Your DIY guide to moving house

Your DIY guide to moving house

If you want to save on moving company fees and you’re physically able, there’s no reason why you can’t move house yourself. The best scenario is to rope in at least one friend or family member to help you out (the more the merrier) and plan the move well by creating a moving house checklist.

To save money – and your back – consider the following tips for moving house.

1. Plan ahead

Don’t just wait for your moving day to arrive and expect things to miraculously fall into place. Moving time is precious and you need to plan accordingly. Organise all your helpers and remind them a few days prior. Source cheap moving boxes and packaging supplies, and read up on packing tips.

Book all the equipment you need to hire (including a truck or moving van, trailer and trolleys or pulleys) in advance and pick it up the day before or early on the morning. When you’re booking your equipment, get advice from professional movers on what you need – you don’t want to pay for any unneeded items or hire a van that’s too big or too small. It’s also a good idea to measure all of your larger items to make sure they’ll fit through doorways and stairwells in your new home.

On moving day, make sure the house is clean (a cleaning house checklist will be a handy tool) and you don’t have items lying around that might be in the way.

2. Pack up properly

Assuming you have all your smaller items packed up in moving boxes, it’s time to organise your larger items. You’ve made sure your truck or moving van is large enough to fit everything in one or two moves and you’re ready to go. Take a look around and think of the most efficient way to fit items in the truck. Always pack your larger items first. If any larger furniture comes apart easily (you may be able to remove the feet from your sofa, for example), disassemble it and wrap it in plastic or fabric to protect it. Larger items can be wrapped in blankets and sheets.

3. Get help with the heavy lifting

To move heavy or cumbersome items you may need the help of a trolley, ramp or pulleys. When moving your fridge, make sure it’s clean and that all items have been removed (also make sure it will fit into your new kitchen). Before you move it, make sure the doors are secured with straps or rope. You can then use a trolley or dolly to move it (or any other heavy items) to the truck. A ramp and blanket can be helpful when moving larger items up and down stairs (although a dolly works well too) or onto trucks.

4. When to concede defeat

If nobody’s available to help on the day you’re moving house and you have a few heavy items, hiring a moving company really may be your best option. You don’t want to risk hurting your back just to save money. But do your homework and get at least two to three moving company quotes.

You also need to consider the logistics of the move. Are you really able to get your heavy sofa up three flights stairs? And, if you have a piano, do you really want to risk damaging it when you can leave it to professional piano movers?

5. Bring a survival kit

Before you pack every precious item away, think of what you may need at the other end. Put together an overnight bag of essentials – think toiletries, laptop, pyjamas and some snacks. Also, make sure your electricity and gas are connected at your new abode – we can help you find the right plan. And don’t forget to recycle your moving boxes. Find a recycling centre near you.