Removals strategiesHere's a bucketload of tips for your next removals project, helping you prepare for unexpected surprises when working with your movers/removals providers.
- purchase packing supplies
- general packing pointers
- electronics & appliances
- major appliances
- dishes and glassware
- lawn and garage items
PlanningIt doesn’t matter if you are moving just a few suburbs or across the other side of the world, moving house can be stressful experience. But, with a little advanced planning it can also be a very exciting time for you and your family.
Here are some useful tips to help make your move more manageable and enjoyable.
Create move fileHaving a central location for all of your move related information will make your life that much easier in the months/weeks leading up to move. This is where you will keep information about removal company quotes, checklists that detail all the things that need to be done, any receipts, and information you’ve gathered about your new neighbourhood.
Visit your new local council or state’s website for information now. Most local councils have relocation packets which provide details on all of the community services available in your new area. Get your kids involved in this process, it will get them excited about the move and the things they’ll get to do in their new area.
Sort out and throw outMoving is the perfect time to get rid of the stuff that you’ve accumulated over the years. It is unlikely that you will want to take everything with you to your new location (even if you are employing the services of your removal company to do your packing!). Be prepared to be tough.
Go room by room and ask yourself the following questions:
- Does this have sentimental or monetary value?
- When was the last time I used it?
- Will it fit in or suit the style of my new home?
- Will it work in my new home (particularly applies to electrical appliances for international moves)?
There are some items that you won’t be able to take with you. Start eating foods that can’t be safely transported and get rid of any hazardous or flammable chemicals such as garden fertilizers, cleaning products, aerosol cans and paint.
Take InventoryMoving is the perfect opportunity for you to take inventory of your belongings. Go room by room and make a list (Excel spreadsheet) of everything you will be moving, assigning values to each item for insurance purposes.
Even if your move is still a while away, it is a good idea to have some packing materials (boxes, tape, markers) on hand. There are some difficult to replace items that you will want you take with you yourself. Why not pack these now? These items might include:
- Birth and marriage certificates, wills, passports and other legal documentation
- Jewellery and special/rare collectables (stamps, coins)
- Photos and home videos
- Financial records, stock certificates, insurance policies
- Computer back-up files
Time to informThink about all of the people and organisations who you’ll need inform about your move. Visit your local post office for a mail redirection kit and view our checklist for a complete listing of organisations to send a change of address notification to. These include:
- Utility companies
- Frequent Flier Memberships
- Magazine subscriptions
In transitOften, you are so preoccupied with planning the whole moving process, it is easy to forget about planning for the time you’ll be between addresses. This may only be for a couple of hours or if it’s an international move, it could be a couple of weeks.
Make a list of things you will need to pack in suitcases. If you are moving interstate or between seasons, pack things that will be suitable for changing weather conditions. Don’t forget to pack some toys for the kids, and allow space for some treasured items you’ll want with you at all times.
It is a good idea to have suitcases packed and out of the house on moving day so that there isn’t any chance of them being accidentally put in the moving van.
Also, put together an essentials box. This will contain all of the things you’ll need when you first arrive at your new home.
Items to include:
- For each member of the family: change of clothes, towel, toiletries, and other personal items (prescription drugs, nappies, etc)
- Plastic cutlery, paper plates, cups, toilet paper, torch, first aid kit, snacks, paper, pens, scissors.
- Small tool kit for reassembling furniture
- Phone, phone chargers, batteries
- Move file and list of important telephone numbers (removers, roadside service, relatives, employer).
Packing tipsYour move date is fast approaching and it is time to think about packing up your home. Daunted by what lies ahead? Don’t worry, our packing tips will have you packing like a pro!
Firstly, take a look at your belongings and decide what items you are going to pack yourself and what items are going to get professionally packed. Your chances of having a damage-free move are greater when you let the removers to the packing, as they have the experience and equipment to do the job efficiently and correctly.
If you have decided to pack yourself, these tips will help:
Purchase packing suppliesDon’t skimp on packing supplies. They are far cheaper than broken or damaged belongings. We recommend the following items:
- Boxes of various sizes. Make sure they are clean and in good condition. If you are moving to SA or WA, please note that fruit boxes are not allowed due to the risk of fruit fly infestation.
- Butchers paper and newspaper. Newspaper can make items dirty and dusty so it is best to only use it for padding, not wrapping items.
- Marker pens and labels
- Bubble wrap / foam popcorn
- Packing tape / twine
- Scissors / box cutter
- Ziplock plastic bags (for appliance/furniture hardware)
- Pen and notebook
General packing pointers
- Start packing as soon as you find out you’re moving.
- Keep boxes to 20kg or less. The heavier the item the smaller the box.
- Pack one room at a time
- Pack items first that you don’t use often
- Take your time to pack everything carefully. Proper packing will help reduce the likelihood of damage or breakages. Use generous amounts of paper on the top and bottom of each box to provide cushioning.
- Separate breakables and non-breakables.
- Pack boxes tightly. Boxes that are overfilled do not stack properly and boxes that are underfilled can crush.
- Pack heavier items on the bottom of boxes, and lighter items on top.
- Label each box. Write contents, room and box number on the outside. Colour coding can be useful. eg. Green labels = kitchen.
- Mark all boxes with breakables as “fragile” and keep these boxes in a separate area.
- Write “open first” on boxes which contain essential items such as kitchen utensils and toiletries.
- Set up an area in your home, which will contain the items that are not being moved.
Electronics & AppliancesIf possible, pack them in their original boxes. Wrap item in bubble wrap and place in well-padded box. Immobilise moving parts and detach any cables or wires. Colour code for easy re-installation. Tape cords to back of appliance and bubble wrap.
Major appliancesShould be switched off and disconnected 24 hours prior to move day. Clean items thoroughly and put any accessories in bags. Tape cord to back of each appliance and tape any doors and lids closed. Check with your removalist for specific instructions on appliance removal.
ComputersPack in original packaging if possible. Back-up all data and store disks in safe location away from the computer. Pad boxes thoroughly and colour code wires and cords for easy reinstallation.
ClothingLeave clothes on hangers and hang in port-a-robes. Consider packing smaller items in suitcases or medium sized boxes. Some items can be left in drawers. Check with your removal company during your in-house survey.
BooksBooks are heavy, buy special book boxes/cartons for easy transportation and lifting. Lay books flat, alternating bindings.
CollectablesWrap in bubble wrap and then butchers paper. Use extra paper around box for added padding.
KitchenwareStack pots and pans. Cushion the box with lots of paper. Nestle cutlery together and wrap in bubble wrap or butchers paper. Silverware should be wrapped in cloth or specialty silver paper.
Dishes and Glassware.First place paper on bottom of box for cushioning. Wrap each piece individually and then in threes. Never pack dishes flat, always pack plates on their edge. Glasses should be individually packed and heavily cushioned.
Furniture.Disassemble items that are too big to transport whole. Tie bed frames together with tape or rope. Label items so they are easy to reassemble. Wrap items in blankets or bubble wrap and secure to furniture. Don’t use tape directly on wooden or painted surfaces. Coat fine wooden furniture with wax to protect it from scratching.
Décor.Remove light globes and detach shades from lamp bases. Place shades in boxes lined with paper. Roll up rugs and secure with tape or rope. Pack mirrors, artwork and picture frames in mirror boxes.
Lawn and Garage Items.Drain all petrol from lawn movers, whipper snippers/weed-whackers, chainsaws and other equipment. Empty/remove gas tank from barbeque and secure lids and any moving parts. Thoroughly clean gardening tools and strap together in a bundle. Place smaller items in a box and wrap thoroughly to prevent injury. Discard any flammable items and any rags or equipment that cannot be shipped.
Loading TipsIf you have chosen utilise a self-service moving service or decided do the move yourself, these loading tips will help reduce loading time and fatigue and ensure a safer ride for your belongings.
- Safety First.Make sure you have enough people on hand to help move your belongings safely. Three people is usually the minimum number of people necessary. Rent a dolly and ramp for the truck (if they don’t come supplied). Lifting boxes is strenuous, having a dolly to transport your items will save you time and energy, particularly if there are stairs or large distances between the moving van and your front door. Always squat when picking up boxes. Lift with your knees, not your back.
- Load large appliances first. This includes washers, dryers, fridges, dishwashers, anything that takes more than two people to move. Keep appliances in their upright position, placing them against the front wall/cab of the trailer or truck.
- Next, move longer bigger furniture items. Sofas, mattresses, and bed heads can be stood on end and anchored to the other large heavy items. This will save on space. Use furniture padding and blankets to help protect your belongings and reduce shifting, rubbing or puncturing during transit.
- Continue loading long or unusual shaped items like bikes, chairs, etc. Place cardboard under anything that can be scuffed and used bagged pillows, blankets and cushions to fill any gaps.
- Start loading the heavy boxes by placing them on top of the appliances and other furniture items.
- Place larger boxes on the floor and load lighter boxes on top. Secure down if necessary.
- Load fragile items last and place them as tightly as possible to avoid movement during transit. You may need to use blocks or braces to secure your things in place.
Dos and Don’ts of a Removal
- Plan as far ahead as possible
- Check the credentials of your short listed removalists. Call all references.
- Keep your sense of humour. Moving is stressful but with some preparation your move can go smoothly.
- Organise for the kids and pets to be out of the house on moving day.
- Know what is expected of you on moving day and ask any questions about items that concern you.
- Pre-pack all valuables and essential items for your trip. Keep these in the car or offsite on moving day.
- Take out transit insurance.
- Disconnect appliances and get rid any of perishables.
- Pack boxes according to room.
- Prepare floor plan of new house and give to removalist for easy unloading.
- Take an inventory of your goods.
- Place cleaning equipment aside.
- Clear space for moving truck and make access as easy as possible.
- A room-by-room check to make sure nothing is left behind.
- Advise appropriate people and businesses of your new address and contact details.
- Make price the deciding factor in choosing a removalist. Think about dropping or scaling back services rather than choose someone because of price.
- Leave packing until the last minute.
- Skimp on packing supplies. They are far cheaper than replacing broken or damaged items.
- Use plastic bags for transporting clothing or toys, they usually end up breaking.
- Hover around the removalists. Keep out of the way during loading and unloading for your safety and that of the removers.
- Forget to disconnect/reconnect your utilities.
- Leave valuables unattended.
Items not to pack
everything in your old home can be packed into boxes and moved to
your new address. There are some things that removalists are not
permitted to transport for safety reasons, and there are some things
that you’ll want to keep with you at all times for security or
Ask your removal company for a full list of non-packable items. The three main categories of goods that should not packed are:
Hazardous MaterialsSafely dispose of all hazardous materials. Either pass them on to a friend or neighbour, contact a local recycling centre or waste management company.
The most common flammable, corrosive and explosive household items include:
- Cleaning products
- Garden/Plant fertiliser
- Lighter fluid
- Motor oil
- Nail polish and Nail Polish remover
- Paint & Paint thinners
- Propane Tanks
Perishable ItemsAnything that may die, spoil or suffer if not specially cared for is considered a perishable item. This includes plants, foods and pets. Ask your removal company about special pet transportation and options for taking plants with you to your new address.
If your move is only local then some companies may accept some perishable items, but check first, don’t assume its okay. Proper packing is required.
Clean and empty refrigerators and freezers at least 24 hours prior to moving. Leave doors and lids open to allow for airing and drying out before shipping. This will reduce the chance of mould and bad odours.
Valuables and Sentimental ItemsThere are some things that are best kept with you at all times. These items do not necessarily have to be expensive, they could hold sentimental value or be time sensitive. Think carefully before packing anything that would cause you distress if lost, delayed or damaged in transit. Some items that fall into this category may include:
- Address books
- Personal files (passport, birth certificates, wills, marriage certificates)
- Photos and albums
- Home videos
- Cheque books and financial statements
- Collectables (coins, stamps)
- Computer software, back-up disks
- Medicine and prescriptions
- Children’s artwork
- Keys (house, car, office)
- Medical, school or tax records
- Family heirlooms
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