Preparing to move house can feel like a juggling act. If you’re not organising the removalist and packing up your furniture, you’re trying to get the electricity and broadband connected. You might also be working during the move, or looking after the kids. It’s not surprising then that important tasks can get lost among the chaos.
Conway Stensness of Sydney removals company Relax & Move knows better than most the stresses that come with moving day. He shares some of his firsthand experiences as we give you a heads up on five things you shouldn’t overlook during the big move.
When you’re booking a removalist, consider where they’ll park. Let them know the situation – and keep your neighbours (both old and new) in the loop.
“Parking is often a big issue,” Conway explains. “Trucks are large, and we often have to move a truck half a dozen times on a job because the neighbours haven’t been told there’s a truck arriving and it’s blocking a driveway. Re-parking a big truck can take half an hour, and all that will impact the cost of a job if you’re paying on an hourly basis.”
It’s also wise to give your removalist as much information as possible about how they will access and remove your possessions. As Conway points out, every person’s situation is different – a house presents different challenges to an apartment in a multi-storey building. In a big block, you may need to book and pay for a goods lift before the truck arrives.
Connecting and disconnecting the utilities? It’s on the list. But what about changing energy providers? Before you turn out the lights at your old address, it’s worth taking the time to see how a move might impact your energy bills.
“For many movers, reviewing your energy provider can seem like just another thing to add to your ever-growing to-do list, but it could end up saving you a lot of money over the long term,” says iSelect Corporate Affairs Manager Laura Crowden.
According to a national iSelect survey conducted in April 2016, 52% of respondents had recently moved chose to roll over their existing energy contract and provider to their new address. This suggests that many households may be paying more for energy than they need to. By comparison, some 29% switched to a new energy provider when they moved.
Energy charges often vary from suburb to suburb, meaning the deal you had for your old home may well not apply to the new one, even if your move is a local one. While it might be tempting to continue with your old provider for the sake of convenience, it’s always wise to consider alternatives.
“Just because you had the best deal in your old home doesn’t mean the same provider will be the best option for your new address,” says Laura. “You’d be surprised by how much your bills can change just by moving a few kilometres down the road.”
Removalist Conway says, in his experience, people are fairly well organised when it comes to transferring their utility contracts between homes. After all, people notice pretty quickly when they don’t have power. However, other services and agencies sometimes gets overlooked.
Make a note to register your new address with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Australian Electoral Commission, your driving licence authority, any government branch you deal with (such as Centrelink or Medicare), your bank, mobile phone provider, superannuation provider and the like.
One way to ensure all your post reaches your new address is to arrange for your mail to be forwarded. Australia Post offers mail redirection services for one, three, six or 12 months, which require three working days to action.
The iSelect survey found that 23% of respondents thought their car insurance would stay the same after moving house. The truth is, you may be subject to a different premium depending on your new neighbourhood (think about local crime rates and susceptibility to flooding, for example), and where you park your car overnight (on the street, in a garage, etc.).
Interestingly, only 28% of those surveyed knew the cost of car insurance could change as a result of a new address.
Most people will move house at least once in their life. This means your family and friends know firsthand how hard a move can be, and may be willing to lend a hand.
Don’t be shy in asking for help, be it with packing, cleaning, looking after children or pets, or running errands. If you’ve arranged ahead of time to have your kids and pets safely out of the way, you’ll be free to devote all your attention to speed, efficiency and thoroughness – the precious ingredients of a stress-free and uncomplicated move.
Even the most organised person is likely to forget something when they’re moving house. However, with a little preparation your move can be made easier. And once that’s done, all you have to do is enjoy your new home.
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