What to do after you move

Now you have completed the major stages of the relocation and you're ready to start the next chapter. How can you make sense of the chaos quickly and begin creating your lifestyle in your new environment? We have the answers!

What to do after you move

Clean the house before unpacking

Do you have access to the new property before the move? If you are so inclined it's easier to give a preliminary clean of carpets, benches and cupboards before your stuff is everywhere.

Even if the previous occupants had it cleaned before they left, it may not be up to your standards. Likewise if you are moving into a brand new home, there may still be dust or debris in hidden places left over from construction. So it is likely that you will need to give it all a once over with the cleaning products before you fully begin in the unpacking adventure.

Have your cleaning essentials kit handy to make this a quick and easy exercise so you can get the 'settling in' underway!

Cleaning essentials:

  • mop and bucket
  • surface cleaner
  • bleach
  • detergent
  • rubber gloves
  • broom
  • dust-pan and brush
  • garbage bags
  • dusting cloths
  • rags
  • tea-towels
  • disposable cloths or sponges
  • glass cleaner

Make sure you know what day of the week bin day is, or if you're going more rural, what the process for waste disposal is.


Did you use a priority rating system when you packed? Follow your plan! If you didn't have time to get this organised, use your gut instincts and unpack the rooms you use the most first which is most likely to be the kitchen and the bathroom/s, then perhaps move to the bedrooms and get your clothes unpacked and hung up.

Did you use a colour coding label system when you packed? Find the new rooms that will match the colour code from your old place and start moving the boxes into those rooms before even thinking about opening anything.

Separate any of the boxes you have marked out for storage or purging.

Do you have a home office to unpack and set up to get to work? This may be more of your priority if you are self-employed or work-from-home.

Just keep unpacking boxes and don't worry too much about where things go to begin with, you can finesse later!

Leave fragile and decorative items until last to unpack so that they are not sacrificed amongst the initial chaos. Take notice of any damage and take photos so you can have a frank discussion with your moving company if there have been issues.

Hang you photos, posters and/or artwork last. Chances are you will need to get everything in it's place and get your hooks up before you curate your personal gallery so that there is visual balance and the right pieces are on the prominent walls so they create maximum impact!

Your Guide To Unpacking - How to Settle In To Your New Home
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Connecting utilities

Gas, electricity and water (and the hot water)

If you didn't get the chance prior to your move, check that the utilities have all been connected as requested and are working. If not, your first night or two could be less exciting than originally anticipated. Hopefully your suppliers have done the job and you have lights and electricity.  Before you do anything else, check to make sure that the hot water system is turned on so you can enjoy that much needed hot shower or bath at the end of all the hard work of the move.

Communications and internet

You will need to arrange for all of your usual telecommunications to be redirected to the new place, when your think about how much we communicate and interact with media it can become an overwhelming task in itself just to reconnect all of our networks and digital dots. 

Check with your NBN or Internet Service Provider (ISP) to find out what you need to do to arrange this, they all have specific processes that you will need to be aware of. Once you have your connection live at the new property, connect your modem to the telecom port and fire it up!  Depending on the floor-plan you may need to consider boosting your signal with a router. You may also need to consider where you TV is going to be in proximity to signal strength if you use the internet for your Netflix/Stan/Disney binge watching adventures.

If you use pre-paid mobile plans, you won't need to worry about this too much when you move, except to ensure that you have enough credit to get you through the move and beyond as communication with all the parties involved is crucial at this time. However, if you have a mobile plan you will need to update your details with your provider.  If you have a broadband or NBN connection you will need to arrange for your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to connect your service at your new address, you can then hook your modem up when you can find where the new telecom port is!

Cable & free to air TV

How's the condition of the television antennae at the new place and is it up to date for the digital era? This may seem an old issue, but if you are moving to an older house that hasn't been up-kept it may be something you need to consider if you aren't fully digital with your viewing preferences. Schedule in a call with your cable company if you have a subscription, they will be best placed to assist you in the redirection of your account to your new address.

Getting the kids and the pets settled into their new space

Moving the kids in
Moving is a big deal. It's a big deal for grown-ups but it can be an even bigger deal for your kids. Whether they have never moved before or your life is always moving around, kids view the world in a different way and sometimes don't understand the adult reasons that big life changes occur. Losing friends, changing schools, new sporting clubs, new routines - its a big challenge for them.
The best approach is to be completely open and honest about the move from day one. Be patient in your explanations of why the move is necessary and answer all their questions. Try to use words that inspire excitement about change and the opportunities that are possible in a new environment. This may be a particular challenge if you are moving interstate or overseas where there are cultural or language differences, or even from the city to the country and vice versa. One thing is for certain though, never underestimate how adaptable to change children can be.
Talk up the benefits of your new place from their perspective. If you can't visit their new neighbourhood prior to the move, show them photos of their new home or look it up on Google Earth and explore the surrounding neighbourhood. 

Involve them in the choosing of their new school, empower them when they are helping pack to make decisions about what happens with their belongings - most of all, try to keep them as calm as possible, even if you are stressed and anxious yourself. They should understand that moving is an important and major life event though, so be organised as far ahead of time as possible to allow them to adjust to the idea and get them involved!
If they are joining you on move day, don't be afraid to spoil them a little extra to help make the process smooth for you and always reward their helpful behaviour.
You could also try creating some familiarity by continuing with your usual routines and taking breaks from the rigour of unpacking to have some family fun time. Play a long-lost board game, kick a ball in the new backyard, put on a family playlist that has something for everyone. Make sure that on your first night you all settle in together and get comfortable in your new communal spaces.

Schools for kids

As soon as you know you are moving contact their school to let them know your children are moving to a new area.

Finding a new school can be fraught with anxiety, particularly if you aren't yet familiar with the nuances of the neighbourhood you are moving to. Some state schools have geographical catchments that only take in students from the immediately local area. Facebook groups are a good place to ask questions and research.
As soon as you find your new school, begin the enrolment process - it is then the school's responsibility to ensure that all of your child's records are available when they are due to begin,


If you have small children you may need to immediately take precautions to ensure that your new family home is child safe. You are the best person to know what your kids might get up to and what is safe and unsafe. But hopefully you packed all of the gates for the stairs and kitchen and the electrical outlet covers in your 'essentials kit' so that they are accessible straight away.

If the new property has a pool, check that the lock on gate is working and that the fence is up to regulation.
Have pet supplies handy on moving day so they are accessible when feeding time is upon you at the new place.

Do you need to arrange long-distance travel for your pet? Check to make sure that it is legal to have your pet in your new state, for example, it's illegal to keep rabbits or ferrets in Queensland.

We've put together a bunch of tips for moving house with pets and ways to pet proof your new home. 

Making your house a home

You are in, and so is your stuff ... now what? Plug in the fridge!

We know, you are already exhausted. Now you are faced with the fact that you are only halfway to the end of the moving journey. The removalists have gone and there seems to be an excitement in the air to make the new pad your own!

The dog might be barking a bit too much at all the newness, or the cat is having a silent anxiety attack while the kids run riot - but it's okay - you've got this!

Get out the 'essentials' kit you packed for exactly this moment and have a cup of coffee and a snack while you regard the new space and, if you aren't on your own of course, have a chat with the other members of the household about their vision for the new space. Decide what you will have for your first meal, are you doing a BBQ or a simple home prepared grilled cheese? Are you planning on take-out or Uber eats?

Did you order a grocery delivery to be sent to you about now?  You may want to make sure the pathway for the delivery driver is clear of boxes so they can deliver it straight where you want it.

Now is a good time to set up your beds and make them up so you can fall into them later!

Decorating your new home

Do you suddenly feel that your decor no longer 'goes' with your new environment? Have you changed the 'energy' of your lifestyle and therefore, you need to change the colour scheme or texturing of your rooms to suit?

This process may require another round of purging, selling, and giving-away - but it can be an incredibly cathartic and transformational. Make sure you set yourself a budget that is within your means so you can determine how far you can go and where you might find what you need. 

If you are lucky enough to be able to consult with an Interior Designer you may find inspiration through their expertise and experience, as well as save a lot of time and personal effort. However, if you have the design sensibilities about you, there is a lot of creativity and fun to be had in taking the do-it-yourself approach.

If you are renting, you may only be able to control certain aspects of the aesthetics of your space, such as curtains, furniture, decor etc. However, if you're moving into a home you now own you may need to completely personalise it and remove the previous owners paw-print from the property.  If you just built a brand new property, you may be lucky enough to be starting with a completely blank canvas, which as easy as this sounds in comparison to transformational decorating, can be fraught with it's own complexities and inspiration black-spots.

However you move forward, there are plenty of places to get advice from for every type of home decorating idea or renovation you might dream up!

Design concepts to consider when changing up your interiour:

  • Design theory and psychology
  • Colour schemes
  • Lighting design
  • Flooring and wall coverings
  • Fittings, fixtures and appliances
  • Storage solutions
  • Fabrics, curtains, drapes and blinds
  • Current home-maker trends, furniture & decor

Decorating your outdoor areas

If you aren't going the full landscaping solution some of the easy outdoor places you can spruce up immediately to give your special personality are:

  • Balconies
  • Terraces
  • Courtyards
  • Fences, gates and driveway
  • Outdoor lighting
  • Gardens, trees and shrubs
  • Letterbox
  • Water features
  • Sculptures and outdoor art
  • Shed and gazebos
  • BBQ and entertaining areas
  • Pool spaces
  • Recreation areas

Finding Locksmith For Your House Move
Property Maintenance and Handy Services When Moving House
Tips For Setting Up Your Home Office
Renovating Your Home When You Move

Article by: Alana Lowes
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