Tips How To Move Yourself. How Much Moving Could Cost You?

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Can you move yourself?

A Do It Yourself move is not for everyone.  If you live in a 2-storey 4 bedroom house with 3 kids and 2 pets and have a double door fridge, king beds and side stairs as access you are probably better off hiring professionals.  That said, there are many types of moves and people for whom it would make sense to do your own move.  If you fall under any of these categories, it is a good idea to move yourself:

  • Moving into a fully furnished apartment/house.  You will only need to move your personal belongings in boxes or containers. This is a no-brainer.

  • Moving with housemates.  You’re all adults that can help each other out when moving furniture and appliances.  You will probably be sharing the costs of the move as well as the furniture and appliances themselves which means that different housemates will be responsible for having certain white goods delivered.  Group decisions on what will be moved means that there will usually be some culling.

  • The minimalist.  If you don’t have a lot of furniture and small items the move can probably be done by yourself and a friend or relative.  In our experience, customers that are good declutterers and have only purposeful furniture are the quickest to move whether they do it themselves or hire us to do it.

  • Moving out for the first time/buying all your furniture.  If you’re moving out for the first time, chances are your parents will help you.  They will use the family van or hire a small truck and help you load the essentials as well as pack.  If you are buying all your furniture brand new chances are that the supplier can deliver it to you, it will often be flat packed so it will be easy for you to bring it up.  In this case furniture assembly will be the most time consuming part, as well as getting rid of the rubbish afterwards.

How much does it cost to move yourself?

You may believe you are cutting costs by moving yourself instead of hiring professional movers and in many cases this is true but make sure you have accounted for the following costs:

  • Truck/Ute costs – apart from the cost to hire, you will have to also refill the tank, pay for tolls.  Hiring the ute/truck can cost anywhere from $75 to $300 a day depending on the type of vehicle you book and when you book it.

  • Time – Moving is going to take quite some time.  Plan about a month for packing and at least 2 days for moving with the possibility of bringing a few things by car before you use the truck for smaller items such as boxes, lamps, small appliances (microwaves, iron, vacuum cleaner etc). 

  • Insurance – If you are moving yourself you may want to insure your most precious items.  Some building management will also want to see Public Liability insurance.

  • Storage/double rent/rent and mortgage – You may need an overlap between the old address and the new one, consider a storage facility or renting the old place a little longer so that you aren’t in breach of any contract or in case of delays with settlement.

  • Deductions from your bond – non-professionals are more likely to damage the property when they move as they are less experienced handling furniture.  Take care when you move and make sure you take any photos of prior damage to avoid confusion during the final inspection.

  • Manpower – two professional removalists are used for most moves, 3 or 4 when there are stairs, over the balcony moves, large pianos and complex items involved.  For non-professionals we recommend at least 3 people for a standard 2-bedroom unit.

Tips for your DIY home moving

Here are some tips to make your DIY move as smooth as possible:

  • Pack as early as possible and declutter A LOT.  The biggest mistake people make when they move happens before moving day.  They don’t give themselves enough time to pack and move.  So often moving day comes along and you will find you still have so much to get rid off and quite a few boxes to pack.  Try to start packing and decluttering at least a month before you move.  This will give you time to sell your unwanted items, arrange council pick ups, a skip bin or trips to the tip or Salvos/Vinnies.  If you only pack the essentials, you will have less to move and you won’t be as stressed.

  • Find the right type of ute or truck and hire it as early as possible.  Don’t take risks with the vehicle that you hire.  Make sure it’s the right size or you may not fit your largest appliances or you will have to do several trips which might mean you bust your budget on fuel and tolls.  You can use the many volume calculators online to check what volume you need in the truck.  The earlier you hire the ute or truck the more you will save.  The most expensive hires are the day before or the same day.

  • Timeline your move.  Give yourself a lot of time to pack and declutter.  For the move itself you may need 2 days, you are not a professional so it may take you a few trips and it may be a lot slower for you to move furniture around making sure you don’t damage anything.  You also want to give yourself time to clean and unpack without stressing out over deadlines.

  • Prepare your furniture and appliances before the move.  Disconnect and disassemble any parts that might get caught when you move the furniture or white goods.  Empty drawers so that the inside of the furniture won’t get damaged.  Consider wrapping your furniture or wrapping any sharp corners or edges that may scratch walls or door frames.

  • Get some equipment to help you move: straps to tie the furniture to the truck, ramps, trolleys and dollies to help you cart the heavy items. 

  • Get by with a little help from your family and friends!  Ask for help, especially if they are probably going to move soon.  Remember to thank them with some beers and/or a BBQ.

  • Pack the truck carefully.  Strap the heaviest items: furniture and goods to the side of the truck.  Pack it as tightly as possible so things don’t move around.  Stack tables and chairs leaving few gaps in between and small cabinets and shelves in the space between their legs.  Stack boxes and crates together.

  • If you have pets or children plan your move while they are in daycare or school or have someone watch them. 

Planning to move?

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