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Thread: Pack/Unpack tips

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Manchester > Now Tauranga
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    Default Pack/Unpack tips

    Some thoughts on what worked, and what may have helped.

    1) Take pictures before the packers start of things like books, cds, and other 'multiple' things so that should you lose a box then there's a record of what is missing, and not jsut 'err, about a shelf and a half of books, can't remember what's missing'.
    2) Vanilla essence in the fridge worked a treat.
    3) Clear out the garage. There's really not a lot of need for 10 UK plug socket fronts / cases in NZ.
    4) Put wire cutter/strippers, screwdriver, and knife in the 'Bits Box' or other priority marked box as you need that for the set up.
    5) You'll get a pile of sheets with box numbers and brief descriptions. Take a photocopy of this, and mark on it which room each box needs to go into. Ideally recopy that sheet a couple of times (A3?) and tape that up so the packing guys know where to carry all the stuff, and don't need to pause for you to give instructions for each box. Not a problems if you move out of a 3 bed 2 lounge house into a 3 bed 2 lounge house in NZ as it will all go into the same rooms, you just need to tell them what's bed 1/2/3 etc But if the layout is different, as it may well be, then this helps. I made the one list, but didn't do the photocopy for them, and so struggled to keep up with ticking the boxes off and also directing the guys into the right place.
    6) Get some stubbies in the day before. Nipping out on the day to get some chilled ones may seem a 2 minute job, but come the day then it will be frantic anyway, so it's one less job to do and will be appreciated. (for the crew, not for you!)
    7) Don't assume that it's glasses/china that is going to be broken. Because it's obviously fragile then you may find that's been really really well wrapped. It's the other things that may not have had the same care, so you really need to plan to either unpack, or open, then repack within the week to notify them of any faults.
    8) Be realistic and expect a few things to go missing / be damaged. No, it shouldn't happen, and yes they should take care. But in the thousands if items that you have are damaged then it's less than 0.1% of the stuff they have packed, and a 99.9% success rate for most things is pretty darn good (certainly good enough for a disinfectant)
    9) This week of all weeks then it's easy to put any breakages/lost things into perspective. But that stays the same all the time really.
    10) You have shipping insurance, but don't just assume you need to claim on that. If you feel that there's been a failure for the movers to undertake their duty of care and deliver the service that you've paid for then communicate that to them.
    11) More pragmatism. If something is chipped/scratched/bent/dented then does it matter. In some cases it will, but in others then it won't How many things have you got around the house that are 'worn'. So after a week, then you'll not notice it unless you get yourself all worked up about it. Mention it, but don't go overboard, pick and choose your battles and focus on resolving the things that are really important to you, and show that you're not expecting the impossible or trying to make up for not winning the lottery by claiming for new replacement items for every 10 year old widget that has been slightly cosmetically damaged.

    So those are my thoughts and tips to myself for should there ever be a next time. Hope they help others.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Wellington
    Posts
    894

    Default

    All great tips Duncan. Here are my few based on my experience:

    Kiwi 'unpacking guys' don't seem to drink tea/coffee so just keep them supplied with cans of soft drink/water and give them the beer when they have finished.

    Keep a sharp bladed knife (Stanly type) to hand ready to slash open those boxes.

    Don't be shocked when you find you have tons of packing materials. Try not to destroy the boxes as you can sell them on to others on TradeMe.

    When packing up your stuff in the first place, pack all loose screws/bolts etc in a plastic bag and tape it to the item it belongs to.

    If your packers mix items up to utilise the space, make sure you know which boxes contain all the parts e.g I had one item that the packers dismantled then placed each piece in about 4 different boxes - it was a nightmare to find all the parts to put it back together again.

    If you move into rented accommodation, you may decide not to open all the boxes and leave them in the garage or wherever. However, as Duncan said, it is a good idea to check everything incase you need to put in an insurance claim, so open them all, check and then close up again if you dont need them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Tauranga, Bay of Plenty
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    Default

    Now you know why i had a number of chipped bits of crocks n pots Duncan. They really don't mean that much in the big scheme of things. Glad to see your settled into your house

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Blenheim
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    We had exactly one broken item, and that was because one of the packers was an idiot and packed a heavy cast iron casserole dish into the same box with a (very old, full of memories) porcelaine washing bowl (not sure if that is the right word for it...).
    I was angry, but then we decided not to put a claim in, because it would have cost us quite a sum of money which we, at that stage, did not want to invest- and in the end I would not even have been able to state a value or get a replacement.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    in my own little world...
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    532

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    good tips Duncan.

    I took photos of most things before they were packed away, in particular the books (there was no way I was going to catalogue all of them), the tv with cables still attached (so I knew how to reconnect the telly!) and the 'good china' (for insurance / replacement purposes, just in case).

    Unpacking was done before I arrived, with the exception of a few boxes, so can't comment on that aspect. As we were renting, and had the space, we didn't unpack everything (left the books, photos etc boxed up) until we moved, but we did check for any breakages. We also had enough space in the garage to store some boxes until we needed them again.

    Now you've all the unpacking done, sit back and enjoy the weekend. You'll probably spend the weekend looking for something you've just unpacked but can't remember which drawer/shelf/wardrobe you put it in...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    35,847

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    The system won't let me rep you, Duncan, but thanks for this.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Auckland, NZ
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    104

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    Quote Originally Posted by lin View Post
    We also had enough space in the garage to store some boxes until we needed them again.
    Just a quick resurrection re storing items in a garage. Has anyone suffered with mice whilst storing stuff in NZ? It seems in the UK there's a good chance the little blighter's will munch their way through pretty much anything given half the chance getting in via even the smallest of openings.

    No such issues in NZ?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Blenheim
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    We had lots of boxes stored in different garages for about five years, still have some boxes )re- packed) sitting in the garage right now and had no issue with mice. But, which might make a difference, we've never really been out in the country.

    In the second and third place we were renting the garage was not completely dry and I think that is far more dangerous than mice...., there was no damage to anything, but some of the stuff started smelling damp, which we only discovered when it was too late. Books take on smells, as do stuffed animals

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Manchester > Now Tauranga
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    The giant Weta's eat the mice. No need to worry.

    As above, the damp is more likely to be an issue than mice.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    UK - North Shore, Akld - UK
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    There were plenty of mice in Devonport. Every winter they would leave their callling cards in our hall cupboard. To be fair, we never found anything chewed, but then again we didn't often venture into the loft to check wiring. A few friends had to call pest control to get rid.

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