We shifted our house this weekend. And like any other experience, I have all the wisdom now that I would have needed then. Well, it may be useful the next time I make a shift. But for now, let me jot them down. I hope that someone planning a shift will have a look at it and will have something to gain.
Packers and Movers
For one, don't hire shady packers and movers. We hired someone called T.T. Transport in R. T. Nagar. They charged us a modest Rs. 2500/-, which was cheap I hear. But in return, we got an aweful service. Four starving drunkards who evoked no confidence in their strength or integrity arrived late on Saturday morning. They didn't understand our language. They didn't have the necessary patience to listen to our directions (which gradually turned into desperate pleadings). Everytime they would say, 'tension nakko. damage kya bhi nahi hota saab!' (means 'Don't worry, there won't be any damage, sir!' in a wierd sort of a way). They didn't have the necessary skill or tools to move things without damaging them. They broke an expensive cot, our washing machine. And created dents in our almirah. As far as now, we haven't discovered any thefts. So, I can't raise any warnings in that track.
Packing and moving is an integral part of the shifting. And one can't take it lightly. Spend money. Don't settle for shoddy service. Take feedback from your friends and hire only those of whom you hear words of appreciation from past customers. Even after all this, take precaution to prevent them from damaging your belongings. For instance, we now realise that we should have called the Godrej guys to get the cot dismantled properly. It would have costed us some money. But damages to expensive belongings leaves scars on your heart that ache each time you see those damages (because they are not always completely repairable).
Knowing the Destination
If possible, visit the destination house many times over. Learn about it intimately. Here's a checklist
This will be needed to determine which major furniture goes where. And it will be critical in many of innumerable decisions to be taken post-shifting.
Just as you need to find out where the big things go, similarly, you must find out where the small ones go. Do it in chunks by knowing where and how much you have got space to stuff things. Create a map between the source and destination storage units. Pack things in accordance to those.
Condition of all the accessories
Check if all taps give out water; and check if all drains are functional.
plug-points, geysers, fans, lights, switches. All the doors. See if the bolts and locks and keys are in place.
Try figuring out where you are going to place your electrical appliances. Find out if there are plug-points within acceptable distance. Find out if the plug-points have current ratings necessary to drive the appliances you are planning to connect to it. Similarly for TV and phone which require connection lines to pulled to them, give a thought as to how you will do that. For instance, if the cable TV output is given on one wall, and you have decided to place your TV on the opposite wall, it will mean that a long wire has to be pulled across the room. Similarly, if you have decided to place your landline phone at a point, figure out where the telephone wires come from and how you are going make them reach that point.
Packing, Labelling, Tagging
Each unit of storage should be stuffed into one single unit of moving. This means that articles belonging to one cupboard should go into one carton.
Fragile items should be tagged appropriately.
Get plenty of cartons: We are a family of two adults and an infant. We have made a shift from a two bedroom house to another of similar measurements. We used close to 30 cartons to pack our stuff.