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Making the Move Easy and Cheap

Approximate $ Savings:
$500-$900  

When moving from Melbourne to Bendigo, my partner and I went through almost every Melbourne movers' website and found that their quotes were between $1500-$2100 (up to $150 per hour, and they wanted us to pay them for the two hours driving an empty truck back to their depot). We've contacted some Bendigo-based movers and have found that a back-fill load with a smaller company will only be about $800. Also, we looked into purchasing boxes for the move (between $3 and $5 per box, and we'll need at least twenty or thirty) and have instead opted to go to supermarkets and get them. We're back and forth between here and our soon-to-be-new-home, and fortunately have some relatives living up there, so are taking full car-loads up and instead of paying for temporary self storage are making use of spare bedrooms for two or three weeks of storage. Another advantage to moving like this means that we've been able to sell a lot of things on eBay (and have them picked up here in Melbourne) and also have pruned each of our wardrobes to a great extent.
Contributed by Rhi, Mt. Waverley, 11th May 2009

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Store It In A Broccoli Box
When moving house or needing to pack things away for a while, free broccoli boxes are great. We had to pack up our house for home exchanging and we stored most of our stuff in free broccoli boxes we got from our local veggie store. They are polystyrene with a fitting lid so they are mouse proof , waterproof and dustproof as well as being light and easy to stack one on top of the other. Make sure you wash them out and dry them before filling and stacking them and they make a perfect storage box. Instead of buying tea chests broccoli boxes are free and better than a cardboard box. Afterwards they can be used as an ice bucket for parties or we use one for an esky on the boat.
Contributed by Vicki, Rye, 4th January 2010

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Moving House
We bought our first unit last March and before we moved, we looked at those companies that supply boxes, stuffing and wrapping material. It was going to cost us at least $2.00 a box, and we worked out that we would need a lot of boxes! Instead, I kept an eye out at work. We used to get boxes of magazines delivered every week, so I started collecting them, along with the old daily newspapers. It took me four weeks to collect enough boxes and wrapping material but I ended up not having to pay for a single box!
Contributed by Aoife, Engadine, 6th September 2009

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Affordable Moving Solution
I live in far north WA that has a very transient population. The most affordable way people move back to Perth (over 3500 km) is to use shipping containers. They are quite large, and would be adequate for an average house, and don't really take that long to arrive. The company delivers and collects the container, however I am unsure if they also pack it for you. Good luck and enjoy Perth!
Contributed by Sarah, Kununurra, July 27th, 2006

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Photo Inventory
Use www.myphotoinventory.com.au before you move house so that if anything is damaged during the move, you can prove the condition of the item before the move.
Contributed by John, Alexandria, 19th June 2007

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Secondhand Boxes Save Money
Another great idea to save money when moving house is to buy your boxes from a second hand box warehouse. It's hard to get boxes from supermarkets anymore as they break them up for recycling. There are a few box warehouses that sell second hand boxes that are good for moving or are ex-moving boxes. They cost around a dollar or two depending on its size. Buying moving boxes from storage places or removalists can set you back around $5 to $10 a box. When you need 40 or more boxes, this is a huge saving. You can also buy wrapping, tape, and bubble wrap in bulk at cheap prices. In sydney, I recommend www.enmorebox.com.au.
Contributed by Anthony, Menai, May 11th 2005

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Moving House - Storage
When moving house go to your local bottle shop and ask for their empty boxes wine boxes. The boxes are useful as they hold a lot but do not get to the stage where you cannot move them and they are free plus they store really well and stack perfectly.
Contributed by Jodi, Cherrybrook, June 30th 2006

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Air Freight Saves Money
I saved hundreds of dollars on removal costs during my recent relocation from South Australia to NSW, by freighting goods by plane. I wanted to move around 50kg of personal goods (books, clothing and so on) but had been quoted between $400 and $600 by various removal companies to move one square metre of goods! As I was flying to Sydney from Adelaide, I decided to try VirginBlue Freight. They quoted me $4.70 per kilo for same-day service, and when I told them I was flying with VirginBlue the day I was dropping the goods off, they slashed the price to $2.35 per kilo! I ended up paying $117 to move ALL my belongings to NSW, AND had the convenience of having them arrive the same day I did! (I can't take credit for this information - I copied it from else where - but it is a good idea.)
Contributed by Linda, Bowen, June 28th, 2006

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Look for a Semi-Trailer Load
The best way to move from one side of the country to the other, I think, is to see if any of the truck suppliers need someone to bring a truck across to Perth. There may also be some removal people looking to get a hire truck back to Perth. Hope this helps.
Contributed by Pauline, Petrie, June 28th, 2006

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Shipping Containers
One of those shipping containers apparently is quite cheap to hire for a limited time. I would ring round for a price?!
Contributed by Margaret, Yagoona, June 26th, 2006

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Bus Freight
I don't know about furniture but you can send parcels up to 35kg for flat rate cost through "Bus Freight". This is much cheaper and much more efficient than either Australia Post or a courier. Your local Greyhound or McCafferty's Coach services form Bus Freight.
Contributed by Colin, Werribee, June 26th, 2006

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Try Major Electrical Stores
We found the boxes from display stock of TV's and microwave ovens the best. Most were happy to assist. Best to ask a few days in advance as they often crush the boxes mid week.
Contributed by Garry, North Ryde, June 27th, 2006

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Ask Around Friends and Family
My new husband and I have just recently moved, and we found some of the best way to find boxes are: 1. ask friends and family if they've got any that might be suitable! Even if you only get one or two from each that will help! 2. try the supermarkets or electrical stores, sometimes they will be able to hold onto a few for you before they crush them. 3. some removalists sell second hand boxes - i.e. they've already been used and have writing on them!
Contributed by Rebekah, Ballarat, June 27th, 2006

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Your Local Freecycle Group
This is a group where people offer things up to be recycled. I know in the Sydney/central coast sites people are always offering moving boxes for free. Join the group and post a wanted ad and you may be surprised by the response. There are also groups at Ballarat, Frankston, Geelong and Werribee so I'm sure you'll have some luck!
Contributed by Karen, Wyoming, June 27th, 2006

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/melbourneozfreecycle/


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Get Your Boxes from the Bottleshop
I've moved so many times its not funny! Every time I need boxes I visit my local Liquorland or bottle shop and get boxes from them. They are usually the boxes that bottles of wine are transported in. They are a good size, not too heavy when filled, and quite solid. The other place is your local supermarket if you need larger boxes. You need to do your research and find out when the rubbish goes out and when is the best time to get bigger boxes.
Contributed by Louise, Bullen, June 27th, 2006

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Free Boxes from Supermarkets
My husband and I recently moved and we found that going to most supermarkets would be more than happy to give us their boxes as they just thro them away anyway. Another great place to get boxes from is electrical and furniture stores - they too throw them out and you get them for free!
Contributed by Michelle, Geraldton, June 27th, 2006

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Car Dealerships Have Plenty of Boxes
I found that car dealerships that have workshops out the back normally have a large supply of big heavy duty boxes that they are normally more than happy to give away to polite people that come and ask for them.
Contributed by Andrea, Old Noarlunga, June 27th, 2006

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Ask Your Favourite Shops
You can ask around shops for their cardboard boxes, and they should be happy to give it to you. If you want clean ones the best places to ask are electrical stores (Tandy, Dick Smith) or departmental stores. I did this when I moved and didn't pay for a single box.
Contributed by Emily, Forest Hill, June 27th, 2006

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Swap With the Op Shop
I recently moved house and made several visits to the headquarters of the Salvation Army in Brisbane, getting rid of many items, which I did not want to take with me. While there I noticed that they had a large number of empty boxes (all shapes and sizes), which they were more than happy to give away, it was a win-win situation!
Contributed by Patricia, Bulimba, June 27th, 2006

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Get Good Strong Boxes from Large Shopping Centres
Try ringing centre management at one of the major shopping centres (eg a Westfield or AMP shopping centre) in your area and ask to speak to the centre operations manager. Often the large centres have a holding area for the retailers to dump their boxes before external contractors come in to take them away for recycling/compacting. Not all centres will oblige but its worth a phone call. Alternatively try ringing electrical and white goods stores in your areas. They will often have some boxes lying around and because their boxes are made for heavy, large items they are perfect for moving house.
Contributed by Cherie, Bull Creek, June 27th, 2006

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Freecycle
The best place to get FREE boxes is by asking on freecycle.com.au People are always giving them away. I have used this site to give away and receive goods and have found it to be excellent. If you subscribe and request the boxes you will get more replies than you know what to do with!
Contributed by Tania, Narre Warren, June 27th, 2006

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Post a Wanted Ad
Join the Freecycle group in your area (http://www.freecycle.org) and post a "Wanted" ad. Chances are you find one or more people who have a stash that they'll give you---for free!!!
Contributed by Maureen, Frankston South, June 27th, 2006

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Local Supermarkets
Head straight to your nearest supermarkets and ask them for the boxes they don't want anymore, especially after they have restocked the shelves. Supermarkets crush all the boxes and then they are picked up for recycling.
Contributed by Tanya, Ferntree Gully, June 27th, 2006

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Local Packaging Company
We recently moved house and got ALL of our boxes from a local packaging company. Packaging companies always have used boxes they are trying to get rid of! Good luck!
Contributed by Anne, Seven Hills, June 27th, 2006

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Check the Loading Docks
You will find boxes of all shapes and sizes in the loading docks of large shopping centres and grocery stores. They are free and you can drive your car into the dock to load them up. They also have plastic wrapping/bubble wrap and other protective fillings. I have been doing this for years and never came home empty handed. Ask the retailer when they may be getting in a shipment that will provide you will empty boxes.
Contributed by Nicole, Concord, June 27th, 2006

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Visit Supermarkets When They Are Re-stocking Shelves
I have moved a couple of times, most recently in April. I picked up most of my boxes from Woolies and Coles between 9 and 10.30 at night when they were re-stocking the shelves. I found a variety of sizes good - small boxes for books and heavy items, large cereal boxes for fragile things. They were more than happy to let me have them. Only cost was packing tape.
Contributed by Nick, Braddon, June 27th, 2006

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Wine Boxes for Packing
The most useful and sturdy boxes are wine boxes. I asked at the local bottle shop for empty boxes. Try and get them before they flatten them out so that you don't have to tape them back together again. They are not too big and bulky to carry.
Contributed by Ann, Ocean Grove, June 27th, 2006

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Source Strong Product Boxes
I sell Tupperware and the boxes we get our products in each week are really strong. I am always giving mine away to people when they are packing to move. Why not phone your local Tupperware Distributor (it should be in the telephone book) and ask them for the name and number of a dealer near you? I am sure they would be happy to give you their boxes! If I don't have anyone to give mine to for packing or burning in their heater then I collapse them and put them out for recycling but it is a waste as they are really tough boxes!
Contributed by Sally, Kalgoorlie, June 27th, 2006

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Boxes from Bunnings!
I too am in the process of moving house and discovered a treasure trove of empty boxes for free at my local Bunnings Warehouse. I find the best time to go is Saturday morning, as it looks like they must stock up the shelves on a Friday night. As Bunnings stocks lots of large products, I find I can always get a box for my needs.
Contributed by Amy, Torquay, June 27th, 2006

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Visit Supermarkets at Night
Get into your local supermarket at night when the trucks come in as that's when they get the boxes but you need to get in when they are stocking the shelves as they get rid of the boxes straight away
Contributed by Gary, Doveton, June 27th, 2006

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Look After and Re-sell After the Move
If you need to buy them just look after them and resell them when you have finished. I actually sold mine for more than I paid for them when I had a load of books to move.
Contributed by Meryll, The Basin, June 27th, 2006

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McDonalds Fry Boxes
Ring your nearest store and ask them to put them aside for you, and collect them daily/3x p/week. They hold 12kg of fries (4x3kg bags). Strong, sturdy, just need packing tape for reinforcing. I like them because if I fill up a big packing box instead, its then too heavy to move!
Contributed by MW, Lilydale, June 27th, 2006

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eBay ... eBay ... eBay
I moved and bought 100 boxes for $5 on eBay that were a mixture of moving boxes and reinforced book boxes.
Contributed by Natalie, Rowville, June 27th, 2006

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Try the Larger Shopping Centres
I know you have already been to your local businesses but it might be worth taking a trip to a larger shopping centre. I work in a large retail complex and getting rid of cardboard boxes is a huge headache for all the stores. Try asking shop to shop if you can take their boxes. I am sure the answer will be a huge YES. Make sure you have a trailer or large car and can take them on the spot as some stores have limited space and can't hang on to the boxes until it's convenient for you.
Contributed by Susan, Somerville, June 27th, 2006

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Cheap, Recyclable Solutions
As a veteran home mover, I have a cheap, recyclable answer. I ask the local supermarket to save boxes for me. They will tell you which morning to come to the shop, most will have the boxes flattened, so you can fit more in your car, also the boxes will be of various sizes so you can choose manageable ones that you can utilize effectively.
Contributed by Ros, Montrose, June 27th, 2006

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Avon Boxes
I am an Avon Representative and I receive very sturdy boxes with my orders. I end up with quite a collection to dispose of and if I know of anyone moving house I offer him or her my boxes. They are great for books too. So maybe contact your local Avon rep and see if you can get some boxes for free. They may even deliver them to you too.
Contributed by Kath, Wodonga, June 28th, 2006

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Bunnings
When we moved I found Bunnings to have boxes available near the registers. I also went to my local independent supermarket and asked them as well. They didn't have a lot when I went in so I asked them to if it was possible to put some aside for me. They kept some aside for me when packing shelves and a week later I had plenty of boxes.
Contributed by Allison, Cranbourne, June 28th, 2006

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Look for Surplus Boxes
I actually am a sales rep for a packaging company, so I can help (although interstate). Ask friends who have businesses or ask at an appliance store because they often have surplus boxes from unpacking new goods that just go in the tip anyway. Alternatively, there are packaging companies that sell second hand boxes, look them up in your yellow pages. There are others, which do not sell second-hand but have a new range of stock boxes which are still much cheaper than buying from a removalist. Second-hand boxes will still be much, much cheaper though. Just ring around - and haggle! :) Don't buy from removalist or storage places, you will pay top dollar. Good luck with your search. Also buy items like packaging tape, bubble wrap etc from packaging companies that deal direct with the public - again much, much cheaper than buying from a retail outlet instead. Good luck with your move!
Contributed by Lisa, Manly, June 28th, 2006

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Try the Local Hospitals
You will be surprised at how many boxes they throw out. You see I work at a hospital and they are always throwing them out, so ask to speak to the Housekeeping/Cleaner manager and they will help you out and you know what the best thing about this is, its free and wont cost you a cent, and you can get what ever size you like.
Contributed by Roula, South Coogee, June 28th, 2006

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Ring Around
I moved just last week and didn't pay a cent for my boxes! I simply rang all the appliance stores and found that they ALL keep flattened, as new boxes, free and ready to pick up! They were really happy to get rid of them and they were perfect for moving because they were really clean!
Contributed by A. Wonderley, June 28th, 2006

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Online Auctions
We bought ours on eBay. Someone had moved a 2 bedroom house and spent $150 on boxes. We bought them on Ebay for $26. They were like new as they had only been used once. Lots of people were selling too!
Contributed by Chevaun, Malvern, June 28th, 2006

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McDonalds
I had the same problem moving a year ago, and found that McDonalds are happy to give away empty boxes - particularly as they throw out heaps every day. Their french-fry boxes are a perfect size for packing and transportation. Some stores are more helpful than others, but if you ask them to save their empty fries boxes and arrange to pick them up after the lunch rush (particularly on weekends) you'll come away with heaps. They don't even mind if you do this over and over again! The boxes are usually very clean and will save you a packet!
Contributed by B. Thorley, June 28th, 2006

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Check the Local Papers
People are always trying to find ways of getting rid of excess packing boxes.
Contributed by Karen, Forest Lake, June 29thth, 2006

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Fruit Boxes
I found that when I was moving our local Fruit shop was more than happy to let me have as many boxes as I needed for free. Most fruit shops generally have a box area for customers who prefer box to bags - just ask the owner! Good luck with the move!
Contributed by Debra, Birkdale, June 29th, 2006

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Wine Boxes for Packing Books
When we were moving, I needed to pack lots of books, which are VERY heavy. The best boxes for these were wine boxes, which, with some arrangement with your local liquor stores, you can generally get lots of. These boxes are made to carry about 12 kg, so they are very strong, and also limit how much you can load them with heavy stuff.
Contributed by Jenny, Glenelg, June 30th, 2006

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Dan Murphy’s, Officworks, for Strong Boxes
We've just moved, and we have a lot of books. We went to our local Dan Murphy's and they let us take as many wine boxes as we needed. They were great for the books, because they're so heavy, you can't use too big a box. I also collected boxes from work, my friends, and Officeworks. Anywhere that gets stock delivered, like manchester shops etc should be happy to give you boxes, they only have to pay to get them taken away!
Contributed by Freya, Richmond, June 30th, 2006

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Try Bookstores
They get stock in really thick boxes to protect the books, and they have no further use for the boxes. I should know - I manage a bookstore and getting rid of cardboard is an ongoing cost.
Contributed by Julie, Preston, June 30th, 2006

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Look in the Bunnings Re-cycling Bin
I have found a great source of boxes is your local Bunnings store. They get in huge boxes for their goods etc that are just put into their recycling and they are usually happy to give them away. The other option is to go and see your local supermarket manager. Usually all their packaging goes into recycling but if you go and ask they will usually arrange for you to collect them instead. Just remember, they can only say no and asking a question costs you nothing but can save you heaps!!!
Contributed by Jen, Ellenbrook, July 14th, 2006

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Sea Containers
We have just recently moved from Perth to Mildura and we found the cheapest way was by sea containers. Because we were on the land hubby didn't want to leave too much behind so we bought our containers and took our time filling them. However you can contact companies that lease them out and they go via rail. This is the cheapest way that we found to move. If you have a place to move into when you move, renting or leasing is the best option. www.dialabox.com.au is worth looking into.
Contributed by Lois, Merbein South, July 28th, 2006

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Look for Backloads to Save Money
Contact National Removals firms and find out if any of them are doing a run from Perth to Sydney, they will usually do a much cheaper job on the return journey. I saved a lot of money when I brought by daughter back from Perth to Adelaide.
Contributed by Lynne, Seaford, July 27th, 2006

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Shipping Containers for Cheap Long Distance Moves
I recently moved from Perth to Melbourne and I found the cheapest option was Miller's Moves. They use shipping containers transported by train and quoted half the price of most other movers. - Contributed by Emmalee, St. Kilda East, July 27th, 2006

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