When it comes to shifting homes, millennials are probably more mobile than any other generation before us. Which is why the services offered by the gazillion odd packers and movers in this country matter.
Shifting home, unless it involves going to the next-door flat, is a dreaded chore. Especially if the move happens to be from one corner of the country to another, in which case it becomes sheer torture.
Vandana, a 26-year-old theatre artist, is a friend of mine who recently moved from Bombay to Delhi. She had to spend her first few days in the city at my house feeling close to bursting a nerve in her head.
“All my stuff was supposed to arrive four days after departure so I made plans accordingly. Then they called to say that the truck has broken down somewhere in Rajasthan and I lived out of my backpack for nine days, three of them in an empty home without even a gadda to sleep on.”
I’ve shifted five cities in the last four years, and in each case the experience has been different. I realised the key to the entire puzzle is the packers and movers.
One company delivered my guitar with a gaping hole the size of a football, while another delivered my potted money plant watered so nicely that it had sprouted new leaves.
So once you are through with basic net research, here are some things to keep in mind while dealing with the gods of packing and moving (henceforth referred to as P&M):
1. Call Them
You can break your head gathering false reassurances from every last P&M on the phone, but the whole thing would be simpler if you just called them home.
Take a day to call all of the shortlisted ones home one by one. Show them what you have and get a more realistic quote (and see if they aren’t con jobs!).
2. Get the Fine Print
And read it too, of course. Once you have the quote, and the date of departure has been finalised, and before you’ve actually begun packing, make sure you’ve got everything on email, if not physical copy.
Go through the break-up of charges, check for clauses to do with delayed delivery, and figure out insurance if moving long distance.
3. Find the Glitch
There will probably be one hidden somewhere in that fine print. Are their costs not included but expected to be paid by you?
In case of outstation shifts, who’s paying the toll on the highways? Are they adding up warehousing costs you don’t necessarily need?
What vehicle will your stuff be transported in? Are they mentioning a bigger truck than you need? Ask away.
4. How Do You Go?
Say you want to go along with your luggage, is that possibility? It is, but you need to clear this out with the P&M beforehand, because it will involve logistical shuffling on the transporter’s part.
5. On D-Day
Be prepared. It’s not your job to keep stretch wrap or cardboard cartons ready, but you might as well find out the closest place you can buy them at the last minute, if need be.
If you have flatmates, great, otherwise call a friend over to monitor the move while you get busy sorting the following point.
6. Keep Your Spirits Up
Despite all the records you keep of all your boxes, no matter how much you colour-code them, things can go wrong. After you have tried your best, the thing to do is get a signed and stamped receipt of everything, and hope for the best.
Oh yes, and remember to keep the transport guy happy – a cup of chai will go a long way in making friends with the man taking your treasures cross-country!
Image Credit: Imagesbazaar