Not totally sure where to start...so we'll try the beginning and see how that works out.
While I have lived in 9 houses in the last 10 years only 3 of the moves were organised by TOLL. I am not getting into a discussion on their competence or that of the removalists or of DHA for that matter, as this post will never end. It would be like the song that never ends, but be the post that never ends..... You're so totally singing that song now aren't you?!
OK so the rules are you pack your clothes and personal items only, as everything else must be packed and unpacked by the removalists in order for damages to be claimed. Yes you will have damages, it is inevitable. BUT I have found that you don't need to claim for damages if you pack stuff yourself as usually they don't end up being the stuff that gets damaged, funny that. I always pack my books due to damage to one, ie. a book cover pretty much being torn off during our first move. Totally not cool.
I'm not going to go into the 'what happens during a move' as that is all in the relocation pack. Seriously READ IT. COVER TO COVER. EVERYTHING is in there. You have NO excuse for complaining that you were never told that they are supposed to take the beds apart and put them back together, or that you have to dismantle flat pack furniture yourself. All of this is in the pages of the relocation booklet. Biggest pet hate is reading complaints from people saying "oh it would be nice if they told us that!" They do tell you. In black and white.
So what I am going to post is my own personal lessons learned during our movements. (take note of the bold italic words this is purely based on my moves) Things could very well be different for different people.
So Lesson One. - Removalists are not your friends.
As awesome as you think your removalists are on the day. They are not. They may seem fast, efficient, friendly even. Having a chat, even a joke - like handing me my broom asking if I need it now that the Autotrans took my car on the truck.
But when you get to the other end and you are looking for the Austar box and can't find it in any of the boxes marked loungeroom you start searching all the other boxes and find it in the last box you look in marked linen, it's not cool. Or when you find on delivery they are moving so fast bringing the chest of drawers in and carrying it a certain way then strategically place PBO boxes around it so as to hide the giant bit of wood chipped off the bottom that you don't notice till after they have gone and you are unpacking said PBO boxes. Not to mention finding a computer tower in a box that was almost completely busted up and it not being written anywhere on the box what was actually in it and the paperwork stated 'misc.'
They are not your friends and they do not care about your belongings....watch them like a hawk as much as you can....and tell them NO if you see them doing something they shouldn't or you don't want them to do, don't let them intimidate you!
Which brings me to Lesson Two. - Do not let the removalists intimidate you.
No matter how much they try to be 'efficent' and get your stuff into your new house in a hurry. Don't let them rush you. If they call out a number and you don't hear them, tell them to stop and repeat it. And make sure you examine said box or piece of furniture before it goes in the house. Yes it sounds like commonsense to do this but I promise you things move so quickly on the delivery day all previous plans of how things will go totally fly out the window. You have TOLL and the DRHM turn up to see 'how things are going' trying to talk to you at the same time that you are trying to listen to the removalists call out numbers for you to check off some where on the 10 pages of paperwork. It is a freaking nightmare! oh and make sure you sort out which room is which and get them to say what room it say on the box ie. bed 2 or bed 3. etc not just what is in it ie. toys. pretty much all the kids stuff ended up in one bedroom because they just kept saying 'toys' and my eldest 2 boys really don't have any toys so I assumed it was all from the youngests room yet what did end up in the eldests rooms were wrong. I had to move about 10 boxes from one room to the other.
Lesson Three. - You choose what day date you want your car.
Last time we moved thousands of kms we made a holiday of it driving over the 2 weeks and only arrived into town 2 days before we were having our furniture and my car delivered, so was not an issue then. This time though my husband was already in the new location. (another story for the day I decide to share a little about myself :P) So I did all the move myself with the kids and we flew up as there was no way I was driving thousands of kms with kids alone. So my car gets picked up by the Auto removals guy and he tells me that even if the car arrives into location a week earlier it will sit in their lot for a week until the delivery date on the paperwork! This was unacceptable to me as I desperately needed my car as while in temporary accommodation for 12 days the husband still had to work and the kids had to go to school. Our accommodation was in town. In order to be able to have the husbands car for the day I had to drive him to work at the ungodly hour of before 7am. Base was 15 minutes away, then come back to motel get the kids ready for school and take them them to said school which was 25mins away. And then in the afternoons pick them all up again. Doesn't sound so bad i hear you say, what are you complaining about....Well my car is an awesome little car my husbands car is a tank! Well it might as well be....I HATE driving it! Anyways! back to the the car delivery, I kept ringing to see where my car was after 4 days it was still only half way, then 2 days later it was in location BUT delivery was not due for another week so they wouldn't let me get it without TOLL telling them I could. uh ex.cu.se. ME! pfft! not a happy camper as that said day I had a job to do which meant multiple times getting in and out of the car in a short period of time not to mention trying to park the damn tank in the streets. LUCKILY! I had an amazing TOLL case manager that after the initial phone call telling her my drama etc she had my car released and able to be picked up within 3 hours! I have always loved my car. But that week of driving a tank, well it gave me a whole new appreciation for my little car and I don't even care that I will soon have teenagers and that the little car maybe too small for them all to fit in comfortably eventually.... I don't even care! I am keeping this car FOR.E.V.E.R!
SO! morale of the story, if you are like me and can't live without your car, you write on the paperwork what date you would like your car delivered as TOLL will just put the same date as your furniture and effects delivery.
OK I think that is enough for one post! only 3 lessons......for now....don't want to overload you all...or scare all the posting virgins. They may not seem like much but they are just the things that I have realised from this posting which also refreshed some from the ones 3 years ago to and will have me make changes to the way things are done at the next one.
If you have questions about removals stuff just ask in the comments section....and I'll try and help where I can!