How to cut mov­ing costs – and the has­sles

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

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 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.”

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