Making a long-distance move across Australia or into it is a big step. When you're ready to make your move, you want to choose the right movers—but how do you know that you're making the right decision? What should you be looking for as you choose the best long distance moving company for your needs? Consider these key elements as you evaluate long-distance movers and make the choice that's right for you and your family.
Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA) is an official body of removals experts that helps regulate the removals industry. Whether you're moving from Brisbane to Perth or moving from Adelaide to Darwin, for peace of mind look for an AFRA accredited removalist. All AFRA members carry Public Liability Insurance and are authorised to provide Transit Insurance for all goods and effects being moved.
At present there are approximately 350 Furniture Removal and associated companies that are members of AFRA. These range in size from small one truck owner operated companies to large multi-national companies with many branches both in Australia and overseas.
As you choose a moving company for your long-distance move, make sure that the company has insurance and that it is current: that is, that it has not been allowed to lapse. Accidents can happen during the moving process, though your movers will take every possible step to ensure that your goods remain as safe as possible. You want a company that is insured against potential damage. Not only that, your moving company should have insurance that will protect their movers if they suffer an accident en route or on the job. Don't be afraid to ask to see a current copy of your movers' insurance policy.
Moving can create a lot of stress. You have many tasks that you need to take care of as you prepare to transfer your life to a new, far-away location. The services that your long-distance moving company offers can make that move much easier. Utilising those moving services can streamline your move and get you settled in your new home faster—not to mention reducing your overall stress. Consider services like:
Packing up your home can take a great deal of time and energy. You may need to start packing weeks before your long-distance move, especially if you're trying to move a family. While there are some tasks you will still need to take care of yourself—sorting through the items you want to donate or sell before your move, for example—some long-distance moving companies will offer services that include packing up your possessions for you.
When you hire a mover to take care of your packing, you need only take care of sorting out possessions you do not want to take with you and setting aside specific items that you want to keep in your vehicle or on your person as you make the move. Everything else can be taken care of by the moving company. Imagine it: you need only pack a suitcase or a few vital bags, make sure you know where your most important possessions are, and then send your moving company in to take care of the rest of the packing.
Some people, as they prepare for a long-distance move, discover that they cannot move into their new property as quickly as they might hope. You may need to leave your current residence as your lease expires or in order for new owners to move into the house. Unfortunately, your new home might not be ready for you yet. You may need to wait for the former residents of a house to move out, or you may have a new landlord who needs a few more days—or in some cases even a few weeks—to be ready for you to move into the property.
What happens to your possessions and household goods in the meantime?
If you move with long-distance movers who do not offer storage services, you may need to pack up your household possessions, have them moved across Australia, and then pull them out into a storage facility. Then, when you can finally move into the property, you have to go through the process of hauling all those boxes and furniture all over again.
Many long-distance moving companies understand this difficulty, and they have prepared for it. As part of their services, they will offer storage options that will allow you to store your possessions until you can move into your new home. Check the price of these storage services! Often, it will cost less to use your moving company to store your possessions until you're ready to move into the new home, especially when you take into account the stress it will save you in the long run.
There are some items you may want to unpack for yourself. You may have a specific organisation system that you prefer to use in your new kitchen, or you might need to arrange the items in your bedroom bureau for yourself. On the other hand, there are many items you might be able to hand over to someone else to take care of. Some people don't mind exactly how dishes go into the kitchen cabinets. It might not matter to you how cleaning supplies get put in your closet or under your sink.
Keep in mind that you may not have friends or family members waiting at your new home to help you unpack and get settled in, and for some people, unpacking takes even more time and energy than packing up in the first place, especially if you have kids who need to get settled in along with the rest of the family. Then, consider how unpacking services can help benefit you as you finish off your move. Unpacking can prove particularly beneficial if, for example, you have a relatively short period of time to get settled into your new property before you have to start work. Your movers will accept guidance about where you want to put everything, but will take care of many of those tasks for you.
If you do not opt to have the movers handle the packing for you, consider whether you want to get your packing supplies from the movers. Moving can take a lot more supplies than many people think. How many boxes do you really need? How much packing tape does it take to secure those boxes properly? What about packing material: do you really have enough bubble wrap to safely secure all your dishes?
When you work with a moving company that provides packing supplies, they will be able to give you a solid estimate of how many boxes and how much bubble wrap and other cushioning material you need to get your possessions safely to your new home. They will also take care of delivering them for you, which means that you do not have to run out constantly to pick up more boxes—or worse, spend weeks trying to find boxes from just the right locations.
Some of your possessions may require special packaging in order to ensure that they make it to their destination protected and scratch-free. If you have special pieces of artwork, for example, you may want to crate them in order to protect them. Likewise, if you need to move fine china or other delicate items, you may want help packaging them to keep them as safe as possible.
Some movers will take care of those services for you. If you have items that require special packaging, check with your moving company ahead of time to ensure that they provide the right services for your needs.
In some cases, you may need your movers to take care of highly specific tasks that can make your move more difficult if you don't have the right assistance. For example, if you have bulky furniture or narrow doorways, you may need specialty services to get it out of your property. Moving into an apartment on a higher story? You may need to work with a moving company that is willing to take your furniture and other items upstairs for you. You may also want a moving company that will take care of taking your furniture apart for you and packing it for shipping, since doing so improperly could damage your furniture. Make sure your moving company offers the services you need for your move, specifically.
Sometimes, movers will attempt to cut costs by putting the possessions of multiple people on the same moving truck at the same time. For your long-distance move, however, you may want your needs to govern that move. You may want to have all the space available on the truck, to ensure that the truck adheres to your timeline, or to help keep better track of everyone's possessions. Exclusive use of the moving vehicle can help make those tasks easier.
Once you have narrowed down a long-distance moving company based on the services it offers and whether the moving company has the right licensing and insurance, you may want to take a look at the movers' reviews. Keep in mind that most often, you will see reviews from disgruntled customers, since they are more likely to take the time to make their opinion known than those who are completely satisfied. With the rise of social media and platforms like Google, however, it is easier than ever to see what past customers have to say about a moving experience. Take a look at the reviews for the long-distance relocation services you are considering. Consider:
What does the company's average rating look like? That is, in general, what do people think of the moving company you're considering? Do past customers have a genuinely positive opinion, or a generally negative one?
What are the negative reviews complaining about? Negative reviews can hit for a variety of reasons. One customer might post a negative review complaining that the movers broke something that the customer failed to package properly. Another might have complaints about things outside the movers' control: inability to get into the property at the right time, for example. On the other hand, some customers may have legitimate complaints about how the moving company operated. Carefully consider what the negative reviews have in common and how it relates to your opinion of the movers.
How did the company respond to negative reviews? Did the company make an effort to respond to those negative reviews, or did they ignore them? If they did respond, what does the response look like? How a company responds to a negative review can tell you just as much about the company as other elements of the review in the first place.
Choosing a long-distance mover is a big decision. We can help ensure that you have the moving services you need as you move across Australia. Contact Clear Sky Moving and Storage today to learn more about the services we provide or to ask any questions you might have about our moving services, including the extra options we provide to our customers.