Moving House Soon?
Moving house soon? You are not alone. Millions of people in Australia move house every year according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. It is an inevitable part of life but unfortunately, it can be quite stressful. Some studies have gone as far as placing it right up the stress list along with such ordeals as divorce. But all things come down to approach. With the right approach moving house can be a smooth event. Here are 3 cardinal things to remember to make your moving as seamless as possible.
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1. Pick a Good Removalist
Especially for big loads, your best chance at a hassle-free move might be getting a good removalist. There are lots of removalists available and you would not be hard-pressed to find one. The problem, however, lies in finding a good removalist. It is far from impossible, though, and a simple vetting process will see you through. Here are some tips for separating the good, the bad, and the terrible. Here is a great article giving some reasons why the “Cheapest is not always the best choice“.
Start with a background check: This is quite easy these days thanks to the internet. It is quite hard to sweep bad performance under the carpet and mask a bad reputation. People will not hesitate to leave a mean rant whenever they get a bad experience. You will equally find praises for those star-performing movers. You can use sites like Facebook and Google Reviews to get a glimpse into what to expect. Here is a link to read our genuine client reviews!
Avoid the moving Nightmares
Moving house nightmares will creep up on you in many ways. Some of these will come through surprise costs. A bad removalist will give you vague estimates knowing fully well that they will surprise you with out-of-the-blue charges once they have you in their claws. A good way to dodge these, perhaps the only way, is to ask for thorough estimates. These should be put in writing to make sure they do not backpedal on their word.
Confirm whether there will be any subcontractors: The reason you go through a painstaking vetting process is to make sure you get the right removalist. But what happens if, after picking the right company, you end up being moved by a different one? This is not uncommon at all. Some companies will subcontract other companies to do the actual moving once all the agreements have been made. Make sure you make it clear that the company you start with is the one that has to deliver your furniture to your new address.
Understand the insurance details: It is important to know what insurance you have during the move. Some movers only insure their moving trucks and your property might not be covered in case of an accident. Even if they say they have insurance, make sure you understand the fine print. What exactly is covered and what is not?
In case of a dispute
But disputes do happen and should you find yourself locking horns with a removalist, what course of action can you take? The Queensland Government website has laid down steps you can take in case of a dispute with any business or seller, including removalists. The first thing you should do is to try to sort out your grievance with the business. If that fails, there is a form on the website that you can fill. This is enough to get your case going. Read more…
2. Right Packing Practices
The packing can be the most stressful part of moving house. Everything is out of place and there is chaos everywhere. So much can go wrong at this stage: things can break, things can get lost, and walls can get scratched as you move items around. But, if you are systematic about the whole process, your packing can be so much smoother, and that means a less-stressful relocation altogether. Here are some tips for more organised packing.
It is never a bad idea to start early and you will particularly love yourself for starting your packing way ahead. You can and should start as early as 3 months before the actual moving especially if you are moving a big house. The idea is to take your time as much as you can. Hurrying about an already stressful event can make it all the more stressful.
Purge your load before moving house:
Look around your house. Chances are there are some items you can live without. In fact, there might even be some items that you just must get rid of. You can start with personal items such as clothes and shoes, old books that you no longer need, and so on. Then you have bigger items such as couches that may have outstayed their usefulness. There are three way you can get rid of unwanted furniture: throw it away, give it away, or sell it.
If you are creative and crafty, you can turn old furniture into decorations or find a clever use for it. A few Google searches will give you some pretty neat ideas for reusing some of your old furniture.
You can use eBay, Craigslist, and Gumtree to sell your old stuff. If you are feeling particularly angelic, you can donate to a charity of your choice. In Brisbane, this can be the Brisbane Refugee and Asylum Seeker Support Network, The Salvation Army, Lifeline, the National Association for Charitable Recycling Organisations, NACRO, etc. Just be sure to give away only intact stuff. The Salvation Army, for example, loses huge amounts of money trying to dispose of some of the damaged items people leave outside their offices.
If you are to throw anything away, be environment-conscious as you do it. Items such as gas tanks and solar batteries particularly need careful disposal. If possible, try to take what you can to a special recycling yard.
Here is some information on how you can save your money
Use the right packing supplies:
Don’t be skimpy on packing material. Don’t be a cheapskate or you will live to experience saying, ‘cheap is expensive.’ You will need the right grade of boxes that will hold your items and be carried around without falling apart. Corrugated cardboard is the best since the corrugations offer some structural support. If you have any fragile items, be sure to get some bubble wrap. Large priceless possessions that are prone to scratches could use thick blankets for some protection. Although good packing material might be expensive, it will most likely survive the relocation, meaning you can resell or give it away.
Don’t overpack or under-pack your boxes:
Underpacking is not the best practice. Overpacking your boxes is even worse. It actually depends on the type of items. For example, you risk breaking small fragile items if there is room for them to move about in the box while they are in transit. Overpacking is obviously dangerous as well for delicate items. While the more rugged possessions will withstand overpacking, your boxes might lose their shape by bulging which makes stacking them a harder task. They might be unstable in the truck.
Label your boxes when moving house:
Want to call chaos upon yourself? Then do not label your boxes. That is a one way street to destination I-lost-this-that. You will make things so much easier for yourself by having the boxes labelled, preferably with a marker that does not erase easily – or what’s the point? It is a great idea to separate the boxes by room, and even contents. For example, you will have boxes labelled ‘Master Bedroom-shoes’. This tells you how to handle each box depending on the content, and which ones you should have easy access to since some content might be needed immediately. You also need to have an inventory list which will keep track of everything you have and alert you to any missing possessions.
3. Utility Reconnections and Address Changes
You may inform friends and family about your move and your new address if you like. But for certain organisations that you deal with, this is a must. Depending on your lifestyle, there can be many of these, sometimes too many for your memory. Here is a list of companies, institutions, and other organisations that might need know of your new address.
- Pool services
- Internet provider
- Gas company
- Garbage collection
- Garden and lawn maintenance services and pressure cleaning
- Law firms
- Insurance providers
- Pension schemes
- Credit card providers
- Medical and veterinary services
- Lawn & garden services
- Loan providers
- Social security
- Tax authorities
- Car registration
- Drivers licence
- Professional organisations and licensing boards
- Social clubs (book clubs, etc.)
Some of these are more or less mandatory. For example, the banks and professional licensing board. You will also need to have your medical records transferred as soon as possible, especially if you have a pressing health problem.
Utility disconnections and reconnections
Your move might end up in a momentary knot if you do not handle your utility disconnections and reconnection properly. Imagine having to live without gas or electricity for a while. That can be awful especially if it’s winter. The only secret here is to inform the utility companies in good time. A week ahead of your relocation is enough to have the power up and blazing the moment you step into your new home.
For smooth disconnections, organise for the company to cut supply a day after you’ve left. You may have to pay early contract termination fees depending on the company, so budget for that as part of the moving costs. If you are moving within the same state (intrastate relocation), you won’t find any differences in the energy sector regulations. For interstate moves, however, you may have quite varied regulations and this will impact your energy use as a customer. For example, you will have full control over what company you use and make your decision based on price in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, as well as Victoria.
The government has no say about who you use and what you pay in these regions. South East Queenslanders and those living in New Territory do not have as much freedom. In fact, you’ll even find electricity price regulations in some regions.
Moving house must be treated like the important event it is. This means planning well ahead of time and not doing things as if at gunpoint. It also means investing. Invest in good packing material and invest in a good removalist. Get a cheap one and you will know why they were cheap in the first place.
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