From the classic pairing of two blokes and a truck to an entire team of burly removalists and interior decorators, a wide range of options are available regarding the people handling your life’s possessions.
While it’s tempting to choose the option that’s best for your wallet, you should be selecting the best option for you and your family. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect from a professional removalist company that’ll take care of your belongings as if they were your own.
Removalists do much more than just move your stuff from one place to another. The best relocation companies deliver a professional suite of moving services that go far beyond picking up boxes and furniture, including moving house services, packing and unpacking, home organisation and decluttering, office relocation, box hire and secure self-storage hire.
If you’ve ever attempted to move house on your own, you already know how much stuff there is to move. Removalists streamline the entire moving house service to take the stress out of your next big move. They work alongside you to ensure your move is as smooth as possible, arriving on time and getting to work immediately.
You can expect your removalist company to:
- Disassemble and resemble furniture
- Load and unload your belongings
- Safely transport your items from one place to another
- Positioning and organising your new home
Removalists that do not offer all the above are not worth your time.
A good removalist company will have no qualms about packing and unpacking. While it’s always best to have your boxes packed and ready to go, boxing up homewares, personal belongings, or packing away furniture, is what removalists do best. Of course, with the rise of flat pack furniture, many customers ask, “do removalists dismantle furniture?” The good ones won’t just dismantle your furniture for relocation. They’ll resemble it and place it exactly where you need it.
Packing and unpacking boxes are the bread and butter of any removalist company. Unfortunately, it’s also where some businesses end their service, leaving you with a random assortment of boxes, furniture out of place and unplugged appliances.
The best removalist company will transport your belongings from point a to point b and help you organise your home, declutter unwanted items and belongings, breathing new life into your new home.
You don’t even need to move house to enjoy home organisation services. A good removalist company can transform tired, redundant corners into workable, organised and eye-catching environments.
Unlike houses and apartments with their assortment of belongings, furniture, appliances, and, more than likely, a few plants, offices tend to be heavy on electronics. End-to-end office relocation services cover everything from packing boxes as required to cable management and ensuring all your electronics are safely transported to your new office.
Moving boxes are more than just a bit of cardboard folded together. They’re specially designed to store your stuff safely and securely. Without suitable packing materials, your belongings could end up damaged. Professional relocation companies should offer box hire for moving house or relocating offices.
The best removalists also offer box buyback, saving money on boxes you don’t use. Some will even buy back used boxes in good condition.
There are plenty of reasons to hire a secure self-storage unit. You might be between settlements, storing unused and decluttered items or archiving personal documents. Professional moving companies will often have on-site storage units for hire in various sizes, depending on your storage needs. Some of the largest storage units can hold the contents of a 4 to 5-bedroom house or unit, while the smallest can fit approximately 2-4 large items, or roughly the contents of a one-bedroom apartment.
However, the most critical consideration beyond the size of the storage unit is its security. You want to ensure that the storage facility has security and surveillance and that your storage unit is sealed securely with a padlock.
Unfortunately, not every removalist company can provide this entire suite of relocation services. And if they do, they’re often limited by range, only servicing a few local suburbs. On the other hand, more experienced moving house services can service entire cities, like Sydney.
The time it takes for a removalist to relocate your belongings – furniture, boxes, appliances, plants – depends entirely on how much there is to move.
Removalist companies estimate based on the number and type of rooms in a house, e.g. living spaces, bedrooms, bathrooms etc. So, if you’re a Melburnian residing in a larger home, it will probably take much longer than a studio apartment.
- Number of boxes
- Weight of boxes
- How many pieces of furniture
- Size of furniture
- Does furniture need to be dismantled and reassembled
- Access to property – parking, distance, hazards, traffic
- 2–4 hours for a Studio/one-bedroom unit
- 4–6 hours for a two-bedroom apartment/ small house
- 6–8 hours for a three-bedroom apartment/ house
- 8–10 hours for a four-bedroom house/ apartment
However, the most critical factor in moving house is you. Your preparation and organisation before your removalists arrive can make all the difference. Unpacked boxes take much longer to load onto a truck than a room full of belongings ready to be moved.
And, if you’re willing to lend a hand, you’d be surprised how much faster a move can take.
Every business, whether they sell goods or services, will have different prices, even on identical items and services. For removalists, the cost is charged by the hour and is estimated similarly to the amount of time the move will take. Obtaining more than one removalist quote is always a good idea to ensure you get the best price.
- The size of your property
- Distance between locations
- Parking each location
- Access to property
- Number and weight of items to move
- How many removalists
- Time of move (majority of removals take place during the last week of the month, during summer and over school holiday periods)
- $125/hr for a Studio/ 1 bedroom unit with two movers
- $150/hr for a two-bedroom apartment/ small house with two movers
- $200 for a three-bedroom apartment/ house with three movers
- $300/hr for a four-bedroom house/ apartment with four movers
*Prices are estimates.
A reminder to those looking to move interstate or internationally, you should expect to pay more than those moving from suburb to suburb.
Another critical factor in estimating the cost of a move is the information you provide to your removalist. Providing a detailed list of all the items that need to be moved will allow your chosen removalist company to plan accordingly and provide you with the most accurate quote possible.
You should also consider any large or heavy items, like pianos or pool tables, that need relocating, as some removalist businesses will charge an additional heavy-lifting fee. Be aware that removalists may also charge more on Sundays and public holidays.
Goods and services, including removalists, are protected by Australian Consumer Law (ACL), which guarantees you an automatic consumer guarantee that the product or service you purchased will work and is fit for purpose.
All Australian consumers have the right to expect ‘acceptable quality’ from services and goods they purchase. For services to be considered of acceptable quality, they must be:
- provided with due care or skill (taking all necessary steps to avoid loss and damage)
- fit for any specified purpose (express or implied)
- delivered in a reasonable time (when no time is set)
The term reasonable varies depending on the nature of the service, the difficulty and other factors like supply and demand.
One of the more critical aspects of ACL is the right to remedy when things go wrong. Every Australian consumer is “entitled to an appropriate remedy from the business when the product or service you purchased does not meet one or more of the consumer guarantees.”
Your right to remedy may take the form of a “refund, a further service to rectify the problem and in some cases, reimbursement for damages and consequential loss.”
“To become an AFRA member, a removals business makes a commitment to excellence–excellence in service, staff training and operations.”
For over 25 years, the Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA) has supported the Australian removals industry as the peak industry body regulating and supporting the Australian removals industry. With over 250 members and counting, it’s easy to find an AFRA-accredited removalist in Australia using their Find A Removalist tool.
Removalist companies accredited with AFRA have public liability insurance on any goods transported from suburb to suburb, interstate or internationally. The insurance covers your belongings throughout the entire duration of the move, including any storage.
On top of public liability insurance, your removalist company should offer Comprehensive Transit Insurance and Commercial Cargo Transit Insurance. Moreover, their Motor Vehicle Fleet should be fully insured, alongside Workers’ Compensation for all employees.
One exception is Marine Transit Insurance due to changes to the Financial Services Reform Act 2004. If you require insurance for marine transit, you’ll need to reach out to a Marine Transit Insurance provider.
If you are purchasing an insurance policy for your move, remember to read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or contact the provider for more information on the inclusions and exclusions in your cover.
If you’re unsure about your removalist company’s credentials, find out whether they’re a part of the Australasian Association of Professional Organisers – AAPO. This online professional organiser training program is designed:
- To deliver excellent service to lots of clients;
- To work with ease and confidence
- To build a successful organising business; and
- Make a living doing what they love.
Removalists that are a part of the AAPO are committed to your move.
There are so many variables that go into a removalist quote calculation. Prices set expectations, which is why it’s essential to understand what you need, what you’re paying for, and what outcomes you’re looking to achieve for your next move.