Moving House: The Catalyst To Fix Your Money And Lifestyle

Moving house is a great way to get organised and make a fresh start. Yes there is lots to do but with a bit of organisation and forward thinking – the move itself can be the ‘catalyst for change’ you have been so desperately needing (even if you didn’t realise it).

About to move house? Your goal should be to use this article as the guiding force to remove clutter, simplify your belongings, re-evaluate your finances and improve your lifestyle. It provides you with amoving house checklist and a list of tips to move house effectively, both in terms of time and money.

What will this achieve? Extra cash flow, less ‘stuff’ and an optimised lifestyle that is free of strenuous paperwork and time consuming activities the moment you unpack at your new residence.

Now, without further introduction – here is our guide to moving house and what you need to consider.


Start by making a ’moving plan’ four weeks out

When it comes to moving house, organisation is without a doubt the key. You need to have a four week plan that outlines everything you need to do and when. This will ensure that nothing gets overlooked and everything you need to do is documented and the mammoth task of moving can begin.

For example;

  1. Four weeks out: start de-cluttering and selling unwanted items.
  2. Three weeks out: start to assess your mail / records that need updating.
  3. Two weeks out: start organising your insurance and clean up of house.
  4. One week out: setup new electricity and gas providers.

Merge this plan with the financial tips below and you have yourself a well organised, financially savvy move that will be the crux of your future financial success.


Assess your insurance; home and car policies can change based on address

Where you live plays a considerable role in the pricing of your insurance policies. Not only do you need to inform your insurance companies of the move, you might also find that your policy and its price changes also; sometimes not for the better.

Given you are needing to contact them anyway, you might as well do a quick comparison of online quotes using your new address to see the differences in premiums. 30 minutes in front of your computer could yield hundreds of dollars in yearly savings by switching providers and not simply opting to ‘renew the old’.


Assess your belongings (aka ‘stuff’) with intent to declutter

Don’t bother moving ‘stuff’ you no longer need. Throw away anything that is simply ‘clutter’ and use your move as a chance to own less and simplify your belongings.

Anything you no longer need, sell it. Retrieve the cash and put it towards something beneficial such as the move itself or existing debt.

‘Stuff’ has a tendency to own you; it’s been proven time and again that the less you own, the happier and better off (financially) you will be. People often buy big houses because they need to ‘house’ their belongings; try owning less to need less.


Review your utility providers and simplify

Given you will need to disconnect your existing utilities and reconnect with new, you may as well use this moment to hunt down a provider that offers better service, better rates and simpler ongoing management.

Utility prices can vary greatly amongst providers so grab a copy of your latest bill (electricity and gas) and learn to properly understand your usage. Use this as the basis to assess new providers and their rates and reconnect with someone that offers better value and a simple management (ideally one provider for both services so you don’t need to manage multiple providers).


Give your incoming mail a makeover

Prior to moving house, opt to monitor your incoming mail for a few weeks to assess who has your address and what type of mail you receive.

Sort the mail into three categories; important, infrequent and junk mail. Junk mail might consist of catalogues and brochures from past retailers you have purchased from – make it simple on yourself and simply unsubscribe by ringing them or changing your preferences on their website.

The important and infrequent mail is what you want to optimise. Login to your internet banking (or call your provider) and request that you receive e-statements ongoing (email delivered instead of paper delivered).

It may sound trivial, however time is valuable and by cutting down on the amount of mail you receive means one less ‘batch of things’ you need to worry about ongoing. The physical amount of mail will reduce, as will your clutter and the time you once spent managing the physical paperwork. If you are super organised, setup direct debits so bills don’t even hit your ‘care radar’.


Cancel your excess expenses before you move house

Look at your budget spreadsheet and assess your overall expenses. Is there anything you can cut whilst organising your move? Perhaps you can lower your Foxtel package, choose a cheaper mobile plan or simply look to do away with them altogether?

Imagine how nice it would feel to move into a new home and have a clean slate of expenses. A fresh start to life with money unaccounted for and able to be utilised towards positive change; perhaps the money previously assigned to your expenses could start to fill a savings account,pay off the new mortgage or fund your children’s ‘future fund’.

Every dollar counts and never turn your nose up at a small saving; often even $10 off a mobile bill in the scheme of things is a huge percentage of that expense saved.


Don’t buy moving boxes; rent them or sell them back

Investing your hard earned money in a bunch of flat pack cardboard boxes to help you move is dumb. Inevitably you will use them for 3-4 hours before using a Stanley Knife to cut them up and chuck them in the recycling bin.

Opt instead to rent used boxes or purchase them from a provider such as Kennards Self Storagewho buys them back off you upon successfully returning them. It also means time saved in disposing of the boxes as every time you empty one, simply lay it flat in your car ready to return.


Consider paying for a removalist

Moving your belongings yourself may seem like an easy way to save money, but the truth is the time and effort involved (not to mention the risk) often far outweighs the cost of paying someone.

Yes it can be cheaper to do it yourself, but then it involves hiring trucks, heavy lifting and often a solid two days of unpacking and setting up. Opt instead to pay a removalist to do the work for you; save money by packing the boxes yourself and leaving the loading, unloading and setup to the professionals.

You can also negotiate a flat fee for the move if you are worried about a ‘per hour rate’. As a personal example, the most recent move we did (2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms) only cost us $500 using a removalist. Given I would have had to hire a truck if I did it myself, the savings would only have been a few hundred dollars and that wouldn’t have included the 12+ hours of labour I would have done for free.

PS: I also pranged the last truck I hired and in turn was liable for the costs; I could have moved house 5 times for what I ended up paying!


Audit your appliances; they are costing you a lot of money

How old are your appliances? Your fridge, washing machine, tumble dryer, deep freezer? Every year we see quantum leaps in technology that see appliances become significantly more energy efficient.

A few extra stars (the energy rating system) on a dryer could save you $200+ a year in running costs. Given dryers are not that expensive to begin with, why wouldn’t you opt to buy new appliances that will save you money ongoing and simply sell the old?

Idea: Consider selling your washing machine, dryer and fridge on Gumtree or eBay and using the funds to invest in a product that will reap ongoing savings.


Setup your new home with energy efficiency in mind

Audit your new home and look for at least five ways to make your home more energy efficient. This could include replacing common light bulbs with LED globes, replacing your appliances (as discussed previously) or simply doing a 1 hour walk around after reading our guide on how to make your home use less energy.