4 min readMoving house is one of life’s most stressful events, so relocating during a pandemic is not an ideal scenario for anyone. Fortunately, removalists are considered an essential service and are still operational during the pandemic so your moving plans can still go ahead. Most removalists companies have adopted new hygiene routines to ensure their staff and their customers are kept safe during the current crisis.
While you won’t have to worry about your moving company, there may be other concerns such as moving costs on your mind. From hiring professional house removalists, purchasing packing materials and arranging insurance for your move, the cost of moving house can all add up, but it doesn’t have to. By being organised and preparing your move well in advance, you can cut back on some of your moving expenses.
Tips on how you can save money on moving costs during the pandemic
1. Use second-hand boxes.
Using second-hand moving boxes to pack up your home is a great way to save money on your moving costs (and also to help the environment). On average, people move house every ten years and purchase new moving boxes to use for each move. The boxes get used once before being disposed of or returned to their removalist company.
High-quality moving boxes can be reused a few times before the sturdiness of the box starts deteriorating. You can purchase second-hand boxes from your removalist company or on online marketplace sites such as eBay, Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace. If you know of a friend or family member that has recently moved, you can also check to see if they have any moving boxes they can give to you.
Studies show COVID-19 is detectable on cardboard for up to 24 hours, so it is advisable to wipe down the second-hand boxes with a household disinfectant and set them aside for 24 hours before you begin packing.
2. Pack your boxes yourself.
Organising professional packers to pack up your home is tempting, but doing it yourself is another way you can cut down on your moving expenses. Doing your packing will also allow you to go through your belongings and declutter at the same time.
Packing up your entire home may seem like a big daunting task, but doing it room by room makes the process a lot easier. If this is your first time moving, and you aren’t sure where to start, follow a moving checklist to help you in the right direction and to minimise stress in this stressful time.
If you prefer getting professional assistance for your pack, consider hiring a packer for only the fragile or kitchen contents rather than your whole home. The breakable items require a bit more TLC when packed compared to items such as clothing or books.
3. Book your removalists for a midweek move.
Some moving companies offer discounts and promotions during the middle of the week, Tuesday to Thursday, so if you’re flexible with your moving date, then book a midweek move. You can score great deals such as discounts off hourly rates or even a promotion including free moving boxes for moves booked on off-peak days.
Avoid organising removalists on the weekend and public holidays as these are the most popular days to move and often have higher rates. Removalists are awarded penalty rates on the weekends and public holidays and these charges are reflected in the moving costs.
4. Dismantle and reassemble furniture yourself.
If you are fit and able, dismantle and reassemble your furniture yourself. Every moving company will have charges for disassembling and assembling your furniture. Some removalists will have this service as an extra surcharge, while others will run this service on the hourly rate. If you are paying your movers on an hourly basis, time is money. The time they spend dismantling your bed is money you could have saved if you dismantled it yourself before the movers arrived.
Dismantling and reassembling your furniture yourself will also help minimise the number of areas and items the removalists touch during the move.
5. Move some items yourself.
By moving some of your belongings to your new home, this will reduce the number of items the removalists need to handle. The fewer things the removalists move, the cheaper your house relocation cost will be.
As most moving companies charge on an hourly rate, moving fewer items means they will be working fewer hours. It also means you will be able to get a smaller truck, which will also come at a lower rate.
An excellent place to start is to move the smaller items yourself such as the boxes, hanging clothes, small appliances and small plants. You can leave the large bulky items such as large appliances, mattresses and couches to the professionals.
6. Don’t move what you don’t need.
Moving home is the perfect time to declutter your home for a clean and fresh start. While you are packing up your belongings, you will probably come across things you haven’t touched in years or maybe even completely forgotten about.
Before you throw it all in a box, sort through your stuff and decide if you want to keep or get rid of it. If you intend on donating or selling it, do this before you move. You don’t want to bring items that you don’t need over to the new place.
The more stuff you have to move, the larger the moving truck you will require, the longer it’s going to take the movers to load the truck, therefore, making your move cost more.
7. Check your home and contents insurance.
Before you purchase removals insurance with your moving company or with another insurance provider, check if your existing home and contents insurance covers you for home relocations. Many home and contents policies insure your possessions during transit if you are using professional removalists. Policies will vary so be sure to thoroughly read through your policy to see what is and what is not covered.
In times when you may be facing financial hardship, you don’t want to be paying for two insurance covers where it is not necessary.
Remember, moving house does not have to be a stressful and costly experience if you plan. Start the packing, decluttering and moving process months before your moving date so when the day comes, you will be organised and ready to go with a bit of extra cash in your pockets as well.