Everything has been building to this – days of manoeuvring around stacks of boxes, the weeks of packing, the months of planning – it’s finally here. The day of The Big Move. You get up ahead of the movers and eat a big, energy-rich breakfast.
15 minutes before the truck pulls up and you have a coffee in your hand, feeling like you are pretty well prepared for whatever the day has to throw at you. Being super organised, you have piled up all your bags and boxes inside the front door and all the way down the hallway, because it will make it easier for the movers to get to them, right? Well . . . let’s speak to the experts.
We asked our team of movers what slows them down on the job, and what precautions can be taken so that unnecessary hold-ups are prevented.. Read our Top Tips below to ensure a smooth, cost-efficient home relocation.
Preparing your home for the movers
• Clear the access – keep hallways and points of entry free of boxes, bags and other obstacles such as affectionate dogs and inquisitive children.
• Keep it neat – consolidate boxes per room into one pile. Separate general and fragile boxes wherever possible and mark each box clearly.
• Box it, bag it, tape it – keep loose items to a minimum.
• Dismantle beds – most beds come apart easily with allen keys or a screwdriver. Although dismantling and reassembling furniture is generally included at no extra charge to the customer, it adds precious minutes to the overall cost of the move.
• Empty drawers – furniture is not designed to be moved. Empty drawers of chests, tallboys and even bedside tables to eliminate any extra strain on the furniture.
• Disconnect washing machine – turn off the water first! We can’t say that one quick enough. Unscrew pipes from washer and taps and store in the drum to avoid them going missing. If you are moving some distance and you are unsure of the terrain along the way, it is always a good idea to insert the transport bolts to the washer to stop the drum bouncing around.
• Provide your own materials – some of the most effective packing materials can be found around the house. Raid the linen closet for old towels and bedsheets to protect valuable and precious items such as decorative glassware and tv sets.
• Clear out the clutter – avoid paying to move things you don’t want or need. Arrange a hard-rubbish collection for anything you cannot sell. Try Facebook or Gumtree to advertise sell-able items, or keep your karma in check and donate to charity.
• A helping hand – many hands make light work, as they say. Enlist friends and family members with the strongest backs and healthiest knees to help cart some of the lighter items.
• Don’t sweat the small stuff – if your new home is a short distance away, or if you are planning on driving over with the moving truck, why not transport small, valuable, delicate or private items and leave the movers do what they do best – move your furniture!
Choosing the right moving company
Prices of moving services vary across the board, and if you are on a tight budget it might be tempting to opt for the lowest price quoted – but beware! There are clear dangers involved in handing over your life and its contents to a moving company based purely on cost.
First, ask some key questions:
• Do you have fully-comprehensive public liability insurance? And if so, what exactly does that cover?
Their insurance should cover loss/damages to your transported items – consider the total cost of replacing all of your possessions and find out the total value that they are insured for. Also look for cover for damages both inside the home (holes in the wall, scratches on the floor) and outside (gates and fences, overhead wires).
• How much experience do your removalists have? How are they trained?
Look for a minimum of 1-2 years experience – this will provide ample on-the- job training to ensure a smooth and efficient service.
• What type of equipment do you use?
Ask them questions to test their knowledge. If they squirm or stutter, it’s a big no-no.
• Are there likely to be any extra charges?
Many companies are reluctant to be transparent about extra fees. Ask for a quote on the overall price of the move – even if this is just an estimate, at least you have a figure to base the final price of your job on. Is GST included in the price? Do they apply a surcharge to use a credit or debit card?
• Check out their reviews
Thanks to the internet, no company can hide from a bad review these days. Look for complaints or comments about damages, punctuality, logistics, efficiency, price and even social conduct (a good removalist should be polite, helpful, careful, cheerful and strong – when you say, “Careful, that’s heavy!”, the best ones will simply smile and reply, “No worries!”).
The DIY approach
The temptation may be there for you to take a DIY approach, hire a truck and have a crack at it yourself, but there are plenty of risks to consider. If Uncle Brian drops you favourite antique dresser, does he have insurance to cover repairs? Does Dad really know how to assemble little Billy’s bed, or is Billy more likely to be a thing
that goes bump in the night?
Sometimes it’s best to leave it to the professionals. Moving your house on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice good service, or worse, your back. With the correct provisions in place, such as ensuring your hallways and access points are clear of clutter, and making sure your items are boxed up correctly, can save valuable time – and money – on the day.
The more preparation you commit yourself to in the days and weeks leading up to your moving day, the smoother and more cost-effective your relocation will be.