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
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.”