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How to make moving with flatmates run smoothly

Follow our guide for a smoother experience when moving with your flatmate.
How to make moving with flatmates run smoothly

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Moving can be stressful at the best of times. Add in a partner, children or even a flatmate, and tensions can quickly rise. If you are living with flatmates and planning on moving house together, there are some things you should do before you begin your move. 

Get on the same page before you move

Moving with a flatmate takes just as much communication, if not more, than moving with a partner. You don’t share finances, you probably have different schedules, and you might have different ideas for saving time and money.

Here’s the thing. There’s no correct way to move home. Some people prefer to hire a van and do it themselves. Others would rather pay a professional home mover to do the hard stuff for them. Both are valid options. One scenario will save you money, while the other will save you time. Before planning your house move, talk to your flatmate(s) about their expectations to ensure you are all on the same page.

  • Should we hire a moving professional or just a moving van?

  • How will split the moving costs if one of us owns more furniture?

  • Who will be responsible for gathering and paying for moving supplies?

  • What date will we move, and what time are all parties available?

  • Who is prepared to drive if required, and can all parties help lift and load items?

All parties should try and be as flexible as possible on moving day. Give yourself time for things to run over time, and try not to schedule anything else to do that day. You’ll have enough on your plate as it is.

Gain a clear understanding of who owns what

Moving several times in your early twenties is normal nowadays. If you have been flatting with the same people for a while now, there may be some overlap regarding the ownership of your stuff.

Maybe you have a couch you all chipped in to buy or used your Airpoints to buy cookware or glasses for your flat. Now is a good time to discuss who owns what. One easy way to do this is to divvy up your belongings so that both parties have items of similar value. For example, if your flatmate gets the $80 fancy chef's knife, but you get to keep $80 worth of crockery should you part ways.

For more expensive items, one party can pay the other party out if they leave. Let’s say you went halves on a $600 couch. The remaining party would pay the leaving party half the resell value of the item. If the couch is a couple of years old, it might now only be worth $400. The remaining flatmate would then pay half that to the party who is moving out.

Have frequent check-ins

Now that you know who owns what and how you will share the move, have a few check-ins before the move. This will ensure you’re on the same page and you’re not making any assumptions about when your move will take place or what time your flatmate is available on moving day. It doesn’t matter how you’re doing these check-ins - by phone, text or in person is fine - just as long as you touch base a few times before your move.

Make a to-do list and keep a schedule

A to-do list and schedule help keep both parties informed of their responsibilities. Don’t just leave everything to chance. A checklist is especially helpful if one party likes to be more organised than the other. It puts you both on the same page and ensures both parties can see if certain tasks are done. Plus, you can add any jobs you agreed to verbally to the list to ensure they’re not forgotten about. A schedule will ensure that all parties arrive on time and help your moving day stay on schedule.

Agree on a budget

There are lots of little costs that can add up throughout a move. Rather than splitting every cost down the middle, agree on a budget, which items you’ll pay for and which items you’ll source (hopefully) for free. You can also create a shared fund you both have access to that you can use for moving-related costs.

Share the load

One of the most important things that will make your move run smoothly is sharing the load. Divide up your lists of tasks so that everything is split between all parties. A good way to make sure tasks get done is to divide tasks based on convenience and enjoyment. If one person loves shopping for supplies, it makes sense to give them that task. If the other party would rather research moving trucks, let them.

For tasks that take a lot of effort or aren’t generally enjoyable, make sure everyone chips in at the same time. For example, if you need to clean your flat after you move out, make sure everyone cleans at once. You’ll get done with the task quickly and share the load.

Hire a professional mover

Another way to make moving with flatmates run smoothly is to hire a professional. They can take care of everything from packing to loading and unloading, leaving you and your flatmates with a lot less to worry about. Find a professional mover with Wise Move.

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