Q&A: How to move house like a professional


The stress of moving house is something not many enjoy. Packing up your entire life and relocating to a new address can be a real headache causing huge amounts of pressure and anxiety for many. So how much better would it be if you could pack up your home and arrive at your new place almost stress-free? Well, with these tips this dream could soon become a reality. Sure, you could always hire a professional to help - but if you’re a bit of a control freak or tight with the budget after buying a new home, these pro tips could make all the difference!

The key to a great move comes down to organisation and preparation and moving house without the assistance of a removalist, just involves a few more steps than usual!

Where do I begin?

Book your van and moving equipment ASAP! Having the right transportation and moving equipment is absolutely essential. You should book these items at least a month in advance of moving day – the last thing you want is to be stranded on the big day, frantically trying to find last-minute solutions.

To decide what materials you need simply look around and see what you need to move. Review your home’s contents and make a basic inventory. Take measurements of the largest items so you can evaluate the size of the van, trailer or truck you will require. There are many vehicle hire companies, including Thrifty, Budget, Hertz and Avis. Talk to your chosen hire company about moving equipment such as ropes, bungee cords, blankets, boxes, packing material and trollies.

How should I plan?        

Consider this checklist:

  • Have all your goods packed, labelled and ready to go before your helpers arrive.
  • Dismantle furniture.
  • Do your best to organise convenient vehicle access and parking at both the pick-up and delivery locations.
  • Pre-arrange care for children and pets.
  • Allocate tasks to your helping team, such as carrying, loading, driving and unpacking.
  • Brief your team as to what items will go where in your new home and alert them to any fragile or heavy items.
  • Have plenty of refreshments on hand, including water, tea, coffee and snacks.
  • Provide towels, baby wipes and gloves to keep everyone comfortable.
  • Aim to move at non-peak traffic times.
  • Make sure someone is on hand to open doors and guide the unpacking at your new home.
  • If possible, stick up temporary signs in your new home indicating where furniture and boxes should be placed.

What kind of supplies do I need?

Most obviously, a major packing necessity is boxes. Whether you use new boxes or ask your local shopping centre for some used boxes, the choice is entirely yours. Whilst recycling is probably the right decision, it is always handy to have a selection of heavy-duty boxes available on hand for special items, antiques, or just particularly heavy items.

To help protect your belongings inside the boxes consider shredded paper. This works well to cushion delicate items from being damaged throughout the move, prohibiting the contents from breaking during transport. Not only is this a cost effective solution, you’re also doing your part for the environment – win, win!

Other packing necessities include packing or sealing tape, bubble wrap, labels, markers, specialty boxes and a couple of friends or family members to assist with the move.

What should I put in my last in, first out box?

The last in, first out box should be made up of items you will use right up until the last minute. These go inside a container and are loaded last onto the truck, so they can be collected first at the other end.

The box will likely include things like; cutlery, paper plates, a pot, a pan, utensils, bottle opener, can opener, paper towel, toilet paper, baby wipes, dish soap, bath towels, a change of clothes, snacks, box cutters, tape measures, scissors and markers. If you are moving with children, it is also best to pack a kid’s survival kit which can include things like a laptop, board games, colouring books, deck of cards, a first aid kit and plenty of water.

Should I be cautious of my valuables?

 It might seem unlikely but goods have been known to be stolen during transit. Don’t leave valuable items unattended on the street (particularly electronics). Allocate a helper to keep watch over your belongings as they are moved. If you fill your car the night before, make sure you leave it locked in your garage or cover everything carefully with a dark blanket to conceal the items from prying eyes.

Highly valuable items such as fine jewelry, antiques or paintings may be best stored at a friend’s place or in secure storage until the move is complete. Keep your important financial documents, passports, birth certificates and any other legal documents aside and transport these securely. It’s also a wise idea to back up all computer files and phone data before you move.

How should I label my boxes?

 Whilst labelling boxes can be a time consuming exercise, proper labelling can save you a lot of time in the long run. There is nothing worse than searching through copious amounts of boxes looking for a particular item when you get to your new place. So, the secret? Be as descriptive as possible.

Start by writing your name on the box, just to ensure there isn’t any mix ups, then label what room the box is intended for. Next, label what is contained within the box – clothes, books, kitchen utensils etc. Inside some boxes, include a detailed list of what's inside, especially if the contents are important. Lastly, don’t forget to mark fragile, heavy or “this end up” so that you/your helpers know what to expect and how to handle the box.