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How to move tricky things

By George Hadgelias

The simplest relocation can be stressful, but moving tricky items like pianos, pool tables, fridges and artworks can make it even more nerve-wracking.

Experts from Moving House Services and Melbourne City Movers, say the key to shifting awkward items in a DIY move is preparation and knowing when to call in the professionals.

Lee Hamlin from Moving House Services shares her advice, saying moving especially difficult objects sometimes requires a specialist.

Pianos

“For pianos, some movers are quite capable of doing the move themselves,” Hamlin says. But if in doubt, find a professional, she adds.

Big wardrobes

“Large wardrobes are usually dealt with efficiently by most movers, making sure doors and drawers are secured prior to moving.”

Fish

“There are companies that move pets, but fish are usually not something they can move, as they usually don’t survive the travel process. The best option is to give them to friends, keep the fish tank and start again at the new property,” Hamlin says.

Pot plants

Hamlin recommends moving large pot plants using a trolley and straps. They usually go into the moving truck last, she says.

Art

Most artworks can be wrapped in blankets and moved, but for expensive works, Hamlin recommends hiring a specialist.

Gill Preet, from Melbourne City Movers, says “proper planning and patience” are vital when shifting hard-to-move items. He recommends clearing doorways and driveways first, so there’s no trip hazards along the way. Also plan the path to be taken, he says.

Pool tables

Moving a pool table, which can weigh more than 350kgs, requires three people, at least a four-tonne truck, with a hydraulic lift, as well as a piano trolley and lots of care, Preet says. Restraining straps and protection sheets also need to be on hand.

First, dismantle the pillars, Preet says, then load the slate onto the trolley, on the long side.

“Move the trolley over the hydraulic lift and place the slate in a way it can be easily loaded onto the truck. Once it is lifted, roll it inside and remove it from the trolley, wrap it with blankets and strap it to the truck walls to stop it from getting damaged during the move,” he says. Load the wrapped legs into the truck.

“If you’re thinking this will be too much a job for you, you are probably right. There is risk of getting hurt and injuring others with heavy parts like slate. The best advice will be to hire a professional,” Preet says.

Fridges

Preet says while moving a fridge seems easy enough, there are risks to consider. He says proper planning, the right tools and an extra set of hands are essential.

First, read the manual. “All major leading brands have proper moving instructions printed in their manuals and they should be followed to avoid warranty void,” Preet says.

After emptying, defrosting and cleaning the fridge, remove all moveable shelves and boxes and use strong tape to secure them inside the fridge. “A good tape is recommended, as cheap packing tape can cause permanent stains in the fridge interiors.

“Close the fridge door and secure it with a rope, so it can’t open in transit. Get a two-wheel trolley and load the fridge from the back, so any potential scratches are not visible after re-installation. Don’t tilt the fridge too much, as this can cause cooling gas to destabilise and result in irreparable damage to the fridge.”

Hazardous materials

Preet says the best idea is to “get rid of hazardous chemicals”, using a professional chemical waste removal company, before moving.

“Make sure barbecue gas cylinders are empty before they’re loaded on the truck for the move. Also make sure you use up all the petrol or diesel in the containers well before the move date, as it’s a hazard to carry them in transit.”

Also ensure all fuel is drained from lawn movers and other tools.

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