I’ve heard it said that moving is one of the top five stressful events in life that sits somewhere between death, divorce, taxes and in laws. With over 20 years experience in the moving industry I can pretty much say I believe it, I’ve seen all kinds of stressed out clients
So that being said I have decided to give our top seven tips to try and help people avoid a lot of unnecessary moving day stress.
- Preparation not procrastination
- Time management
- Package everything
- Be honest with yourself
- Go with the flow
Preparation not procrastination
One of the biggest mistakes people can make is thinking they have plenty of time to get things sorted, depending on how long you have been living in your house this can be a fatal error that leads to way too much compounded stress when moving day arrives.
Also prepare for the first night in your new house, remember that moving day is a big day and you most likely don’t want to have to be rummaging through boxes looking for bed legs, toothbrushes and the jug so you can get that much needed caffeine shot (See packing for more details).
Start preparing as soon as you know a move is on the cards, don’t even leave it for an extra day, start the following steps immediately.
We see people paying to move stuff they simply don’t use or evidently haven’t used for a long time, not only is this bad for their immediate environment, it costs a lot more as moving is all based around the size of the load.
Be ruthless in your estimation of what you actually need vs what you actually want. A good general rule of thumb that has helped many people out is ‘if you haven’t used something for 6 months’, do you really need it?
Donate, sell, give away or tip! We cant stress enough how much a good purge will make your life better and moving day easier when moving house.
Do some amateur sleuthing before booking your moving company. Investigate the various companies by seeking quotes, you can judge how well a company knows the business by the quality of their quotation. Do they give you a breakdown of their price justifying their quotation? Have they estimated the size of the load based on the information you have supplied? Have they asked the right questions to be able to even give you a price indication?
When approaching a moving company for a quote, there are some factors that you will need to take into account and some pertinent information you will need to supply in order to get a fairly accurate price indication;
Type of properties, what kind of house are you moving out of and what kind of house are you moving into? single level, two story, three level town house etc.
Access to the houses, are there any issues with getting a truck up to the door at either property? would two trips in a smaller truck be faster than having guys walking long driveways with your furniture?
How much stuff do you have? This is where packing your house lot up will be your best friend, boxing all loose items will give you a quantifiable amount of units that you can then pass onto your moving company in order to get a really sharp estimation of cost (see packing for more detail).
Insurance matters: What are your requirements when it comes to matters of contents insurance? There are several different contracts mandated by legislation when it comes to items during cartage. Decide if or what you want to be insured before you approach a moving company, most moving companies will insist that contracts are “at owners risk” by default. This is a legitimate contract and usually applies to self packed or non packed house lots. There are other options available for full insurance or insurance on specific items by negotiation.
You don’t need to insure everything!
Do not underestimate how long it will take you to move house, the entire process takes days and can even drag into weeks by the time you have really arrived at a moved in state. Moving your furniture and possessions is just a small part of the equation, we have often driven away feeling real sorry for clients who have underestimated how much stuff they have and the move took way longer than they had counted on.
You don’t want to be working into the night just so you can go to sleep, so in order to avoid this pitfall take into account the following hints;
Try to book the first slot of the day on the truck, moving is not an exact science and trucks can often have jobs blow out causing them to run behind schedule, sometimes seriously, Its not out of the realms of possibility that a moving truck can be 4 or more hours late by the last job of the day (I’ve seen this and worse happen).
Its not that movers are out to rip anyone off, its quite often that clients seriously under estimate how much stuff they have or their access and try to play down their job when seeking quotes, this doesn’t help anyone, least of all themselves on moving day.
Do not underestimate the amount of stuff you have, this one is self explanatory , Try to get a good handle on how much stuff you have and the access to your properties. You will start to get a good idea of the size of the task once you’ve packed your house lot up. You will then be able to gauge what time slots you can realistically accept for the trucks arrival.
As mentioned several times already, packing everything is vital to understanding the size of your job and saving time and money on moving day.
Boxes; when sourcing moving boxes, bear in mind that not all boxes are created equal. Try to get uniform boxes of the same dimensions, this will give you a clear ability to calculate their cubic meterage. Try not to get boxes that are to small as this will increase the amount of trips required to load them, try not to get boxes so large they will be heavy and tire your moving guys out.
In any case, do not stack a box with more than 15 kilos of items, a general rule of thumb is if your happy to lift it then so will the moving guys.
Break down beds and flat pack furniture items, break your beds and any collapsible items before the moving truck arrives, purchase a large roll of clear wrap and wrap all slats, bed rails and legs etc into easy to manage packages for speedy loading and unloading.
Labeling, Although not necessary for all boxes its highly recommended that you label your boxes indicating the contents, some clients will go as far as putting room numbers on the boxes, this is a great idea that makes their life much easier when unpacking.
In any case make sure you clearly label your most important items so you have quick and easy access to them on the first night in the new house, this will save you a lot of unnecessary stress on moving day.
Be honest with yourself
Probably the most important piece of advice I can give when it comes to moving.
Be honest about how much stuff you have, be honest about if you really need those unused items, be honest about how long its going to take.
Being pragmatic removes the stress of unrealistic expectations, a big must when moving.
Go with the flow
Well that’s it then, you’ve made all the preparations you can to create a speedy and low stress move, grandmas jewels are insured, the beds are packed and wrapped, everything’s boxed and labelled, the trucks booked and the company is well informed of the situation…….
Now all you need to do is go with the flow and remember ‘moving is not an exact science’ even the best laid plans can go astray!
If you have selected the right moving company they will be in touch with you a day or two before the move and on moving day letting you know how they are tracking.
Don’t stress if they are running late, grab a coffee or a sandwich and just relax knowing that when you get to your new home you are prepared!
About the author: Levi Wulf has been involved in the moving industry for over twenty years, he has worked as an employee laborer, a contract driver an owner operator along with contract management and M.D. of two companies.