Both a rather good song by Supergrass and something in which Louise and I have a fair amount of experience.
Our current abode, our third purchase (alongside five rentals) is the longest we’ve stayed in one place and yes my feet are getting itchy. There is something quite enjoyable about packing your belongings, taking the time to trim them down as much as possible – when packing we hold with the “this has never been used, get rid of it” principle and are prepared to be ruthless and unsentimental, something lacking in our current hoarding house with the big loft – actually seeing everything you’ve got, and reminiscing on where it came from, before stacking it all into boxes to be sealed with the universal standard amount of parcel tape (which as anyone who has moved more than three time know is half a roll per box, “just in case”).
Then you get to stack it all in big piles, and write in big black marker on the boxes. It’s always fun writing in big black PERMANENT marker as it’s like being allowed to daub graffiti, admittedly the content of the graffiti is a little less inspired than “The Dinky rules” and much more functional in it’s slant but artistic license is a wonderful thing. Mind you, explaining to the “man and two lads”, who after gleefully fling your boxes into the back of their van in the presumption they are all filled with towels and who have started to unload at your destination, that the “Food storage and Preparation Area” is the kitchen, and that the box marked “Do not, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE!! open this box!” (underlined three times and with accompanying exclamation marks and squiggles for dramatic effect) does NOT contain any “bottom drawer” items and not to be so silly, does take the shine of it a little.
Drawing willies on the inside labels of the box is also fun. Apparently.
Admittedly it’s much better NOT to do the heavy lifting yourself, and to hire the aforementioned “man and two lads” to do that for you. It’s also highly amusing (or not) when they fail to turn up after the secretary – the wife of the “man” – hasn’t written you up in the book. Mind you, it’s only highly amusing when they DO turn up later that afternoon and spend the next two hours RUNNING back and forth with your precious belongs. Boy did they work for their money that day, I almost gave them a tip (“Never run with scissors or the box with my hi-fi in it”), but decide against it.
Once there, the unpacking can be taken at a more leisurely pace because, of course, you’ve packed the kettle and hot beverage making instruments at the top of a box, and kept toilet paper, bed linen and what not, with you in the car. At the very least you can have a coffee and go to bed. From there on all you need to do is follow a simple rule. Never leave a room empty handed.
The other rule is never unpack what you don’t need; Admittedly, depending on how brutal you are when packing, this might not be an issue, but usually there is a box or two of “stuff” that you can quite happily leave unpacked. We spent two years in one flat with an entire wall of one room consisting of cardboard boxes, when we finally moved we ended up giving most of the stuff to charity. But then we spent five years using Pickfords cardboard wardrobes as permanent fixtures so we may not be the best people to look to for an example.
Ohh and we used Pickfords once when we moved down south as Dr. Solomons were paying for it, they were, apparently, excellent. I have no idea how that move went as I was already in Aylesbury when they came to pack, and I arrived “home” one day to the sight of a large Pickfords van outside our flat which took me by surprise as it wasn’t supposed to be there for another four days. Luckily they had an opening in their schedule, so Louise decide to take it and surprise me. As I’d been down there on my own for a week, sleeping on an inflatable bed, I’m not sure which I was happier to see, my wife or our bed. I’m kidding of course. I was happiest to see our TV.
As prompted by the-recently-moved-anna.