Moving into a new home comes with such a long list of expenses that one often searches for ways to cut back on costs. Hiring a professional moving company is one of the first expenses that many buyers tend to try and work around, especially now that purse strings are even tighter owing to the VAT increase that took effect this month.
“Using a professional moving company will reduce the risks of damage to your furniture and injury to yourself, and while I would always advise enlisting their help, smaller moves can be done effectively by yourself if you plan carefully and take all the necessary precautions,” says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
Relocating is no walk in the park, so you need to weigh up the pros and cons of doing it alone carefully before making a decision. Unless you have a towbar and a large trailer, a bakkie or a SUV with collapsible seats, you are going to have to fork out some cash regardless, so make sure you explore the costs of each option before you decide that hiring professionals will be too expensive of an option.
Calling in Favours
“The only way one can pull off an inexpensive self-move is to call in a few favours. It is highly unlikely that any individual has everything required for a move – even if it is just some extra muscle power to help with the heavy lifting. In the build-up to moving day, ask around to find out if anyone in your social circle can help you out. The important thing is not to strain your friendships by not acknowledging those who’ve helped you. This could come in many forms, from a small gift to treating them to a free dinner or drinks after the move,” advises Goslett.
Doing it in Stages
The less you have to move, the easier the move will be. If you need new furniture, make sure you arrange to have it delivered to your new address. Yes, this might mean that your living room goes without a couch for a few weeks, but it saves you the hassle of lugging another big item to your new home. Besides, you have to pay for delivery in most (if not all) cases, so you might as well get the store to deliver it to the right address.
“On many occasions, homeowners have received the keys to their new home a day or so before the scheduled moving day. If this happens, take advantage of the extra day by moving the smaller items and boxes first. Even if you only receive the keys on the day, moving large furniture can be exhausting, and can cause careless accidents to occur as a consequence. If you don’t have the help of professional movers, then stretching the moving process over a few days will alleviate some of the strain of doing it on your own,” says Goslett.
Create a checklist
“The day of the move is an exciting and overwhelming time, which makes it easy for things to slip through the cracks. To make sure nothing gets overlooked on the day, have an operational checklist ready so that you can ensure that the day runs smoothly. Also, to save yourself an emergency trip to the hardware store, it is best to have extra duct tape, packing boxes, and securing straps or ropes to tie down items that need extra securing. Accidents happen and boxes tear, so it is always good to be prepared.”
“Make sure to stash a few bottled waters and snacks in the front cabin of your car to keep hydrated and fuelled during the move. Most new homeowners forget to think about this when they’re relocating, which only depletes their energy quicker and slows down the move,” says Goslett.
The process of moving is a perplexing combination of emotions, with high levels of stress and excitement rolled into one. Hiring a professional moving company can certainly help to lower stress levels. But, if funds simply aren’t available, then a stress-free self-move can be achieved as long as you have the patience and planning skills to do so.
Issued by RE/MAX of Southern Africa