The Complete Guide to Moving Home in South Africa

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Moving home can be a stressful experience, but by being well prepared, much of the stress can be relieved. These few hints will help you:



1) Get quotes from at least three reputable removal companies. The cost will depend on the distance they will have to travel and the volume that has to be moved. Bear in mind that moving at the end of the month, over a weekend or on a public holiday will be more expensive. Insurance to replace damaged or lost items is an optional extra.

2) Decide whether the company will pack for you or whether you will do it yourself.

3) Check on the date and exact time the out-going occupants plan to vacate the property you are moving into.

4) Arrange for final readings and disconnection of your electricity, water, telephone etc.

5) Arrange for re-connection of the same at the new property well in advance.

6) Change addresses on all your accounts, as well as your bank.

7) Notify any subscriptions e.g. newspaper and magazines of your change of address.

8) Arrange for transfer letters from schools, if necessary.

9) Cancel your household insurance and arrange for cover at the new property.

10) Arrange for transfer of all medical, dental and veterinarian records. Ask your doctors for recommendations in your new area.

11) Arrange with the Post Office to forward your mail.

12) Send out Change of Address notices to all family and friends.

13) Apply for leave from your employer if necessary. Make sure that your employer has your new address.

14) If necessary, arrange for storage.


1) Collect the following packaging materials:

  • Sturdy boxes of varying sizes
  • A note book
  • Packaging tape
  • A thick, black felt- tip marker
  • Bubble wrap
  • Blankets
  • Large self adhesive labels
  • Fragile stickers
  • Utility knife
  • Newspapers

2) Clear out all unwanted and unused articles. Have a garage sale or donate these articles to a local charity.

3) Remove all pictures etc. from walls and repair any holes.

4) Make a sketch plan of the rooms of your new property and decide where you will place your furniture. This will prevent you from having to do it yourself on the day you move.

5) Start packing a room at a time, starting will items which are seldom used e.g. out of season clothing, books, seldom used glassware etc. Label each box according to room and number of boxes. Keep a record of these in your note book e.g. Bedroom 1, Bedroom 2 etc.

6) Boxes containing glassware or other breakables must have “Fragile” stickers attached. Mark with an arrow which side of the box must be up.

7) Have your carpets and curtains cleaned. Have appliances serviced if necessary.

8) Back-up your hard drive if you own a computer.


1) Plan the use of what still remains in your grocery cupboard. Use up all frozen food etc. and if possible do not buy any further provisions. On the day before you move, give away what you have not managed to use.

2) Arrange for your children/pets to spend “Moving Day “with family or friends.

3) Return library books and anything else you might have hired.

4) Pick up anything which you have handed in for repair or servicing.

5) Take cuttings or give away any extra house plants. Pack up your hose pipes and sprinklers.

6) Make arrangements for the hand-over of keys, at both the old and new properties.

7) Cancel deliveries of milk, bread, the newspaper etc. and arrange for delivery at the new property.

8) Confirm your booking (Date and time) with the removal company.

9) Arrange to get telephone directories of your new area as soon as possible.


1) Confirm hand over of keys with incoming and outgoing occupants.

2) Defrost your freezer and fridge and leave these open to dry.

4) Make sure that you have all the emergency numbers as well as number of electricians, plumbers and obliging friends for your new area.

5) Arrange with your electrician for the disconnection and reconnection of your stove and other appliances.
6) Pack a “Survival Kit” :

  • Toiletries, including toilet paper and towels
  • A change of clothing
  • Kettle – tea and coffee, Long Life milk, sugar
  • Cool some food to snack on
  • Paper plates and cups
  • Knife
  • Tin opener
  • Light bulbs
  • Candles and matches
  • Screwdriver
  • Refuse bags
  • Some of your children’s favourite toys.

7) Wrap all furniture in bubble wrap or blankets to avoid scratches etc.

8) Tape up the doors of all freezers, fridges, washing machines etc.

9) Tape an X across all glass shelves, paintings, mirrors etc. before wrapping them in bubble wrap or blankets. This ensures that all pieces are together should breakages occur.

10) Roll and tape up carpets and rugs.


1) Make sure you get an early start.

2) Arrange to pick up the keys to the new property or arrange to meet someone at the house.

3) Arrange for your children and pets to be picked up.

5) Check every item and box loaded onto the truck.

6) Double check cupboards, drawers, shelves etc.

7) Lock up doors and windows. *Make sure that you have left the property as you would like to find it.

8) Leave keys in a pre-arranged place.

9) Make sure that you transport valuables such as jewellery, firearms and important documents yourself.

10) Give the removal company your sketch of the placement of your furniture.

11) Check all item and boxes as they come off the truck.

12) Offer refreshments to employees of the removal company. You are paying for the service, but it is worth showing your appreciation for the hard work they are doing.

13) Have all your appliances connected.

14) Examine your goods.

15) Hang curtains and make the beds.

16) Ask a friend or relative to organize take-aways or dinner.


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