Packing and stacking, be prepared

As we all know flats in London are often slightly strapped for storage space. This shortage lends itself to the opportunity  of maintaining a’streamline’ approach and living a minimalist life.. well apparently not. After 3 years in the Mighty mezzanine the amount of sh*t that we had managed to collect was quite remarkable. The time had come not just move out but to move across the world. It was time to get ruthless.

So what were the nuggets we’ve taken note of for if we were to make another move around the world? I write this post as much as a reminder for ourselves as well as for any other potential re-location-ists among you out there..

  • Will it stay or will it go?

What do you need to take with you? Are you going minimalist just with your suitcase allowance ready to buy the rest out there or are some larger items going to join you in  a sea or air freight? This will all depend on the extent of your move, the potential allowance from your company and the set up of the housing of wherever you’re headed – furnished/unfurnished.

If like us in NZ, the rental properties come mostly unfurnished, it’s all very well packing up your bed into the sea freight but what are you going to sleep on when you get your new house? You’ll probably end up having to buy another temporary bed, duvet, another TV, etc… Plan what you’ll need straightaway and what are happy to wait for.

For us we booked a section of space within a sea freight pallet.While we didn’t own huge amounts of furniture we had enough items that we wanted to bring such as bikes, golf clubs, much of our clothing, kitchen items, some side tables etc.  While sea freight was the cheaper option by a considerable margin, it is worth factoring in the timings. 5 weeks after packing day and we have just heard that it has left the UK due to arrive by 16th October – total timings about 12 weeks and they do manage expectations saying it’ll take 8-12 weeks. Air freight is obviously much quicker with delivery in days rather than months! Get a range of quotes and make sure you read the small print for what services they offer.

  • The ‘No Progress’ despite having done so much Point

We’ve all been there. Whether its moving house, doing a mass clear out or getting some wok done on your house. You’ve dedicated a good few hours/days/weeks to the project and it doesn’t look any different from the kick off, or more often than not the level of mess has only increased with time . In my case the mounds of ‘stuff’ for the tip were not getting any lower, the flat didn’t look any emptier..SO MUCH STUFF! It’s at this point you have to have a little word with yourself and remember all those times that you’ve been in this position. Trust your memory of experiences and accept that although it feels like a nightmare, it will all get done. Break it down into small sections and avoid the overwhelming freak out!

Packing from Sarah Gray on Vimeo.

  • If you are a ‘LastMinute.com’ try to give yourself a false deadline

The final stages of packing up our flat could have been a lot less stressful and slightly more organised if we’d turned on the pressure a bit earlier. This is hard when you’re one those sorts who likes to work right to the bone. In our case it resulted in a hungover Saturday morning with a inventory checkout lady arriving early while we were still trying to get rid of stuff, finalise the sale of a car and work out all the final paperwork we needed to sort. It was unnecessarily hectic and resulted in one bag of key documents being chucked into the recycling bins which we were then locked out of… crisis was averted and of course it all worked out but there were definitely other ways of getting it all sorted while getting a few less grey hairs.

  •  If you’re wanting to sell, be organised

Gumtree, Ebay – all the tools are there to make a bit of pocket money selling all those items that are in working condition. A quick image and description and you’re done. Alternatively if you have lots of working items that probably aren’t quite fit for sale or even worth it like, well used toaster, kettle, books etc why not have a house drinks party where people/friends can come and take the items that they might need. Better than chucking them at the tip which I am sad to say happened to a lot of our items and it made me feel bad! Give yourself time to do all this as it always takes longer than you think.

Some bits can go to charity shops but sometimes they reject things that they have too much of. Books being one of these, however I found this great site, We Buy Any Books that pays you small amounts for used books, DVDs and CDs. I have used it twice and found the process worked well.

  • Finally…Don’t be a hoarder

I suppose the moral of this to us all is to hoard less, be ruthless and have mini clear outs more often rather than leaving it to stack up over the years. It is amazing how possible and comfortable it is to live with lesser items and how therapeutic it is having fewer items to cutter. As with all things this is easier said than done and with this in mind, we are now set up in our new New Zealand abode with minimal furniture as we await our shipment and once again we have said that we’re looking forward to a more minimalistic style of living. Deja vu and I am wishing ourselves good luck….

 

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