These pro­fes­sional pack­ers know a thing or two about mov­ing – they share their top tips for the big day

Pack­ing up your whole house – from fridge to fry­pan – is an ex­pe­ri­encee you’ll never for­get. Avoid mov­ing-day dis­as­ters with top ad­vice from the pro­fes­sion­als

Inside Out (Australia) - - Contents - WORDS VIC­TO­RIA BAKER

Buy­ing a beau­ti­ful new house will have you on a high, but pack­ing up your home be­fore the move is a task that can quickly bring you back down to earth with a thud. Pro­fes­sional pack­ers and movers have seen it all – from an­tique In­done­sian head­dresses to thou­sand-bot­tle wine col­lec­tions and grand pianos. We’ve put to­gether a guide that’ll get you and your pre­cious pos­ses­sions from old house to new with a min­i­mum of drama.

The most com­mon mov­ing mis­take is un­der­es­ti­mat­ing the amount of stuff you have and the time it will take to pack, says Su­san Wil­liams, founder of The Fin­ish­ing Touch (ftouch.com.au), which of­fers pro­fes­sional pack­ing and un­pack­ing ser­vices around the coun­try. “An av­er­age three-bed­room house will have around 80 boxes of be­long­ings, not in­clud­ing fur­ni­ture. Ev­ery­one thinks they haven’t got much stuff, but in­vari­ably they do – 80 boxes is about 18 hours of pack­ing time for us, and for peo­ple who aren’t used to pack­ing, it will take longer.”

To min­imise the amount you pack and move, it makes sense to ditch or do­nate ev­ery­thing you don’t need ahead of time. “We al­ways rec­om­mend you go through your fridge, pantry and freezer – there’s no point mov­ing stale spices and old sauce bot­tles you haven’t used for ages,” says Su­san.

You’ll want to spread your pack­ing time over a few days or even weeks, so or­der your boxes and ma­te­ri­als well in ad­vance of your mov­ing date. Mov­ing boxes come in two stan­dard sizes, and Su­san sug­gests or­der­ing half of the larger size and half of the smaller. It’s not just boxes though, you’ll also need plenty of butcher’s pa­per – about 1kg for ev­ery three boxes – plus tape and mark­ers. “Don’t use news­pa­per,” says Su­san. “You’ll end up with black ink all over your be­long­ings and your hands, which will then in­vari­ably end up all over your new place.”

On mov­ing day, you’re pay­ing for the re­moval­ist based on time but you’re also de­pen­dent on your prop­erty set­tle­ment and get­ting the keys to your new place from the agent. “Some­times, not mov­ing on set­tle­ment day can be smart,” says Peter Tin­worth, owner of Eric’s Re­movals (er­ic­sre­movals.com.au). “If the set­tle­ment is de­layed for any rea­son, we end up un­load­ing right at the end of the day or evening, which of­ten means over­time rates and can be hard if you have lit­tle kids. It of­ten works bet­ter for a fam­ily to stay some­where else that night and move in the next morn­ing. This also gives you a chance to check the new place is cleaned to your sat­is­fac­tion.”

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