The things you forget about when moving house

Ever moved house and left a load of washing on the line? Or forgot to empty that storage cupboard under the stairs? It doesn't matter how many times you do it, when you move the to-do list is as long as the endless metres of packing tape and there will always be something you forget.

Declutter early

To avoid this, Lissanne Oliver, owner of organising and decluttering company SORTED! suggests starting early. Known to her clients as a "professional organiser"- and to her father as "the Bradman of organising", Oliver has words of experience for those readying to move.

"Start emptying the pantry and fridge," she advises. "Run down your groceries as soon as you know you're moving! Then start packing other contents from the spare room, shed, et cetera."

Oliver's advice extends to the rest of the house, and she says minimising the amount of things you own is key to making moving easier.

"Always declutter! People who move more often have far less stuff to worry about. Aim to shave at least 20 per cent off your belongings - things like magazines, anything broken, outdated (e.g. old technology) and clothes that don't fit are a no-brainer," she says.

Ella Hughes has moved a lot. Twenty-eight times in total. She had a 14-year period of her life where she did not live in the same place for more than 10 months, but two years ago she got married, bought a house and is staying put for a bit.

During her moving era, Hughes would go through her belongings a month out and either sell them on Gumtree or at a garage sale, or donate to a charity.

"One time I sold everything so I just had a few bags left," she says.

Aim to shave at least 20 per cent off your belongings. Photo: Stocksy

Labelling and packing

Labelling boxes helps on the day, so removalists - or those kind souls you've roped in to help - know in which room to put what boxes. Oliver suggests packing an overnight bag, so you have easily accessible clothes, toiletries and medications for the next day and keeping your bedding in easy reach.

"You do not want to go through the boxes looking for that late at night," she says.

Both Oliver and Hughes suggest packing a "moving day" bag or basket, with essentials like tea, coffee, snacks, paper towel, soap, detergent, insect spray, cleaning clothes and a couple of mugs plus the kettle. Phone chargers and the TV remote are also handy to have in this kit.

"This is where you can over pack and not regret it!" says Oliver.

Packing materials - such as boxes, newspaper and bubble wrap - can become a rubbish issue in the new place, so Oliver suggests finding out when your new council collects the bins so you can get that out of your way as quickly as possible. To minimise waste, Hughes wraps "glassware in tea towels, towels and linen and wrap precious items in clothes".

Labelling boxes helps your removalists on moving day. Photo: Stocksy

Let there be light

Moving doesn't just involve logistics but also admin. While humans survived for centuries without electricity, we've become pretty dependent on it these days. So if you want to use the fridge as a cooling device and not just a bulky looking cupboard, connecting power - and other services like internet and mail redirection - are all essential tasks to make sure life continues to run smoothly in the new place.

"Have a little notebook and write each utility at the top of a page. Then write the list of what you need to do - cut off at House A on this date, install at House B on this date. Then each time you talk to them you can make a note of what was said," says Hughes, who also suggests starting this task early in the moving process.

However, if you do leave it to the last minute, some companies can get your utilities up and running in no time. AGL Energy provides gas, electricity and solar PV, and in most cases will be able to have the power sorted on the day you move with just one business day's notice.

If you arrange your move online, you'll also have your personalised online move tracker, which gives you one less thing to worry about. You can stay across how your energy connection is progressing on AGL My Account or via the app. You can also choose your plan after you've settled in, giving you one less thing to think about during the move itself. Then, once the power is on and you're in the new place, kick back and have that well-earned cuppa.

This story The things you forget about when moving house first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.