Tips from a multi country mover

Today I reached the bottom of the boxes labelled ‘Kitchen’, ‘Kit’ or tick box picture of an oven. Lets be clear there are still many many many boxes in all other areas of the house – ‘Mstr Bed’ for instance is filled with them and ‘Playrm’ gets interest from a wide variety of parties and strewn a bit further round the house each day. ‘Dining Rm’ or picture of a knife, fork and plate are stacked on the table in that room because I can’t bear to get too close due to the terrible light fitting adorning that particular location.

There is much left to be done.

It is four days since the big rig pulled up outside our new location and I had a discussion with the movers about how long it took to unload a 40 foot container. On the day they told me 6-8 hours, I think the real answer might be forever.

Even though this is officially our fourth country of residence I am still making rookie errors and so I am going to write them down and share them with you, that way I can refer to them next time we move. I can’t write that last bit without wincing as today I declared I never want to move again.

Anyway – while its still fresh in my mind, traps for young players and things you may expect someone on their fourth country move may NOT do.

– Do NOT move into a new house during school holidays, any unpacking continuity at all is lost in the various requirements of small people who would be much better served being in a classroom. (this tip of course only applies to those with school age children)

– It is worth the extra effort of supervising packers if you can before you move, if you are lucky enough to have packers that is, if you don’t move on to next tip. While I am pleased to report none of our boxes had any ants in them after four weeks at sea and fumigation by the USA Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, we probably did not need to pack every one of our ant traps from Durban (hint – they leak when not placed on a flat surface, only of course if they were in use in your previous location)

– The crap drawer in the kitchen is full of crap, I suggest binning the whole thing if you aren’t a super organised labeller who has everything in ziploc bags.

– Related to tips above, don’t pack a huge ziploc bag labelled ‘Used Batteries’

– 3/4 burned down candles can probably also be left behind

– If you don’t know what something is for, perhaps don’t pack it ‘just in case’

– Try not to move with a husband who is working from home and pops his head up every now and then to check on the progress and look slightly disappointed that the whole thing is not yet completed after he last checked an hour ago

– If you’ve moved something from one country to the next and didn’t use it, its very likely you shouldn’t take it to a third country where it won’t be used – unless of course it is part of your extensive collection of powerboards and plug devices. A sub-tip here for those moving from South Africa – there are no plugs anywhere else in the world that convert ‘from SA to …’

– Related to above, you don’t need Take Away menus from any country you don’t live in anymore.

– The things you want to break and replace will not. Yes, I am speaking of the dip’n’chip bowl that Sam K and Anthony S gifted me for my 21st birthday and I am still moving with me. The things that you don’t want to break / chip / become damaged will be broken – such as a wedding gift from your bridesmaid’s father/husband’s godfather.

– Related to everything above, you may not find out you are a hoarder until you move countries, again and then again.

Just the kitchen boxes – tomorrow’s job to empty them and fold to make way for the rest

That’s it for tonight’s wisdom I have to dash off and catch the delayed Olympic coverage that NBC is sharing with the US public six hours after the events – and I thought I was moving to a first world country.


4 responses to “Tips from a multi country mover

  1. I also stared at a chip ‘n dip bowl and wondered why the hell I shipped it. And the exercise bike.

  2. happyhomemakeruk

    Not a continent, but Atlanta starts with an A 🙂 When I told a military mom we were moving to England, she said we were lucky because it is one of the best ports – i.e. nothing stolen from the container. In your moves, have you ever had a problem?

    • Australia to HK to Africa to the US – we have had plenty of problems but never anything gone missing. Luckily (touch wood) have heard the stories but haven’t felt the pain. Although sometimes I think it would be better if the container just fell overboard & we have to start again, then I shake myself & realise that just isn’t true.

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