OMG!! It’s been ages since I wrote anything here!! I missed you loyal readers! (yup, all 5 of you. :P)
The past few weeks have been a hectic blur. Since the last time I wrote on this blog, we had successfully hauled our asses out of Subic, squatted in our friends’ lovely home for a month (Thank you again Kuya Don and Margaux!) and have finally settled into our half-way house.
I’m writing this post on the practical part of my blog – so I will try as much as I can to keep the jibberish hirits to a minimum and focus on the pragmatic tips I got from the experience.
I’m hoping that I could tackle 2 topics in this series: Hiring Professional Movers, Hiring Professional Cleaners
ON HIRING PROFESSIONAL MOVERS
Okay, I can feel my dad’s kuripot soul shaking his head in disapproval. We know it was going to be hella expensive to hire professionals, but we literally had no energy left to do the mental and manual labour needed for packing. So to keep our sanity intact, we felt that we needed to splurge on this.
We ended up getting Safehouse Storage because they received glowing reviews from a friend. (shout out to Jo!)
Safehouse Storage is pretty much a one-stop shop for moving. They rent out storage facilities as their main business, but you can hire them to do anything moving- related- from packing, to transporting to storing and even to unpacking if needed (yes, fellow sloths, there is such a service).
Transacting with their main guy, Mel was pretty easy enough. He responded to my text message within the day, scheduled a trip to Subic so he can survey our stuff and gave us a quote right after the visit.
When they got to our place the morning of the move they were all pimped up with packing gear – they had giant rolls of bubble wrap, loads packing tape– everything that would send Monica Gellar’s heart aflutter.
BUT, I have to note though, that it wasn’t the stress-free dream that I expected. There were some missteps made along the way- both on our end on Safehouse’s. Will discuss both in objective detail.
Trucking issues – Before they even got to our house, they were delayed around 40 minutes or so because their truck broke down. Most of their team came on a separate service, so the delay in packing wasn’t significant. Their truck only arrived after lunch though, so some of the bigger items couldn’t be hauled inside until then. I think this partly contributed to the chaos that ensued after…
Storage Miscalculation – To be totally fair to Mel, he already warned me during his initial survey that there might be a possibility that our refrigerator will not fit in their truck because we had a lot of bulky furniture.
BUT he did promise me that everything else in the house would without problem. He also assured me that they were going to bring a service van for their people and we could load some of the smaller items there. (He even said in a later message, that given that they were going to bring an extra van, he was pretty confident that we could take actually take refrigerator along with us.)
That was a total miscalculation. Not only was the truck filled to the brim, they barely had enough space in the second service to fit all of the workers in, let alone our stuff. We ended up leaving not just the refrigerator but 2 sofa beds and some of Moe’s workout gear.
He also underestimated the number of boxes they would need for the move. (Yes, the movers actually ran out of boxes. It’s just like that time Jollibee ran out of chicken joy.) It was pretty nerve-wracking.
Haphazard packing – Their team started packing away our things in a meticulous manner. But as the day wore on and it was evident that they were running out of boxes, they started becoming more and more careless.
They would combine food with other decorations for instance. And would not properly seal boxes. They also didn’t bother packing away certain sturdier items and would just stuff them in the van.
They almost left our huge- ass pinterest-inspired picture frame (which I totally slaved over – Okay fine. Which Mang Lito totally slaved over ) and a bunch of my formal dresses.
What’s worse- they left without preamble. Didn’t bother checking the cabinets for missed items, didn’t bother waiting for us while we checked all the rooms. Moe, Manang and I had to run through all the rooms ourselves while their truck and van sped off..
Turns out, when we opened one of the kitchen cabinets, they had totally forgotten all of our pots and pans! (I knew the breakfast I served them wasn’t exactly to their liking, but dude… )
Since our own sedan was filled to the brim as well, I had to call them to haul their asses back to get them.
AND since they had run out of boxes, the pans and the dresses were not even packed properly. They literally just dumped the pans into one of the open boxes and one of them had to carry my dresses from Manila to Subic!
I had previously explained to Melchor that we were leaving all of this stuff in a rental that was still currently being renovated and we needed to seal the boxes properly. So for them to be haphazard about the packing was pretty much a big deal.
Ofcourse, I have to admit that it wasn’t totally just Safehouse’s booboos that made the move a little bit more stressful, in all honesty, Moe and I could have handled the move much better.
ON OUR ROOKIE MISTAKES
Not prioritizing– To be honest, Safehouse’s life would have been much easier if we had bothered to at least sort through the things that needed to be packed. But knowing that we hired professional packers made us lazy (or lazier).
In hindsight, knowing that there was a possibility that we might leave stuff, we should have prioritized what we really wanted to take with us and what we were okay to leave behind.
For instance, our 3 year-old ref was not in the best shape, but it was certainly more valuable than our huge plastic trash bin or a box full of hangers.
We could have also opted to leave behind Moe’s 6-year old broken TV and his ugly black chrome TV console (which by the way he isn’t even using anymore- he opted to steal my zebra table. HUMPH).
I should have insisted on a run through of the house before they started packing and should have directed their efforts more closely.
Taking manang’s stuff for granted – When Manang came to live with us, she only had one medium-sized bag with her and one itty-bitty purse. So I figured, you know what, even if you take into account all the linen and other personal effects we gave her, everything would probably fit into 3 or 4 big bags.
Little did we know that our frail manang had hoarder tendencies and was pretty much a shopaholic.
When we asked her to get her things from her room – She ended up giving us 8 supersized bags!! WTH right?
Anyway, moral of the story: We should have done a more thorough run through when Melchor did his survey. Lesson learned the hard way.
Hiring a separate truck – Safehouse only had one truck – a 6 wheeler. When we moved to Subic, my favorite uncle (Hi Papa Sibot!) hooked us up with a 10-wheeler truck. And we had less stuff then. Granted, we only filled half of the van, but still, hiring a bigger truck would have saved us a lot of grief.
We should have gone through the trouble of coordinating with 2 suppliers (Safehouse for packing, and another truck for transporting) instead of just praying a hail mary that everything would fit in one trip. Not very smart in hindsight.
So if I had to do it all over again, would we hire professional movers?
HELL YES. This is so duh, that I won’t even elaborate.
Would we hire Safehouse Storage again though? Probably. They had their mishaps sure, but I inquired with other professional movers, and they had the cheapest quote and were the easiest to communicate with. Plus, like I said, maybe things would have been easier if I made sure their efforts were more directed. So they’re worth a second chance I think.
Anyway, for brevity’s sake, will sum up this lengthy blog to 5 parting lessons:
- Hire professional movers
- Assess all the things you would need to move thoroughly
- (In the words my Assumptionista alter-ego) Be hands on; make mando
- Hire separate suppliers for packing and transporting if needed.
Hope you learned something guys! Will discuss more experiences and lessons that we learned in my next entry. 🙂