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How to save on the costs of moving house  

It’s been said moving house is the most stressful life event a person can go through. Given we’ve just come out of a global pandemic that’s a little dramatic, isn’t it?

But if you’ve been through a move, you get it.

Moving house is a massive undertaking and several factors will determine the cost. The size and accessibility of your property, the number of items you need moved, and the distance the items are being transported will all affect the cost.

We’ve rounded up our best cost-saving tips for your next big move.

First up…

Boxes and packaging

To quote Jerry Seinfeld,

‘When moving, your whole world becomes boxes’.

Nothing beats a premium cardboard box fresh from the removalist’s office. Designed specifically for moving, these durable, quality boxes reign supreme in the box world. They’ll generally set you back a few dollars each, although some of the more tailored options (like a wardrobe box) fetch as much as $16 per box. Depending on what you’re moving, say valuable antiques or wine, you might want to splurge on a few fancy-pants ones. Retailers like Bunnings and Officeworks offer some competitively priced options and you’ll be able to source bubble wrap/ protective packaging and tape there, too.

How can I save?

Provided you don’t mind your books smelling like melon, boxes from the farmer’s market do the trick. Often good Samaritans coming out of a move themselves will list their used boxes on community pages too, so it pays to keep an eye out.


Again, a number of factors will determine what it costs to use a removalist including:

  • Size of the property.
  • Accessibility of the property (including single storey vs. additional floors).
  • Number of items being transported.
  • Additional speciality items (pianos, pool tables etc.)
  • Location and distance.
  • Moving insurance.
  • Which services are utilised (packing/unpacking services).
  • Day of the week (weekdays are cheaper than weekends or public holidays)

Expect to pay anywhere from $100-$200 an hour if you’re moving locally, or anywhere from a few thousand to $10k plus if moving interstate.  

If you’re new to an area, community Facebook pages are a great source for recommendations. Many removalists offer an ‘instant quote’ feature on their website, otherwise ring around and compare prices.

A household with just one or two people might get away with a DIY move. But if you’re in the trenches of family life, borrowing a mate’s ute over the weekend probably isn’t going to cut it anymore. Unless you have the extra support and resources, we recommend leaving the heavy lifting to the professionals. It might cost you money but save your back! Plus, there are plenty of ways to make your move cheaper.

How can I save?

Less is more
If there was ever a time to embrace the minimalist lifestyle, it’s right before a big move. Not only will clearing out your home help with the presentation of your property come sale time, but the less things you need to relocate the less it’s going to cost.

Toss the junk and then sell anything you think might be of value. Nothing beats a good old garage sale for things like glassware and homewares. Skip bins are often pricey, so the more items you can shift in a garage sale the less you’ll have to spend on rubbish removal.

More valuable items can be taken to re-sellers like pawn shops, or you can list items separately over social media platforms. Be sure to allow enough time for this process as photographing items and arranging pick up times can tend to drag out.

Move on a weekday
Removalists generally charge higher rates for public holidays and weekends so get organised and lock in a moving day sooner than later. The more notice you give your employer the more likely you are to be able to negotiate a weekday off. Likewise, if you’re self-employed try and organise your work schedule in advance to allow for a mid-week move.

DIY packing
Packing your own boxes is a no brainer when it comes to saving coin. Unless you’re unable to do the packing yourself, organise your time well in advance so that you can do the job properly. Pro tip: type ‘moving hacks’ into Google and you’ll be amazed at the sheer scope of ‘box labelling’ tips out there!

Storage facility

If you’re in between properties, you might require the use of a storage facility. Plus, if you’re about to market your property, storage rental gets your personal items out of the house, while you stage it for sale.

How can I save?

Carving out a small corner of a family member’s garage might just be your only option here. If you own valuable items like gym equipment you might be able to rent these items out short-term. High-end bassinets also fetch a good rental price — because they’re only needed for a short period. Now is the time to get creative in how you utilise your assets!  


Often one of the most hated parts of moving is the cleaning that comes with it. If you’re leaving a rental, remember the property is expected to be in the same condition as when you entered it, less fair wear and tear. So you’ll need to factor in the cost of a bond clean as part of your moving costs.

If you’re vacating a property that you’ve sold, different states have different requirements regarding how the property is left. Regardless, it’s nice to imagine the new owners being greeted with a fresh space on settlement day and you can never have too many good karma points for leaving it squeaky clean, right?

How can I save?

Whether you choose to do the cleaning yourself or hire a professional will depend on your schedule and ability to put in the elbow grease (so if you’re 8 months pregnant, best you’re not up a ladder wiping ceiling fans). Remember, end of lease cleans require a thorough job, including everything from door tracks to appliances like ovens, rangehoods and microwaves. This is rarely a small task, so be sure you’re up to it before committing.  

Transferring utilities

This is one that’s often overlooked until the last minute. Electricity, natural gas (if applicable), water and internet all need to be sorted for your new property.

How can I save?

Research your companies well in advance and have your quotes in front of you before the move. Don’t settle for a higher rate simply because you’re stressed and need the water and electricity sorted on moving day. Comparison sites can help you compare quotes.

Additional furniture

Often one of the big surprises when moving into a new home is that your current furniture doesn’t fit the new space. Or maybe you’ve suddenly got additional rooms to fill? Bonus! But filling a house with furniture doesn’t exactly come cheap.

How can I save?

Try to allow enough time to settle into your new home before going out and purchasing new furniture. Often it’s only once we’ve really lived in a space we figure out how it’s best utilised. Impulse purchases, like a new sofa (when what you really needed was a functional office) will cost you in the long run, so hold off until you know where your money is best spent around the home.

Temporary Accommodation

If you haven’t come across your next dream property but you’ve sold your current property, renting might be an option until you find the one! Often the buy and sell timeline means there’s a period between the settlement date and the possession of your new home, so you might need to consider the costs of a hotel/accommodation to cover you over that period.

How can Property Credit help?

Even with all our budgeting tips and tricks, moving house is still a cost headache for most.

Property Credit let’s you access the equity in the property you’re selling to fund your moving costs as well as any number of additional expenses. So rather than putting strain on your cash-flow at an already stressful time, why not put your home’s equity to good use so you can fund your next move with ease?

Visit for more information on our services or you can contact us on 1300 829 536 (au) or 03 668 2144 (nz).

This article is for general information purposes only and is not intended as financial product advice. Consider seeking independent financial advice that relates to your individual circumstances.

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