After having done the house shifting four times in a span of 6 years, now I think I have enough material to document my experiences.
First part of the journey is when things are new and you have just started in life – with two suitcases and a handbag J. Things are quite simple then. Then as you start living on your own, you realize that there are some basic things which you need to have. At that point, there comes the cot, mattress, blanket and a pair of table and chair.
Next you decide that you are bored and a television would be quite a companion.If you are a book lover like me, then you have to buy books too (some lucky ones are saved if they live at a place where there is a lending library in the neighborhood)!
Well, it’s been six months and you have a need to change the house in the same city (some of the reasons may be – you don’t like the house where you are living or the owner wants to increase the rent and you find it out of your budget or you want to join some other friends or you get married or you want to be nearer to the office to save commuting-time. Many more reasons can be listed but these summarize most of the cases).
So the process starts from putting up an advertisement on the office bulletin board – specifically if you are a software professional. You find a house. Now the shifting – since you have accumulated a few worldly possessions, you need a carrier vehicle – just because you own a big thing – a cot! Otherwise two trips by an auto-rickshaw would have been sufficient.
Now you stay in that house for a slightly longer time – say two years, and then you again need to shift – for any of the reasons already stated above.
You realize that by now you have more than two suitcases, a bag, a cot (along with bedding), a table – chair pair and a television. When did you buy those many clothes? When did you buy the keyboard, the mixer-grinder, those many books and above all the refrigerator? You have no idea till the day you are supposed to change the house – how you accumulated all this stuff!
So now without further ado, let’s start with the process of shifting.
The easiest option is – take the services of professional movers and packers. They will take care of packing, moving and unpacking. So all you have to do is to rake out some moolah and viola, the work is done in less time than in which you would have watched an IPL T-20 cricket match!
But if you are a believer of “the best work is done when you do it yourself”, then you have to bear the burden of your beliefs!
But it is not that daunting a task as it looks in the beginning – if – and that is a big “IF” – you are shifting within the same city. Else the first option is the best.
The key is to have the right equipments. The basic things needed are:
1) 6-7 cartons – you can check with the local kabadiwaala or some grocery shops.
2) 2-3 rolls of Packaging (brown) tapes and plastic ropes for sealing and tying the cartons.
3) A pair of scissors, marker pen and may be some labels.
Now you can start. Group your stuff in the categories listed below –
2) Books and CDs/DVDs
4) Small Electronic items like iron, mp3 player, tape etc.
5) Big items like refrigerator, television, dvd player, mixer-grinder.
6) Bathroom items (bucket, mug, bath stool, toothbrush etc.)
7) Kitchen items (utensils, cylinder, stove)
Girls have to take care of two additional categories:
8) Bags and purses
Keep a supply of cool water/soft drinks and some snacks nearby. Play some good music and start.
Take one category and begin. I found the clothes to be the most difficult part but I guess that is the best time to get rid of the stuff which has just been eating the space in your cupboard. [That is what the movers/packers cannot do for you!].
You should tackle the kitchen in the end because you would need to eat until the day you really need to shift.
So first sort out what you need to take with you and what you can dispose.
Then simply put them in the cartons which you prepared for them. Seal, label (category), tie and keep aside.
Don’t forget to number each of them with the marker that we kept for this purpose.
Also, on a notepad, keep a note of the number of boxes, suitcases, bags etc.
You can keep the important things like papers, precious jewellery etc. in one of the suitcases that you have (remember?) and lock it. Keep that with you while the rest of the things can be put into the carrier vehicle, which you would hire to transport them to the new destination.
Tata Ace is quite a good vehicle for this purpose. Unless of course you also own a big dining table (these days you also get the folding small dining tables too which are convenient for nomads J) or a non-dismantle-able double-bed.
After everything is ready, you need to hire a vehicle for transportation. For that you would need to check with local shopkeepers who get the delivery of goods to their shops by these carrier vehicle drivers.
Some of the drivers are smart to put up their contact numbers on the vehicle so that one can note it down even if the vehicle has merely passed by you sometime. Then you can call and fix the rate. The driver can also arrange for one or two laborers who can load and unload the cartons and other things.
An important thing to take care is to
Then after reaching the destination, comes the part of unpacking. So now, you have to start the reverse procedure at the destination, which you did at the source. Kitchen first and then the rest of the things. After all, the ancient wisdom says “one cannot meditate on an empty stomach”.
Lazy people work hard (Oxymoron?) so that they can buy themselves a home. They do not have the good luck of enjoying the adventurous nomadic existence J.
[The rest don’t simply have the money to buy a shanty – leave alone a house!]