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The Ultimate New Home Buyer Checklist

September 2015 In First Home Buyers

Family Moving Into New Home Surrounded By Packing Boxes

Your go-to list of what you need when moving into a new home

Moving into a new home is no doubt one of the most exciting times in anyone’s life. But before you get carried away with thinking about what kind of pot plants you want in your home, what herbs you want to grow in your garden, and when you’re going to have your housewarming party, there’s quite a large list of things to be done before you can get truly settled in. You should be asking yourself, “what essentials do I need for a new home”, and thinking about what tasks and errands need to be taken care of.

To help make things easier, we’ve given you the ultimate timeline of things that need to be done leading up to, during, and after your move into the new home – from preparation, to a full list of essentials to buy for a new home.

 

3-4 weeks before the move

Organise your removal transport

If you’re getting help from professional removalists, be sure to book your moving day well in advance, as they tend to be busy. If you’re moving everything yourself, then you’ll still need to book your rental van or truck in advance to ensure you can get it on the day you need.

Get rid of unwanted furniture

Got unwanted furniture at your existing home, or have the previous tenants or owners of your new home left some things behind? There are a number of charities that offer a pickup service for furniture and whitegoods that are in good, clean and re-sellable condition (they don’t take mattresses). Call your local charity shop, such as St Vincent de Paul, or The Salvation Army, and organise for them to come and take a look and see if there’s anything they can take to be re-sold in their stores. That way, you’ll know your furniture is supporting a good cause.

If your goods aren’t wanted by the charity stores, good old Gumtree is a great way to find people who might be looking for what you’re selling. Even if your items aren’t all in great condition, there are countless DIYers out there who are ready to turn trash into treasure. If all else fails, most local councils entitle you to a certain number of free cleanup services per year.

Organise any painting

If you’re moving into a previously owned home, and aren’t sure about the colour or condition of the existing paint, be sure to paint well in advance of moving in, so that new paint smell has time to dissipate before you arrive.

 

2 weeks before the move

Change your addresses

Set out half an hour of time to go through all of your services and update your details about two weeks before you move in officially. That way, all of your details have time to be updated in the system. The beauty with most of these is that you can change them online relatively quickly, and you might even want to take this opportunity to switch to email billing if you’ve been meaning to do it for a while.

  • Your local state traffic authority (i.e. your driver’s license) – Usually needs to be done in person
  • Electoral commission
  • Water (notify your local council)
  • Tax department
  • Banks & credit card companies
  • Vehicle insurance company
  • Health insurance company
  • Doctor and dentist
  • Gym
  • Accountant
  • Your employer
  • Online shopping sites you regularly use (eBay, Amazon, PayPal, etc.)
  • Loyalty card subscriptions

Don’t forget to tell your friends and family as well!

Research & sign up for necessary services

If you need to sign up for new services, such as a new phone or internet service provider, these things can often take weeks to get organised, as technicians aren’t always available at short notice. Give yourself enough time, so that you can walk into a home that already has wi-fi and hot running water.

  • Home insurance…………………………………………………………………………
  • Telephone & internet service provider
  • Gas
  • Electricity

Organise professional cleaning if necessary

Unless your home is brand new, you may want to book in a professional clean of the carpets and other indoor areas to ensure your home is fresh and as good as new.

 

1 week before the move

Change the locks if moving into a previously tenanted/owned home

Always a good safety precaution, as you don’t know who might have accidentally (or on purpose) held onto copies of keys.

Plan out where your existing furniture is going to go

Take measurements of the rooms of your new house in advance, so you know where everything is going to fit in. That way, you can tell the removalists where to place everything, rather than having them dump it all in the centre of one room and you having to move it yourself later.

 

The day before the move

Put your everyday essentials in one place

Much like preparing for a flight the next day, keep one outfit, pyjamas, and all your everyday toiletries separate. You may actually want to fill up your carry on suitcase with these items, so you won’t have to rummage through boxes later on.

Best to leave clothing on hangers, and lay them flat in the backseat of the car.

The first night in a new house always involves a bit of shuffling through boxes to try and find your toothbrush. Make sure you keep all of your essentials.

Ensure you’ve got some food (or the numbers of some local takeaway restaurants!)

It’s easy to forget about food. Ensure you bring some snacks, and some food to cook for dinner and breakfast the next day until you’ve done your big grocery shop.

 

After you’ve moved in

Keep a running checklist of things you still need to buy or organise

No matter how well you plan and organise your move, it’s inevitable there are will be small bits and pieces that you still need, and you’ll usually only realise this just at the second that you need it (such as reaching for the kitchen scissors to open a particularly stubborn package of frozen peas, and realising that you don’t have any). Be sure to keep a running list on the fridge, so that next time you go to the shops or the hardware store, you won’t be scratching your head in the aisles thinking “what was that thing I needed again?”

Greet the neighbours

Be sure to take the time to pop round to say a quick hello to the neighbours at some point soon after you move in. It’s always helpful to have someone you trust to keep an eye on things when you’ll be away for longer periods of time.

 

What to buy for a new home

In amongst all of these to-dos, you’ll also need to start buying all of the things you’ll need to get your new home completely set up. Handy tip: If your new home is not too far away from your existing one, you may want to drop new items off right after you buy them, on the way home from the shops. That way you’ll have less to move in one hit on moving day.

Here is an exhaustive list of absolutely all essentials (and we mean absolute essentials) you’ll need to make your move as seamless as possible. Everything else (yes, even the coffee machine!) is essentially a luxury and can be purchased after you move in.

Furniture

  • Mattress
  • Bed base OR bed frame + bed head
  • Couch
  • Coffee table
  • Dining table & chairs
  • Tallboy
  • Wardrobe for hanging clothes (if no built in), or if space limited, a clothing rail…….
  • Bookshelf
  • Desk

Bedding and linen

  • Pillows
  • Bed valance or bed base wrap (if you don’t have a bed frame)
  • Mattress protector
  • Fitted sheet and top sheet set
  • Pillow protectors
  • Doona (you might want to consider one for summer and one for winter if you live in a climate that experiences strong temperature shifts between seasons)
  • Doona covers
  • Extra blankets

Kitchen

  • Plate & bowl set
  • Mugs
  • Drinking glasses
  • Cutlery set (forks, spoons, knives)
  • Frying pan
  • Small, medium and large saucepan
  • Cooking utensils – spatula, tongs, chopping knives, soup ladle……………………………
  • Can opener
  • Serveware – Salad bowl and at least one large flat platter
  • Tea towels
  • Plastic tupperware

Whitegoods & small kitchen appliances

  • Washing machine
  • Tumble dryer (consider getting a two-in-one washer and dryer if space is limited)
  • Refrigerator
  • Microwave
  • Toaster
  • Kettle

Cleaning

  • Vacuum cleaner……………………………………………………………………………………………
  • Mop + bucket
  • Indoor broom + dustpan
  • Iron
  • Ironing board

Personal items

  • Toilet paper…………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • Kitchen roll
  • Garbage bags
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Sponges for washing dishes
  • Antibacterial spray or wipes
  • Toilet cleaner
  • First aid kit

Gardening

  • Rake
  • Outdoor broom…………………………………………………………………………………………………
  • Gardening gloves
  • Watering can
  • Hose
  • Lawn mower

Got any tips of your own to help make moving into a new home as smooth and stress-free as possible? Something else that should be on the above to-buy list? Let us know and make sure you don’t make these first home buyer mistakes!

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