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May 17, 2010 | by  | in Opinion |
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How to move flat

The moment you’ve given notice you need to put yourself in the packing mindset. Every cardboard box and plastic bag (especially big black sacks) needs to be accumulated—you’ll need about three more than you thought you did.

Whenever you have a spare moment, either pack some stuff you won’t use till after you move, or tidy your room. Ideally, clean the house and do your jobs as well, so you don’t get stuck with a “but the bathroom and kitchen are still dirty!” as you move your last box out the door.

Before the big day, check out your new flat before you move the stuff in and get a bit of an action plan going. What should be put where? Can you write locations on your boxes, so everyone knows where to put them when unloading? Make sure everyone in both flats is in the loop about when you’ll move. Make sure you are fully packed before the night before.

Movers can be great, but sometimes even taxiing is cheaper. Work out their minimum fee and time, and budget accordingly—generally it’s about $160, which is an hour and a half, so is this two trips or one? How much can you fit in the truck? Is it worth it? Will they pack for you? If you and a friend help them load and unload, you might be able to get all of your stuff moved in one or two truckloads, for the minimum price. Get the most out of them! They don’t need to move your soft toy collection, but they do need to move the fridge. Be explicit about this.

Friends are awesome, but make it worth their while. Petrol vouchers, beer and the all-important free dinner are all great motivators. In this case, do the opposite from the movers—how will moving be most convenient for them? Five loads and three cars? Who’s the strongest? They need to move your soft toy collection, YOU need to move the fridge.

Make sure all the heavy stuff is moved first. People get tired, lazy, and are likely to leave before it’s all done. What’s more, it’s easier to set up your new place when your bed goes in first, as opposed to outside the door because all the boxes have been dumped in the middle of the room.

Don’t be an asshole. Vacuum your room when you leave and make sure it’s clean. Most importantly, give back your keys (legally they can often keep charging you rent if you have keys), say goodbye and give flatmates chocolates/pizza/invites to your flatwarming. Leave on a good note, even if that note is “I now know that we should never live together again, but the pressure is off and it’s over now for both of us.” Regardless of why you moved out, Wellington is a small place, it takes two to argue, and only one to spread rumours to ensure you never find a nice flat again.

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