Moving house can be stressful and tedious. If you’re unprepared – procrastination, anyone? – the time you spend on a move can drag out, and your costs can balloon as a result. But moving doesn’t have to be a total drag. Here are several ways to speed things up and reduce your stress on moving day.
Packing your belongings is an art form that requires forethought and a systematic approach. Take it from an expert: poor packing is the main thing that slows down a removalist on moving day.
“In the majority of cases,” says Conway Stensness, owner of Sydney removal service Relax & Move, “people will pack [their belongings] themselves, and sometimes they really don’t do that efficiently, so it takes longer to move their gear.”
Having been in the industry for many years, Conway has seen it all.
“People overload boxes; they make them too heavy. Boxes are only designed to carry a certain weight. People also use boxes unsuitable for the job, which presents problems in stacking them on top of each other. It’s fine when they’re spread around the lounge room, but when they go in a truck you might have to have five or six boxes on top of each other.”
Inefficient packing can end up in a removalist having to redo it on moving day – something that will extend the time they spend with you, and, therefore, how much they charge.
“People underestimate how long it takes to pack, which is why we’re often turning up and only half the place is packed. Then they get stressed out that the move is taking longer than we may have estimated – of course, our estimate is based on everything being packed correctly.”
Despite your best intentions, packing oversights are inevitable. As you concentrate on packing household items and furniture, those things you don’t regularly use can be forgotten.
“People often forget items in the garage,” Conway says, “or individual garden tools which should be bundled up and organised, so rather than carrying 10 separate items we’re carrying one handful of items.”
It’s important to ensure a good stock of essential supplies like packing tape and markers to label your boxes. Other fiddly things to remember include removing cupboard drawers, furniture feet and even doorknobs, to ensure removalists have as much room as possible when moving furniture through doorways.
Many of Conway’s clients forget to disconnect electrical appliances and dismantle set-top boxes and televisions. “I’d suggest that you look at all the furniture and items that need to be moved and just think, ‘Can somebody walk in the door, pick it up, and walk out?’ Because that’s primarily why you get a removalist – everything else can be done by the client.”
Long before you start packing, walk around your house and make a list of what you need to do. Then you can simply check things off the list at each stage of the move.
Conway also recommends discussing the moving-house process with removalists in as much detail as possible and following their advice about what’s required come moving day.
Arrange to both disconnect and connect the utilities before moving day, and pick dates that suit you. With a little planning, you’ll still have hot water to clean the old house and the lights will be on when you move into the new place.
Most energy providers require three days’ notice to disconnect electricity and gas. They’ll arrange a final meter reading and send you a final bill. Take your own final readings, and a photo for reference, should any discrepancies or disagreements occur after you’ve moved out.
Connecting utilities at a new house can be a relatively simple process – perhaps an online sign-up or a phone call or two, and maybe a visit from your provider. Many energy companies now guarantee same-day or next-business-day connection.
No longer one of life’s luxuries, an internet connection is now essential for most people. If you’re planning on relaxing with some Netflix after you unpack, iSelect can help you to find a suitable broadband service for your new home. Think ahead on this one – depending on the set-up, it can take a couple of weeks (or more) to get the internet connected.
Moving house is never likely to be one of life’s pleasures. But planning ahead, packing properly, working with professional removalists and being as organised as possible will help you settle into your new home sooner.
iSelect does not compare all products in the market. Not all products are available at all times.