Learn About Removalists

Removalists – Learn Everything You Need to Know

Learn About Removalists

Moving home. Those two words are enough the send shivers up the spines of most people.  The thrill of starting a fresh chapter in a new home is often tempered by the worry and stress of packing up belongings and hauling them to a new place.  But honestly, relocation doesn’t have to be a painful experience.  Not if you approach it the right way.  Choose the right removalists to do everything for you and moving becomes a breeze. This page is dedicated to learning about removalists, the history, how they evolved, services they offer and other helpful advice.

Moving home is a fact of life.  Most of us will do it more than once in our lives.  According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 41.7% of Australians had moved prior to the 2011 Census.  Between the 2006 and 2011 Censuses, 4.5 million Australians moved locally and 3 million people made more substantial moves.

We’ll cover everything you need to know about removalists, from finding a reputable firm and how much you can expect to pay to some of the different types of removalist services and preparing for the big day.  We’ll also explode some common myths about removalists as well as provide some guidance if you’re thinking of working in the moving industry.  But let’s start with a brief history lesson.

History of Removalists

Learn The History Of the Removals Industry

Rewind the clock back many thousands of years, and moving was a relatively simple affair.  When a caveman and his family wanted to relocate to a bigger and safer cave, they just packed up their small collection of stone, bone and wooden belongings in an animal rug and off they went to the grotto of their dreams.

Before the invention of the wheel, nomadic tribes would wander from place to place and across continents using shed-like objects to carry their possessions.  Then as people settled in areas, they built permanent homes and gradually accumulated more things.

As the centuries rolled on technology advanced leaps and bounds. The invention of wooden carts, wagons, railways, barges and boats meant that heavy objects could be easily moved over long distances. These items of transport became the cornerstone of the early removalists.

For much of human history, people carried out their own moves.  It’s only when we reach the 19th century that we find people paying others to help them move.  Thus, the removalists industry was born.

One of the first removalists in Australia was Santa Fe Wridgways, a company that is still going strong today.  It was founded in 1892 when Ernest Wridgway purchased a horse and cart in Camberwell and started to offer local and county removalists services.  The firm lays claim to being the first removalists in the world to move furniture using containers, in 1966.

The removalists industry continues to grow, and today it is big business with removalists all over the world.  There are local and national removalists in many countries, and they offer a number of specialist services, such as local moves, office moves and package and storage solutions.

Now we have our history lesson complete, let’s look at some of the popular services offered by removalists.

Local Removalists

The moving industry is a fragmented beast, with local removalists springing up all the time among the larger established national entities.  Many customers opt to keep things local, preferring the more attentive and personal service of a local moving firm, and their lower costs.  Large companies can sometimes be more expensive, as they have greater overheads to pay for. Most people who are moving from suburb to suburb within their city will choose removalists local to their area. Apart from the cost advantage of choosing smaller localised removalists, they are also have a solid understanding of local roads and the fastest routes to take.

Interstate Removalists

We may no longer be nomadic people, but most of us will experience at least two or three big moves in our life, either because of work or to make a fresh start somewhere else.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, approximately 333,300 people moved interstate in Australia during 2012-13.  Over the decade ending June 2013, Western Australia and Queensland consistently recorded annual migration gains from the rest of the country.  This is in contrast to New South Wales and South Australia that have both recorded annual migration losses each year for the same 10-year period.

This continual ebb and flow of people across the country has fuelled the growth of interstate removalists, specialists who help homeowners and businesses move lock, stock and barrel from one state to another.

Office Removalists

In today’s fast-paced business world where change is the only constant, there is a persistent need for office removalists.  For example, when companies are attracted to new areas, need to refurbish or extend their offices or want to establish a presence in a new district.  While some bosses are happy to let their employees carry out the move, this is very often a false economy.  It takes members of staff away from their day-to jobs, plus they risk personal injury and damage to property because they are not trained removalists.

Removalists Costs

How Much Does It Cost To Hire Removalists?

Understandably, one of the most common questions that people ask when moving, is: how much will it cost to hire removalists?  Unfortunately, it is a bit like asking: how long is a piece of string?

Everybody’s needs are different and prices vary widely from company to company.  However, all is not lost if you want to get a rough idea of how much a move will cost you.

According to ‘A Guide to the Cost of Home Purchase’ by the Home Purchase Advisory Service of Australia, the average cost of removalists will be between $550 and $3500.

Sure, that is a large range in price, and it is dependent on several factors, including:

  • How much furniture you are moving.
  • The distance you are moving.
  • The number of moves that need to be made to transport all your possessions from A to B.
  • How many removalists you need.
  • Whether you are hiring full-service removalists or packing everything yourself.

Average hourly removalists rates range from $75 to as high as $165 per hour. This is dependent on number of removalists they provide. In most cases two men and one truck is included in the standard rate.

For a more specific guide to removalists costs, obtain several quotes online or in person from more than one moving company.

For most people, keeping a tight grip on moving expenses is of paramount importance.  Now, if you are moving interstate, there is a terrific way that you can save money, and it’s with something called backloading.

What is Backloading?

Backloading is a term coined by removalists to refer to smaller moving jobs.  Typically, interstate removalists will work on large jobs, but occasionally their trucks are not full, and so there is room for smaller loads.  If you only need a handful of items to be transported, you can take advantage of this spare space at a fraction of the cost of a full move.  This means you only pay for the space taken up by your goods, rather than for the entire van, lorry or trailer.

Backloading also refers to a practice whereby a truck returning empty from a moving trip will carry back several loads to their starting points.  Again, as a customer, you only pay for the space your goods occupy.  This is a win-win scenario as both customer and company benefit from backloading.

Finding the Right Removalists

Finding reputable removalists to help with your home or office move can be challenging.  There are many choices out there, including lots of cowboy firms.  After all, anyone with a van can claim to a moving specialist and sell their services.

However, taking the time to shop for reliable removalists can save you money, help you avoid scams and actually make moving an enjoyable process.

Here are some tips on how to find a reliable removalists that fit your budget:

1. Look for removalists with a good, solid reputation:  check online for reviews and recommendations/ask friends and your real estate agent for references on removalist companies.  You can also ask the companies themselves if they can direct you to any reviews or testimonials.

2. Pick removalists with recognised qualifications and accreditations: for example, see if they are members of AFRA (Australian Furniture Removers Association).

3. Only choose removalists with transparent prices:  ask for their rates and then compare them with those of other companies.

4. Ask the removalists to tell you how they will protect your items during the move: this information will allow you to judge their competency and customer service.

5. Thoroughly examine any removals contract you are presented with:  When choosing removalists, you shouldn’t just look at the price only.  Picking a company with unbelievably low prices can be a false economy that causes unnecessary stress and extra expense when they break your belongings, fail to turn up or hit you with lots of hidden extras.

Removalists Fleets – Getting People on the Move

To get people and businesses from A to B, removalists use a variety of modern well-maintained trucks, vans and utes.  They range in size from a small van or ute with a storage capacity of a few cubic metres to monster trucks with a capacity of 110 cubic metres or more.  Many fleets consist of 3-tonne, 5-tonne and 10-tonne trucks, and typically, removalists will select the most appropriate vehicle for your move.

Top Myths about Removalists Busted

Removalists Myths

Unfortunately, there are quite a few myths about removalists and the relocation process.  They burden home movers with more worries and concerns because they actually buy into them.

Many of the myths came about because of an unhappy few customers who shared their negative experiences and opinions.  These reviews spread like wildlife and before long become an established ‘truth’ about an entire industry.  In order to clear things up a little, here are some of the most common myths debunked.

Myth 1: All removalists are cowboys who just want to rip you off

This is simply not true.  Cowboys exist in every industry, and yes there is a small minority of movers who will take your money and provide very little in return.  They definitely won’t give you an excellent service.   But there many fantastic and reputable removalists out there, and you can find them by doing your research.  Only engage removalists with an excellent reputation and who are accredited with such professional associations as AFRA.  Hiring an accredited, well-established company with many years’ experience and satisfied clients is a solid idea.

Myth 2: You pay removalists after the relocation

This pervasive myth states that you pay removalists after they have delivered your possessions to your new home.  Most removalists will require you to pay at least the estimated cost of the move upfront.  Additional fees are payable when you reach your new address.  However, to avoid any nasty financial surprises, you could select removalists that provide a binding estimate; the price they quote is the price you pay.

Myth 3: I don’t need to take out insurance because the removalists will cover everything

Even with the best removalists in the world, accidents can happen.  Reputable removalists will clearly explain what their basic liability extends to.  This standard moving insurance only covers a very small portion of the value of an item.  The Australian Furniture Removers Association recommends that homeowners insure their goods for their full value.

If you don’t take out insurance and damage does occur, you may be unable to make a claim.

Myth 4: I expect some of my items to be broken during transit

Seriously, are you kidding me?  Good removalists take great pride in what they are doing, and in ensuring that their customers’ possessions arrive at their chosen destination in exactly the same condition as they left the old one.  Sure, there are cowboy firms out there that don’t care at all about their clients or their valuables.  But if you do your research, you should avoid them.

Myth 5: It is just as easy to move everything yourself

If you have a small home or apartment with few possessions, then this statement is likely to be true.  However, most people drastically underestimate just what is involved with a move.  They have little idea of the scale of the planning, the amount of packing materials needed and the care with which items have to be packed and moved. There is also a risk of injury or damaged goods if not done correctly. Removalists may cost more money, but the advantages certainly outweigh the financial commitment.

Myth 6: Moving is always a stressful experience

Yes, it can be.  However, selecting the right removalists will minimize stress during the moving process and reduce the appearance of worry lines on your forehead.  Skilled and trustworthy professionals have relocation down to a fine art, and are experienced in getting items to where they need to be without a scratch.

Moving house is an exciting chapter in most people’s lives.  So ignore the myths and hire trustworthy removalists for a hassle-free moving experience.

Preparing for Your Move

Once you have selected your removalists company and got the moving date down in your diary, it’s time to prepare for the big day.  Making plans well in advance is a sure-fire way of reducing stress levels.

  • Start preparing early by drawing up a inventory checklist of everything you have to do. Most removalists have an inventory checklist that you can print out. Just ask them when you make your enquiry.
  • A few weeks before your actual move, set up your post to be redirected to your new address.
  • Redirect or cancel newspaper and any other subscriptions.
  • Complete a floor plan of your new home so your removalists will know where to place furniture.
  • Don’t forget to sort through the garage, shed and basement.
  • Pack a box of essentials for everything you will need for your first night, and keep it with you.  This may include the kettle, tea, coffee, sugar, plates and utensils, first-aid kit and a torch (just in case).
  • As a courtesy to the new owners of your old home (if you are selling), leave a note explaining how everything works and where they can find such items as electric circuit breaker and water shutoff valves.
  • If you are packing everything yourself, arrange delivery of boxes, carton, containers and wrapping materials (such as labels, tape and bubble wrap) with your removalists provider.
  • Label every container clearly as to the contents and the room destination. This will help the removalists un-pack your furniture in the correct location.
  • Remember to cancel all services in advance, such as gas, electricity, pest control, internet and so on.

Packing Your Furniture

Packing Your Furniture

There are many decisions you will need to make when moving home, and one of them is whether to pack up everything yourself or hire a professional removalists company to take care of everything.  The advantages of getting in the pros is that they will pack, transport and unload for you, saving you a lot of time and trouble.

Removalists also know exactly how to pack and transport goods, from small pieces of china all the way up to grand pianos and cars.  However, for many families hoping to reign in the expenses, DIY packing is the way to go.  If that is you, here are some basic tips on how to prepare your furniture for a safe and efficient move.

  • Draw up and inventory of all the furniture items you have, and the time it will take to disassemble and pack them.  This will help you to plan your moving schedule.  And start packing early!
  • Remove all the parts that have to be removed, such as table legs and glass tops.  Detach one piece at a time and put all the associated nuts, bolts and washers in a plastic bag.  Mark on the outside of the bag which piece they belong to. You can even tape the bags to the corresponding piece of furniture to keep everything together.
  • Use bubble wrap, blankets and towels to protect table legs and other detached furniture pieces.  Removalists can provide all these materials.
  • Use heavy packing paper, towels or blankets to cover glass table tops.
  • Wrap furniture, mattresses and cushions in protective plastic covers.  This will keep them clean and dry during transit.
  • Empty all drawers and cabinets that are coming with you. This will make them lighter and easier for removalists to transport.
  • If you are moving the items yourself, line the floor of your van or truck with blankets to protect the bottoms of your furniture items.


Moving Safely

Moving house without trained removalists means you are going to do all the heavy lifting yourself. Manual handling can be dangerous if not performed correctly. Safety is of paramount importance, and these safe moving tips will help you to avoid damaging your back, your home and your possessions. Our advice is to hire some professional help. Removalists have specific training and understand how to lift heavy items safely. 

  • Wear lifting belts, gloves and shoes with slip resistant soles.
  • Before lifting a load know where you are going to set it down.
  • Bend at the knees when lifting; never bend your back to lift anything.
  • Stand couches on end to make them easier to manoeuvre.
  • Always take your time.
  • Know your limitations.

For more advice on handling large, heavy and bulky items, consult this guide to manual handling by the University of Sydney.

Making Your Move More Manageable

There is absolutely no need for moving to be as painful and stressful as tooth extraction.  Whether you do it yourself or engage good removalists, research, preparation and due diligence will help ensure that your local, interstate or national relocation is a seamless experience.

For more information about removalists please contact us.


Becoming a Removalist: Is a Job in the Removalists Industry up Your Street?

There is a constant need for removalists to move domestic and commercial furniture and possessions between different locations.  If you are physically fit, enjoy working in a small team and like to get out and about, then this could be the career choice for you.  Additionally, you will need to be a good timekeeper, honest and reliable.  You don’t need any formal qualifications to be a removalist but you should have good communication skills and a safe driving record.

General removalists tasks will include:

• Checking with customers which items need to be moved.

• Disassembly and reassembly of furniture.

• Packing items into their appropriate containers.

• Possibly removing doorframes or windows to get large and awkwardly-sized pieces of furniture out of a building.

• Moving vehicles into position for loading and unloading.

• Loading and unloading vehicles using lifting and tipping devices.

Most of your removalists training will be on the job. It will cover things like teamwork as well as the handling of goods safely.  Furthermore, your employer may encourage you to take additional training, such as customer service and health and safety courses. If you are interested in joining the removals industry the best way to get started is be contacting local companies and letting them know your are interested. Being proactive and persistent can get you a foot in the door with most companies.