When moving house, the first and probably most difficult decision is whether to pay a fee and trust a professional with your belongings, or put in some effort and handle the entire thing yourself. If you choose the second option, you will most likely save quite a bit of money. However, you will also have to face some unexpected challenges. These will probably be mainly organizational, having to do with your schedule as well as those of the people helping you. Moreover, the matter of sheer manpower is quite important - remember that the fewer people helping out with the move, the more work there's going to be for everybody involved and the longer it's going to take. There are also some other unexpected challenges, but if you plan ahead and don't misjudge your own abilities, everything should be alright.
1. First thing's first, deciding to handle the removals yourself does not mean that you won't have to spend any money. Particularly, money for a moving van. In this case you have several options. Firstly ask around - acquaintances, friends, friends of friends - if anyone has a van that you could use. Make sure to have your date already set for this, so that you can explain the terms of the agreement clearly. If you happen to find a van this way, you may be able to get it for free, but be prepared to pay a small fee, if you don't know the person that well. Your second alternative is hiring a van. A lot of moving companies offer this service and you may be able to find some private listings as well. If you choose this option, remember to set the date and arrange everything in advance, as early as possible. Don't forget to call and confirm the date and availability about a week before the move. The third option is to hire a man-with-van type service. This is fairly self-explanatory; it means that you get to use a van and the services of a driver for the day. This may be convenient if you also need to move your car for example. Be warned however, that there are a number of operating scams with this type of service. Only hire a licensed "man with van" and remember to check the identification of the person or people who arrive on the day of your move. Like with the other services, you should check in about a week in advance, to make sure that there haven't been any changes to the arrangement.
2. Enlist as many friends and acquaintances as possible to help you. The removal process can sometimes take up to a month, including clean up, but this time can be reduced significantly if there are more people working on it. It would help to plan out the removals and packing room by room and estimate the amount of time you're going to need. This should be done as early as possible, to allow time for unforeseen circumstances.
3. Gather up all of your packing materials. This include boxes (reuse boxes whenever possible) Styrofoam and bubble wrap, large plastic bags, a toolbox, any small packing materials like markers and packing tape and, of course, a First Aid kit - minor injuries are not uncommon during a move and you should always be prepared.
4. Begin the packing process. If you have a lot of people helping you, make sure to give clear instructions on how you want everything to be done and constantly supervise the process. Pack up everything room by room instead of piling everything up in one place - avoid creating chaos whenever possible.
Posted on 30 Jul 2012 and under Removals