How a well packed move saves you money
Updated: Jan 10, 2019
Most people don't think much about packing for their move. Of course they know it needs to be done, but a lot of people see it as the easiest way to save money and cut corners. The thing is, spending a little more to pack your place properly, whether you do it yourself or hire professional packers, will often save you money on your move.
Here are some common mistakes and why they ultimately cost you more.
Packing mistake #1 - Using whatever you have on hand
Using odd shaped containers, drawers, bags and anything else they can find to fit a few things to save on packing materials. The thing is, those odds and ends will might save you $50 on packing materials, but it will make packing the truck and then moving everything into your new house slower.
Packing mistake #2 - Skimping on protecting your belongings
A lot of people don't really think about what they are doing to protect their belongings. They think about saving money on packing paper and bubble wrap, or fitting as much in one box as possible. The problem with this is you are more likely to end up with breakages and that $20 you saved on packing paper has now cost you your dinner set.
Packing mistake #3 - Not packing everything
Many people think that they only need to pack their breakables or valuables. However, while those awkward shapes might mean you use 10 extra boxes to pack items that are unlikely to break, your removalists now need to do 20 extra trips back and forth to get everything into the truck and again at the other end to get it out. So it's now costing you an extra hour at removalists rates.
Packing mistake #4 - Not counting your time
A lot of people don't think of their time as costing them anything, but even if it isn't costing you time away from work or your family, it often adds up in different ways. Think of this. You've spent three weeks packing your house, because you're doing it before and after work and on weekends. During that time you've ordered takeaway 3-4 times because you don't have time to cook and pack. That's cost you approximately $150. To allow more time for pack you've driven to work frequently rather than caught public transport, fuel and packing have now cost you another $100. At Alongshore Removals rates that would have bought you 2 hours and 40 minutes of packing time, which would mean packing about 3/4 of a standard 3 bedroom house. Meaning you could have done a quarter of the work over those three weeks and the day before had our packers do the rest for the same cost.
Here's a recent example to demonstrate what we mean...
In May a young couple had to move house for the first time in a while. They decided to pack themselves and didn't want to spend money on too many boxes. They picked up some boxes for free, which were odd shapes and sizes and some didn't have lids. They used newspaper, towels and linen to pack. On the day of their move they thought they'd done about 90% and would just do the last little bit while the guys were packing the truck with everything else. The removalists started packing and at the start it was all fine, they could pack the furniture, white goods and boxes that were already packed. The truck started to fill up quickly as the removalists couldn't pack anything on top of boxes that had no lids. The couple realised they had a lot more stuff in those final cupboards etc than they remembered and asked the removalist to help pack up the final bits and pieces, by this stage they only had reusable shopping bags to pack things in. The team helped and two hours later the couple were packed, poorly because there were no boxes to be used. The removalists packed in as much as they could but everything wouldn't fit in the truck as there were too many odd shapes and wasted space where more couldn't be put on top of open boxes or bags with fragile items.
At the other end, the couple helped to unpack the truck to try to speed things along, a bag of fragiles fell as they tried to pull it down and candlesticks they had recieved for their wedding broke. It took two loads and almost 10 hours to move the couple. If they had been properly packed it would have taken one load and less than 5 hours. By trying to save money the couple had cost themselves almost double on the move, broken one of their treasured belongings and as they said to us a week later wasted huge amounts of time trying to unpack as they had no idea where anything was. The newspaper had also rubbed off on all their crockery and everything had needed to be washed before they could put it away.
By way of another example, here's someone who did it right...
A young woman was getting organised to move. She started packing herself and bought some boxes and paper. She realised she wasn't going to have enough and asked us if she could use our hire a box service, we delivered more boxes, paper, and packing tape to her the next day. The weekend before her move she was only about 50% packed and asked if we could help. We arranged to come to her place and pack the afternoon before her move. In 1 1/2 hours our packers had all her remaining possessions packed, labelled and stacked neatly ready to move the next day. She didn't use all the boxes she had ordered from us, so we refunded her for those she didn't use and took them with us. The next morning our removalists arrived, packed the truck and because her boxes were labelled, put everything in the right rooms ready for unpacking. The move was finished in four hours. The woman unpacked all her essentials that night and by the end of the weekend was pretty much moved in and settled with just a few boxes left to unpack. We picked up her hired boxes the following Thursday and refunded her deposit.
So next time you're moving, just think about what it's actually costing you to pack. Sometimes it's cheaper to get some help. If you'd like some more tips on how to pack your house more easily look at our moving and packing tips!