Mov­ing is no fun, but you can ease the pain

The Weekend Post - Real Estate - - Front Page - Caro­line James

MOV­ING house is like vis­it­ing your den­tist. You know it is com­ing up. Logic says it’s ‘‘for the best’’, but the mere thought makes your teeth clench.

‘‘Mov­ing your home is like get­ting mar­ried; there is a lot of build-up to the big day,’’ says Cather­ine Gam­brel­lis, chief ex­ec­u­tive of na­tional mov­ing com­pany Two Men and a Truck. ‘‘ But if you have done due dili­gence and picked the right peo­ple, things tend to work out.’’

We have com­piled ex­pert tips and tricks to help keep your home move stress in check.

YOU’RE MOV­ING

Scout re­moval­ists: If you will need one, get at least three quotes and start six weeks out if pos­si­ble.

Aus­tralia’s re­moval­ist in­dus­try is un­reg­u­lated but some op­er­a­tors have formed the Aus­tralian Fur­ni­ture Re­movals As­so­ci­a­tion, of­fer­ing insurance on goods in tran­sit and en­cour­ag­ing high stan­dards of truck, equip­ment and train­ing.

De-clut­ter: Is it time to farewell your ugly wed­ding vase or dusty en­cy­clopae­dia set?

Ev­ery item moved costs in trans­port and/or stor­age, and means need­ing big­ger houses, says Bon­nie Black from Lit­tle Miss Or­gan­ised.

‘‘Start by pulling ev­ery­thing out, putting back only what you use or love,’’ Ms Black says. ‘‘Items can go into keep, rub­bish or do­nate piles: do not have a ‘maybe’ pile.’’

Ren­ter Claire Dim­itroff, who will have moved for the fourth time in less than two years by Christ­mas, of­fers this nifty tip: ‘‘Put all clothes hang­ers back­wards in your closet and if they are still back­wards af­ter six months, it is time to sell, do­nate or ditch.’’

Hire/buy boxes and start pack­ing: The ear­lier the bet­ter. Start with the least-used room and leave the kitchen un­til last.

If a DIY move, use linen for pack­ing frag­ile items, Ms Black says.

Move in batches: If mov­ing lo­cally and your new home is va­cant, start mov­ing small items ASAP.

‘‘ If you have started mov­ing clothes and soft fur­nish­ings ahead of time it can re­ally save you pre­cious time on the big move day,’’ Ms Dim­itroff says.

Name a ‘‘first night’’ box: Put re­mote con­trols, toi­letries, scis­sors, pack­ing tape, favourite toys, clean­ing items and med­i­ca­tions – then store it some­where safe – so you are not panic-stricken try­ing to find do­mes­tic es­sen­tials on the first day in your new home.

Mea­sure up: Draw scaled ver­sions of your fur­ni­ture and new home on pieces of pa­per. Cut out the ‘‘mini’’ fur­ni­ture and move it around on a page to work out what fits where.

‘‘It sounds lame but if you can de­sign where ev­ery­thing goes in the new house be­fore you get there and have the movers put it straight in place, it saves time and money with the movers, and I even print my draw­ings be­fore so it’s eas­ier for ev­ery­one,’’ says long-time ren­ter Ber­linda Fortin.

24 HOURS TO GO

Tape draw­ers/cup­boards as emp­tied: ‘‘It is also a good vis­ual cue to see what is left to do,’’ sug­gests home­owner Tom Ma­son, who has moved more than 20 times, in­clud­ing to the US, UK, France, Ger­many and New Zealand.

Con­firm book­ing: Dou­ble-check your re­moval­ists and/or mates are all ready to go tomorrow.

Check util­i­ties: Make sure elec­tric­ity, gas and wa­ter sup­plies will be op­er­at­ing from your first day of home oc­cu­pancy.

BIG MOVE DAY

Turn off the fridge: Un­plug the re­frig­er­a­tor early to give gases time to set­tle be­fore it is lifted.

Un­plug ap­pli­ances: Save time/ money by wind­ing each cord and se­cur­ing with tape. Repack each in orig­i­nal box wher­ever pos­si­ble. The more you can do your­self, the more money saved if pay­ing pro­fes­sional movers.

Stock to plan: DIY movers should pack all boxes and fur­ni­ture log­i­cally, Ms Black says.

‘‘Keep all the boxes for one room to­gether, la­belling them nu­mer­i­cally (i.e. kitchen 1) in or­der of im­por­tance and use. Cre­ate a list of boxes; it shows in one glance any miss­ing boxes at the other end.’’

Kitchen first: A work­ing kitchen helps a newly moved fam­ily set­tle quickly, so un­pack that room first. Wash and clean items that have been wrapped in news­pa­per.

‘‘The kitchen may take a while but once it’s done, no mat­ter how dis­as­trous the rest of the house is, you can al­ways pre­pare a healthy meal to give you en­ergy,’’ Ms Black says.

Make bed next: ‘‘Put your beds to­gether com­plete with sheets, doonas and pil­lows be­cause when you’re com­pletely wrecked from the big day, it is a huge relief know­ing you can jump into a comfy bed,’’ Ms Fortin says.

Out­source food/drinks: The lo­gis­tics of mov­ing mean you won’t have time or equip­ment to pre­pare your own lunch and mov­ing house is hun­gry work! Ask loved ones to fetch all-im­por­tant tucker or, if mov­ing fur­ther afield, or­der home-de­liv­ered nosh.

FIRST 48 HOURS

Check for dam­age: Items oc­ca­sion­ally break, no mat­ter how much care has been taken. But don’t wait too long to check if cov­ered by insurance.

‘‘Of­ten a pol­icy gives you 72 hours to make claims re­sult­ing in the move so it is im­per­a­tive you iden­tify dam­ages quickly,’’ Ms Gam­brel­lis says.

Un­pack and flat-pack boxes: Many movers of­fer stan­dard-size re­cy­clable rental boxes for rent and will re­turn to col­lect them soon af­ter the move.

Make your home ‘‘home’’: Melissa Don­nelly is about to move for the ninth time since 2008. One of her top tips is ‘‘work out what makes your home feel right’’.

‘‘Is it your jas­mine can­dles, a bunch of flow­ers in a vase, some pic­ture on the wall? What­ever it is, do it in the first 24 hours . . . adding some homely touches sud­denly trans­forms the new space into your home.’’

Source: One­flare anal­y­sis of more than 4000 job post­ings 2012–2013

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