Moving interstate can be a complicated and stressful process, especially when you're on a budget. Costs can quickly add up if you’re not careful and blowing out your budget will add an additional layer of anxiety and stress. At Allied, we help hundreds of Australians move interstate efficiently and cost-effectively every week. Here our tips on reducing your interstate relocation costs.
Moving yourself vs hiring the professionals
A common tip given to help people reduce their interstate relocation costs is to do the move themselves. But is doing a move by yourself more cost effective than hiring the professionals? It depends.
While it may be expensive at first glance, hiring the professionals can actually end up saving you money in the long run. Often people make the mistake of only factoring the cost of a moving van into their move, and fail to think about fuel, food, accommodation, tolls, and any other incidental costs. There can also be the additional issue of insurance when you move yourself, you will have to cover the cost of any breakages or damages to your own items and the moving vehicles.
Keep in mind that what you may save financially, you will have to sacrifice your time and energy to move yourself. Organising, transporting, carrying and unpacking all your belongings and furniture without any help tends to be more tiring and time consuming than most people anticipate. Taking time off work to move yourself if you’re a casual worker may also end up costing you more compared to hiring a professional mover to do the work with you.
Tips for relocating interstate on a budget
Declutter and downsize your move
By reducing the amount of things you need to move, you’ll also reduce the cost of it. Calculating the cost of an interstate move is dependent on a range of factors, one of the main ones being the volume of items being moved. So, an easy way to downsize your move is to get rid of things that you do not need.
A couple weeks before your move, assess all your belongings and furniture and consider the following questions:
Which items could you live without?
Which items do you have multiples of?
Which items no longer work or need to be replaced?
Which items have you not used in the last 6 months to a year?
Make a list of the items that you want and need to take your new home, and give away or donate the remaining items. It can also be a good idea to sell some furniture or whitegoods before you move, then buy new or secondhand items once you’re settled into your new home and have a good idea of what can fit and what you need. Websites like Gumtree, Ebay and Facebook Marketplace are all great places to buy, sell and give away items and furniture.
Choose a competitively priced removalists
Removals is a competitive field so there is no shortage of dodgy removalists advertising cheap prices. If the price looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Instead, look for a removalist that can give you a quote specific to your relocation requirements and has a good reputation for interstate relocations. While it may be tempting to choose the cheapest option, reputable removalists will have a higher standard of training, be less likely to damage or lose your belongings, and will have the necessary quality and insurance accreditations.
What to consider when choosing your removalist:
Do they offer an hourly or a fixed rate?
Be cautious of interstate removalists who work on an hourly rate as you may find that they take a significantly longer time to complete the job than those who work on a fixed rate. If the removalist is working on an hourly rate, you may find a 4-hour job turning into a 7-hour job.
Do they have their own office at the destination?
Quite often when moving interstate, you may require short term storage whilst you are waiting on settlement or renters moving out. This is where smaller companies offering cheaper services can run into trouble where they have to off load your effects in order to pick up the next customers goods and clients then become stuck.
Do they offer transit insurance and have accreditation to do so?
Government legislation requires anyone who offers insurance to hold an Australian Financial licence or be accredited by a legal entity that does. Whilst items are wrapped and packed for safe transit, sometimes, external factors that are outside the control of the removals company mean that things get broken. This might include fire, flood or road accident. Furniture is not made to be moved, and sometimes the movement of the truck coupled with the vibrations from the road mean that antique items can be damaged. Choosing a removalist with comprehensive insurance can help you save significantly in the case that loses or damages occur during your move.
Are they AFRA certified?
The Australian Furniture Removers Association monitors registered removalists and outlines a code of conduct which ensures that the removalist is maintaining good practices and standards. These cover a wide range of areas including equipment, vehicles, premises and staff training to ensure a successful and professional removal service. Choosing a removalist with an AFRA certification is a great indication that they are reliable, trustworthy and professional.
Plan and book your move in advance
Planning your move in advance is essential to ensuring that you get a good rate. Like with any industry, removalists have a busy and quiet season. Booking your move during peak seasons will mean that the rate you are given during peak season will be less competitive.
Moving mid-week is a great way of keeping the costs down during an interstate move as removalists will often offer a cheaper rate midweek. Autumn and Winter are also often likely to get you a cheaper rate as this is when many removals companies experience their quiet season.
Planning in advance means being prepared for when you arrive in your new home. It’s also economical to pre-plan your utilities, wifi and any storage as you’ll feel organised about moving into your new home and will save substantially.
Packing can make all the difference during a move. The way that you pack has an impact not only on the volume of your move but also on whether things get broken in transit.
Packing takes time, and if you work full time you may not have a lot of spare time to pack your belongings on weekends. If you work for yourself, or if you are a casual worker, you may not be able to afford to take time off work to do the packing yourself.
You should check whether your removal company offers packing and unpacking services. Getting the professionals to take care of all your packing means that you do not have to waste hours of your time doing it yourself. It’ll also ensure that your belongings and furniture are packed with industry materials and professional techniques which will reduce damage and keep them safe during transit.
If you are flying to your new home, you should consider whether your airline allows you complimentary checked baggage. Checked baggage is often quite costly and so it may be more cost-effective to leave your suitcase with the removalists and stick with just your carry-on luggage.