Moving house: the dos and don’ts

Moving house: the dos and don’ts

Moving to a new home is a stressful and often overwhelming undertaking. From cleaning and packing to booking your removalists and keeping the kids happy, your to-do list is probably half-a-mile long.

To help you conquer this mammoth task, we’ve created a quick reference checklist you can use to streamline your preparation and ensure the big day runs as smoothly as possible. But before we get into the dos and don’ts of moving house, let’s run through what is and isn’t permitted to move house with you. Ready? Fantastic.


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Moving dangerous goods

Here in Australia, what you can and can’t move is governed by the Dangerous Goods Act 1985. This Act was designed to protect removalists, you, your family, and your property from the potentially devastating effects of toxic, corrosive, flammable, and explosive materials.

That being said, there are some exceptions to the rule. Below you’ll find a comprehensive list of prohibited and permitted items. Have a quick read through and dispose of prohibited items responsibly before moving day.

Prohibited items

Corrosive materials:

  • Hydrochloric Acid
  • Oxides
  • Caustic Soda
  • Sulphuric Acid


  • Hydrogen
  • Sodium Nitrate
  • Calcium Hypochlorite
  • Ammonium Nitrate
  • Peroxide

Toxic substances:

  • Arsenic
  • Pesticides
  • Weedkillers
  • Items with visible signs of mould
  • Radioactive Materials
  • Detergents
  • Liquid Polishes


  • Car batteries
  • Aerosol cans
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Gas cylinders
  • Firearms
  • Chemistry sets
  • Igniters
  • Pressurised vessels
  • Propane tanks
  • Life rafts
  • Propane tanks
  • Spearguns
  • Home soft drink makers

Moving to a new house doesn’t have to be stressful. Download our comprehensive moving house checklist for a smoother and easier relocation.

Permitted items

The following dangerous goods are permitted. However, make sure you take extra special care when packing.

  • Lawnmowers and gardening equipment. Ensure motorised machinery has been emptied of all fuel or oil before packing and moving.
  • LPG gas bottles. Make sure LPG gas bottles are completely empty and packed away from sources of ignition.
  • Handguns and other select weapons. Some weapons, including replicas, non-automatic handguns, and air rifles can be moved safely. Make sure the firing mechanism and live ammunition are removed before moving.
  • Scuba tanks. Again, empty the reservoir of all gas, and open or detach any valves.

Moving house: DO

Make moving house a relaxed and stress-free experience by taking the time to do the following:

  • Pack properly. Don’t just shove everything into a box. Take your time to organise and label your boxes. You’ll thank yourself when it comes time to unpack.
  • Consider weight and size. If possible, keep the weight of your packed boxes to 20kg or less.
  • Pay attention to sharp items. Wrap sharp items (kitchen knives, curtain rods, etc.), so they don’t protrude out and injure someone.
  • Plan your escape. Before the big day, track your access route from the interior of your home to where the moving truck will be parked. Look out for any hazards, such as uneven ground, gates, and poles. If possible, remedy these hazards to adjust the route.
  • Keep high-traffic areas clear. Store boxes and furniture away from high-traffic areas.
  • Communicate. Formulate a set of clear verbal and non-verbal signals you and your family can use on moving day.
  • Pay particular attention to your back. So often, movers throw their back out when moving to a new house, making unpacking almost impossible. Ensure you lift with your legs, not with your back. Never overexert yourself; only carry what you can comfortably hold.
  • Invest in the right equipment. Stay safe and speed up the moving process with the right tools and equipment. Top quality removalists will bring along things like moving trolleys, blankets, and other devices to protect your belongings and prevent injury.
  • Hire removalists you can rely on. Don’t risk it. Work with a team of removalists you can count on to turn up on time and treat you and your belongings with respect.

Moving house: DON’T

Avoid the following common moving house mistakes:

  • Do it all yourself. Instead, delegate jobs so everyone has a definite role. Remember, teamwork makes a dream work!
  • Forget to protect yourself. Wear the proper footwear and clothing to prevent slippage, grazes, and discomfort.
  • Battle the weather. If possible, take the weather into consideration. If you’re moving during the sweltering Melbourne summer, start early. If you’re moving in winter, keep an eye out for rain clouds.
  • Rush. Take your time. When moving large furniture, rushing can result in injury.
  • Fail to take a break. Moving can be exhausting. If you fail to take a break, you increase the risk of fatigue. Plan for several breaks throughout the day. Have a coffee, a snack, a much-needed rest.

When you know how to make the move go smoothly – and what you can safely pack for your move – you can take a lot of stress out of the experience. A little planning and foresight go a long way on moving day.


Download Our Free Moving House Checklist!