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5 tips for a cheap and easy house move

Moving house doesn't need to be expensive and painful. Follow our simple tips to make your next move cheap and easy.

Maryse Dubois

Everyone knows that moving house is hard, and not just because of all the heavy lifting required. The sorting and packing process can take weeks, and then there’s the financial cost involved. Hiring removalists is an expensive business, but convincing all your ute-owning friends to give up a whole Saturday to help you lift boxes isn’t appealing either.

Moving house doesn’t have to be a nightmare though: with a little preparation, organisation and affordable van hire your next house move really can be easy and cheap.

Top moving house tips

  • Start preparing early
  • Take the opportunity to have a big clear out
  • Plan your packing
  • Find a cheap van rental
  • Treat your moving crew well


  1. Start preparing early
  2. Whether you're moving out of a rental or leaving a house you’ve just sold, in most cases you have at least 30 days notice of the move. Don’t leave it to the night before moving day to get organised!

    Start early, making a list of all the things you need do and a timeframe for each task. You’re going to need to get boxes, sort and pack everything, hire a van, book in your friends and family to provide some extra muscle on moving day, source plenty of blankets and rope - and that’s just the start! Moving house is a big job, but preparing early and crossing a few tasks off your list each week will make moving day smooth and painless.

  3. Take the opportunity to have a big clear out
  4. If you’re downsizing this is a necessity, but any house move is a great opportunity to really think about what you need and what you don’t. This is especially important if you live in the city or inner suburbs: apartments typically don't come with oodles of space to store things you rarely use.

    That box of knick-knacks that you still haven’t unpacked from two moves ago? Probably don’t need it. And do you really want to haul all those DVDs with you in this move (and the next...and the next)?

    Holding a garage sale or selling your unwanted items online can help inject some extra funds into setting up your new place. Anything you can’t sell (or don’t have time to sell) will be gratefully received by your local op shop, and if you’re donating larger items like furniture they may even come and collect them from your door!

  5. Plan your packing
  6. Unfortunately, moving house is not as simple as just throwing everything into boxes and heading out the door. You need to put a little thought into the best way to pack each item:

    • For heavy things like books, use smaller boxes or put them in with light things like linen if you want to have any chance of lifting them
    • Remember to pack your breakables nice and tight with lots of padding - old newspaper is great for wrapping plates and bowls, and you can fill in any gaps in the box with bed sheets, towels or clothes
    • Don’t forget that your suitcases, storage tubs and even dresser drawers can have things packed in them for the move - bonus boxes!
    • It’s also a good idea to number and label each box, and keep a list of what you’ve packed in each one. That way you you’ll know exactly where everything is and you won’t need to unpack all your boxes just to find a mug for your first coffee in your new home!


  7. Find a cheap van rental
  8. Hiring professional removalists is a huge expense, and even getting a van or truck from a rental company can easily cost hundreds of dollars for a day or two. Consider this scenario:

    • 24 hour booking on a van
    • paying extra for insurance excess reduction
    • travelling 100 kilometres (allowing for a couple of trips)

    In a van from a traditional rental company, this would set you back around $170.

    With Uber Carshare you can rent a moving van from your neighbours for much less than from a traditional rental company. The van owners set their own daily and hourly rates, with the average van costing about $60 a day, plus a distance charge per kilometre (fuel included).

    The same trip outlined above would cost just under $95 in a local van. Plus you can pick it up and return it in just a few minutes and right in your neighbourhood - no hiking to the rental depot or paperwork required!


    Rental van Uber Carshare
    Time $120 $60
    Fuel/distance* $14 $33
    Excess reduction $35 $0
    Total $169 $95

  9. Treat your moving crew well
  10. At the end of a big day of moving furniture and boxes, your moving crew will be tired and hungry. Make sure you have some snacks ready to go once the final box has been unloaded - or at least order in some pizza and cold drinks from your new local pizza joint.

*Fuel costs were calculated based on 33c/km with Uber Carshare, and 14c/km in a rental car, assuming $1.40/L for fuel and consumption of 10L/100km. We have calculated the cost for a rental van at $120/day (as quoted on Thrifty's website in March 2018) and an equivalent Uber Carshare van at $60/day, for a Heavyweight member. Heavyweight membership costs $19 a month and comes with a low $500 excess for all trips, and no booking fees.

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