Different ways of moving house. There’s an easy way and a hard way and several variations in between …

moving houseI’ve moved countless times.  I think by the time I was 10 I’d moved 7 times and, apart from a 7 and a half year stint in one house during my teens, the longest I’ve lived in any house in 43 years is around the 4 year mark.

We’ve moved on our own, using our car, doing several trips, in the days when all we owned was a bed, a sofa, a chest of drawers and a coffee table, we’ve moved using the big guns doing everything for us when we’ve moved overseas.

Funnily enough, the hardest move ever was when we moved 6 doors up the road on the same street.  We hired a small van for the big things, but had to do several trips as the van was too small and then we spent about a week trotting up and down the road with boxes.  I would never do that again, ever.  It was harder than moving half way around the world.

This time we are throwing money at the problem because I can’t do much with my shoulder (brilliant timing huh?) so we have a well known company coming in and packing, uplifting and then we’ve invested in a ‘Valet Unpack’ where 3 nice ladies (well, I don’t know if they will be nice, they might not be) will come in and unpack everything for us, put everything in exactly the right places.  I’ve used them before, years ago when we moved in NZ with a small baby, and it really was the best money spent.

Obviously your budget when moving counts here.  It’s cheapest to hire a van and do it all yourself but you need a lot of time to pack your boxes (which you will need to source yourself), you need some strong burly friends and family to help you lift stuff, and you need to be prepared for the long haul when unpacking again.  Moving on our own probably took 2-3 weeks in total, from packing to moving to unpacking … it can take way longer of course, if you are like me and get fed up with unpacking and end up leaving boxes untouched for ages.

Using a big company like Allied Pickfords or Grace obviously costs money but is the easiest way.  They will either do everything for you (as described above) or you can pack, they can do the lifting and moving, and then you can unpack.

I know they get a bad rap for being expensive but I prefer the big companies, to be honest, as their quotes are at least accurate and what they quote is what they charge. We once hired a smaller removals company who seemed way cheaper as they charged by the hour and quoted how long it would take.  They ended up sending 2 men instead of 3, with a van too small to do the move in one trip, so 4 trips later, they had clocked up enough hours to send the bill way over the quote of the rival larger company.

The best thing to do is to get quotes from several people, from the big guns to the hire of a van and then consider the time and effort taken to move.