By Clive Smith – Budget Self Pack Containers
Moving House? Don’t Get Stung by an Overpriced Removalist
Moving house can be an incredibly stressful and draining experience. You need to spend a lot of time preparing and even then, you can get caught out by companies that damage furniture, over charge or otherwise ruin your experience.
Even if you get a great removalist, if you choose the wrong service it can make life really difficult. It’s important to minimise that risk as much as you can – research is the key.
Types of Removalists
The cheapest option also comes with the most work. You’ll need to do everything yourself – packing, loading, driving, storage. You’ll need to buy or hire all your packing materials and source your own insurance. You’re completely on your own with this one so if you’re not experienced in furniture removal this may not be the best option for you.
Companies that offer this service usually specialise in long distance moves. They will drop a shipping container to you to pack at your leisure. When you’re done, they’ll move it to your new home. When you’ve finished unloading it yourself, they’ll collect it. This is a great, low-budget option for interstate moves and gives you the added benefit of not having to clutter your home with boxes and furniture while moving out – you just pop them straight in the container as you go. Companies like Budget Self Pack Containers will talk you through what you need to know and will even supply trolleys, blankets and other equipment. They’re also fully insured so you have peace of mind during the move.
This is the most expensive option. You can have a full-service removalist load, move, unload and even pack your boxes if you’re willing to pay for it. Better for short moves and those who can’t move heavy items themselves, a full-service removalist usually charges by the hour. You may be able to lower the price helping them load the truck, but some companies don’t allow this. They should have all the equipment they need on the day and may offer box hire and other services as well.
How to choose a company
Word of mouth is definitely the way to go here. Try to find a company that a friend or colleague has used and will recommend and check online reviews as well. Call at least a few companies – they should be upfront about fees and expectations so if one is holding back, that can be a red flag.
Be explicit about what you want and ask as many questions as you can. If you forget something, just call back! Ask if they have insurance, if they use subcontractors (and if so, try to find out who will take responsibility if things go wrong) and get a couple of quotes – these should always be obligation free.
Be as prepared as you can. Unless you have a self-pack container, you’ll need to make sure every last thing is packed, boxed and ready to go.
- Make sure you label boxes as you go and pack the most commonly used things together as you’ll need those first at your new house.
- Pack a suitcase with the things you need to get by for a day or so to avoid digging through boxes for a toothbrush or a lost shoe.
- Have a checklist of things that need to be done.
- Make sure everyone involved in the move has the contact details of the removalist.
- Check the weather reports the day before so you’ll know to make arrangements for wet weather.
Remember to stay well hydrated and eat regularly!
Pets, Kids and Emergencies
Before you start your move, ask the removalists who to contact in an emergency. Make sure you have the number of the driver if you’re using a truck and if using another type of service, make sure you know who to talk to if you need anything. Have your phones charged and if possible, have a backup helper on standby if you need them to take care of any last-minute things.
Pack a bag with anything you need for kids or pets. A change of clothes, food and snacks, toys, water bowls and leads are all things you don’t want to be looking for at the last-minute. Make sure you have some games and a safe play area organised for the kids at the house they’ll be at and that the yard is secure before leaving a pet unattended. If you’re using a pet relocation service, they’ll let you know what you need to have organised.
To help make your move easier we have put together a list of ‘must-ask’ questions you NEED to ask your removalist prior to signing up.