts, take the opportunity to review all of your details. For example:

  • Will you be buying new stuff when you move which may affect the value of your home contents?
  • Is there a better deal to be done on your energy?
  • If you have your broadband and home phone with the same provider, can you find a bundled deal?
  • Do you still need a landline?

These were the things that made – or would have made had I known them - our move a little less stressful. If you have any tips for a smooth move or a cautionary tale to tell we’d love to hear them in the comments below.


How to comment

Here's your chance to join in the debate. Click in the comment box and let the CHOICE Community know what you think.

Reporting comments

If you see something offensive or irrelevant, hit the report button and let us know immediately. View the Terms of use for user comments.

Have your say

Your say - Choice voice

We'd love to hear what you think but you'll need to register top, right to join in the conversation.

Members – Sign in on the top right to contribute to comments
Your say - Choice voice

Sign up to our free

Receive FREE email updates of our latest tests, consumer news and CHOICE marketing promotions.