Sunday, August 31, 2008

Moved in, professionally

Our furniture and household goods ('stuff') came yesterday morning. I think Jen and I are both disappointed with the movers. First they talked about coming Wed, then it slipped to Thur then Fri. We were the absolute last stop on their list, and the first stop. However we had a contract that stated we would receive our stuff no later than Saturday.

Lesson 1: The last day to deliver on the contract is when they will most likely deliver, because they have other contracts with other 'last day to deliver' (Or whatever).

Many things got broken. We had to pack essentially everything into small boxes, including things that we would normal stick on a truck as is. The major thing was my mother's lamp, which I had to pack at the last minute without any sort of reinforcement or protection. A real nice ceramic large bowl got broken, as did a champagne flute.

Lesson 2: Pack your stuff as if 500 lbs of boxes will be on top of it, because they were. Also pack it as if they will be tossed around, because they were.

Additionally much of our cheap furniture they disassembled completely, because a) less space and b) it won't hold 500 lb of stuff. We managed to repair (actually our good friend Travis did) almost all of it, but we now realize that particleboard furniture doesn't hold up to professional movers well. On the other hand, the few pieces of solid wood furniture I had, they didn't disassemble, and those were fine. The remainder, that we patched together again, will probably (almost def) not survive another professional move).

Lesson 3: For professional moving, throw away most of your particleboard furniture, it won't survive anyway. (And we did get rid of 3 bookshelves that were in the worst condition, and the 3 bookshelves still have didn't do all that great, so it suggests those 3 left behind would be toast).

Lastly, we're not even sure we got all of our boxes. A box containing coffee cups and plastic mugs is still AWOL. Further, we got two other items that clearly belong to someone else. This is due to the shipping labels being very easy to remove and fall right off. I'm guessing someone has our collection of coffee mugs while we have their inexplicable wood design thing and fairly nice mirror (too bad I'm a vampire).

Lesson 4: Inventory your boxes by yourself, using numbers drawn onto the box. That way there are no surprises. (Incidentally this needs to be done prior to movers arriving).

The other lessons we took to heart is to make sure fragile/expensive things are brought by hand. We took a few nice pictures by hand, if they got destroyed and had to be reframed that would be several hundred dollars. I, inexplicably, moved my fish at great effort/sacrifice (that was a tale in itself). The fish are worth maybe $8. Why did I move a 3 gal. tank full of fish 1300 mi, loading and unloading 3x? Lord knows.

Also be sure you have enough stuff to survive a week without your remaining stuff. We brought a few dishes, silverware, meds, inflatable bed, and two sleeping bags plus pillows. We would have been hard up without these items.

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