Sun, 23 Apr 2000

Don't be moved to tears: leave it to the professionals ... please!

It's final: you're heading out of Indonesia. Notice of your transfer has been sent in writing to you from your director. Now begins the task of shipping all the possessions you have brought and acquired here. Moving pros Darden Eure and Douglas Slusher from Worldwide Movers can lend more than several helping hands. Behind them is 24 years of moving experience in Indonesia, and, with that, a whole lot of good advice to benefit from. But before you even start thinking about packing, they want to offer a few helpful tips.

1) Know where you are moving to. That may sound simple, but the truth is some people really do not know where they are headed to next. If you are going home or headed to another country, you can count on advice to assist you through every detail of the organization of the move. "Even if you have it narrowed down to two or three destination possibilities, we can still give you an idea of how it will be orchestrated with the household effects that have to go," Eure said. "For Canada or the United States, the procedures for claiming your household effects upon reentry are totally different," he cited as one example. "And if it's to another foreign country, you have to think about what you can and can't ship over in terms of customs regulations. For example, you can't ship any alcohol to Arabian countries," Eure said.

2) Go through your belongings and sort out what you can leave behind and what you want to take with you. Slusher said one woman had stopped a move that was under way because she had not yet gone through the drawers of a particular chest that was to be moved next. "We can predeliver cartons and material for packing up nonessentials to donate to the different women's associations, charity organizations, etc.," Slusher suggested.

3) Do not procrastinate. "It is never ever too early to call the moving company," Slusher said. "When the crisis was going on, people were calling at the last moment to get moved, which was understandable; however, as in previous summers, the moving companies were all booked up. Perhaps people postponed contacting Worldwide Movers thinking their contract was going to be extended. In some cases, they did not know for sure if they were getting transferred or not," he said. Since surveys are free, it is advisable to call up and have someone come over to take a look through your belongings to provide a quick estimate. "These days, e-mails have outdated the telephone, especially in that initial contact to find out more information. But it's good to get a free survey where someone comes over to your house and looks through what you have. It's easy and takes about 20 minutes to an hour, depending on volume, questions, procedures, etc.," Slusher said. They also recommend that if you are moving anything fragile, to leave it for them to move for insurance reasons. "We can arrange insurance on their behalf," Eure said. With 27 years of moving experience under Eure's belt, and Slusher with six, clients can be assured they are getting topnotch service and advice from them. In fact, the only places Eure has not had experience moving people's goods to is the Arctic and Antarctica. Most common destinations are to North America, Europe and Australia, he said. Generally, the removal of all your household effects takes about three days for a 20-foot container, or five days to six days for a 40-foot container. And accommodating people, no matter what the situation may be, is exactly what they strive to do. "Whether our clients are leaving or coming here, we can advise them of the requirements they need/have to meet," Slusher said. And since there is always paperwork that needs to be done in regards to customs, duties and perhaps storage, by knowing the client's requirements can ensure that top personalized service is delivered.


Moving has been put down to a simple process with their Moving Soon? flyer, which is handed to prospective clients. It gives a checklist of items to consider carrying out in a countdown format from six weeks to that final day. In fact, so valuable and complete is their checklist, it is in circulation in different expatriate communities around the world. "This is a compiled list we have had for many years, which has gotten edited, or items added or deleted over the years. Advice is always welcomed. Even one teacher from JIS even gave us a new list to compare with ours; hence, we are always updating it," Slusher explained.

Some examples from the list are as follows:

Six weeks before: Right, get tough! Do you want that wobbly desk chair to haunt you forever? Start clearing out -- have a garage sale, donate to friends or charity. Make a list of all your possessions. Keep this safe. You can use it later for home insurance or tax purposes.

Five weeks before: Make a list of the most reputable companies in town. How long has the company been in business? Can they look after your pet? Are their packers professional or will you meet the "coffee boy" packing your crystal?

Four weeks before: Make a checklist and start working through it. Do any repairs necessary. Send out change of address cards or e-mails. Close any charge accounts or club memberships. Return those crummy egg cups you borrowed and get back that invaluable book on breeding emus lent to "her-down-the-road".

Two weeks before: Chuck out the last list and make another. Arrange for the utilities to be disconnected. Make any changes necessary to your inventory list. Go to that restaurant you always wanted to try and never quite got around to. Treat yourself, you deserve it!

Countdown ...

Four days: which clothes are going in the shipment?

Three days: do the last batches of laundry.

Two days: stop using appliances. Get them cleaned and make sure they are completely dry (coffee beans will stop the fridge from developing that old sock smell).

One day: double (and triple) check the final inventory list.

Invasion day ...

Take everything out that is traveling with you -- this includes jewelry, essential documents and receipts. Your Worldwide Movers representative will be popping in to make sure everything is progressing well.

You can contact Worldwide Movers for a COMPLETE Moving Soon? flyer by e-mailing them at:

Above all, if the move is a private deal done on an individual basis rather than through a company, Eure and Slusher emphasize that communication with the moving company is most important. "People have to be open as much as possible," Eure said. "Keep us informed about what is going on. Don't get lost in the shuffle."

One woman who had just received a presentation said, "After this interview, I am 100 percent satisfied that Worldwide Movers will take care of my goods no matter where I go in the world!" Maria Kegel