How to cut moving costs – and hassles

Hundreds if not thousands of people in SA move house every month, many of them using bakkies, trailers or a hired truck and their own manpower. But many others need to enlist the help of professional movers – and find ways to keep the cost of such services down.
And if this is the route you’re choosing, you should try not to plan your move for the end of a month or during December or January, says Shaun Rademeyer, CEO of BetterBond Home Loans, SA’s biggest mortgage origination group.
“At other times of the month, or during winter, when the moving companies are not so busy, you will usually be offered a better rate. You should also get quotes from three different moving companies and their representatives should preferably visit your home so they can make their estimates as accurate as possible,” he notes.
Check out the Professional Movers Association website for a list of reputable companies and also for a list of SAIMA members if you are planning a cross-border or international move.
Secondly, Rademeyer advises, you should try to get rid of absolutely everything you don’t need to take to your new home. “Start going through your home, garage or shed and garden at least two months before the move and sell, donate or send for recycling everything you can. Aim to reduce the number of items to be transported by at least half, because weight and bulk is a big factor in determining the price of a long-haul move and there’s really no point in paying to have someone transport something that you don’t use or that won’t fit into your new home.”
The third step, he says, is to buy some boxes (preferably recycled) and wrap and pack as many small items as you can yourself. This will reduce the time the movers have to spend packing, and hopefully reduce their charges as well. You should also number and colour-code all boxes and items of furniture with special tape or labels that match coloured-coded rooms on a plan of your new home. This will cut down on the time the movers take to unload your belongings.
“And finally, you need to make sure that your possessions will be properly insured while in transit, as road and weather conditions, hijacking, robberies, strikes and riots can interfere with the performance of even the best moving companies.
“You will usually require a special policy for this, and will need to organise and pay the premium for it well in advance of your move. If your moving company offers you a goods-in-transit policy, make sure it is compliant with the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act.”

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