The house is almost unpacked (though now requires re-arranging o.O) and there is time to reflect on the experience of moving and, in general, the last couple of weeks. I have a couple of tips to share, in no particular order or logic 🙂
I’ll start with shipping. When we were moving, we discovered that physically moving stuff is an expensive business, no matter the distance (I can’t imagine how people move their stuff across oceans). It’s also confusing – there seemed to be no straightforward and reasonably priced companies, everybody wanted to give us quotes, for which we had to contact them and give them a long list of personal info, etc etc. Common. If a business does not openly publish their price list on the web site, with a few exceptions, this is a bad sign. Also why should I be taking so many steps to pay someone so much money?
We thought of various crazy, time and energy intensive schemes to avoid paying the money that we were quoted for. My idea was to leave most of the stuff behind and lock it in the storage, then get rid of it, once the sentimental link was severed. My husband planned to drive a van with our stuff to the Netherlands, then drive it back to the UK (question – why is there no rent-a-van service where you could start in the UK and return a van in Europe, or the other way around? A business idea, possibly?)
Anyway, thanks to the collective wisdom of Internet and Google (again!) I discovered Shiply. It’s like ebay but for shipping. We placed an ad, got several bids within a day or two and found a great small company which shipped everything for us at the same price it would have taken us on our own, minus the stress and excessive driving. They were flexible, friendly, professional and techy (tracking service in particular impressed).
So thanks to these guys, our stuff was shipped from London to Volendam in 8 hours. Goodbye, boxes. Hello, boxes! And then the unpacking hell begins…