The Removalists Guide

Removalists Make Relocation Easy-Peasy

The Removalists Guide

Moving home or office is a complex and laborious task.  But it can be made a whole lot easier with the expert help and guidance of professional removalists. In The Removalists Guide we will cover nearly every aspect of the removalists industry. From the history, removals services, insurance, fleet information and an added bonus if you are looking to start a job as a removalist.

The reasons for moving home are generally positive and exciting.  For example, it could be a move to a larger property or to another town or city because of a new job.  However, feelings of exhilaration are usually tempered by the thought of having to pack and unpack rooms full of furniture and possessions. Hence the demand for removalists to help with the hard work.

Relocation is a job that anyone can do, but only trained and accredited removalists can do it really well and safely.  Of course you can move everything if you want to, but why burden yourself with such a colossal workload when there are fantastic removalists who can do everything for you?  Their services include planning, packing, moving and unpacking.

Moving home is something that most of us will probably do several times in our lives.  Prior to the 2011 Census, 41.7% of Australians relocated, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.  And between the 2006 and 2001 Censuses, around 7.5 million Australians moved home. These figures break down to 4.5 million Australian moving locally and 3 million people relocating further afield.  It’s no wonder then than removalists are springing up all over the place.

If you are thinking of moving home or are planning a move in the near future, this article encompasses essential information about removalists and the fundamentals of preparing for moving day.

Removalists History

History Of Removalists

The removalists industry as we know it didn’t really get started until the 19th century.  That’s when people started to pay removalists to do all the heavy work for them.  Sure, people moved plenty of times in previous centuries, but they either did it themselves or received the help of friends, family members and neighbours.

One of the first removalists in this country was Santa Fe Wridgways.  It was founded in 1892 by Ernest Wridgeway and is still in operation today.  According to the company’s website, it has the distinction of being the first removalists in the world to move furniture using containers.  The year was 1966.

Different Types of Removalist Services

Furniture Removals Services

Removalists are the experts who will pack up all your belongings and deliver them safely to your new address.  And over the years, their services have evolved and been refined.  There are a number of different types of removalists, and some companies will provide one or two of them, while others specialise in all.  They include home removalists, offic removalists and interstate removalists. For larger job some contractors also offer specialist services such as warehouse removalists.

Home Removalists

Home or house furniture removalists normally only work in their designated city. Whether you need a few items to be moved or the entire contents of a house, safe and experienced hands will give you a high quality service.  The benefits of hiring local home removalists is that they can be more cost-effective than the big boys and girls.  These removalists may also provide a more personal and friendlier service and are often more flexible than larger national companies.  So if you need to change things at short notice, there shouldn’t be any problems with scheduling.

Office Removalists

If you are a business owner then getting help from removalists who have experience in moving offices if vital. From moving cupboards, desks and chairs to safely packing and transporting computers, electrical items and archives, office removalists can shift your entire operation in a timely and efficient manner. Office removalists get everything done so your staff don’t have to get involved, allowing them to focus on their day jobs. If you want to minimise downtime to your productivity then always hire removalists who have experience in helping companies relocate.

Interstate Removalists

Some interstate removalists serve a small handful of states, while others will move you to any part of the country.  There is a huge demand for long haul removalists, Australians like to move.  Research by the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed that approximately 333,300 people moved interstate in Australia during 2012-13.  What’s more, in the 10-year period up until June 2013, Western Australia and Queensland were the most popular destinations, consistently recording annual migration gains from the rest of Australia. Removalists in this industry are always kept busy, although there has been an influx in new furniture removals companies coming into the market, so competition is hot.

Removalists also provide a host of other services, including packing fragile items, and short, medium and long-term storage of goods.

What is Backloading?

Backloading is an inexpensive moving option for when you don’t have a lot of stuff to move.  Instead of hiring an entire truck, lorry or van, you just pay for the space your possessions take up.  The service is frequently offered by interstate removalists when they are coming back from a big moving trip and have lots of space to spare.  They can fill it up with a few smaller loads.  It’s good for them and good for their customers.  Other removalists also offer backloading when they are coming back empty from big jobs.

How Much Do Removalists Cost?

The cost to hire a furniture removalist depends on many different variables.  For example, whether you want removalists to pack and unpack everything or just move your possessions from your old home to the next.  The price also depends on how many removalists will be needed and how much stuff you want moved.  The amount of furniture you want transported influences the size of the truck or trucks that will be needed.  Many removalist fleets consist of different sized vehicles, such as small utes, 3-tonne vans and trucks with a capacity of more than 100 cubic metres.  The bigger the vehicle the higher the cost.

Some removalists post an hourly rate on their websites, although many others do not.  But for a reasonable gauge on the costs involved we can turn to ‘A Guide to the Cost of Home Purchase’ by the Home Purchase Advisory Service of Australia.  According to this brochure, the average cost of hiring a removalist will be between $550 and $3500. This price includes hiring interstate removalists. Local removalists normally charge by the hour to ensure they are getting paid for the time to pack your furniture.

If you are on a tight budget, there are a couple of ways you can reduce your expenditure. One of them is to pack everything yourself, which I’ll get into shortly.  The other is with backloading, which we covered in the previous paragraph.

Removalists Insurance

Many people are under the impression that their possessions are covered by their home and contents insurance policy when they are moving.  Or that the removalist’s insurance policy will cover any damage.  But, it’s not that straightforward. When moving home, it is prudent to take out removalists insurance with a third party company.

Removalists and other companies that come into contact with the general public normally have “Public Liability Insurance” cover.  This covers them for injuries to customers, and the standard moving insurance they offer will only cover a small portion of an item’s value.

Insurance is important, because no matter how much research you do into removalists or how brilliant the company’s track record, accidents happen from time to time.

You have enough on your plate without worrying whether your goods are going to arrive safely at your new address.  Removalists insurance takes away the worry, because if something does happen to your belongings you know you will receive their full value back when you make a claim.  In fact, AFRA recommends that homeowners insure goods for their full value.

Another bonus of taking out a comprehensive policy is that your goods can be covered while they’re in storage. Ask your removalists about their storage prices as thy often offer cheaper rates from their furniture storage partners.

Exploding the Myths about Removalists

Myths About Removalists

It is staggering how many misinformed rumours are circulating about removalists and their services and practices.  The trouble with myths is that they have a nasty habit of sticking around, and therefore people believe them – even when there aren’t any supporting facts!   So, let’s put some of the common myths about removalists out to pasture:

Myth 1:  Removalists won’t treat your goods with due care and attention.

This is true of cowboys and less reputable firms, but professional removalists take pride in looking after their customers’ possessions for the entire time they are in their charge.

Myth 2: Removalists are all the same.

No, they are not.  There are huge differences in quality, prices and commitment to customer service.

Myth 3: Moving is stressful.

Yes it can be. But, if you choose the right removalists they will take away much of the stress and worry.

Myth 4: I should expect several items to get damaged.

Are you hiring professional removalists or cowboys?  If the latter, then yes expect lots of your items to be broken, but if the former, expect a company that will care about your possessions.  Sure, accidents happen from time to time, but solid, reputable removalists take great pride in ensuring that belongings arrive at a new destination in the exact same condition they left the old one.

Myth 5: Removalists all use secure short-term storage facilities.

Simply not true.  Many do have safe and secure storage units, but others make use of warehouses. So check with your removalists about what they offer. If you need secure storage always ask. Sometimes it is better they are kept in a secure area, not simply in warehouse accommodation.

Removalists Advice

Removalists Advice 1 – Getting Ready for Your Move

Whether you are moving across the street, across town or to another state, moving home is a colossal undertaking that requires care, attention and a lot of planning.  The only way you can stop yourself from being swamped is to prepare well in advance.  Here are some useful tips from removalists to help you get the ball rolling:

  • Draw up a packing list of everything that needs to come with you.  Ideally, you need to start the process several weeks before the anticipated moving day.  Have a good clear-out and declutter to get rid of those items that you really don’t need any longer. Many removalists provide these lists for free.
  • Remember to clear out other spaces in your home, such as the garage, shed, basement and attic.
  • Start packing early because the process always takes longer than anticipated.  The first items to pack away should be those that you use less frequently.
  • Set up mail forwarding so that post arrives at your new destination.
  • Get in touch with all your utility suppliers to transfer and set up utilities at your new home.
  • Select your removalists and get a written confirmation of the moving date and the costs involved.
  • Advise the electoral office of your new address.
  • If possible, check room measurements of your new home.  You need to know if large and bulky pieces of furniture will fit through their doors.
  • Cancel or redirect newspaper and other subscriptions.
  • Take metre readings from both properties on the day of the move.
  • Check that your insurance will cover any damages or breakages during the move.
  • If you are packing everything yourself, arrange delivery of packing materials from your local removalists.
  • Clearly label every box as to its contents and its room destination.
  • Inform relevant authorities about your change of address.  The Australian Government has information on changing your address to a new location, find out more from their website.
  • Update your drivers license address. For Victorian drivers you can find out more from Vic Roads.
  • Remember to return library books and any other rental items.
  • A few days before the move, reconfirm everything with your removalists.
  • Check with your real estate agent that your new home will be thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom before you get there.
  • Pack a suitcase full of essentials for your first night or two.  There’s nothing more frustrating than arriving at your new home and struggling to find the kettle, tea, coffee, soap, toothpaste, flannels and towels.
  • Before you close the door on your old home for one last time, check every room, cupboard and space to make sure nothing gets left behind.
  • Leave clear instructions for the removalists about any un-packing required at your destination.

Removalists Advice 2 – Packing Furniture for a Move

Moving day is getting closer and you realise that you cannot put off packing up your furniture any longer.  You know it must be done, but have you got enough boxes?  What about the correct packing materials? Are you confident that you can lift and carry everything safely?

Obviously, you can hire removalists to do everything for you, but if you decide to go it alone here are some simple packing tips to reduce the likelihood of moving day being a disaster.

  • Ensure you have the correct packing materials.  These can include Styrofoam peanuts and/or bubble wrap, a variety of cardboard boxes and containers, blankets, towels, newspaper, sheets of cardboard, mattress covers and old rags.
  • Draw up a list of all the furniture you are going to take with you and determine how long it will take to disassemble and pack them.  Having everything written down will help you to plan your schedule.  This is vital so that you don’t let the moving process overtake you.
  • Give everything a good clean and polish before you pack.  It doesn’t make any sense to unpack dirty furniture in your new location.
  • Empty all cupboards and drawers.  This will make these items lighter and easier to carry.
  • Disassemble everything that needs to be taken apart, such as table legs and headboards. Dig out the manuals for each furniture item so you know how to reassemble them at your new place.
  • Wrap the disassembled furniture pieces in bubble wrap, towels and other materials, and place them securely in boxes and containers.
  • Place any nuts, bolts and screws in plastic bags, labelled with the furniture piece they came from.
  • Wrap sofas, chairs and mattresses in special plastic covers to protect against rips, moisture and other types of damage during loading, moving and unloading.
  • Carefully cover glass table tops with towels, thick furniture blankets, rugs or heavy wrapping paper.
  • Line the bottom of your moving van with towels or rugs to protect furniture bases.
  • Load objects securely into the van so that they cannot move all over the place during transit.


Moving Safely without Removalists

If your budget cannot cover hiring removalists you can do it yourself. If you are going to do all your own packing, don’t think you can just pick up objects willy-nilly.  Well, you can do that of course, but without knowing how to lift, you risk short and long-term damage to your back and limbs.  Your health is far more important than moving a few objects around, so consider these few safety tips when lifting and carrying your possessions:

  • Perform a few stretches and warm up exercises before you lift anything heavy.
  • When lifting a heavy object, bend your hips and knees to squat down.  Never lift by bending forward and don’t left a heavy object above shoulder level.
  • Slowly lift by straightening your hips and knees.  Never rush, and always keep good posture.
  • When you set down your load, do so carefully by squatting with the knees and hips.
  • Make sure there is enough room to lift safely.

For more comprehensive advice on lifting heavy and bulky items, consult this thorough and useful guide from WorkSafe Victoria.

Easy Steps to Finding Good Removalists

Although the process of finding good removalists may appear daunting, it will ultimately save you a lot of heartache and hassle if you do a little research to find a reputable removalist company.  After all, you are going to be trusting them with everything you own so you need to be sure that you have made a good decision.

Here are some of the important steps to help you through the process of finding good removalists:

Get recommendations: ask friends, colleagues and real estate agents for suggestions based on their own experiences.  Word of mouth recommendations are an important source of information when making your decision.  Also, check online for removalists reviews.

Don’t just look at pricing: while it is important to compare pricing between removalists, don’t make this the only criteria.   Is a rock-bottom price really the basis upon which to make such an important decision?  Choosing a removalists based on reputation instead of pricing alone will ensure that you receive a quality service.

Look at experience: how long have the removalists been in business?  Sure, brand new companies can offer stellar moving services, but experience counts.  A long track record demonstrates they know how to deliver.

Talk to several removalists: ask your top three removalists to come to your home to give you a quote.  This will help you to judge their professionalism when they are with you.

Ask about professional accreditation: trade associations usually vet companies before giving them membership.  Look for removalists that are members of the Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA).  The application process to become a member is comprehensive and companies must agree to abide by the AFRA Code of Conduct.

When searching for removalists, there are a few red flags to look out for that tell you that a company is not worth doing business with:

  • The removalists won’t come to your home for an onsite inspection of your goods.  They’ll only provide you with an estimate over the phone, sight unseen.
  • If they do show up for an estimate, they’re late, can’t answer your questions and don’t seem to know what they’re doing.
  • The company’s website has no information about an office address and nothing about licensing or insurance.

For a Smooth Move it has to be Removalists

Removalists are here to make your life easier.  They are brilliant stress-busters who will pack and lift your possessions so that you don’t have to.  Removalists can save you time, money and energy and allow you to focus on other aspects of your relocation.  Above all, they can provide peace of mind.

We hope you are enjoyed The Removalists Guide, if you have any questions or comments, let us know.


Do You Want to be a Removalist?With the lots of people on the move in every single state, the moving industry is big business.  And that means lots of job opportunities.  So, do you think you’re cut out to be a removalist?It is hard work and you will need to be physically fit.  You should also be a good people person and passionate about delivering a high-quality customer service.The primary role of removalists is to move a customer’s belongings from point A to point B, simply, efficiently and without breaking or damaging anything.  While no formal qualifications are required, good communication skills are a must.  Not just to converse with customers, but also for working with your colleagues as part of a professional removals team.You don’t need any prior experience or training to become a removalist as most of your training will be on the job.  But some removals companies do encourage their workers to enhance their skills and knowledge with additional training, such as customer service courses and tuition on lifting objects safely.If you’re applying to be a removalist, good luck!


This Removalists Guide was published by Samuel Wallace from contact Samuel direct for any questions.