Moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do in your lifetime. Preparing for a move seems to come with a never ending ‘to do’ list. To avoid a stressful move, it’s important to be organised.
Let’s have a look at two of the major things you need to consider ensuring your move goes as smoothly as possible:
1. Allow time to plan
When selling your house, it can be a very emotional time if you’ve been there for years and raised your family there but try to be practical and plan things well ahead of time. Packing up a large house and all of your family’s belongings can take an ages, so allow plenty of time to do it and sort out your packing materials early on so you don’t have to wait for them to arrive before you can get started.
Allowing time to plan means you won’t let the size of the task at hand overwhelm you. Start with a calendar and work backward from your moving date. Identify all the things you need to book ahead of time, like the removalist, or storage and start a list with those items at the top.
2. Decide on the DIY or paid approach.
If you have the budget, you can hire a moving company to pack everything up for you, pack it onto a truck and then unpack them for you at the other end, while you simply relax and enjoy your new home.
While that sounds like utter bliss compared to the mayhem of packing boxes and tape, for some, they’d rather do it themselves. That’s completely understandable, given the emotion and memories tied up in our belongings.
When booking a removalist, consider:
• Before you hire anyone, get a few different quotes so you can see what you can get for your budget and choose a company a friend has recommended.
• Double check your contract and T&Cs before you sign and make sure everything is included that you were promised and that all charges are clearly listed.
• Before the movers arrive, clear the path to your house and make sure there’s a clear path through every room so the removalists don’t have to keep moving things out of the way to get your belongings out of the house. If you’ve done the packing, make sure everything is secure and properly labelled. The quicker your movers can get in and out, the cheaper and more stress free it’s likely to be. Most removalists charge by the hour.
• Your removalist must have insurance to protect your goods in transit. Double check what they have and what it covers before you sign.
• Check your possessions before your moving company takes them and then check them again when they arrive at your new home. Depending on your contract, the removalist may provide compensation for damaged items.
• Finally, don’t forget that you are protected by the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) if anything does goes wrong.
3. The DIY route
Although it’s hard work, packing and moving your own items can provide an opportunity to minimise junk. Here’s some other things you should think about:
• You might want to hire a van or a trailer to get all those larger items in and reduce the amount of trips you need to take. Book early, as some hire van companies sell out on weekends.
• Don’t hire any vehicle without thoroughly reading your rental agreement and making sure you agree with all of the terms. E.g. what happens if the van or truck breaks down?
• You should be given a condition report for your hire vehicle before you drive off, so check that thoroughly and make sure the report matches up with the vehicle. Check that any damage on the vehicle is already listed in the condition report and if it’s not, get it in writing before you drive away. You could even take photographs of any damage if you want to be sure you’re covered.
• When you return your van, the hire company should do an inspection to make sure it’s been brought back in the same condition it went out in. Don’t disappear before they’ve done that – tempting though it will be to go home and collapse on your sofa with a tinny at this point – so there’s no chance they can claim you damaged something that you didn’t.