Moving Tips

At AskDonkey we know that moving house (or office) is a stressful task, so we have created a thorough list of moving tips to help make your move as stress free as possible. Our first advice to all our users is to be smart and plan ahead. Moving always takes longer than you think and by planning ahead you can spare yourself a lot of trouble. By starting to plan two months ahead of your move you can get lots of packing and organizing out of the way.

Two Months before your Move

Finding a Suitable Furniture Mover:

  1. Start by compiling a detailed inventory list of all your furniture and belongings that will not be packed away in moving boxes or crates. Try to work out an estimate amount of boxes that will be packed.
  2. Acquire as many as possible moving quotations from a variety of professional and trustworthy moving companies and decide on a suitable mover. Make use of our online quotation request form to compare quotes within less than 24 hours. This is a free service.
  3. Besides a good price, you should be looking for a reputable company. These days it is very easy to do online research to find client testimonials or complaints. We also recommend that you ask the furniture mover you select for references from previous clients – the happy and the not-so-happy.
  4. After comparing quotations and narrowing down your choices, ask the moving companies if an on-site visit can be organised to ensure an accurate quotation.
  5. Many moving companies offer a discount for mid-month moves, so make use of this if you can.

Things to ask the Moving Company:

  1. Carefully read the terms & conditions before accepting the quotation and be sure you understand the final agreement.
  2. Find out if insurance is included or quoted separately. Some furniture movers in South Africa offer All Risk and / or In Transit insurance. Others offer no insurance and this should then be arranged with or disclosed to your short-term insurance provider. Ask the moving company what their policy is for goods damaged by them.
  3. Confirm if they charge overtime rates.
  4. Check if the moving company will NOT move certain items such as gas bottles, alcohol, valuables, etc.
  5. Are there any additional fees that can be added, like a shuttle fee if the truck will not be able to park close to your door or complex entrance? Inform the mover about any truck restrictions at collection and delivery addresses. Check if you will be charged extra if there are stairs or elevators.
  6. Do they charge extra for large awkward items like a piano or a pool table?
  7. How does the removal company charge: per hour, per item or according to volume or weight?
  8. Does your quotation include a packing service? In other words, will they be packing boxes for you?
  9. Check if wrapping of paintings, mirrors, picture frames and other fragile items with bubble wrap are included in your quotation, or if these have to be wrapped by you before moving day.
  10. Larger items such as couches, beds, mattresses, etc ideally have to be wrapped with plastic covers / bags to protect against possible damage. At the least with blankets.
  11. Be sure to secure your moving date by paying the requested deposits. Some moving companies, although few, will not show up on the scheduled moving day without the necessary proof of payment. Confirm the Payment Options.
  12. Where possible, confirm everything in writing.

Additional Planning:

  1. Arrange a storage facility should this be needed. Various storage options are available.
  2. Go through all your belongings and decide what you want to keep, what you want to sell or give to charity, and return borrowed items to its owners.
  3. Write down any items that will need special wrapping, packing or insurance while in transit. Discuss and arrange this with your mover.
  4. Get your new address details and keep it close by in case you need to give it out and don’t remember it. Change your postal address if necessary.
  5. If your children are in school, arrange that school records be transferred to the new school.
  6. If you are moving to another province and you are planning to fly, arrange plane tickets.
  7. Read and print our Moving Checklist so that you can get an idea of what exactly you will need to do during the next couple of months before moving day.

Six Weeks before your Move:

  1. If you have chosen to self-pack your boxes, order the packing materials through the moving company or from a packaging supplier. Remember to order boxes, tape, wrapping paper, bubble wrap, permanent markers and coloured labels or stickers for colour coding.
  2. Enquire about the price of hanger boxes for clothing, as these are normally quite expensive.
  3. Take measurements at the new home to make sure that larger items such as couches & pool tables fit through the doors / entrances. Discuss any possible problems with the mover.
  4. Start to empty out the grocery cupboard and do not buy any additional groceries that will not be used before moving day. Eat any frozen and perishable foods before the move.
  5. Read our Packing Tips for more on how to pack for your move.
  6. Start packing nonessential items. If it is winter summers clothing can be packed or vice versa. Label boxes clearly and indicate the room where it should go to at the new home or use colour coding.

Four Weeks before your Move:

  1. Keep two boxes aside and label the first one “Moving Day Box”. This can be used for any items that will be used on the day such as keys, tools, moving company contact details, first aid kit, toiletries, prescription medications, etc.
  2. Label the second box “Personal Belongings” and place in it any items that you would like to move yourself, such as jewellery, personal files, cheque books, etc.
  3. Get out the list of items that will require special wrapping or packing and continue with this as you pack. Remember to contact the moving company with any additional items that will require special wrapping or insurance.
  4. Label & number boxes that will go into storage clearly and make a list in a notebook of all items in each box. This way you will be able to find items easier should you need to get it out of storage some time later.
  5. Let people know that you're moving and what your new address will be. Easiest way to do this is by sending out emails. Inform all banks, insurance companies, your accountant, healthcare-providers, magazine / newspaper subscriptions, etc.
  6. If you are renting, give one month’s written notice to your landlord.
  7. Arrange for leave days at your place of work.

Two Weeks before your Move:

  1. Rent a carpet cleaning machine or have any loose carpets and rugs send to the cleaners.
  2. Get a handyman to tend to any repairs in the house or unit.
  3. Inform your short-term insurance broker / company of your change of address and enquire about any possible changes to your monthly premiums due to a higher / lower risk area, alarm systems, etc.
  4. Also ask the short-term insurance company if your goods and furniture will be covered during the move and find out the exact policy details.
  5. Inform the new owner or tenant of your exact moving date and time to avoid any problems on the day.
  6. Arrange for the disconnection & reconnection of telephone lines, DSTV or TopTV and installation of your satellite dish.
  7. If you have pets, get the address and contact details of a veterinarian in your new area in case of an emergency.

One Week before your Move:

  1. Confirm the arrangements with your furniture mover again and enquire when final payment is due.
  2. Refill any prescription medications that will be needed for at least two weeks.
  3. Go through your Moving Checklist again and make a new list of things that have not yet been attended to.
  4. Make your own list of what you will need unpacked first.
  5. If necessary, inform the body corporate / landlord of your moving date and make the necessary arrangements for large vehicles to enter. Be sure to disclose all truck restrictions to the moving company as this might have an additional cost implication to you.
  6. Return library books.
  7. Collect carpets, clothing etc from the cleaners.
  8. Disassemble any items that will not be done by the movers.

Few Days before your Move:

  1. It is recommended that all packing is done at least 2 days prior to moving day. Pack suitcases for each family member with enough clothing for a few days.
  2. Do the same in the kitchen: plan meals beforehand and only keep out the required food stuffs for these meals. Almost like when you are going on holiday.
  3. Empty and defrost the refrigerator the night before moving day.
  4. Make arrangements for final payment with the moving company. Keep any cash in the “Moving Day Box”.
  5. Confirm the directions and address details of your new home with the movers.
  6. If your move does not include a packing service, pack all TV’s, plasmas and other electronics; preferably in its original packaging.
  7. Back-up computer files and pack your computers and printers in boxes.
  8. If possible, label the doors at the new address to match your labelled boxes, e.g. Main Bedroom, Second Bedroom, Study, etc. This will assist the movers to place the boxes in the correct rooms. Refer to our Packing Tips for more help with how to pack for your move.
  9. Keep out a picnic basket or cooler box with snacks, food & drinks for the day. This can be kept with the “Moving Day Box”.


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On the Day of your Move:

  1. Try to be present the entire time it takes the movers to load your furniture and goods. They might need you to answer questions or give directions as to which items need special wrapping or need to be disassembled.
  2. Before leaving the home, check that nothing has been left behind. Double check the cupboards.
  3. Someone must also be present at the new home to assist the movers with the placement of goods and furniture in the correct rooms and to check that all items are in the same condition as before loading. Supply the removal company with a list of damages in writing, either by doing so on the inventory form or by sending a list via fax or email within 48 hours. Check the Terms and Conditions before accepting the quotation.
  4. Make arrangements for the delivery or collection of keys, remote controls for gates and garage doors, etc at the old home.

When the Movers have left:

  1. Check that the geyser is on.
  2. Unpack your linens first and start making beds. If possible hang curtains in the bedrooms.
  3. Start unpacking necessities such as cutlery, kettle, toiletries, etc. Use your list of what you will need unpacked first.

After the Move:

  1. Inform friends and family of your new address.
  2. Return unpacked boxes to the moving company or find out about recycling options.
  3. Familiarize yourself with your new area by buying an area map and driving around. Also obtain a few local newspapers to find out about events in your area, location of popular shopping malls, restaurants, etc.
  4. Arrange a house warming party and remember to tell all your friends and family about the great service offered by AskDonkey – Furniture Removal Quotes.

For additional ideas be sure to read our Packing Tips.

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