Australians rank moving house second only to divorce and bereavement on the scale of life crises.
Broken and misplaced possessions, incompetent removalists, chaos and exhaustion are a few of the negative images we have come to associate with moving house.
Fortunately most of these nightmares can be avoided by anticipating problems and becoming organised well before moving day.
The first step is deciding how you prefer to approach the job of packing and moving your possessions. If you decide to economise and do the move yourself, check what your home contents insurance covers you for.
For bulky or fragile items your safest option is usually to hire a removalist but make sure the organisation you choose is a member of the Australian Furniture Removalists Association (AFRA).
The AFRA Code of Conduct ensures members provide paperwork for quotations, insurance, contracts and inventories. The contract should clearly state if fees are charged by the hour or by cubic volume, for example, or if a charge is incurred for the time the removalist spends travelling to and from the job.
Whether or not you decide to do your own packing, it might be a good idea to leave the mirrors, valuables and breakables for the removalists to professionally pack.
Remember to pack a survival box containing all your essential items such as toothbrush, toilet paper and kettle - they're bound to come in handy at the end of what will undoubtedly be a long day.
Top 10 survival tips
- Get rid of clutter so you don't end up packing items you don't need
- Check in advance that furniture can fit through the doorway or up the stairs
- Label boxes clearly and fill them logically according to grouped items
- Prepare a floor plan to help decide where you need things placed
- Carry valuable documents, jewellery and passports yourself
- Check the manufacturer's instructions for moving appliances
- Keep cleaning equipment separate so you can find it on arrival
- Notify gas, electricity, internet and other suppliers
- Change your address and redirect mail
- Update the address on your insurance policy