Can I start this post with a plea for help? The last few months have flown by in a whirlwind. Like Empire Records’ Corey Mason, I’ve tried to make the most of the 24 hours that exist in each day. Except I’ve done so without the supplements she was popping, which is probably why I am so tired.
Moving house alone when you’re a busy freelance copywriter is something of a nightmare. With each day that slips by without me grabbing a decent removal quote, the sense of panic builds. Then I delve into a new project and it sort of shifts to one side for a little while, before rearing its ugly head once more while I am trying to sleep. Yet, somehow, even with my own spectacularly clumsy form of organisation I am muddling my way through.
In fact, now that I think about it a little more, I’m doing better at moving house alone than I initially thought. Want to know how to minimise the stress in your own solo housemove efforts? Here we go…
Accept help when it comes your way
From offers of financial assistance to childcare, any help that comes your way is definitely useful. If someone makes an offer that has the potential to alleviate some stress, grab it with both hands and brim with enthusiastic gratitude. On the off chance that someone is free enough to lend a hand with packing, invite them into your (soon-to-be) old home with open arms.
Some of the tasks you may need assistance when when moving house alone include:
- Recycling the junk you don’t need
- Taking old furniture off your hands
- Chipping in with the removal van fees
- Packing boxes
- Lending you their driveway on the big day
- Taking care of your feral child while you drink a bottle of wine and shove items into boxes
Purchase professional packing materials you can rely on
When I worked as cabin crew I used to take bubble wrap on each trip so I could safely transport wine and gin home with me. My personal best involved 12 bottles of Stellenbosch red following a journey to Johannesburg. Against my better judgement, I also smuggled some steak home and put it in the First Class chiller before forgetting about it. Hopefully the cleaners enjoyed my wares.
Anyway, what I’m getting at here is that professional packing materials eliminate several headaches. The boxes are less likely to collapse, the sharpies and labels help you stay organised, and the tape gun is fun to play with (once you figure out how to operate it). And the bubble wrap will prevent breakages that make you cry your eyes out when you reach the other end.
Acknowledge that moving house alone requires intense packing sessions
In an attempt to navigate my way through a combination of lectures and life as a freelance copywriter, I rarely have spare days. Oh, and I also have an incredibly loud 11 year old to care for, whose presence is rarely conducive to completing any task of any kind.
As a result, moving house alone requires me to engage in intense packing sessions. If you see a full day in which you have nothing to do on the horizon, grab it with both hands and dedicate it to packing up your house.
Naturally, not everyone has a full spare day ahead of them. It’s sort of a miracle that I do. If that’s the case, consider fencing off 30 to 60 minutes each day and use them to pack your stuff into neat cardboard boxes. Conservative estimates online state that it takes around four hours to pack a one-bedroom flat. If you’re committed enough, you can finish the job with a daily packing session in as little as one to two weeks.
Get your removal quotes in ASAP
Let’s face it, few of us are experts in what makes for a reasonable removal quote. If you venture to comparison website you may find that the quotes they present feature hefty referral fees, which you’re possibly shouldering. Your other options include seeking out local removers via Yell.com (horrendously difficult when you’re a copywriter in Wales), trawling GumTree for ‘man with a van’ services, and asking your friends.
Regardless of which route you choose, grabbing a quote sooner rather than later will work to your advantage. You may find that some service owners ask what the best quote you’ve received is, before attempting to slide in there with their own generous offering. If that’s the case, ensure they operate with adequate insurance to carry your goods.
As a side note, if you’re supremely organised and you possess the physical strength of Johnny Bravo, you can hire a van and do the work yourself. I fall into neither of those categories, which is why I’m still trying to find removal quotes.
Keep your WiFi running so you can execute your work as a freelance copywriter between packing boxes
Since embarking on my life as a copywriter in Wales eight years ago I’ve discovered the many ways I can use my profession to enjoy a degree of flexibility. From working at the beach while my ferociously loud child attempts to swim over to Devon (seriously, it looks like she’s trying to do that sometimes) to sitting in Starbucks (cliche, I know), I’ve tried it all. I’m also zen enough to work in practically any environment.
Said environments include my front room that features more cardboard boxes than things. As one of those writers who ignores all ergonomic advice in favour of sitting on her couch, I’m content with ditching my desk and tapping away while the boxes pile around me. This really is a case of each to their own here, but I like to alternate between writing for half-an-hour and packing for half-an-hour. In my head, I’m still making money, while adulting on the home removals front.
However you choose to do it, moving house alone isn’t possible. Yes, you’ll feel overwhelmed with the kind of stress levels air traffic controllers usually encounter from time-to-time, but you can do it. Take each day, hour, or moment as it comes if you have to, just strive to get the job done.