The little costs of moving house can surprise you

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The act of moving our belongings from A to B can seem a like a simple journey. In actual fact, the furniture we own, the state in which we leave our current property, along with extra labour surprises, can all take their toll on our hip pockets if they aren’t considered upfront. Here is a checklist of those un-thought-of costs to look out for along the way.

The price of packing boxes can pile up quickly
When you start putting all your possessions into boxes you’ll quickly realise you need a lot more boxes. As well as a few bundles of packing paper and many, many rolls of heavy-duty packing tape. Many removal companies now offer boxes for hire or to buy outright. Bought new in bulk packs, they cost from about $2.50 each. If you really want to keep box costs down, or even at zero, you can flatten and save any boxes you receive in the months leading up to your move. You can also visit your local supermarket to find out the days and times they crush their used boxes and pick up a bundle in all different sizes before they are destroyed.

Cleaning costs are often forgotten
The more cleaning you can do yourself in advance, the cheaper your empty nest will cost to have professionally cleaned. Don’t forget that you will need to clean decks, windows and sills, flyscreens and light fittings, and tidy the yard. If you’ve been renting your abode, not cleaning these things can cost you your bond. Cleaners start at about $25 an hour, so cleaning costs can easily reach a great height if you aren’t on top of things early in the piece.

The cumbersome and fragile cost more to move
Shifting large or delicate pieces can add to the cost of a removal. BONUS TIP: Pack and carry your best wine glasses and any other very fragile pieces in your car to prevent accidental damage when they are bundled in with your other belongings in the moving truck.

Inclines add to labour time
It makes sense, how long a move takes equates to the number of hours you’ll be charged for. If you know the access to your old house, or to your new house, is awkward, ask removal companies for a quote for the moving job rather than paying the men by the hour. Keep in mind that hourly rates range from about $110-$180, depending on ‘how many men’ and whether trucks have hydraulic lifts.

Moving more than you need to move
Too many people don’t have a ‘spring clean’ until they are unpacking their boxes. But wouldn’t it make more sense to do your de-cluttering before the event? Organise a personal local council rubbish collection and get rid of large items, such as old mattresses, filing cabinets, chairs, gym equipment and drawers. That’s at least one hour less you’ll have to pay the removalists!

DIY is not a free ride
If you decide to call in favours with your mates, you will probably have to budget for more than just the truck hire. Add in petrol for the truck, trolley hire, plus food and a good supply beers to keep the troops happy. And if you have very heavy pieces of furniture to move, you will need to keep in mind that your mates don’t do this sort of thing every day and may just cop a bad muscle or back injury. We’re pretty sure medical bills weren’t considered in your ‘moving house’ budget!

Insurance can trip you up
Don’t assume your normal home contents and public liability insurance covers your belongings and any people on moving day. Check exactly what is included for breakages at each home and on the road, caused by your volunteer helpers or at the hands of removalists.

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