The Science of Moving

Published by mrmovergrover on

Science of Moving


With around thirty years of experience in the Auckland movers industry I have seen just about every mistake or great idea a client can have or do, from the glaringly obvious to the downright sneak attack of the stupidity ninja. Having witnessed some real moving failures and some fantastic triumphs I have decided to write a short post detailing all the insights I have gleaned over the years, I have also dredged the minds and thoughts of a number of other furniture movers to uncover their hidden pearls of wisdom when it comes to moving .

So for the first time ever I am pleased to offer you this empirical methodology of getting all the ingredients mixed in exactly the right proportions to concoct the perfect mix of preparation, foreknowledge and common sense, I call it: ‘the science of moving’

The laws of Physics (the rules)

  • Dont eat yellow snow (universal)
  • Moving is not an exact science
  • Murphy was right
  • Furniture trucks are never on time
  • Stress is unavoidable
  • you have more stuff than you realize

Dont eat yellow snow: A universal number 1 rule that’s pretty much self explanatory

Moving is not an exact science: This is about as simple a truth as you can get, the only way to stay sane when moving is to be flexible and ready to roll with the punches as they say, being fluid in your plans is key to pulling off a successful move. If I had a brick for every overly stressed out client I have come across, I would have a nice brick house by now

Murphy was right: Murphy’s law states “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong at the worst possible moment” This is not a hard and fast law but rather a retrospective piece of philosophy you can fall back on if something goes wrong :-).

Furniture trucks are never on time: Not always true but statistically reliable enough to place a bet on, when you are making your plans keep this rule at the forefront of your mind, if you are selling or buying don’t try and time your moving slot around your handover time and taking possession of your keys, this is a big mistake I see clients make who are wanting to save time, negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. I’m never complaining when the trucks full and we are sitting for hours waiting on lawyers….but its not the way to spend money if you’re the client.

Tip: give yourself plenty of leeway ( I recommend negotiating a 24 hour window if you can swing it).

When booking your move try to get the earliest slot available and remember that as the day goes on trucks can run later and later

Stress is unavoidable: This is probably the truest piece of advice I can pass on, the longer you have lived in your house the more stressful the move will be. Moving is up with the five most stressful events a human can endure, its somewhere among Death, Taxes, Divorce and Child birth.

Hopefully the hints and tips contained in this post will help to alleviate the majority of stress in your next move.

Tip: Don’t procrastinate, start preparations the very next day after you find out a move is on the calendar.

You have more stuff than you realize: We get used to having our stuff around us and lose sight of the amount until we have to move, A general rule of thumb I have developed over the years is the 10/1 rule That is in general when estimating how big a truck is needed to shift a house I apply 1bedroom= 10 cubic meters, the exception are well organized 3 bedrooms that can quite often be loaded quite well into a 25 cubic meter truck but with not so well packed or larger 3-5 bedrooms this rule normally always plains out to be about right.

Tip: shed as much weight as you can before you move, get a skip or trailer to the tip, consider giving away or selling any non seasonal items you haven’t used in six months or more.

The Five Elements

I have observed five different main traits in clients over the years, any combination of these can apply. Figuring out what categories you fall into can help you aim for the optimum. I know what mix of the five elements I am, ill let you know after I have explained the elements as I see them, I think most men fit into that mix.

The Organizer: The organizer is fairly explanatory, they are well organized, everything is prepared and ready well before the truck arrives, beds are broken down, loose items are boxed and labeled, quite often furniture and mattresses are wrapped and bagged.

Tip: when boxing, try to get boxes of all the same dimension, they will stack better and make full usage of the trucks available space.

The Hoarder: The hoarder can be on any end of the spectrum, Ive had to just shake my head in disbelief at some of the rubbish people have paid me to move. However hording can be a lot less obvious, holding on to projects that are never going to come to fruition is one of the less obvious forms of hoarding we see on a regular basis, I mean are you really going to fix up that coffee table that’s been sitting broken for ten years? Or do you really need 15 boxes of shoes?

Tip: use your next move to clean your cupboards out and start a new era in your life, be ruthless and move on when you move.

The Procrastinator: The procrastinator is someone who’s known for weeks that their move is coming but just didn’t quite get around to getting everything in place some are so bad they didn’t even get around to starting. If you want to save money time and stress then everything needs to be ready when the truck arrives.

Tip: Make a list and do a little bit at a time, just a hour or two a day in the weeks leading up to your move can literally save you hundreds of dollars on moving day.

The Helper: This is my favorite trait, The helper is willing to roll up their sleeves and get into it with the moving guys, some even invite their friends and put on the bbq. This kind of client usually gets their move done with high energy and saves hours in labor costs.

Tip: make sure you get some (decent) zero beersies for the drivers!

The Director: Probably one of the worst traits I have run into over the years, the director is busy trying to tell the movers how to to do their job, not only is this annoying but it can be detrimental. Despite common misconception moving items is a job that requires techniques and a certain frame of mind. Anything else can be dangerous on the worksite and clients who are not professional movers can often interfere to a point that can cost them money or worse.

Tip: Its ok to direct to a point but trust that your movers know what they are doing

Personally I am a procrastinating hoarder helper, lol


Selecting your movers is key to the speed and ease of your move and no different to selecting any other tradesmen, when choosing movers don’t be fooled by fancy websites or flashy trucks, some of the biggest web presence companies actually have some of the worst reputations in the area of value for money vs services delivered.

Check customer reviews on third party sites and weigh up their experiences, don’t be fully price motivated as that almost always ends in tears, you pay peanuts then expect to get monkeys.

Moving on the surface may look or seem to be a no brain labor job, this couldn’t be any further from the truth. The difference between a good mover and a low skilled laborer is like the difference between night and day, a competent mover will be intelligent, holding several classes of drivers licenses, they will have an analytical mind and a high cognitive ability enabling them to solve complex issues surrounding logistics and moving your items safely.

A qualified mover will be proficient in lifting technique to safely move your item, stacking technique to ensure your items are secure in transit and saving you money by being skilled and competent in their job overall.


Once you’ve narrowed your preferred choices get on the phone and talk to the movers directly, using online quotation sites and tools is absolutely fine but make sure you spend some time on the phone getting a handle on the people directly, follow your instinct through the selection process, communication is key in any endeavor and moving is no exception.

Ensure you notify your movers of any issues such as bad access and large or unusual items, consider that walking driveways eats up valuable labor and in most cases doing more than one trip in a smaller truck door to door can in fact be faster than movers negotiating bad access.

Tip: word of mouth is the best form of advertising, ask your friends and family if they’ve had any good moving experiences, ask for the workers by name


Document everything, your pre move checklist, create an itinerary for your items and label your boxes so they end up in the right area of your new house. I have created a standard go to whoa checklist.

  • -Movers booked.
  • -decent handover/possession window.
  • -correct size truck (consider driveways and access, sometimes two loads is better than one due to bad access for larger trucks).
  • -Boxes (standard or same size) do not pack more than 20 kilos p/box, packing and tape
  • -Large plastic garden or rubbish bags (these are invaluable in the winter if you do not want to buy wardrobe boxes, simply poke a hole in the bottom, grab a handful of garments and slip the bag over poking the coat hangers through the hole and tape the open end up. not only will they keep your clothes dry if its raining but they will keep them clean and organized).
  • -First night travel bag or box (important if the move runs into red eye territory).
  • -All services, power, phone, water etc transferred and operating.
  • bottle of wine!

1 Comment

Top 7 Tips For Moving House – Auckland Moving Guys Ltd · May 29, 2024 at 6:05 am

[…] These tips were taken from our article labelled “The Science of Moving” […]

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