There’s a well known saying, “Moving house is the third most traumatic event after
bereavement or divorce.”
In sharing her experience, a former colleague revealed how she had made one of the
fatal errors in the realm of moving house; She chose the cheapest removal company
she could find. She ended up paying dearly for this in terms of some precious items,
heirlooms etc. that broke.
It’s a strange business. The one day you are still secure in your little castle
an the next day a truck pulls up, strangers arrive – big burly men who can’t tell
the difference between a Steinway piano and a honky-tonk piano in a bar room and
suddenly your world is turned into a domestic nightmare.
I read recently about one gentleman in the States who made the fatal error of letting
the removal truck out of his sight. He had things to do on the way, so his arrival
at the new house was delayed. When he got to his new cute little home he found the
removal men passed out in the lounge …. another one lay face downwards in the kitchen.
Beer cans lay strewn all over the place. They had trashed the place. But that was
not all: to his horror he discovered that the truck had delivered someone else’s
furniture, not his! Mysteriously, a switch of trucks had taken place mid-journey
and from there on, everything went wrong and at that very moment his furniture was
being delivered to some house in another state!
But there are ways to limit the pain of moving. I have compiled a list, both from
personal experience and from what I found to be the most useful hints on the net.
Just little tips to help you on your way. I found the list at
about.com particularly useful. I hope you do too:
- Make lists! Number your boxes with a marker, or create a record on computer whilst
leaving space to write down the contents. And be as specific as possible, so that
‘blender’ and ‘food processor’ are preferable to just ‘kitchen equipment’.
- Collect MORE boxes than you think you’ll need. (You can get them at the supermarket.
But it’s a good idea to try to organize it beforehand with the store manager). Set
aside about 10 boxes for emergency packing; items such as bedding, clothing, and
cleaning supplies. Get duct tape to seal the boxes. Be careful about using newspaper
print to wrap your precious items – the print ink can stain your items. If possible
use unprinted newsprint or bubble wrap to cushion your goods.
- Don’t make the boxes too heavy to lift. In other words, if you’re an angler don’t
dump all your boxes of lead sinkers into one box. Be careful when packing books;
they can be very heavy. My suggestion is to restrict books to smaller boxes, the
kind you usually find in liquor stores. Test them for heaviness and seal very well
at the bottom.
- Colour coordinate. Designate a colour, such as yellow for the lounge, blue for the
dining room, for each room in the house. Then match each box with a designated colour.
Stick coloured stickers on the box close the box number and apply a matching sticker
on the door to each room so that the removal people will know where to put each
box on the day you move in. To avoid further chaos, designate areas where the boxes
should go (use big signs that read “Boxes” and another for furniture. This avoids
boxes getting hidden behind furniture.
- Keep things together if you can. This may sound obvious but it’s worth mentioning
anyway. Have the duct tape handy to secure small loose parts to the main item. It
will save you a headache later on. Other small items that might otherwise disappear
for weeks can be sealed in envelopes and marked, so you know what’s inside. Keep
an extra box or two to pack cables, cords and other miscellaneous items on the day
you move, just in case.
- Pack ahead. I lessen the trauma of last-minute packing by starting well ahead of
time. Try to see what you don’t need, such as winter clothing when it’s summer and
start packing them. If you intend cleaning your old place, assemble a basic kit
of cleaning supplies and rags and clean as much as possible ahead of time. Vacuum
the rooms as they are emptied.
- Pack your valuables safely or keep them with you. It’s best to carefully pack your
artworks with lots of bubble wrap between each painting and keep them with you (obviously
never placing anything on top of them.). If you are not able to do this for some
reason, you can always phone some of the art galleries to find out whom they use
to move their art works.
- Check up on your homeowner’s insurance to see if you are covered, or whether additional
insurance is required. And this is important: find out how you must go about filing
a claim in the event of loss or damage (receipts, appraisals, and photographs).
- Keep important documents with you. The list might include: birth certificates, school
records, mover quotes, new job contacts, utility company numbers, current bills,
phone lists, closing papers, ID books, passports, visas. (Not to mention those valuable
photographs of loved ones and friends!).
- Create personal boxes. These would contain items you might want to use immediately
upon arrival and which are essential to your well being such as, cosmetics, toiletries,
instant coffee, a kettle and cord, cups, and other necessities such as er … your
jar of Marmite. I hear you asking, “Why Marmite”? Well, I know a woman who never
travels anywhere without a jar of Marmite in her bag. “You never know,” she always
Moving? Looking for a Trusted Name?
1st Contact can help you take the stress out of moving whether you are moving to London, that exciting mega-city overflowing with effervescence, or moving in the city itself or departing from there.
1st Contact Shipping is a member of the British Association of Removers (BAR) and is able to offer some special discounts for clients who make use of some of the other services offered by 1st Contact.
The shipping team has over 25 years’ experience and have safely delivered over half a million (!) consignments. They are a trusted name in helping their clients relocate or adapt to a new country. In addition their network of agents are all
accredited by FIDI/FAIM – the respected global international removals trade body.
Everyone knows that moving is just one big headache so they are really worth checking out because they go the extra mile, even providing shipping cartons and other packing materials like packaging tape, bubble wrap and tissue paper – all at no charge. They also offer advice on which box sizes you may require and more.
For more information, contact 1st Contact on:
UK: 080 8141 1648 or visit www.1stcontact-shipping.com