Moving In – Removalist or DIY

It’s possible to save a fair bit of money by moving yourself but should you do it?

Well I’ve moved myself, and helped my children move many times.

I have also used removalists several times as well so here are my thoughts:

Volume of Stuff

I reckon my limit on volume for DIY movung is emptying a house or flat consisting of two bedrooms, lounge dining room and kitchen.

You can normally fit all this inside one of those self drive trucks and do the move in a day.

Any more stuff and you have to think about making 2 trips when it get too big.


If you need to move everything on one day even with a fairly small house its gets hard to do it yourself.

I think if you are going to move yourself it better to plan to do it over a couple of days.


Distance can be a real problem because its hard to go back and pick up extra stuff that didn’t fit in the van.

My limit for DIY moves is around 50km.

Packing Loose Items and Valuables

You can save money when using a professional if you pack most of the small items yourself.

You need to be aware however the removalist won’t be responsible for breakages in boxes they didn’t pack.

We usually put valuable items we packed ourselves in our car.

If you are going to pack yourself its worth reading the post on Removal Boxes


The photograph was taken by Alain Delorme in Shanghai in 2010

Removal Boxes

Some people have enough money when they move to pay for someone to do the removals including packing up all the stuff.

Most times when I have moved (18 times) I have spent a lot of money on the house and want to save cash for the garden so I have moved myself.

Even when I have had professional movers I have packed boxes to save costs.

That means that I need plenty of boxes,……………………………. so how many boxes? what size? and where do you get them?

Well there is only two of us and our last move was to downsize to a two bedroom place.

We still needed over 30 boxes, plus we had a lot of bedding already in big plastic boxes.

Say 40 boxes in total. If you have got children with lots of toys you could easily be needing 60 -70 boxes.

If you are going to be filling boxes with books or tighly packed crockery about the maximum size I would recommend due to the weight would be about 30 litres .

Any larger and the box will get too heavy to lift safely ( the last thing you want during the move is to injure your back).

Bigger boxes are fine for moving lightweight items such as clothing, bedding, and towels.

You can see if you can get boxes from the supermarket or the DIY superstore but the problems are:

  • You will finish up with boxes in a range of sizes that makes them hard to stack.
  • A lot of boxes are also fairly lightweight as they are only made for single use of products that exactly fit them. This means they offer limited protection for your valuable china and can easily rip.

To avoid these problems we bought our boxes from one of those self storage places.

Buying in quantities of ten or more usually means a discount so 10 heavy duty 40 litre boxes cost us $29.

We could have saved around about $0.30 a box by getting thinner card but we preferred the extra protection and easier stacking of the thicker card.

After the move most companies will buy back the used boxes for around $1 each.

You can also get

  • Wardrobe cartons that come with a hanging rail
  • Boxes for large paintings that may also be OK for your flat screen TV
  • Boxes with partitions for bottles and vases
  • Packing materials such as Bubble Wrap and Butchers Paper. . . . . much cleaner than old newspapers.


Don’t forget a couple of rolls of packing tape to seal the boxes top and bottom!


Moving? – Helpful Tips Make Setting Up Your New Home Simpler

Guest post by Andre Smith

Setting up your new home is about so much more than simply unpacking and decorating.

Your job is to begin pre-organizing the move into your new home long before you ever step foot into your new house, but don’t let this seem daunting.

You can help make the move easier, more efficient, and a lot less stressful by setting up, organizing, and planning for specific features of your new home and your new life before the movers arrive.

Call Your Insurance Provider

One of the first things to do when you buy a new home is call your insurance company to discuss changes.

Some homeowners assume their insurer will handle things like this when they are notified you bought a new home, but it’s not the case.

You’re insured, of course, but did you know you must be the person who calls and asks about specific coverage, changes, and addendums to your current policy?

Call and be sure there are no specific changes you must make, and ask about those you’re looking to make.

Change Your Address and Re-Route Your Mail

You can do this well in advance to take a little stress off yourself in the days leading up to your big move.

Call the post office and set up a change of address form as well as a re-direction withAustralian Post.

This allows you to have your permanent address changed on the post office’s record as well as the records of everyone who mails anything to you.

It also allows the office to redirect your mail so it stops going to your old address on the date you specify.

It’s then gives you time to tell all your contacts of your permanent change of address.

Change Your License

Now is the time to contact the government about the address on your driver’s license.

You might need specific documentation stating you have a new address, and you might not be able to
get this until you move and have a utility bill, or any other proof of address on record.

Connect Utilities and Other Services

It’s time to check on moving house electricity rates, phone service, internet providers, and more before you move.

You want most of these things set up prior to moving into your new home to make life easier.

Spend a little time on this step prior to moving into your new home.

It’s helpful to find the best rates, to discuss the dates you want service, and even to focus on disconnecting your old service as of a specific date.

Other Details

Depending on where you are moving, how far you are moving, and what you are moving from and into, there may be other things you need to do to make your move a little easier.

You can arrange for babysitters for the kids, pet sitters for your animals, help moving, and so much more.

It’s helpful to begin making a list now so you don’t forget anything as you think of it.

Moving is never entirely fun, but it’s the beginning of a new life in a new home.

Now is the time to make sure your move is as seamless as possible by handling what you can in advance.

It’s never too late to get started making your move easier, and it’s never too early to begin planning.

Being organized during a move helps you focus on making your home more of a home, and it
helps you make the process as simple as possible.

Where You Left It – 5 Moving Tips For the New Homebuyer

Guest Post by Hubert Dwight

You’re finally getting out of the rental apartment and into your own home!

It’s an exciting time, but it can also be pretty stressful.

You have to make sure you’ve packed everything properly so nothing does missing or gets broken in the process.

You also make sure you want to tie up any loose ends you have around the old place, such as the thorough end of lease clean, at least with Whizz end of lease cleaning app you have one stress taken off your mind, but what about all the others?

With this being such an exciting and stressful time, it’s understandable for things to slip your mind. If you feel like you’re forgetting something, or don’t know where to start, here are 5 moving tips for the new homebuyer.

Make sure you’re connected

You’ve moved all the boxes and furniture into the house, now all that’s left to do is unpack.

Yet, when you go to turn on the lights you find you’re not connected to electricity yet!

Making sure your electricity, cable, and internet is all sorted out in advance so you don’t have anything extra to stress about once you’re finally in.

Have your boxes sorted out

It may be easy when you first start packing to just put anything and everything into boxes to quickly get it done, but when it comes time to unpack, this can make the process an unorganised mess.

You are also faced with the possibility that some of your items could break in the move if they haven’t been packer properly.

If you label your boxes and keep everything sorted together, unpacking will become an easy breeze.


When packing for a move to a new place, you should be prepared to do a cull of old possessions you may not use or want anymore.

Bringing old things with you that are no longer of use in your life can be dead weight to the move and just end up taking too much storage in your new home.

Go through everything you have as you’re packing it away and decide whether or not you’re going to use it.

If you choose to get rid of it why not give it away to a charity so it can be passed on to its next home.

Don’t rush your buying

When it comes to moving into a new home furnishing can be really expensive, especially if you don’t already have furniture that fits in with you.

Once you’ve moved in, figure out what you really need at the time so you can budget properly and not end up with nothing.

Simple decorative items can wait whereas chairs, couches, appliances, and bedding are definitely needed for a home.

Forward your mail

Before you move, it’s a good idea to notify any company that you receive mail from frequently, or at all, of your move, rather than just rely on a paid post office redirection.

Notify them of the address change so they can immediately start sending your mail to your new house, this saves the person moving into your old spot the hassle of sending your mail back, or just simply throwing it away.


While moving is a stressful time for anyone, it’s also extremely exciting.

Don’t let it get in the way of all the good things that are to come, you now completely have your own space to renovate, redecorate, and do whatever you want in.

The moving process is a small amount of a stressful time compared to all the amazing times you will have to come in your brand new home.

Removal Costs

We have just moved . . . .so I thought you may want some idea of current removal costs.

The Move

We were moving from an in Inner city apartment in Footscray to a retirement unit in Dandenong.

A distance of around 35km.

We used a professional removal company who provided a van with 2 men.

The Quotes

We got quotes from 3 companies based on hourly rates.

After some considerations we settled for a company we had used the last time we moved, 4 years ago,

Their base cost was $113/hour.

What We Did

Before removal day we bought/borrowed around 20 removal boxes and packed things like ornaments and crockery.

That cost us around $60.

We also moved around 3 car loads of the more fragile ornaments and our clothes before and after removal day.

The Costs

$791.00  7.5 hours . . . . The Actual Time from arriving until they left on completion

$56.50    0.5 hours  . . . . Travel time from Depot

$15.00   Road Tolls

$70.00   Materials (7 extra boxes, 5 rolls of tape, 2 rolls of wrap to protect 2 couches and fridge)

$932.50 Total to Removal Company.

With our costs you could probably add on approx $150 so …….Total Cost around $1,100.

Preparing For A Safe Removal Day

One of the riskiest parts of moving house is lifting and carrying heavy items, such as furniture and packing boxes.

You don’t want to injure yourself, or damage your possessions so here is some advice.

Get A Trolley

You can buy a basic trolley for less than $50, or hire a more expensive stair climbing trolley for about the same amount.

This can be used to both carry boxes and move large items such as refrigerators.

Disassemble Furniture

If your furniture can be disassembled, then get the screwdriver and allen key out.

It’s going to make lifting and carrying it easier.

Taking it apart can also mean it will take up less less space on the truck.

Even if you are using removalists taking things apart, in advance, will save time. (and money if you are paying by the hour)

Reduce the Weight

Even if you can’t take it furniture apart you may be able to cut down the taking out drawers.

Empty the contents

Use smaller boxes, especially for heavy items like books.


Follow Safe Manual Handling

  • Don’t try and lift more than you are comfortable with, two, or more persons to lift heavy items..
  • Make sure you have a firm footing before lifting,
  • Lift straight don’t twist.
  • Use your legs, not your back.
  • Keep your back warm. . . No builders crack on display!

Avoid Frustration When You Move Into Your New Home

Guest post by Hubert Dwight

Moving house is one of the most stressful things that we do to ourselves.

There is the relentless searching for the right house, and the right block, the waiting, the chasing up and then finally…the move.

There are, however a few things that you can do that might make your life a tiny bit easier and potentially avoid some very frustrating situations.

Handover agreed; you are set to go. . . Hooray!

However a few weeks before the move day, you should have been thinking about a few key things.

Removal Company

Shop around for a good deal on removal company.

If you have personal recommendations from people you know, all the better.

Check if the company is a member of the Australian Furniture Removal Association.

If you have particularly precious items with an emotional value that are priceless insurance wise, then it might be betterr take them yourself.


Tell your internet/phone and other utilities providers you are moving.

They will need a few weeks to change everything over to a new property and may need to make

an engineer appointment (which will probably require you to wait in for at least half a day).

Check, whether by moving, you are entering a new contract and whether there will be any additional moving home fees.

TV Antenna

With the recent switch to digital, if you want full access to all the free television and radio that is on offer, make sure that you have the right equipment and it is all tuned in to receive everything that it can.

Now we have gone, or are going,  digital you need to be sure you have the correct TV Antenna to minimise obstruction and interference.

Get this wrong and you may not be receiving half the channels that you could be.

Australian antenna companies can give your new property a full assessment.

Cancel And/Or Redirect Any Deliveries

If you have any regular deliveries to your home such as groceries or magazine subscriptions, be sure to cancel or redirect them once you have moved to your new place.

Label Boxes

Label all boxes with which room and what is inside.

If you are dismantling furniture, put screws and bolts in labeled freezer bags and attach them to the relevant piece of furniture.

It’s no fun looking for missing screws.

Organize a baby/pet sitter or help for moving day.

Should you need to move while you have small children, or pets it is handy to hire a


It’s not fun to be constantly worried and distracted by one more thing to on a day of stress.

Home Insurance.

Shop around and get a good deal.

Make sure you are fully covered for the home, contents and mortgage.


Once you are done, unpack, enjoy and say hi to the neighbours!

Hopefully, you would have made the move stress free and reduced the amount of frustration that comes with the move.


The Joys of Moving Houses (No Sarcasm Intended)

Guest post by Hubert Dwight

If someone were to say that there are joys in moving houses, many people would consider the person speaking to be a bit bonkers.

It is a natural reaction because we humans tend to focus on the negative experiences rather than the positive.

The fact is, moving into your new home can create a lot of joy during the moving process and for the future that you are planning to build.

The team from Interior Secrets are experts in creating those positive experiences with their interior design range of furniture and home furnishings.

They’ve seen both sides of the coin when it comes to moving house and share the following tips for people that are moving houses.

Keep your eye on the goal that you are working towards.

It is easy to get caught up in the negative aspects when moving house.

There is quite a lot of planning involved and it uses a lot of your mental and physical energy.

There are risks with losing and breaking items as well.

However, we shouldn’t lose focus of our ultimate goal.

Once everything has been moved into the new house, you will be able to build a new environment to your liking and customize it to make it the home that you always wanted it to be.

In a way, it is as though you have to take a few steps back; but in the end, you will be moving forward by leaps and bounds.

Enjoy the thrill of creation.

Moving into your new home, you will be starting from a clean slate.

You have the opportunity to create your new story on a fresh canvas.

How will you build the illustrative environment for your new life in your new home?

Customise your place the way that you want it to be.

It is the perfect opportunity for you to modernise your home with more artistic and creative flair.

Highlight this with rugs, photo frames, wall units, dining and lounge sets, curtains and shutters, just to name a few.

You can even get creative with the walls with wallpaper or wall paint options.

Remember to enjoy the feeling of redecorating and building your new abode.

Enjoy your new sanctuary.

Ultimately, you need to enjoy your new environment.

The aesthetics should compliment your emotions and tap into the five senses.

Create a space that will provide you with a brighter ambiance, enhancing scents, nice views and the furnishings that you love.

Build bonds with the local community.

When moving into your new place, you have the opportunity to forge new friendships with neighbours in your new community.

While you may start off as neighbours, over the years your relationship can build into a strong friendship.

It will give you ‘peace of mind’ to know that there are others in your community that you can trust to look out for your home, and that will add to the positive experience of living in your new neighbourhood.

Remember, this is a spring-cleaning session towards your new life!

When moving houses, you tend to come across a lot of items that have been building up in your home over the years.

We tend not to throw things away, even if we haven’t used them in a while, as we tend to hold onto them for some intrinsic or sentimental value.

Moving into your new home is the perfect opportunity to get rid of unwanted or unnecessary items from your old life.

The author [f ‘The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up’  Marie Kondo, offers a simple solution towards decluttering, simplifying, organising and storing.

She says that the key to success in tidying is to keep those items that give you joy.

If they don’t, then throw it away in the bin or consider selling or donating your items.

These are a few tips that can be used easily by anyone who is moving home, regardless of whether they are moving from a room, an apartment, a house or a mansion.

Focus on the positive aspects that your new home can offer and create the space to become the one youn always desired!

Moving In – Bad Weather

photo by:

Have you thought about bad weather when planning your move?

New house sites are not the cleanest and you don’t want to be treading mud and dirt into your new house.

Even just wet boots can make a mess of your brand new carpets.

So here are some things to think about before you move:


Are all the paths and driveways finished?

If not it might be a good idea to organise to get some gravel, delivered, spread, and compacted before the day. (If you don’t compact it will still easily get picked up on peoples boots)

Even if all the driveways are finished it might be worth giving them a pressure clean the night before, and making sure you have a stiff brush with you for the day of the move.


Getting one of those large floor mats to put at the front door could be a good investment. (Alternatively  for around $50 you could make a mat out of a couple of square metres of outdoor carpet)

After the move you could put the mat in the laundry to intercept mud from the garden.

An extra precaution could be to put cardboard on the floor, in at least the hallway.

With sheets of cardboard tape them together to avoid your removalists catching their feet and tripping.

One good source of large flat sheets of cardboard is flat pack furniture, so it might be worth getting any flat pack furniture delivered in advance of the move.

See Moving House for more removal advice.


Truck Driving Fail

If you are going to do your own removals……. Plan your route carefully, and get plenty of insurance!

You don’t want to end up like this!

This bridge in South Melbourne seems to claim at least one truck a month.

Some are professional drivers like this one, but a lot are self drive hire trucks.



For unusual houses and fails go to What the………………….?