How to cut moving costs – and the hassles
THOUSANDS of people move house every month in South Africa, many of them using pick-up trucks, trailers or hired trucks and their own manpower. But many others need to enlist the help of professional movers – and find ways to keep the cost of such services down.
And if this is the route you’re choosing, you should try not to plan your move for the end of a month or during December or January, said Shaun Rademeyer, chief executive of mortgage originator BetterBond Home Loans.
“At o t h e r t i mes o f t h e month, or during winter, when the moving companies are not so busy, you will usually be of f ered a better r at e. You should also get quotes from three different moving companies and their representatives should preferably visit your home so they can make their estimates as accurate as possible,” he said.
Check out the Professional Movers Association website www.pmamovers.co.za for a list of reputable companies and also for a list of SA Internat i onal Movers Association members if you are planning a cross-border or international move.
Second, Rademeyer advised, you should try to get rid of absolutely everything you don’t need to take to your new home.
“Start going through your home, garage or shed and garden at least two months before the move and sell, donate or send for recycling everything you can. Aim to reduce the number of items to be transported by at least half, because weight and bulk is a big factor in determining the price of a long- haul move and there’s really no point in paying to have someone transport something that you don’t use or that won’t fit into your new home.”
The third step is to buy some boxes (preferably recycled) and wrap and pack as many small items as you can yourself. This will reduce the time the movers have to spend packing, and hopefully reduce their charges as well. You should also number and colourcode all boxes and items of furniture with special tape or labels that match colouredcoded rooms on a plan of your new home. This will cut down on the time the movers take to unload your belongings.
“Finally, you need to make sure that your possessions will be properly insured while in transit, as road and weather conditions, hijacking, robberies, strikes and riots can interfere with the performance of even the best movers.
“If you can’t insure the move through your household insurance, you will usually require a special policy for this. If your moving company offers you a goods-in-transit policy, make sure it is compliant with the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act.”