It’s been about a two months since we had the final confirmation about our relocation plans and since then everything has been non-stop. From organising, vans, pet couriers, obtaining moving boxes, inventory checklists, the list goes on.
According to Top10.com ’Moving House’ is the second ‘Most Stressful Life Events‘, and they’re right there! My mind has been churning non-stop of ‘Things to do list’ everyday, not to mention living the ‘normal’ life and work at the same time. I can’t wait to get it done and over with, just don’t mention the un-packing bit please!
I find this blog rather therapeutic at least I can vent and whine about how stressful the whole process is. Just to reflect on what I have done over the last two months, I thought I’d jot down my thoughts and hopefully you’ll find this article helpful and give you an idea. It’s still a learning curve for me, I’ve never moved overseas before (well, not involving this amount of organising and packing anyway). Believe me, the Internet has been my best friend since thing whole thing started.
Searching for the right removal services is the main headache for me. I researched for about two weeks, obtaining different quotes from different removal companies that do overseas services. It didn’t surprise me that the quotes that I received were on the £1,000 to 5,000 mark. After all it is a big job.
We live in a 4 bed detached home and will be moving to a 5 bedroomed detached home in Spain, this is always taken in consideration (it seems) when asking removal companies for quotes. Most reputable removal companies will also send out a sales estimator so that they can quote you on the goods that you are taking. Nowadays, I have also found out that you can do this online, most companies, have an inventory form which you can fill in, which I found a lot more convenient than having to arrange an appointment.
It is very tempting to just ask Joe from the local town whether he would consider a removal to Spain for a cheap service, but as you know you get what you pay for. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and to take on a service from a reputable company so that you are confident that your goods will be taken care of. It’s scary when you put it in perspective that your ‘whole life’ can fit inside a van, so choose carefully!
I would also advice to give it at least a month to research, organise and get quotes from removal companies, as there is a lot more to sort out when you are moving abroad. Removal companies are usually booked weeks in advance, the more time you give yourself, the more of a chance you will get the dates you require. We have been fortunate that we found a removal service that leave only a few days before our flight to Valencia.
Plan ahead. Make a mental and physical list on what things can be packed up, taken down and throw away things that you don’t need. Just a few tips to make moving that little bit easier, I know its common sense but it’s easy to just ‘got for it’ as soon as you get the go ahead, believe some things I do forget and I’ve made things a lot harder for myself by being a scatterbrain.
So. Here are my list on how to pack moving boxes efficiently. Actually it is not that hard, once you have the right tools and organisational skills!
Go to every room in the house and create an inventory. List the items that you are taking, jot down notes, mental notes is not enough, in my case my brain is like a sieve so a list is a definite yes. This will remind me in the days the come what needs to be done and it is also easier when moving day comes.
You can obtain boxes for free from anywhere nowadays. Even though I was tempted to buy boxes on eBay initially, but when I saw how much everything will add to I soon changed my mind. Asking the local shops and restaurants is good. Luckily, my local Tesco and Iceland is only 5 minutes drive away, so I popped in and asked if they can save me some boxes, a week later, they put aside different size boxes for me that saved me ££’s!
Also consider using the right size of boxes, using large boxes for lighter items, such as bed sheets, duvets, pillows, stuffed toys etc. and using small boxes for heavier items such as books, magazines, cutlery, plates, etc. I would also advice to invest in bubble wrap; you can get these very cheaply from eBay nowadays. If like me, you have a lot of breakable goods such as figurines, picture frames, using bubble wrap will better protect these.
I know this is common sense, but remember to label your boxes to the room they are going in and description of its contents. Also don’t forget to LABEL BOXES ON THE SIDE for obvious reasons. I’ve made this mistake before and I ended up opening boxes to find out which room they go. Not a very clever move, but can easily be forgotten specially if you’re stressed enough! Do not mix items from different rooms either. This will just make the un-packing process harder. Organisation is the key! (P.S Get a good permanent marker too!)
Tape everything well
Invest in good packing tape! I remember a few years ago when we last moved house, I went to the local Poundland to get packing tapes, big mistake.
The boxes were coming undone even before the move and had to buy another pack of tape to reinforce the boxes. Even then it was still wouldn’t hold. So I would advise to buy good strong tape. This time I bought the Prima Packing Tapes, again, these can be obtained cheaply from eBay, for example I paid £4.50 for a pack of 6 Prima tapes sizes 48mm x 40mm.
Get a box cutter
There’s nothing more frustrating than looking for a suitable cutting tool when it’s time to un-pack your belongings. Safety Box cutters are very inexpensive and makes things a lot easier. Good box cutters usually have their blades hidden for your own safety and will open the boxes with ease without damaging the contents.
So, I guess with all the above in mind, you would think I’m super organised on the contrary, my house is a mess, boxes every where, I cant wait until this whole ordeal is over. Very exciting times, scary, but I’m sure the whole stress will be worth it.