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Monday Nov 08, 2021

Top money-saving tips for moving house

Moving house is usually an exciting time as it symbolises new beginnings but it can also be an extremely stressful and costly exercise, so it's important to save money where you can, especially if you have just borne the costs of buying your own home.

"Unfortunately, there's no avoiding it - moving and settling into your new home is a big undertaking and, with so many payments going out in the run-up to move day, your bank account is going to take a bit of a battering," says Dawn Bloch, Lew Geffen Sotheby's International Realty Area Specialist for Kirstenhof, Lakeside and Zwaanswyk.

"There are a multitude of costs to factor in when you're moving house and they can quickly add up if one isn't careful."
 
"However, with advance planning and a little creativity, many of these expenses can be significantly reduced and you'll also avoid last minute or unexpected bills which could break the bank as well as drive stress levels to breaking point."
 
Bloch adds that planning is the most critical step because when people are rushing and under pressure, they are very likely to spend more money than they would have otherwise.
 
"Begin to plan your move as soon as you know it's definitely happening – even if it's still months away. This will not only save you money but will alleviate a lot of the pressure and allow you to circumvent potential pitfalls."
 
She suggests the following steps for a more cost-effective and seamless move:
 
Do your research – Get at least three quotes and carefully scrutinise them to ensure that each removal company is quoting for the same services. And, and although the aim is to save money, we wary of a quote that's significantly lower than the others. It could mean they have omitted a major element and you'll end up paying add-on costs later. Rather opt for companies that offer fixed estimates and, if unsure, look online for references and reviews.

Ask for a deal and be flexible in return - Because most people move on weekends and at the end of a month, oftentimes moving companies will agree to a discounted rate if you move mid-week or mid-month.

Bear in mind that removal firm costs tend to rise during major holiday periods – and especially at Christmas – so try and avoid these key dates if you can.

Declutter before you start packing – Working around clutter is not only frustrating, it often leads to packing everything in sight which will cost more in transport costs - and if you're moving to a smaller space you will have to pay for storage or live with even more clutter.

Take only what you need - Moving home is the best time to get rid of what you no longer use and it can also reduce your outlay even further by adding to the moving kitty as many items are saleable.

Get creative with packing supplies - Instead of buying reams of packing paper, your linens, sheets, and towels can be used to wrap and protect items like mirrors, ornaments and paintings.

Start gathering boxes from local supermarkets and grocery stores a few weeks before your move and keep an eye on community social media sites to get boxes from people who have recently moved. Don't just rely on packing boxes – utilise the space in laundry baskets, rubbish bins and suitcases which can all serve equally well.

Pets – pets can be traumatised by the disruption in their worlds when packing gets to the final stages and move day can be especially traumatic – for them and for you. So, try and arrange beforehand for a friend or family member to take them for a couple of days until you have moved into your new home as kennelling will add additional costs.

Inventive meal planning – In the final two or three weeks leading up to the move, make an inventory of all the food you have in your fridge, freezer and pantry and create an inventive meal plan to use up as much of it as you can. If possible, only buy essentials and perishables.

Pack a necessities box - Pack a box with basic necessities and emergency supplies and transport it in your car on the day of the move. It will save you from buying what you already have and from the frustration of having to take time out to do so. Include items like headache tablets, chronic medication, snacks and bottled water, pet snacks and cell phone chargers.

Don't renovate or buy new décor items immediately – Unless you really need something like a new kettle or curtains for an additional room, try to resist the urge to spend any money for at least two months. Not only will it afford your wallet some breathing space, it's always best to take time to settle in and live in a new home and decide which features you like before investing more money.

"Moving can be a large financial burden and taking the time to really consider all of your options is important. The more time you give yourself to plan ahead, the more you're likely to save," concludes Bloch.

    
 

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