No one knows the removals business in Britain quite like Phil, the White Van Man (WVM). Phil Sharp is a specialist mover to Greece, based on a customer pre-packing themselves, ready for pick up and transportation in WVM special containerised type vans.
A lot of removal companies supply you with a template inventory. It is in both your best interest and the interest of the removals firm if you fill this list in, with as much detail of your household items, as you can. Not only does it help in terms of getting a removals quote together, but will also help when you come to unpacking your boxes at journeys end, such as in Crete or other parts of Greece.
Always remain in continuous communication with your removal company, especially if your load size changes, as this can have serious implications for all involved! For example, if when you are packing up, you realise that you will have 40 boxes and not the 15 you were originally quoted for, then let the movers know as early as possible beforehand. Don't wait until the day of pick up/collection.
Now cop this: Bubble Wrap should become your "new best friend"! You can never have too much bubble wrap, I mean this seriously. Use bubble wrap for smaller breakable items such as: any glassware, porcelain plates, flower vases, family heirlooms, etc but also use it to protect tabletops and arms and corners of dining chairs, doors of glass cabinets, and so on.
Do not overfill boxes, you would be better off to have several little boxes rather than one large heavy box. Equally, don't under fill boxes as this will make them difficult to stack. Pad out boxes with sheets or pillows, towelling or bubble wrap! Try also to pack boxes with even weight distribution, not top heavy, for example.
Make sure that you label all your items/pieces of furniture :
- with your name (Mr & Mrs Jon Smith)
- at least your destination (Mr & Mrs Jon Smith - Sissi)
- include your destination phone number as well (Mr & Mrs Jon Smith - Sissi , Tel: 28410-12345).
- If you have written out an inventory list, it is an idea to number your items to correspond with your inventory for ease of unloading.
Now here's a really useful tip: add to your labels which room each box has to go, it will make unpacking a lot quicker: (Mr & Mrs Jon Smith - Sissi , Tel: 28410-12345 Item:0211/1 of 3/ Bathroom)
i. Make sure that you supply relevant and working .. repeat ... working, phone numbers for collection and delivery of your household belongings.
ii. Ask your removal company for a telephone number of their driver (i.e. the driver's mobile phone) that you can keep you in touch with the driver directly, ensuring coordinated delivery and can keep track of your belongings and trace progress.
Aim to be flexible when it comes to your delivery. Very few removal companies can pin point the exact minute that your removal van load will arrive but most should be able to give you a day, just make sure that you leave that day free.
But how much, depends on how You handle it! Don't Stress yourself out. Moving is a serious business. It is regarded as one of the most stressful of happenings. It is bad enough making a move within your home country but when it a case of moving abroad, away from family and close friends it can be even more trying on the nerves. There will always be something to panic about, so stop looking for it and look forward to your new life instead.
A word about neighbours at your destination. At a time like this, to have friendly folk around, within your new village or close by can be a tremendous calmer of your nerves. They may offer to help with the unloading, or even meeting removers on your behalf etc, but small gestures such as supplying cups of tea or coffee (or a beer for the driver!!!) at the right moment can be a godsend. Getting to know neighbours in advance of your arrival should be a key objective in any move abroad. It really helps in the final leg of a seamless relocation journey.
Most importantly when choosing a company to move your worldly belongings abroad, is to choose a company you know and trust. The best way to do this is to go by others' recommendations. Ask other Ex-Pats in your new area or ask advice from members in online community forums, such as the Brits in Crete forum in the case of moving to your new home in Greece.
Above: Surveying the welcoming site of the Xerokambos/Xerokampos (ΞΕΡΟΚΑΜΠΟΣ) area of Southeastern Crete, overlooking the Libyan Sea.