Your Checklist For Moving House on a Budget – 2024 Edition

This is the all-in-one blog for moving house on a budget. We provide crucial tips & checklists to make your move as smooth & affordable as possible.
Checklist For Moving House on a Budget

Moving to a new house can be an exciting yet stressful experience, especially when trying to stick to a tight budget. Proper planning and strategic decisions can distinguish between an affordable move and one that drains your savings.

This checklist for moving house on a budget provides practical tips and insights on moving without breaking the bank so you can enjoy a smooth and cost-effective transition to your new home.

We’ve also included a checklist with all of the potential costs of moving house in Australia at the bottom of this blog.

Moving House On A Budget – The Top 10 Considerations

1. Planning Ahead

Planning ahead is one of the most crucial steps in moving house on a budget. The earlier you start, the more time you have to make cost-effective decisions and avoid last-minute expenses. Here are some steps to help you plan effectively:

  • Create a Moving Checklist: Follow the guide below and list all tasks that must be done before, during, and after the move. This will help you stay organised and ensure nothing is forgotten.
  • Set a Realistic Budget: Determine how much you can spend on your move. Use the comprehensive checklist at the bottom of this blog to consider all potential costs, including packing supplies, transportation, and any professional services you might need.

Starting early and having a clear plan can spread expenses over time and reduce the financial strain.

2. Is Your New House Close To The Essentials?

Adapting to your new surroundings is crucial. Consider these factors:

  • Proximity to Essentials: Check the distance to the nearest supermarket, hospital, and other vital services. A closer location can save you time and transportation costs.
  • Schools: If you have children, research nearby schools. A school within walking distance can save fuel costs and provide a safer commute for your kids.
  • Public Areas: Evaluate the accessibility to parks, recreational areas, and other community amenities.
  • Bus Stops and Train Stations: Identify the nearest public transport options and consider how they fit into your daily commute. Public transport can reduce the need for a car, saving on fuel, maintenance, and parking fees.
Assess The Accessibility Of Your New House To The Essentials

3. Visit The New House To Check For Maintenance Issues

Before moving in, thoroughly inspect your new house for any maintenance issues. Here are key areas to check:

  • Utilities: Ensure electricity, water, cable, and internet services are installed and functioning.
  • Repairs: Look for any overlooked flaws that might need fixing, such as leaky taps, faulty wiring, or cracked walls.
  • Prioritise Practicality: Focus on essential repairs rather than luxurious upgrades. For instance, fix any immediate issues in the kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom, and save major renovations for later when you’re financially stable.

4. Decluttering and Downsizing

One of the best ways of effectively moving house on a budget is by reducing the amount of “stuff” you’re taking. It’s important to view moving as an opportunity to declutter and downsize your belongings. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Benefits of Decluttering: Fewer items mean less packing, fewer boxes, and potentially a smaller moving truck, all saving money.
  • Strategies for Decluttering: Go through each room systematically and decide what to keep, sell, donate, or recycle. Ask yourself if each item is something you truly need or love.
  • Selling, Donating, or Recycling Items: Hold a garage sale, use online marketplaces, or donate items to charity. Recycling can also be an eco-friendly way to dispose of unwanted items.

By decluttering, you’ll save on moving costs and start fresh in your new home with only the essentials.

5. DIY Moving vs. Hiring Professionals

One of your biggest decisions is moving yourself or hiring professional movers. Each option has pros and cons, and the right choice depends on your situation.

  • Pros and Cons of DIY Moving: Moving yourself can be cheaper if you have friends and family to help, but it’s labour-intensive and time-consuming. It can also be risky if you don’t have experience moving large items.
  • Cost Comparison: Professional movers can be expensive, but they bring efficiency and expertise. Get multiple quotes and consider factors like distance, the number of items, and any special handling requirements.
  • Choosing a Cost-Effective Moving Company: Research thoroughly if you opt for professionals. Look for reviews, ask for recommendations, and get detailed quotes to avoid hidden fees. Facebook groups can be hidden gems for finding well-priced movers.

Balancing cost and convenience will help you decide the best approach for your move.

6. Packing Tips For Moving House

Efficient packing can save you time, money, and stress. Here are some tips to pack like a pro without breaking the bank:

  • Collect Free or Cheap Packing Supplies: Ask local stores for free boxes, use your suitcases and bags, and buy packing materials in bulk if needed.
  • Efficient Packing Strategies: Pack heavy items in small boxes and light items in large boxes. Use clothes, towels, and blankets as padding to save on bubble wrap and packing paper.
  • Labelling and Organising Boxes: Clearly label each box with its contents and the room in which it belongs. This will make unpacking easier and help movers place boxes in the right rooms.
  • Meal Prep with Unused Pantry Items: Before the move, plan your meals around what you have in your pantry to reduce waste and avoid extra grocery expenses.

These packing tips will protect your belongings and streamline the moving process.

Packing Tips

7. Saving on Moving Transportation

Transportation is often one of the biggest moving expenses. Here are some ways to cut down on these costs:

  • Choosing the Right Truck Size: Select a truck that fits your needs without being too large. Overestimating can lead to unnecessary rental fees.
  • Sharing a Truck or Using a Freight Service: If you’re moving long-distance, consider sharing a truck with someone else or using a freight service. This can be more affordable than renting a full truck.
  • Finding Affordable Rental Options: Shop around for the best deals on truck rentals. Look for discounts, compare rates, and consider renting during off-peak times.

By optimising your transportation, you can keep one of the biggest moving expenses under control.

8. Be Organised With Changing Your Utilities and Address

Managing your utilities and addressing change efficiently can prevent unnecessary costs and headaches. Here’s how:

  • Planning Utility Disconnections and Reconnections: Schedule disconnections and reconnections ahead of time to avoid extra charges. Ensure utilities are up and running in your new home when you arrive.
  • Avoiding Extra Charges: Avoid cancellation fees and overlap periods when paying for utilities in both homes. Timing is crucial.
  • Updating Your Address Efficiently: Notify important parties, including banks, insurance companies, and postal services, of your move. Use online services to streamline the process.

These steps will ensure a smooth transition and avoid any surprise bills.

9. Tips To Find Cheap Deals On Wi-Fi And Other Household Bills

Saving on household bills can significantly help when moving house on a budget. Here are some tips:

  • Compare Providers: Use comparison websites to find the best Wi-Fi, electricity, and gas deals. Look for bundle deals that combine multiple services for a lower price.
  • Negotiate: Don’t be afraid to negotiate with service providers. Often, they have promotions or discounts that aren’t advertised.
  • Usage Plans: Choose plans that match your usage. For example, a basic plan might suffice if you use the internet primarily for browsing and emails. Look for plans with higher speeds and data limits for heavy streaming or gaming.
  • Energy-Saving Practices: Implement energy-saving practices to lower your electricity bill. Simple steps like using LED bulbs, unplugging electronics when not in use, and setting your thermostat wisely can make a big difference.
  • Review Regularly: Periodically review your service plans and bills. Technology and offers change, so staying updated can help you switch to better deals as they become available.

Every little bit helps when moving house on a budget.

Tips To Find Cheap Deals On Wi-Fi And Other Household Bills

10. Budgeting For Mortgage Repayments

One of the biggest financial commitments when moving house is the mortgage. Here’s how to budget effectively:

  • Understand Your Repayments: Know the exact amount you need to pay each month, including principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.
  • Create a Mortgage Budget: Allocate a portion of your monthly income for mortgage repayments. Make sure this amount fits comfortably within your overall budget.
  • Emergency Fund: Set aside savings for unexpected expenses. Ideally, you should have 3-6 months’ living expenses in an emergency fund.
  • Refinance Options: Monitor interest rates. Refinancing your mortgage when lower rates can reduce your monthly payments and overall interest costs.

Be Financially Ready When You Move House

Following these tips can make your move more manageable and financially secure.

Financial preparedness is crucial when moving house on a budget. Budgeting can provide great relief if you are not financially ready or feel overwhelmed before moving house. If budgeting alone isn’t enough, a home loan could provide a helpful boost.

  • Budgeting: Create a detailed moving budget that includes moving company fees, utility setup costs, and any immediate repairs.
  • Consider a Loan: A home loan can help cover expenses if you’re short on cash.

If you need help financing your move, apply with the Australian Lending Centre. We provide effective support to ease the financial burden of moving.

The Complete Cost of Moving House Checklist

The Complete Cost of Moving House Checklist

Pre-Move Expenses

  • Building and Pest Inspections: Costs associated with inspecting the new home for structural integrity and pest control.
  • Property Valuations and Surveys: Fees for professional property valuations and land surveys.
  • Conveyancing Fees: Legal fees for a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the sale and purchase contracts.
  • Real Estate Agent Fees: Commission for the real estate agent, typically a percentage of the sale price.
  • Stamp Duty: State government tax on property purchases.
  • Deposit or Down Payment: Initial payment made when purchasing the new home.
  • Cleaning Services: Costs for deep cleaning the old and new homes.

Packing Supplies

  • Boxes: Purchase of new boxes or costs associated with acquiring used boxes.
  • Packing Materials: Bubble wrap, paper, foam peanuts, tape, and markers.
  • Specialty Boxes: Wardrobe boxes, dish packs, and custom-sized boxes for valuable items.

Moving Services

  • Professional Movers: Fees for hiring a moving company, including labour, transport, and insurance.
  • DIY Moving Costs include truck or trailer hire, fuel, tolls, and equipment rental (trolleys, furniture pads).
  • Special Handling Fees: Extra charges apply for moving large, heavy, or delicate items like pianos, art, or antiques.

Transportation Costs

  • Rental Truck or Trailer: Costs of hiring a moving truck or trailer.
  • Fuel: Petrol or diesel for the moving truck.
  • Tolls and Permits: Highway tolls and any necessary moving permits.
  • Travel Expenses: Accommodation, meals, and travel costs for long-distance moves.

Utility and Service Setup

  • Disconnection Fees: Charges for disconnecting utilities at the old home.
  • Connection Fees: Charges for connecting utilities at the new home.
  • Deposits: Security deposits for new utility accounts.
  • Mail Redirection: Fees for setting up mail redirection with Australia Post.


  • Short-term Storage: Rental fees for storage units if there’s a gap between move-out and move-in dates.
  • Long-term Storage: Costs for extended storage solutions.

Home Repairs and Improvements

  • Repairs in Old Home: Fixing any damages or required improvements before selling or moving out.
  • Repairs in New Home: Prior to moving in, immediate repairs or modifications are required.
  • Cleaning Supplies: Products for cleaning both the old and new homes.


  • Moving Insurance: Additional insurance to cover potential damages during the move.
  • Home and Contents Insurance: Insurance premiums for the new home.


  • Pet Care: Boarding or pet care services during the move.
  • Childcare: Childcare services on moving day.
  • Temporary Accommodation: Hotel or rental costs if there’s a delay in moving into the new home.
  • Meals: Eating out due to lack of kitchen access during the move.
  • Time Off Work: Lost wages if taking unpaid leave for the move.

Post-Move Expenses

  • Replacement of Household Items: Buying new furniture or appliances for the new home.
  • New Locks and Security: Change locks and install security systems in the new home.
  • Decorating: Painting, new curtains, and other decor-related expenses.
  • Welcome Packages: Gifts or essentials for the first few days in the new home.

These potential costs can add up quickly, so planning carefully when moving house on a budget is crucial. The more organised you are in the buildup to your move, the smoother and more financially manageable the move will be.

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