To my regular readers – sorry for this not-so-relative post. This was something I’d been putting off writing, as I thought it would be a tad boring, yet I couldn’t find much information on the topic when I needed it. We’ll resume regular programming later on this week!
If you moved from Australia or New Zealand to London and managed to not accumulate a bunch of needless, yet somehow sentimental crap – well, I salute you. Because, I somehow did. Through the purchasing of excessive souvenirs, clothes and books, I managed to hoard what ended up being seven boxes worth of crap. And that was after rounding up my possessions and donating a box of books and DVDs to the local library. I have a problem.
Being somewhat emotionally attached to my books, wardrobe and relics from my travels, I needed to get them from point A to point B. That being London, to Newcastle in Australia. I had no idea how I was going to do it, without it costing the earth or losing my mind.
There are plenty of services online who will offer to ship your stuff home, but I was dubious when it came to making a choice. I didn’t want to pay out the nose for it, but I still wanted to go with a company who was reputable and wouldn’t break the unicorn bust I’d bought in Brighton that I was really attached to.
After asking friends, reading reviews online and doing some phoning around, I ended up settling on Kiwi Movers. If I couldn’t have an Australian company I’d take a Kiwi one, because both countries have an excellent work ethic and Kiwis are pretty much Australians anyway, at least according to the rest of the world.
In theory, the process was going to be simple. We had to move out of our flat on a Saturday. Kiwi Movers organised for my boxes to be picked up on Thursday. I was working up until Monday evening, so I had Tuesday and Wednesday to pack up my stuff, in time for it to picked up and shipped to Australia. Easy, no?
Of course, it is the best laid plans that often fall to pieces. Kiwi Movers had offered to send me some boxes, but also advised that I could get them much cheaper from an online shop, Removal Boxes UK. Where the boxes were concerned, I was happy to penny pinch, because they were just bits of cardboard, after all. So, I ordered what I thought I’d need. They would be delivered Wednesday morning – perfect! I sorted my stuff into piles and waited for the boxes to be delivered.
And waited. And waited. As you see – the boxes were being delivered by Yodel, a company in the UK. If you are British or have spent anytime living in this part of the world, you may have involuntarily shivered whilst reading the previous sentence. Yodel are notoriously bad. They have one job – to get stuff delivered from point A, to point B and they routinely fail miserably at it. When I’d seen their name come up as the delivery service, my heart had sunk. I convinced myself that it was a simple task – I would be at home, waiting so what could go wrong? Everything, apparently.
Long story short, the boxes never came, even after I received a text saying they had been delivered. I ended up giving up at around 5pm (four hours after they’d allegedly arrived) and running down to a local storage facility to buy boxes off them. Removal Boxes UK were fantastic and refunded my purchase immediately. Yodel were less fantastic, finally getting onto the driver several hours after I’d solved the issue, to say that the boxes had been delivered to my address and a “blonde, British girl had answered the door.” I am a brunette Australian and can safely say that the doorbell was never rung.
The mystery was solved days later, when a very confused girl from three doors down came to our front door, freshly back from a holiday. The boxes had been left on her front porch. Her house number was 59. We were 53. I can’t say those numbers are easily confused… and the boxes were supposed to be signed for. Cheers, Yodel.
Related: Two Years in London
Anyway, I managed to source the boxes and had them packed and sealed by that evening. Kiwi Movers had been very helpful as well, offering to arrive with boxes the next day. It would have been possible to pack them the next morning, but also very upsetting. It had taken me two hours, a box of fried chicken and several episodes of “First Dates UK” to get them done as it was.
One very Kiwi mover arrived the next morning, at 9am on the dot (good thing I was up and showered!). He carefully packed all my stuff into the van and off went my boxes. I was reunited with them two months later, after paying a $170 AU “admin” fee to Australian customs to have them released. I didn’t consider that to be a waste of money, at all. (Eye roll).
I paid around £240 to have the seven boxes shipped home, including the insurance. I had some breakable stuff that I was sending back and am emotionally invested in my clothes. But hey – some are heirlooms – I wear a leather jacket that my mother rocked in the 80s and a faux fur coat that my Nanna brought to Australia from the UK, which she’d had for forever. Can’t put a price on that stuff.
Overall, I was very satisfied with the level of service provided by Kiwi Movers. They were professional, affordable and they got my stuff to me in one piece, which is all I could have asked for, in the end.
Note: This is not a sponsored post, I paid for this service out of my pocket. If I had to ship stuff from London to Australia again, I would use Kiwi Movers or perhaps just not buy so much needless crap the next time around.
Are you an Antipodean, living in London and thinking of heading home at some point? Pin this post for future reference!