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Moving house with packers - what should I be doing?

(34 Posts)
culturemulcher Tue 16-Sep-14 11:01:28

We're moving house in about 5 or 6 weeks' time, and we've decided to use a removals company who'll do the packing as well as the moving.

I've gone through most cupboards and shelves and thrown out what anything I can bear to part with we don't really need, and I know we've got to take down any light fittings and curtain poles we may want to take with us.

But what else? It feels as though I should be crazy busy getting ready for THE MOVE, but I'm wondering what on earth I should actually be doing.

Anyone got any advice - things you wish you'd done before the packers came? Anything I should sort out in advance?

Soonish Tue 16-Sep-14 11:05:18

Personally, and I've never used packers, so might be wrong but I would pack all the things I would be really heartbroken to find were damaged.

I'm doing that now - we're moving soon and I'm not using packers, which means our breakable stuff isn't insured for the move, but in any case I know I would not get over it if they broke something precious to me, even if I was compensated.

Some things can't be replaced. It's those things I have segregated and am taking myself in the car.

TheFamilyJammies Tue 16-Sep-14 11:12:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SolomanDaisy Tue 16-Sep-14 11:18:47

No, you don't need to do anything. On the morning we moved with packers I stripped the beds and packed underwear, then went to work!

PeriPathetic Tue 16-Sep-14 11:23:10

Put anything that is NOT to be packed away somewhere lockable... If no room, put it in your car. This includes trash which will be packed if not removed.

FunkyBoldRibena Tue 16-Sep-14 11:25:54

Get rid of the crap you don't want to take, and then some more.

Pack the kettle and some tea/milk with cups and spoons, and any antiques/valuables you want with you and take them yourself. Keep cleaning equipment separate [in your car if needs be].

Strip the beds, empty the bins etc before they arrive and then leave them to it.

Clean each room as they empty it. Lock the door as they leave.

Pick up the new key, unlock the new house and if you have time, clean the new place before they show - the kitchen and bathroom are priorities.

Then let them in and leave them to it. Make them a cuppa if you can.

culturemulcher Tue 16-Sep-14 13:31:31

Good suggestions so far - especially separating out the cleaning equipment we'll need to clean after they've packed.

Also good idea Ribena to clean the new house before the boxes arrive.

I'm making pretty good progress with the decluttering / sorting through everything, but I still have a feeling that there are other things I could get on with...

And while you're all here - anyone know how long it takes to fully defrost a fridge freezer before the movers come? smile

culturemulcher Tue 16-Sep-14 13:32:19

Also - good idea to use the car as a 'place of safety' for anything we don't want to be packed.

FunkyBoldRibena Tue 16-Sep-14 13:34:38

I never fully defrost it.

Sorry, I've moved 32 times and have quite some experience.

I wind the contents down, put the remaining stuff in a cool bag, then when I strip the bed, I put all the bedclothes (and any spare towels etc) in the fridge and freezer, and tape it up with masking tape. When it is in its new home, I de tape, and wash all the contents as they soaked up all the water for me. Then clean, and restock.

naturalbaby Tue 16-Sep-14 13:42:33

It's almost unnerving moving with packers because you hardly do anything, but it's fantastic. The only thing I did was move stuff about as the new house layout was completely different. Nearer the time I started emptying cupboards and the attic, and pilling stuff up in the corner of rooms. Nothing got broken, even plants got moved without damage, and they even helped unpack a bit at the other end then removed most of the packing materials.

On the day I put cleaning materials in the downstairs loo and put a sign on the door saying the room was out of bounds. All valuables and food for the day went in the car or to a relatives house, then we went out to a cafe and left them to it. They packed from the top down so as soon as the top floor was clear I went up to clean.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Tue 16-Sep-14 15:15:46

Empty the dishwasher!

Keep any medication with you, don't let them pack it. I would also move laptops, iPads and other small electronics myself.

Have a suitcase for your overnight things so there is no digging through 3,000 "Bedroom" boxes looking for your pj's and bathrobe. I also pack <ahem> personal items myself.

Like Funky says we moved from Sydney to Amsterdam and 6 weeks later when all our stuff arrived I unpacked our rubbish bin from our study complete with rubbish in it. grin

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Tue 16-Sep-14 15:16:20

Chargers! I knew I forgot something. Make sure you know where your chargers are.

SavoyCabbage Tue 16-Sep-14 15:24:05

Don't leave a tray of brownies on the bench. They really do pack everything.

HoraceGoesSkiing Tue 16-Sep-14 15:34:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AlpacaLypse Tue 16-Sep-14 15:43:39

Removals man OH here. What OH and his compatriots really appreciate is coffee or tea at regular intervals!

What they don't appreciate is clients fluttering around trying to be helpful and in fact getting in the way. Particularly unhelpful is filling very large boxes with books which are then unliftable.

Also if your old neighbours come round to say goodbye, or new neighbours come round to say hello, please don't stand talking to them right in the middle of the doorway for hours grin

Honsandrevels Tue 16-Sep-14 15:45:02

We moved when dd2 was 6 weeks old after she was born 7 weeks early so having packers was amazing and well worth the money. The only frustrating thing was that their labelling of boxes was a bit haphazard which made finding things tricky.

We had a box for cleaning stuff and a box with important stuff like the kettle, chargers, a few plates, cups etc.

They do pack everything! They even cut the end off an extension lead where the plug was hidden behind a bookcase. I thought it would have been obvious to leave it!

ThunderboltKid Tue 16-Sep-14 19:48:29

We're also having packers we need to dismantle beds, or do they do that? (And do they reassemble them at the other end as well?)

DoristheCamel Tue 16-Sep-14 20:01:21

We have moved using packers 9 times. They are fab in my opinion. We had one dodgy company once but the problems were with the removals not the packing.

They pack as they see. So if you leave your favourite mug in the bedroom - they will pack it in a box labelled Bedroom 1 so. This means when you get the other end and you want your favourite mug - it wont be in the kitchen box as you might expect.

So in other words - clear out and get everything in its rightful place, so things are packed in their logical boxes.

Also before the packers arrive on moving day remove EVERYTHING from the house you dont want them to pack. In or case this is usually an overnight bag, vacume etc. I keep a few mugs and the kettle handy - with post it stickers all over it not to be packed - although the packers have NEVER attempted to pack the kettle.

They pack extremely well and very fast. You will be amazed at how fast they pack up. They will come in - perhaps 2 or 3 of them and each take on a room at a time.

We are usually asked to take apart beds before they arrive and usually sleep on out matteress on the floor the night before we move. You may also want to unplug your own TV if the back of it looks like spaghetti junction with a million wires.

I also pack a very small box of sentimental goods that are totally irreplaceable - we take with us ourselves or dump at my parents house for a few weeks until we are settled. I also take a few important files - such as the house insurance.

MissMysticFalls Tue 16-Sep-14 22:06:23

We've got packers coming in the day before the move and they'll pack all but what we need for the night/morning and then do the rest and the move the next day. We're going to clear some floors space for the boxes (we have an overlap so can get some things into the house in advance) so it's not too cramped.

Our removers have said that anything they take apart they will reassemble the other end which is wonderful.

My plan is to make sure things are in the room we want them to be the other end if I can or label them if I can't. It's tricky because we're going from one bed to two beds. I'm going to make the shower-room out of bounds and put the essentials in there (what we'd take for an overnight stay - mobile and charger, laptop, toothbrushe, etc).

PS our packers are only charging 195 so if anyone's in Sussex I can give you the recommendation.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Wed 17-Sep-14 13:20:08

Comedy lessons:

Empty the bedroom bins - finding our rubbish had been wrapped then put back in the bin, and wrapped again was a bit WTF?

Before you let them loose on your bedroom, pack an overnight bag, and don't forget to pack SHOES, especially if you are in your slippers when they arrive.

Choc hobnobs are the way forward. Truck loads of them. If you can manage some ham sandwiches or similar they'll be very grateful but they don't seem to bring anything to actually eat.

Pack and transport the precious stuff yourself if you can. Boot of the car is the way forward.

Get your own pen marker - our removals guys wrote on the tape on the top of the box where stuff had to go and what was it it eg: Kitchen - china. Sod all help to find something quickly if all the boxes have been stacked high in the new kitchen. Get your own pen and nip in to write it on the side too.

Get a box of kitchen essentials ready - bottle opener, beer opener, sharp knife (to open boxes) couple of pairs of scissors, first aid kit with plasters, head ache tablets, hobnobs etc ; to keep out

Put the stuff for the new owner [appliance manuals etc] somewhere odd like a kitchen window with a huge sign saying "Don't Pack"

Horace's tip with the bin bag is a really good one. Works a treat. Stick the chargers in there too. Really useful with kids too as you can stick fav bedtime toys, pjs, empty waterbottle, couple of story books, etc in there too.

If you've got kids floating around - get rid if possible. If not, beg a nice big box, and make good use of your pen for castle/boat making etc and you can keep them out from underfoot.

RocknRollNerd Wed 17-Sep-14 14:16:24

Personally, and I've never used packers, so might be wrong but I would pack all the things I would be really heartbroken to find were damaged.

I would say the opposite of this, our packers packed and moved, day in day out, year on year, I trusted them far more to know how to pack stuff up so it wouldn't get broken than I would.

Keep what you don't want them to pack to an absolute minimum - we had kettle, teabags etc, mugs, the big pink box of everything important (a bright pink box file containing all the legal docs, takeaway menus etc) and my handbag and that was it (we had cleaners coming in so hoover etc got packed). Keep this stuff in one place as far as possible and physically point it out to them.

On the day itself keep out of their way except when you're providing tea/food. Also don't be tight/selfish about takeaway. If you're getting pizza for your lunch, buy it for them too, ditto takeaway if you arrive late in the day at the new place. They work damn hard and in the context of the total amount you spend moving house another 30 quids worth of food is neither here nor there but the goodwill it gets you back will be tremendous.

Soonish Wed 17-Sep-14 14:22:34

I didn't mean they wouldn't pack it well. I just meant that for my own sanity, if I knew that I had packed something that then broke, I could live with it. If I knew someone else did, I would find that harder to deal with as then you get all the stuff about their intentions, were they careful enough, you know, I'd find it hard to know how angry to be about it.

It's like when my children want to do something involving my tools or something breakable and I say 'no, because if I break it, I'll be angry with myself. If you break it, I'll be angry with you!'

It's probably more likely to break if I pack it but at least I won't have to deal with complicated blame dynamics. <sigh>

Soonish Wed 17-Sep-14 14:22:49

or confrontation <screams>

Hakluyt Wed 17-Sep-14 14:25:05

My MIL was wearing slippers the day she had the packers in- all her shoes ended ip in storage.......

culturemulcher Wed 17-Sep-14 20:42:05

Ribena 32 times! You must be a moving guru. Will remember the towels in the freezer trick, in case it's still defrosting.

Apaca - so noted grin

Treadsoftly lots of great advice there, thank you. And naturalbaby yes, it does feel incredibly odd. I really feel as though I should be doing something more than fretting .

I'm always bare foot indoors, so I'll try to remember to put some shoes on and keep them on - otherwise it'll be a long drive with barefoot cramping toes.

Good to know that I can leave just about ALL the packing to the packers, including the fragile, delicate stuff.

Anyone done a 3 day pack? Most of the companies are suggesting that the move will have to be over 3 days. Is it a nightmare?

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