Last week I moved out of my university residence via a packing and removals service. It’s a bittersweet end to the school year, but also the ideal choice under current circumstances. Due to the pandemic, returning to the UK now would require extensive testing and several weeks of quarantine at both ends of the journey. However, I still had some items of value left in my dorm, having amassed quite a bit of memorabilia since my undergraduate degree, which I wasn’t ready to throw away.
I was aware that some removal companies provided a packing service, especially for international students moving out of their accommodations. For students not planning to return to the UK, the companies can remove your personal belongings and ship it back to your home country; alternatively, continuing students can arrange for their items to be stored by the removals company until a redelivery can be made to a new address when they return. Although I had my apprehensions about using such a service. One being the state of my room – not pristine to say the least. Another being that someone else would be rifling through very personal belongings. I also worried whether my items would be handled with care in the process, and most of all whether the movers would be allowed into accommodation in the first place given the strict guest rules.
Thankfully, things turned out well and I am to share my advice on arranging for a remote move-out. Here’s how:
- Send an email to accommodation confirming that movers are allowed to come in. My accommodation informed me that external movers are allowed ONLY if they could provide reception a negative COVID test upon arrival.
- Confirm with removal companies that they can meet the requirements. After sending inquiry emails to different removal companies, I was pleasantly surprised that most companies asserted that they were able to provide certificates.
- Read online reviews – always check the reviews! Depending on the people you choose this can turn out to be a breeze or end disastrously. Check all the major review sites and choose the service that best fits your needs.
- Ask accommodation for available dates/times for the movers to come in. Check with the removals company for available booking slots (For reference, the earliest date they gave me was 1 week+ after)
- Choose the fitting time and inform both the removals company and your accommodation of the arrangement. Make sure both the accommodation and the movers know your full name and which room you stay in. I had a slight mishap when the movers showed up to accommodation not knowing my room number and had to make an international call to confirm these details.
- Check in again with accommodation and movers a day or two prior to the move, just to make sure everything goes smoothly.
That’s it! My move took about 5 hours in total and was a lot less stressful than expected. The removal men video-called me intermittently throughout the process, verifying which items to pack or discard. At the end of the process, I was given a thorough view of every nook and cranny in my room, in addition to the boxed items, and they confirmed the inventory with me. For now, I’m happy to say that this has overall been a pleasant experience, and I hope this post offers some clarity for off-campus students who are considering using packing removal services, as there are many uncertainties involved in the situation.