Being organised is a sure-fire way of beating the physical and emotional stress of moving houses. Use this simple checklist, complete with timelines, to keep you on track so that you can enjoy your new home as soon as you arrive.
8 weeks before your move
1. Select a removalist
Find an accredited removalist in your area by visiting the Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA) website. Or ask family and friends for recommendations, then check if the company is accredited with AFRA.
With so many fly-by-night operators purporting to be experts, AFRA accreditation provides peace of mind with a benchmark quality of service. As the official body of removals experts that is consulted by Government departments to regulate the industry, AFRA accredits only the companies that have the necessary equipment, vehicles, premises and staff training needed to complete a professional move.
Call the companies you’ve selected to learn more about how they can help you. Check that they have a physical street address and are contactable in various ways (not just a PO box and mobile number). And don’t forget to read their customer reviews.
2. Ask for an in-house no-obligation quote
The best way to get an accurate and detailed quotation is to ask the company to visit your home. In most cases the quotation can be provided immediately, but in some circumstances may need to be emailed to you within 24 hours.
An onsite visit allows the representative to take note of factors like steep or narrow driveways, overhanging branches, stairs, lift size and accessibility, other possible impediments and ferry vehicle requirements
Inside your home, a complete inventory of your goods and belongings will include:
- The total number, and type, of boxes to be packed (standard removalist cartons, book/wine cartons, picture cartons, TV cartons, porta-robes and bike cartons)
- Any furniture items that need to be disassembled
- The total volume of goods to be moved
- Any items that may require specialist packing materials such as crates
- Any large or difficult items (billiard tables, pianos, work benches, safes, etc)
The representative should also discuss details such as dates and settlement times, insurance, long or short-term storage requirements, packing and unpacking options, car and pet transportation, end of lease/moving out cleaning and information on gaining access to your new property.
3. Decide if you want to do any packing
Whether you are moving across town, interstate or overseas, packing your belongings can be a daunting task. Removalists are packing experts who work quickly and carefully to take the pressure off you.
Some people choose not to do any packing at all – leaving the whole job to the mover, even getting them to unpack boxes at the new home. Others select a ‘breakables’ packing option which gets the mover to pack only the kitchen items, ornaments and other delicate goods. You can even choose to pack everything yourself. The company can arrange for new (or second hand) cartons, tape and packing paper to be delivered to your property beforehand.
4 weeks before your move
1. Declutter your house
As removal prices are based on volume, the less you take with you, the less your move will cost.
Start with any unopened boxes that arrived with you from a previous move. Open them up and make a final decision about the items inside. If you haven’t used them for more than 12 months, it’s time to get rid of them.
Next, go through all your items, room by room, beginning with the least used room of the house and the least used items in each room. This will give you a great sense of accomplishment right at the start of your clean-up project.
Make use of council hard rubbish collections. Many councils will allow you to book a once off collection if it is outside of their normal collection timetable. Hire a skip, give to charity, and make your grown children take their own boxes of childhood memories.
2. Start packing
Categorise your belongings so they’re easy to find when unpacking. Then pack one room at a time, placing the heavier items at the bottom of each box.
Tape the bottom of the box securely – you can never use too much tape – and don’t overfill the boxes. Also be sure to use the right size box, and the right type of box.
Book/wine cartons are suitable for heavy or delicate items such as glassware, china, figurines, cutlery, books, wine, DVD’s, CD’s and videos. Standard cartons are suitable for crockery, ornaments, shoes, toys, linen, clothes and other medium weight items. Porta-robes are used for hanging clothing and oversized items. Picture cartons are for mirrors and pictures.
2 weeks before your move
1. Contact your service and utility providers
Notify them of your change of address, and to organise final readings for electricity, gas, and water. Other service providers to inform include internet provider, Pay TV, telephone, insurance, subscriptions, hire purchase companies, car registration and licences, banks and financial institutions. schools and childcare, doctor, sporting clubs, relevant government departments such as ATO, Medicare, Centrelink, and Australia Post for mail redirection.
One day before your move
1. Important things to remember
- Empty and clean fridge and freezer
- Notify your neighbours about moving day to ensure there is ample parking space at the front of your property
- All self-packing should be completed. Boxes must be securely taped and marked with contents or room destination.
- Decide where you want to place your furniture in your new home.
- Pack an essentials carton to load on the truck last or to go in the car with you. Items to include:
1. Kettle, tea, coffee, sugar, mugs and spoons
2. Toilet paper and bathroom essentials
3. TV remotes
4. Bed screws, an Allen key or tool kit
5. A bottle of bubbly and glasses
Your moving van and team will arrive at your property according to the time allocated to you. If you’ve used our checklist, you should be all packed and ready to go. The removalists will load the moving van with care and skill. For tech-savvy companies using new technology to deliver a high level of customer service, your removalists will digitally record all inventory as they are loaded, so they can be easily tracked at the destination.
Then, all you have to do is relax and enjoy the start of a new chapter.
Checklist provided by Dawson Moving and Storage.
Dawson Moving and Storage is Australian owned and operated, with its head office in Melbourne, a branch in Canberra and a nation-wide network of AFRA accredited agents. It offers packing, local, interstate & international removal and self-storage services across Australia and internationally.
(03) 9763 0222, dawsonmoving.com.au