The Ultimate NZ Moving House Checklist [Part 3]

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Last Updated January 2, 2021

Six Weeks To Go 

You’ve booked a moving company (unless you're doing the move yourself). 

Now it’s time to get the boxes out. This is when moving starts getting real.

9. Get Packing

When you’ve got a lot to move and you’re doing your own packing, the earlier you start, the better.

Non-essentials can often be packed away weeks before your move — just make sure that boxes are clearly labelled. Leave them open and unsealed if there’s any possibility you might need the contents again before you move.

Your moving company can usually provide you with cardboard boxes, but you can also get new ones in bulk from places like Warehouse Stationery and We Sell Boxes (you’ll find others on Trade Me).

Kiwi Renta Box sells strong cardboard boxes but, as the name implies, rents them out too. If you’re renting their boxes, they must be returned within two months of receipt, and in good condition (meaning reasonable wear and tear only; no writing on them, and no damage).

Used cardboard boxes won’t be as strong or durable as boxes made specially for moving, but they’re free. Supermarkets, bookstores, and liquor stores are just some of the places that will probably be happy for you to take them off their hands. Another good source? Any of your friends who have recently moved.

For over-sized items, you may also need specialty shipping containers.

Along with the boxes, you’ll also need packing tape (one roll is good for sealing about 20 boxes), box cutters, bubble wrap, packing (butcher) paper, and permanent colour markers. Use different coloured markers or colour-coded labels to differentiate boxes by what room they go in.

When you start packing, begin with the rooms that you use the least so that you have space and you’re not getting in anyone’s way. Pack one room at a time. If there’s a room that you don’t really use, store all your boxes in there.

Set yourself some goals, and track your progress — know when you have to pick up the pace (or get extra help) because you’re taking too long.

Packing can seem to take forever and it’s rare to find someone who enjoys it, so find a way to reward yourself as you get from one room (or one milestone) to the next.

Don’t spare the bubble wrap and packing paper, especially for fragile items. What it costs you in packing materials is worth it if you want to avoid the heartbreak of trying to fix or replace things damaged in transit.

Use the colour markers to label your boxes (on at least two sides). Note their contents, the room they will go into (think about using a different colour marker for each room), and any special handling instructions (fragile, this way up…). Number each box, and itemise important identifying contents in your inventory list.

10. Book a Vehicle

Plan to do it all yourself? If you don’t have much to move, it’s the obvious answer. But don’t take on more than you can manage — moving heavy furniture can be back-breaking work.

Need to hire a van, trailer, pickup or furniture truck? Make sure you book your vehicle well in advance to be sure you get what you need.

A standard NZ car driver's licence allows you to drive a light truck. That means you can hire an Isuzu Elf or similarly-sized furniture truck with a load capacity of up to 21 cubic metres. This is enough to move the contents of a typical two bedroom place in a single load.

You’ll need a Class 2 or above drivers’ licence to drive any vehicle with a load capacity over 6,000kg.

If you’re hiring a truck, try to get one with a hydraulic tail lift. This will make getting heavy items into and out of the truck less of a problem, while also making it easier on your back.

Also, check if the truck hire includes furniture blankets and packing straps to secure items. You'll need them to avoid damaging your precious furniture.

Too much to handle on your own, but you don’t want to use a moving company? Chances are you’ve helped a friend out with their move — now you can remind them it’s their turn to repay the favour.

Let your friends and family know when you’re moving and ask if they can help (of course, you’ll provide the beer and pizza).

About the Author

Jeremy Templer has moved numerous times. To date, 25 times in seven cities & five countries.

As a result, he's learned many lessons about how to make moving as painless as possible. He shares his tips here.

Jeremy Templer

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