Moving along

Private Property South Africa

Many would consider me something of a nomad. For various reasons, over the past five years I’ve moved six times. Or is it seven? I’ve lost track. The fact is I know a thing or two about moving house and it is never an easy undertaking.

The first aspect you need to consider is what you’re going to take with you. If you’ve lived in one spot for a number of years and amassed a fair amount of belongings this may prove a particularly time-consuming and possibly emotional task – especially if you fall into the hoarder category.

When selecting what you want to take with you, consider this: have you used it / worn it / watched it / read it in the past year? Is it broken and beyond repair? Are you hanging on to it simply because of its supposed sentimental value?

Too often people hang on to things simply because they “might come in handy one day” or because they belonged to their grandmother. Trust me. Unless an item can genuinely be re-purposed or is a valuable family heirloom, chances are it’s better to dispose of it. Hauling around broken tools and furniture, ancient toys, your very first cot, an Encyclopaedia Britannica collection, redundant phones and your grandfather’s rather manky first tooth just isn’t worth it.

In other words, live light and sell or give away the items you no longer need. Your mind, your wallet and your back will thank you. Especially your back.

Back it up

I wish I’d taken this advice with my most recent move. In a bid to try and save some money on the movers (who generally base their quotes on the number of items to be moved) I decided to try and move the majority of the “light” items myself. Unfortunately my apartment was on the third floor of a building that is lift-less. Two full days later and my back, legs and patience were finished. I decided there and then that next time round I would just pay the movers the extra money.

When contracting movers, shop around and obtain at least three quotes. Better still, ask friends and family if they can recommend a company. Check with potential movers whether they can provide references, and sniff around on the Internet to see if anyone has posted complaints about them. Affiliation with the Professional Movers Association is a definite plus as this means the mover meets certain standards and requirements. A list of accredited movers can be viewed here.

Although tedious, it’s important to look into these aspects as you don’t want to end up with a fly-by-night mover who thinks shifting your expensive furniture in a beaten-up bakkie with the help of off-the-street accomplices is acceptable. Rather employ the services of an established moving company that has a good reputation.

Not foolproof

Of course no matter how good the company appears to be, chances are something will up end up broken or damaged – as was the case with my last move. Despite the fact that I used a reputable mover I still ended up with a badly scratched dining room table. Blankets had apparently been used to buffer it but obviously not enough care was taken. And so, however pedantic it may seem, I’ve undertaken to bubble wrap just about everything should I move again. Which at this point seems highly unlikely. Ever.

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