It's right up there with switching careers and ending a long-term relationship as one of the most stressful experiences you'll ever have - but there are things you can do to make moving house a less taxing experience.

Whether you hire professional removalists or you manage the move yourself, the key to a successful transition is planning.

The perfect move can be shattered if you haven’t done your research and planning beforehand,” says Victorian Consumer Affairs Minister Tony Robinson.

The DIY move

If you decide to move your personal belongings yourself, then plan the operation carefully, recommends the Real Estate Institute of WA.

 
“You’ll need lots of help from friends and family, and you need to be patient,” REIWA advises.
 
They also suggest that you take a page out of the expert’s book and follow their lead, as “professional removalists are never rushed and work to a plan”.
 
“Allow yourself plenty of time for the move and map out an order for the items to be loaded and unloaded to make the best use of the van, your time and the space. And remember, the items first loaded into the truck are the last ones to come out, so work with that.”
 
Tips for success:
  • Enlist the help of friends and family
  • Try and arrange for a friend or relative to look after your children and pets for the day
  • Before you hire a truck or van, work out how much you need to move and where you are going to put it in your new home, so you can hire the right sized vehicle, and move items straight into the right room in your new home
  • Work out which items might require special attention so organise solutions, such as trolleys, straps and blankets
  • Be prepared for how you might react if a volunteer friend or family member breaks a prized possession or injures themselves
 
The professional move 
 
“When using a removalist there are steps you can take leading up to the move to help avoid any pitfalls,” explains Robinson.
 
“It can be as simple as moving valuable personal items yourself or talking to family and friends about their experiences.”
 
Tips for success:
 
  • When hiring a removalist, get recommendations or referrals from family and friends
  • Make an inventory of the items the removalist will handle
  • Ask for a written quote, including a condition report for the items to be moved
  • Research insurance coverage for household items during the move and ask about their policies for dealing with breakages and accidents
  • Keep a record of all the items you’ve packed yourself, including their condition, and carefully label each box
 
At your new home

Moving can be an exhausting experience so don’t rush to unpack. “A good idea is to pack a small overnight bag before the move, as if you’re staying in a motel,” advises REIWA. “It can be a relief at the end of a long day, as you don’t have to rummage through boxes for your toothbrush and other essentials.”

 
 
 

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