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A removalist is an individual, group of people or company who assists in the removal of household or office goods from one location and subsequent delivery to another. For small jobs where there is not much to be moved, a couple of people might be sufficient, particularly for lifting heavy objects and household appliances such as refrigerators, deep freezers, washing machines, beds, desks, couches, etc. For full household or business or office removals, a full crew will be required, together with a large fully equipped removals van.
A removalist undertakes the safe uplifting of goods from one premises and the secure and timely transport and delivery of such goods to another location. This is not simply a matter of picking up pre-packed furniture and boxes, loading them into trucks and offloading at the new premises. Whilst many home- and business-owners prefer to pack their personal goods themselves, others may choose to have this done for them by the removalist company. The advantages to having goods packed by reputable removalists are numerous, including speedy and professional packing into secure crates or containers, protective packaging around delicate items such as mirrors, glass and artworks, protective covering of furniture against knocks and scratches, and optional insurance covering those goods packed by the removalist. As a rule, a removalist company will not insure goods which are packed by the client, as they cannot ensure that they are sufficiently protected during transit.
There are many removalist companies, ranging from very small concerns to large national or international organisations. A removal may entail short-distance relocation within the same area or town, a national move within South Africa, or an international move to another country. An international move is the biggest and most complex of all moving experiences, and requires the aid of a large and reputable company which has international offices and is familiar with and well able to accommodate customs regulations in different countries.
Removalists undertake many different responsibilities. These may include the safe relocation of pets by air in specially constructed crates which ensure the security, hydration and well-being of the animals during transport, moving of vehicles and the relocation of office furniture, machines and contents. In addition, it is sometimes necessary for the removalist to provide secure and pest-free storage for the goods at the point of arrival whilst the client is organising accommodation for himself and his possessions.
National removals sometimes include the transport of living plants in their containers, and these need to be watered and protected during transport. In cases where there is a delay between the arrival of the plants at the removalist’s warehouse and delivery to their final destination, many removalists will provide storage in their own plant nursery areas, where the plants can be cared for until delivery to the new property.
Smaller removalist companies will work primarily within specific localised areas, and may not be able to undertake packing responsibilities themselves. Their jobs mainly involve the pick-up, transport and offloading of pre-packed boxes and crates and furniture. These companies may not offer time-consuming protective wrapping of furniture and other large breakables, so this is something one must be aware of when preparing for the move. Your goods should be ready to be uplifted as soon as the removalist arrives, and your boxes and crates securely sealed and labelled. Curtains should be removed from the windows and folded or packed, and the beds should be stripped and ready to go.
When employing a removalist company to undertake all aspects of the move, especially for international relocations, allow sufficient time for them to pack your goods securely and without undue pressure. Their team will wrap and pack as they go from room to room, and this is a time-consuming procedure when carried out professionally. When organising your quote and requirements, a qualified and experienced agent will go through your house with you, itemising the goods to be packed and moved, and estimating the number of boxes, packing materials and time required to complete the job.
The larger national or international removalist companies are well known and you can find their adverts in telephone directories, the Yellow Pages, magazines and online. Uptasker is a valuable resource when searching online for removalists and checking testimonials from previous clients. Hardly a day goes by without seeing one or more of the large removalist companies’ vans on the road, especially towards month-end, when most people move house. Another way to find the right removalist for your needs is to ask for word of mouth referrals from friends and colleagues who have already gone through the experience of moving. You will be sure to get honest reviews this way, as well as recommendations and useful tips. Nonetheless, you will form your own opinions from the agent who comes to your home to assess your requirements, as his or her attitude and professionalism are indicative of the company’s values as a whole.
It is never wise to under-estimate the value of using the right removalist company for the job at hand. It would be a costly exercise to go for the cheapest quote from a possibly well-meaning but inexperienced or understaffed removalist company, and then have to spend a lot more repairing or replacing items damaged or broken during the move. Take your time, choose wisely, and rest assured that your precious items will arrive safely and on time at their destination. For more tips, see our removalist articles.
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