Moving day. It’s never going to be 100% stress-free, but a little bit of planning will go a long way towards making it much more bearable. Below are a few examples of tasks that should be done well in advance, plus a few extra tips on how to make the move as smooth as possible.

1. Connect your internet

Contact your internet service provider at least three weeks before you move. This will save you from the frustration and inconvenience of living in a new house without internet, as most providers get booked out weeks in advance.

2. Connect your energy

When you move house, you need to disconnect the energy in the previous tenants’ name and reconnect it in your own name. The process is very simple: You call your energy provider, give them your personal details, address and preferred connection dates – and they do the rest.

Many providers only need one or two business days to reconnect you, so it’s important to do this just before you move, so that you aren’t charged for the previous tenants’ usage.

3. Have a plan for children and pets

Children like to run around a lot, and removalists rarely look below their knees when setting down heavy pieces of furniture. Together with the emotional stress of saying goodbye to the family home, this heightened safety concern alone is enough to warrant a plan for your children on moving day.

Ask a family friend or family member to take care of them for the day and to pick them up before the removalists arrive, so that they can avoid the boredom and uncertainty. And encourage them to pack up their own box of special items before moving day, so that they can find these treasures as soon as they arrive in their new home. This will help them settle in.

As for pets, try to stick to your usual routines as much as possible in the lead-up to the big move. On the day itself, confine them to one closed room when the removalists are coming in and out of the house, and use familiar smelling bedding in carriers when transporting cats.

Alternatively, you could leave them at another familiar location or with a well-regarded cattery or kennel, but this can confuse and upset pets, who generally respond best to their owners.

When you arrive in your new home, designate one room as your ‘pet’s room’ and fill it with familiar toys and smells so that they feel at home. If you have cats, give them a few weeks to get used to their new home before letting them outside; if you have dogs, take them for lots of walks so that they can get accustomed to their new surroundings. Beyond that, try to keep routines as consistent and familiar as possible.

4. Update friends and family with your new contact information

Just as you should inform all relevant businesses of your move, you should update your friends and family.

Send around a text message or email notifying people of your new address and phone number, so that the important people in your life can continue to get hold of you after you move.

5. Change your address

It’s best to do this as early as possible, so you don’t have to rely on the new tenants of your old home to forward your mail. Notify the post office immediately of your new address and then promptly contact businesses and government bodies individually to make sure your mail is going to the correct place. Don’t forget to:

  • update magazine or box-style subscriptions
  • contact your car insurance and registration provider
  • update your details on the electoral roll
  • let your bank know you’ve moved
  • update your details with all superannuation funds.

6. Pack an un-packing box

One of the first things you need to pack when moving house is an unpacking box. This box should contain allen keys, any tools you might need to construct furniture, labelled ziplock bags with screws from furniture you dismantled in the move, scissors, screwdrivers, masking tape, dust cloths and glue. Having these items all in the same box will save you time when setting up your new home.

7. Organise house and contents insurance

When you move house, you need to make sure that your current home insurance policies cease the day after you’ve moved out and your next insurance policies start the day before you move. That way, you’re protected on moving day.

As for the move itself, most providers include some form of transit insurance in their standard contents insurance policy – usually just protection of you and your contents in the event of a fire or traffic collision – but if they don’t, you can buy it as a standalone product either from your removalist or from a specialised moving insurer.

If you don’t already have house and contents insurance, then now’s a good time to buy these policies. Even if your only valuable items are a handful of laptops, an iPad, and a TV, the cost of replacing them in the event of a burglary will far outweigh the cost of a year’s worth of insurance fees.

8. Have the new house professionally cleaned

Although most properties will be given a professional clean before the previous owners or tenants move out, a house is often empty for an extended period of time before moving day, which means it often needs another clean before you move in.

Make sure you hire professional cleaners who specialise in end-of-lease house cleans, and have them steam the carpets and do a thorough job on the bathrooms and kitchen.

9. Have spare keys cut

Do this as soon as you have the keys to your new house. Moving days are stressful and busy, so it’s very easy for keys to get lost or locked inside the house – especially as you won’t have an established ‘key check’ routine at your new residence yet.

Have a set of keys cut for each member of the household, and have a few spare sets cut for family members and friends.

10. Pack a first night box

Just as important as the un-packing box, the first night box is essential to a successful move.

To make the transition as seamless as possible, the box should contain a change of clothing, basic toiletries, toilet paper, pyjamas, towels, bed linen and any other essentials you may require, such as tea bags or a coffee plunger.

It’s often the little things that make us feel at home, and so having all these items in a readily accessible box will go a long way towards turning your moving-out frown upside down.