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6 Tips for Moving House by Yourself

By George Hadgelias

1. Hire the right truck

Unless you’re the lucky owner of your own truck, you’ll need some sizeable and reliable moving transport.

Sydney resident Kate, who has moved multiple times without removalists, warns against being caught with a vehicle that’s too small.

“We once had a van that was too small to fit my mattress upright,” she elaborates. “We managed to jig-saw it in, kind of leaning it diagonally against the two walls of the van. It took up almost all of the space and meant we had to do more than one trip. I would say take measurements and then overestimate how much space you’ll need.”

When it comes to truck hire, many can attest that a key issue is getting the right vehicle on the right day. A national car rental company like SIXT not only has great range of vehicles from trucks to vans, you can also reserve dates and complete your booking online.

In times like these, it’s also worth mentioning that SIXT keeps their cars professionally cleaned, which isn’t always a guarantee for a lot of peer-to-peer car sharing services.

2. Pack carefully

Damage to some belongings — whether it be scuffed furniture, broken glass or nicked clothing — is difficult to avoid entirely. However, professional home organiser and owner of Bless This Mess, Robyn Amott, offered some sage advice for packing to avoid breaks.

“Use smaller boxes as it can help you manage weight and reduce the pressure on those heavier breakable items,” she began. “Definitely bubble wrap [breakable items] and also use cushions or linen or blankets [for padding] instead of packing them in their own box.”

Trying to cram too much in one space, whether that be within the boxes, the moving van, or the house itself, can often be the cause of damage. Give yourself enough space.

3. Move some things ahead of time

Both Robyn and Kate recommend taking care of some things early, where you can.

“As soon as I know where I’m going, I start thinking about the move,” Kate confesses. “It’s mostly because I’m excited, but it also helps when it comes to culling down my stuff and prioritising what can be packed in advance and what can go last minute.”

For instance, seasonal clothes, sentimental or decorative items, old books or various other little-used items can be packed ASAP, saving you valuable time when things become time sensitive.

Robyn also advises shuttling some things over to your new home in advance.

“If you’ve got access to the property prior to moving day, at least set up part of it, especially the kitchen,” Robyn says. “That way, as you’re unpacking, you can at least make yourself a cup of tea and have something to eat off, even if you’re getting takeaway.”

4. Get crafty

A lot of DIY movers choose to source second-hand boxes or hire boxes. However, before you go spending time sourcing boxes, don’t underestimate the range of ‘vessels’ you already have in your own home.

“I have a lot of those plastic storage tubs, which make everything so easy. I use my laundry basket, suitcases, my drawers, duffle bags and I find those massive plastic $2 shop bags infinitely useful,” Kate says.

Admittedly, Kate, who lives solo, says this approach might not be so useful for a much larger household. However, it never fails to get a bit creative if you want to save time and money.

5. Keep clothes on the hangers

“Avoid double-handling things you don’t need to,” Robyn recommends.

“Leave your clothes on your hangers and transport them by either laying them flat on the back seat of your car or hire a wardrobe box.”

She also recommends keeping your folded clothes in their drawers. Instead, of packing clothes in boxes, take each drawer out of the chest and you may even find you have capacity to fit some shoeboxes, photo frames, accessories or room to lay hanging clothes on top.

6. Many hands make light work

If you live solo, then you’ll definitely need an extra set of hands (or several) for a DIY move. However, even if there’s two or more of you, it doesn’t help to ask for a bit of help to lighten the load.

Loading and unloading heavy furniture can be the most burdensome part of the task. This is most likely where you’ll want some help.

However, there’s also packing, unpacking and cleaning to consider. You can opt to go it alone here as well or consider the benefits of help, paid or otherwise.

“As a renter, I’m always surprised by the end-of-lease cleaning list,” Kate says. “It’s easy to forget the nitty gritty requirements, like cleaning oven trays, blinds and light fittings. I’ve done it both ways: by myself and with professional cleaners. Depending on the size of the job, I think I’d rather get a cleaner to help me get my bond back and I can focus my energy on the new place.”

Remember, if it is your friends and family volunteering to help with your move, dinner is on you!

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