If you need to move house or a small office it’s likely that the thought of piling your belongings into boxes and carrying them to a truck will be filling you with dread. Which is why so many of us are turning to removalists to help in these situations. It’s a good idea, however, to gauge the typical prices charged by removalists for different sorts of tasks. That way, you’ll be more comfortable that whoever you hire to help you out will do a decent job for a decent price.
Should I hire a removalists?
People are increasingly hiring removalists to help them when moving house or shifting their small business. But that doesn’t mean you should necessarily do so. You should consider hiring a removalist if:
The thought of lifting heavy and awkward objects over a long period of time causes you stress
You have the means to pay someone else to do a necessary, but often difficult and tedious task
Your time could be better spent elsewhere
You have large and bulky items that would best be transported by experienced operators
You need to move complicated or easily damaged items - such as a piano
Alternatively, you might consider doing the job yourself and foregoing a removalist if:
You’ve easy access to a truck or vehicle that can accommodate the load.
You don’t mind the thought of a few hours lifting (if that’s all that’s required)
You want to invite your friends along for beer and pizza once they’ve helped you with your moving job
Mostly, your decision will rest on the size and volume of the items that need moving. And if there’s a fair bit that needs to be moved, there’s a good chance it’ll be worth it to pay someone else to do the job.
What are the standard inclusions for removalists?
If you’re hiring removalists to help you move to a new house or apartment, the job is likely to take at least 2-3 hours, and often a fair bit longer. Typical tasks that removalists will do for you include:
Taking your belongings to their truck or van
Ensuring your belongings are safely packed inside their vehicle, and separated by protective fabric if appropriate
Carrying boxes to the removalist vehicle
Transporting your belongings to the new destination
Unloading your furniture and boxes
Placing items in the rooms and positions you want them in in your new address
Removalists will typically be happy to take on additional work if you want them to - though might have to pay for it.
Some of the extra tasks you can nominate include:
Packing books into boxes
Packing clothes, kitchen items and other household goods into boxes
Transporting items to additional locations
Unloading and unpacking boxes
Arranging kitchenware and other household items in your new property
Placing protecting fabric on surfaces in your old or new properties to prevent wear and tear
What should I not ask a removalist to do?
Typically removalists are responsible for moving items from one location to another. They’re not usually hired to clean the place you’re moving from, or organise the location that you’re moving to. For those jobs, it is probably best to hire a cleaner. You’re also probably best off hiring someone else to make all the connections - such as gas, electricity, and internet - at your new place.
What are some of the things I should be wary of?
The main risk in hiring a removalist is that they’ll damage your items. It’s best to look for removalists with high approval ratings, as that will indicate that they take a more considerate and careful approach in transporting your possessions. Removalists may also specialise in transporting fragile or delicate goods or possessions.
Another risk in hiring removalists is that they’ll cost significantly more than you expected. To head off this risk, you should try and calculate the time it might take to transport what you need moving. Don’t underestimate the difficulties that can be experienced trying to move a fridge through a narrow door! One way to mitigate this risk is to hire a removalist for a fixed price, rather than an hourly rate. Not all removalists however, will work for a fixed price. And there’s also a good chance you’ll be bad at estimating the size of the job - which might leave you paying an inappropriately large amount for a relatively small job.
It also pays to consider the time of day in which you’ll be moving. Depending on when and where you’re moving, traffic congestion could considerably add to your moving costs, if you’re paying on an hourly basis.
Removalist prices for different types of moving.
The price you’ll end up paying for your moving job is likely to hinge on the items you need moving, and where they’ll be moving to. To give you a sense of the likely costs you might face, we’ve had a look at the common prices charged for different types of moving tasks.
Where will removalists operate?
In general, removalists will operate wherever you are prepared to pay them to go. But many removalists will not do jobs that require them to travel interstate, or multiple hours’ distance from where you’ll live. For that type of work, you’ll probably need to hire a removalist that advertises interstate or inter-regional services.
How to estimate the cost of a removalist
Two factors are likely to weigh heavily on the cost of a removalist: how much you have to move, and where you’re going to. A study by insurance firm ING recently attempted to flesh out what people thinking about moving home are likely to be up for. The study found that the average total cost of moving a 2-bedroom apartment was about $1200, rising to $2330 for moving a 4-bedroom house.
The prices climbed again depending on how far the move was. For an interstate move, $3600 was typical. But for moving less than 20 kilometres, the average price was only about $1100.
What are the average hourly rates earned by removalists?
Typically, someone employed as a removalist in Australia can expect to earn between $20 and $26 per hour (if they work for an employer, their employer will be sure to charge you more than that.)
But removalists can earn more than that basic rate by working over time. Because clients tend to prefer that removalist work takes place on the weekend or after hours, removalists can earn up to around $40 per hour by doing over-time work. And they might also receive tips and bonuses.
Example removalist listings on Airtasker
Not sure what your removalist task listing should look like? Here’s how some other people have advertised the removalist tasks they’d like help with: