How to: move house like a pro

How to: move house like a pro

How to move house like a pro

Relocating is exciting, but it can also be a stressful and exhausting process. Here’s a simple timeline to make life easier.


Four to six months before

Think about moving costs:

It may seem too early, but now’s the time to start saving money for moving costs. You don’t want to find yourself paying for it from your salary, as there are other costs to consider as well. According to, depending on the hours you’ll need the services, moving homes within one city or region can cost anything from R1 500-R2 500 (for an average two-hour move) and R3 950-R7 950 (for a full-day move). However, many other factors can increase the cost, such as the distance between your current home and the new one, the amount of furniture and boxes you’re moving, and the time of month. Moving from one city to another is, of course, considerably more expensive.

Is the move covered by insurance?

If you decide to use a moving company, find out what their insurance covers, if they offer it. The last thing you want, when unpacking at your new home, is to find expensive and delicate items like a smart TV or precious glassware damaged. Also, given our country’s high incidence of crime and road accidents, you can’t rule out the possibility of loss or damage en route. While your removal company should provide some insurance, you may need to consider taking additional coverage. has an easy online calculator to measure the volume of your furniture yourself. It sends the result to
your email address.

Three months before

  • Start collecting boxes and buying packing supplies such as masking tape, bubble wrap and markers. Supermarkets and other retail outlets are great places to collect free boxes. Approach the manager and ask for boxes they’ve thrown away at the back of the shop.
  • After doing thorough research on a few moving companies (checking their reputation and quality of service, and comparing prices), make your final choice so you can book them well in advance.

Moving companies at the touch of a button

  1. DROPPA is a delivery service for moving household and office goods and furniture. This ‘Uber for bakkies’ allows you to track your goods throughout the entire journey, from pick-up to delivery. Simply download its app, which is compatible with Android and Apple. Available in Gauteng. Visit:
  2. EEZI MOVE offers home and office removals, packing services and secure storage facilities locally in major towns and cities. For a free quotation, visit:
  3. AMAZING TRANSPORT offers house-moving services, as well as packing, wrapping, storage and warehousing options. It operates countrywide. Visit:
  4. For smaller household moves in and around greater Johannesburg and Tshwane, MINI MOVERS is a very competitively priced, reliable option. (Long-distance moves are offered too.) Its services include boxes (if needed), packing and unpacking of boxes (if required), continual cellphone contact with drivers and reassembly of any furniture dismantled for the move. Visit:

Tip: Did you know that it’s cheaper to move in the middle of the month and during the week? Get quotes for these days, to compare prices, and try to move mid-month, if possible.

One month before

Prepare your new home for your arrival: If you have access to your new home before the day of your actual move, ensure that all the taps, toilets, oven and geyser are working properly, that the place is clean and that you have all the keys to all the doors. Now’s also the time to hire a handyman or gardening service, if needed.

Transfer your utilities: You’ll need to transfer your utilities and services, such as your water and electricity account, from your name in the place you’re leaving into the new owners’ name. The same will apply for the new home you’re
moving into.

Don’t forget the boring stuff… Start notifying all relevant parties (bank, post office, SARS, life and vehicle insurance, car tracking service, etc) of your move and change documents and policies to your new address.

Three weeks before

Start packing: Allocate boxes for all the rooms.

Labelling boxes: Number each box and, on a separate notepad, itemise its contents, as well as the room it should go to. This will make it easier to direct the movers carrying the boxes into your new home and also allows you to make sure that each box arrived.

Start packing non-essentials that you don’t need on a daily basis, such as extra crockery, books, summer clothing (if you’re moving in winter, and vice versa), linen, etc.

Donate or sell old clothes and furniture: Now’s the time to get rid of all those unwanted items that have been collecting dust in the garage and spare room. Donate old clothes, shoes, furniture, kitchenware, gardening tools
and sports equipment to a charity or sell them to a second-hand store to make some extra cash (which will be very welcome during the first week of unpacking at your new home, when you won’t have the energy for cooking!).


Two weeks before

  • Finish off almost all your packing, leaving aside only essentials like the clothes, plates and toiletries you’ll need for the next fortnight.
  • Start using up fresh food supplies (especially frozen foods), as well as heavy items like tinned foods. These can increase the price you’ll pay for the move because of their weight.
  • Consider taking at least two days’ leave from work: one for the moving day and the next day, when you can finish unpacking essential rooms and items. If necessary, organise extra help unpacking.
  • Finalise the time and date with your removal company.

Tip: Try to pick a moving date when your kids will be at school, especially if they’re little. Alternatively, ask friends or family to baby-sit them while you’re moving, so that you have less to worry about on the day.

Moving week

  • Start transporting smaller items that can fit inside your car, like clothes, linen and shoes.
  • A few days before, do whatever cleaning you need to do at your old home and finish packing. You should be left with only two or three days’ clothing and school uniforms.
  • Defrost and clean your fridge two days before. NB: When your fridge arrives at your new home, don’t plug it in at once: wait at least four to six hours, so that the gases inside it can settle, or it could be damaged.
  • Start disassembling large items of furniture, such as tables and dining room chairs. (You might just need to
    get out those camp chairs and sleeping bags!)

Tip: While disconnecting your TV set, take photos with your cellphone of the wiring, so it will be easier to reconnect each wire when setting it up in your new home.

Moving day

  • Work closely with the movers to ensure all fragile and large items are handled carefully.
  • Double-check that they have the right address for the new home.
  • Do a last walk-through of your home to ensure nothing’s left behind.
  • Supervise unloading at the new home, ensuring boxes are going into the correct rooms.
  • Before unpacking anything else, put a toilet roll, soap and hand towel in the bathroom and make the beds. These are the essentials to keep you going until everything else is done.




About Nolwazi Dhlamini

Features Writer for Your Family magazine. She’s worked in print and digital media, and finds thrill in understanding human behaviour. Nolwazi believes everyone has a fascinating story to tell, and it just takes the right person, asking the right questions, to find it.


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