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Article - The NZ Herald

All wrapped up

vanessa godbazVanessa Godbaz saw an opportunity and took it, as CHARLOTTE COSSAR reports.

Spotting a void in the market and being the person to jump right in and take the risk, Vanessa Godbaz has developed a business designed to make moving house a whole lot easier.

Director of the Finishing Touch, a business she started with her mum in 1998, the company began life as an unpacking service - which involved unpacking cartons and putting household items in their rightful place, even to the extent of making the beds.

With no such business in the marketplace offering this service, the company quickly gained the confidence of the country’s leading removal companies in nine locations nationwide.

From these simple beginnings, the business has flourished into a company offering room makeovers, cleaning services and home organising.

"We are quickly becoming a one-stop shop for anyone moving," says Vanessa. "For the things we will not do ourselves, such as the actual removal, we can recommend reputable suppliers."

The development of the company was a natural one for Vanessa, who after six years of seeing her clients face a myriad of problems when moving - not just unpacking their boxes quickly - saw there was a need to offer other services.

"Clients come from all walks of life, but those particularly in need are mothers with young children and the elderly, " she says.

UNPACKING

On the day of your move, the Finishing Touch unpacking service will unpack all your cartons, place food items in the pantry or refrigerator, hang clothing in cupboards and wardrobes, colour co-ordinate your linen cupboard, arrange books on bookshelves, place ornaments and finally break down empty cartons and stack them for collection.

The cost varies depending on the service required, with the unpacking of cartons for an average three-bedroom home costing around $730. Or for half a day, you can just buy an experienced pair of hands for around $160. Of course, the price depends on the number of boxes that need unpacking.

CLEANING

Available in Auckland only, a team of cleaning specialists will do one-off house cleans of the home you’re leaving or the one you’re moving to. The thorough spring-clean includes washing cupboards, drawers and shelves, bathrooms, light switches and power points, skirting boards, door and window frames, as well as vacuuming, mopping, dusting and freshening up the house.

Says Vanessa: "One client needed the old house cleaned and didn’t have the time or energy to do it, so we added this service. We recently looked even further back in the moving process to people who were selling their homes and saw a gap in the market for low-cost room makeovers."

To have your house cleaned, again for an average three-bedroom home, this service costs around $190.

ROOM MAKEOVERS

This service involves arranging the existing furniture and accessories in the home you’re trying to sell to appeal to potential buyers.

"This is an extremely cost-effective way to increase the appeal of your home without going to the extent of hiring expensive furniture or interior designers."

The room makeovers are by price on application, but it is possible to achieve a result in a couple of hours for under $100.

HOME ORGANISING

Essentially, this is about sorting, tidying or throwing away accumulated clutter.

Says Vanessa: "So often we unpack things that clients hadn’t had time to throw out before the move, and consequently they had paid someone to pack, move and unpack things they didn’t want or need or couldn’t fit into the new home. You know those fondue sets and old casseroles that just sit gathering cobwebs at the back of your cupboards between moves?"

She says that this saves a lot of stress for her clients, especially for people downsizing or moving into a retirement home. "We can often sell items on your behalf to help recoup the cost of the service."

The home organising service costs $40 an hour.

09.10.2004 NZ Herald

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