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Moving House With As Little Stress as Possible


One of the most stressful things you can do is move house. Your literally pick up everything that you own and move it to another location then rearrange it to make your home again.

My tips are:

Be Organised

I have a to do list I have shared below, which breaks everything down so it doesn’t seem so big. It’s a word document so add your own items too. If you look too far ahead it seems too big, but if you focus on what to do today, and then imagine the job once done, it will seem worth the bit in the middle.

Start Early

Don’t do what my husband does and live in denial until the actual day and panic. Accept it 3-4 weeks in and start packing non-essentials.

The Less You Have The Less You Have To Move

Donate, throw out or sell. My view is the selling stuff costs my more in time than just donating to a worthy cause. But if you have the time or energy, have a garage sale. Advertise it on Gumtree (Aussie Version of Craigslist).

I go through each room with a “donate bag” – for sheets, clothes, linen, old quilts that I never liked, ugly cushions, old sweaters, clothes I will never fit back into, clothes with holes, missing button I will never sew back on, along with socks with no partners.

I then go through with a box and get rid of ugly kitchen utensils, old pots and mismatching plastic containers, old glasses and cups, crockery that doesn’t have enough for a set, the tea set you have never used, engagement presents from a jilted lover.

Take on the food situation. I am a greenie so will give you best case scenario. I go through the fridge and through out every container with left than 10mm of condiment left in the bottom, rinse in sink and put through dishwasher and recycle. Or if you don’t have time put the glass in a box and recycle and the lids in the metal recycling.

Put unwanted plastic bottles with other plastic bottles, and put grains, flour etc into attractive labels canisters and get rid of the old packets. Pull everything in the cupboard out and throw out everything that is out of date, looks dodgy or you never use. Get rid of at least 70% of it.

Only keep what you love and use all the time or that makes you smile when you see it.

Start Cleaning Early

OK I should probably get a cleaner, and with arthritis cleaning is hard, so I do a chore a day.

Oven (wear a mask and use the greenest but most effective version)

Fridge Inside and Out (you are taking this with you so make it go clean – only keep essentials in it)

Wipe Inside and Door of Cupboards (you only need a few things to survive, so pack the rest and wipe out the cupboards)

Bathroom Cupboards (through out all the half full bottles of out of date product, ineffective skincare – the cupboard of broken promises)


Unwanted Art (if it is G rated donate or sell it, if it is a drunken purchase at an art opening that will never see the light of day throw it out, ff a distant friend gave it to you and you hate it but like the face, put it apart, get rid of the art and put something decent in the frame).

Photos (do you have 57 mismatching photo albums? I do and and currently taking out all the photos, putting into time/occasion labels envelopes.Ditch the albums. Take it all to Office Works to scan, and put onto usb drives or dropbox and share with all the family. You can also make books for each time/occasion.

Filing (get rid of the paper work with a nice folder and tabbed content so you can find the papers. Keep all your receipts and tax stuff for 5 years. Anything older, shred.

Throw out 90% of the note pads with 3 words on the front page. Get rid of pens that don’t work at the same time.

Go through shoes (I have 60% heeled shows and having arthritis means I can wear heels. I look at them and get sad, so out they go to someone very lucky.

Go through clothes (mismatching socks, underwear, old, worn out gym gear, dirty white dresses that were nice and no longer are white. Shirts bought on eBay that don’t fit. this list does on. If it reminds you of a negative experience, chuck it out).

Books (read paper backs, donate. Unread paperbacks, keep then donate. Art books, dust and pack, beautiful cook books, dust and keep. Ugly or useless cookbooks, donate. Pretty books, keep for decorating. Self help books read, donate. Unread, read and donate.)

Bric a Brac (this is useless rubbish we use to make it hard to dust. If your child made it, keep it. If it is ugly and has no sentimental value, donate or throw out. If you have more than one and it’s not a set, get ride of it. If it is a photo in an ugly cheap frame, take it out of the frame and put into the photo envelopes.

Plants (If dead/half dead in an ugly pot, throw out. If alive and in an ugly pot, keep and but a better pot. If blooming in a nice pot, water it and move it).

Desk clutter (how may pens do you need? Just get rid of 50% of the stuff in all desks and pack the rest.

Linen (donate the older linen, iron and follow the other linen and pack the sets. Don’t take anything under a 500 thread count. Keep sentimental quilts that are meaningful to you.  Get rid of the other ones for homeless shelters.

Under the bed (dust collectors, do you need it ?)

3 weeks before

  • Book moving out & carpet cleaners
  • Book removalists and their phone number/email
  • Get enough boxes, tape and packaging paper, sharpies
  • Get rid of junk and stuff to donate
  • Give notice to agent (21 days and allow 1 day for cleaning)
  • Book lift with body corporate


  • Pack all summer clothes together
  • Package current season clothes together
  • Go through kitchen, cupboards and book case for charity, and garbage
  • Pack in order of use, least used first
  • Get rid of read novels and paper backs
  • Pack only what I want to take, chuck the rest
  • See notes above

1 week before

  • Arrange change of address at post office/redirection
  • Change of address – Voting, Phone, Diver’s License, Registration, get a parking ticket for Council, Bank, Tax Department/Centrelink

On the day

  • Keep one person in each home for directions
  • Drive to new house and direct where it all goes
  • Begin un-packaging with the essentials box
    • Towels
    • Linen
    • Kettle
    • Cups
    • Coffee Maker
    • Milk Frother
    • Toiletries/toilet paper/hairdryer
    • Pillows
    • Important papers
    • Keys
  • Have beds put back together
  • Make beds, set out basics in kitchen


  •  Change Gym Membership
  • Unpack in order of importance
  • Enjoy your new home

If I have forgotten anything, let me know.



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