When faced with the challenge of moving house in New Zealand, whether it is across town, between cities and towns or even between Islands, for many kiwis the first thought is – how much is it going to cost – followed closely by how can I make it cheaper?
The simplest answer to this question is by doing it yourself. Hiring a truck and moving your own furniture and belongings is widely considered the cheapest way to move house in NZ. There are a few things to take into consideration though – read on for help on choosing the right truck, packing tips and things you need to know about DIY moving.
DIY Moving – What You Need To Know
When choosing to move house yourself it is necessary to be aware of what you are getting yourself in to, here are 6 things to take into consideration.
For the majority of people this will mean a couple of days off work to pack up and load up your items and then however long it takes to carry out the process of trucking everything to the new address.
Although many people think this time is increased for DIY moves – in realty most people will pack and unpack their own belongings anyway when using professional movers in an effort to save money, so it’s not going to mean as much extra time as you might think.
2. Truck Hire
Truck hire is the single biggest expense when DIY moving so it is worth shopping around for a good deal. Always, always book in advance to secure the vehicle you need – they do book out quickly, particularly over the weekends.
One important thing to consider when hiring your truck is an integrated tail lift – this will make getting those heavier items into the truck much easier! See more below on choosing the right rental truck.
3. Packing Materials
Boxes, boxes, boxes – you are going to need a lot of them! Obviously sourcing some free ones is the best plan – try your local retail stores first you might be surprised, they are often happy to hand out surplus boxes destined for the recycling bin. Or take a look on Trademe – often there are people who have just moved selling theirs for very little.
You will also need tape, bubble wrap and marker pens. Investing in slightly better quality tape is a good idea it does slow the process down if you constantly have to re-stick tape down or it keeps tearing. Using towels, sheets and other linen is a great way to avoid having to purchase bubble wrap.
4. Extra Helpers
Attempting to move on your own is going to be challenging – it is best to enlist the help of at least one other person – preferably someone who is ok with heavy lifting. Beds, lounge suites and whiteware are cumbersome and heavy – you will need assistance with these items in order to avoid damage.
Offering to return the favour is a great way to say thank you, or you might want to consider shouting your helpers pizza or fish and chips in return for their much needed help!
While we sometimes tend to take the traditional kiwi attitude of ‘she’ll be right’, there is always an element of risk whether you are traveling 4km or 400km. Protecting your belongings during the move is an important step not to be overlooked.
Regular household insurance does not cover the moving house process, inquire after specialised transit insurance options with your insurance company prior to the move. It is important to state you are shifting house yourself and ask for ‘full’ cover – there are cheaper options which only cover things like fire, theft and the truck overturning, not accidental breakage during the move process.
6. Plan Your Route
Driving a truck can be cumbersome, planning out your route to your new address is a good idea to avoid any tight corners, difficult right hand turns at intersections or narrow and windy parts of the road.
Highways, and main roads are much easier to navigate when driving heavier vehicles. It is also a good idea to think about hiring from a company that offers roadside assistance for any breakdowns.
4 Tips For Choosing The Right Rental Truck
As we mentioned above hiring your truck is the single biggest expense when shifting house so it makes sense to invest some time in investigating the best truck to hire for the job. Here are our top 4 truck rental tips for DIY moves.
Choose Your Truck Size Carefully. Deciding which size truck you hire is going to make a big difference to costs. More often than not people tend to look at hire prices and go for the smaller sized versions of furniture trucks, however if this means you have to do multiple trips it takes more time, more kilometres, more of your day and most importantly more petrol.
Check Licencing Requirements. Before renting a truck it is important to check out the legal licencing requirements. In New Zealand truck licencing directly relates to the weight of the truck. Any vehicles under 3 tonne or 6000kg (often described as having a capacity of up to 20m³) are able to be driven on a Class 1 NZ Drivers licence. Anything heavier it is a legal requirement to hold a Class 2 drivers licence. See here for more information on truck driving safety or tips on driving rental trucks in NZ.
Tail Lifts Are A The Best Idea. You may think you don’t need it but trust me on this one – getting a moving truck with a tail lift is the single best thing you can do when renting a truck to move house. A tail lift provides an automated lifting platform from ground level up to the load bed of the truck and makes moving large heavy items such as fridges, washing machines, beds and lounge suites so much easier – greatly reducing the amount of lifting required.
Look For Special One Way Relocation Deals. For most people returning the truck to its original depot can be inconvenient, especially when you have been driving all day. Keeping an eye out for one way relocation deals can be a great way around this or as an alternative look for truck hire companies that have depot locations in both your originating location and end location – this way you can return the truck at your new destination resulting in less hire time, kilometres and petrol.
Preparing For The Move
There are a few things you can do to prepare for your DIY move, with the view to making things easier on the day. Creating a packing strategy is a great idea. This means you are able to complete tasks in a structured manner without forgetting things or creating issues going forward.
Creating A Packing Strategy
About a month from your move date, start working out a packing strategy. This means deciding on the best way to pack up your house, which rooms you will do first and what items need to be packed. Creating your packing schedule in a checklist format is a great idea and will mean you can tick things off as you go. The 4 key things you need to factor into your plan are;
Time Frames. How long do you have to pack? Are you taking any time off? Do you need to do most of the packing in the evenings after work? Be aware, it always takes longer than you think – always schedule more time than you think you’ll need.
Packing Sequence. Where can you make a start now? Which rooms will you pack first? What items can you pack now, next week, and in the final weeks?
Decluttering. Get rid of anything you no longer need or use, there is no point paying to move things you are just going to throw away when you get there. A good way to de-clutter is to create three piles; keep, give away/sell and throw out.
Moving Day. Being well prepared on moving day will make the whole process go much smoother. Be sure to allocate jobs to each person, and have a clear understanding of which items need to be loaded into the truck first and in what order to make the most of the space. Be sure to have heavier sturdier boxes at the bottom with lighter boxes at the top.
How much can you actually save when choosing to hire your own truck and move yourself? To give an example; moving the average 3 bedroom house from Auckland to Christchurch you could save around $3500 according to the USAVE rentals team. For more information on moving tips, packing advice, relocating in New Zealand, moving day advice and affordable truck hire in Palmerston North, Auckland, Christchurch or Dunedin see these links.