Hong Kong Apartment: The Container Arrives

It was a big day in Vancouver back on March 9th. After all the planning and packing, it was finally moving day. The relocation contract covered packing, moving and shipping a container full of our belongings (which I’m sure we didn’t fill), so on the last day of possession of our New Westminster apartment a team came to pack up our stuff.  Having never worked with movers before – we have always BEEN the movers – it was a luxury to have pros complete the work. The team assisting us was two veterans, each with twenty or more years experience, and a young guy they were training. They spent the day asking questions: “Did you make this art? How cool! I’ve never seen something like this,” telling stories: “I have a dresser from when I moved one of the Canucks. It didn’t fit in his new place so he said I could have it,” and giving me reminders: “Alison, when you unwrap this, you’re going to want to be careful.  I’m going to write ‘be careful’ on this one for you.” The team from QMM were a dream to work with.

I'm sure buying coffees for the crew early in the morning didn't hurt the rapport we developed.
I’m sure buying coffees for the crew early in the morning didn’t hurt the rapport we developed.
They had the red carpet rolled out for the move.
They had the red carpet rolled out for the move.
By the end our place was barely recognizable.
By the end our place was barely recognizable.
Next stop: Hong Kong!
Next stop: Hong Kong!
Best pic of the day.  I wanted a photo of me in the truck with all the boxes.  This is what I got.
Best pic of the day. I wanted a photo of me in the truck with all the boxes. This is what I got. Jack, Bill and Scott were rad.
Last pic in our apartment.  What a strange feeling to leave it behind.
Last pic in our apartment. What a strange feeling to leave it behind.

For fun, here is a reminder of what our place was like in North America. It was perfect for us: two parking stalls, a little laundry room with storage and an upright freezer, nice big kitchen, really nice size bedroom, one bathroom, and an open living area with space for a desk, TV area, dining area, and living area with a fireplace. We also had a tiny little balcony with space for a BBQ. These photos were taken by Pixilink just before we sold our place. I loved staging it and wish it had been this incredibily tidy all the time. And look at all that circulation space!

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We were told that it would take 6 to 8 weeks for all of our things to get to Hong Kong. I absolutely do not understand why this is the case because I believe it takes a maximum of about 14 days for a container to make the journey. However, it was out of our control and, at the 9.5 week mark, our belongings have FINALLY arrived in Hong Kong. I am beyond excited to see all of our familiar things! Braden, who has been in Hong Kong now for 3.5 months with only 2 suitcases of belongings, is especially happy to have our things. His most anticipated item: the sofa! I am oddly excited about having vases so I can go to the market and get fresh flowers, and also about my Voluspa candle so our little flat can smell like home!

The move-in on the Hong Kong end was exceptional.  The team from reloSMART were so great. They called ahead to say that were en route and on time, arrived on time, asked so many questions so they left things exactly how I wanted, and were so efficient, friendly and happy. It was so much fun to see familiar things arrive through the door! I really don’t feel a huge attachment to our material possessions (with a few exceptions of special things, like the reupholstered chair that was my Grandma and Grandpa’s) and of course we could have just purchased new things here. But because we knew that our things were on their way, there was a lot of anticipation! Mom was on FaceTime with me through the whole thing, which was fun because she participated in the packing in Vancouver. As more and more boxes came through the door, excitement turned to a little bit of worry as I looked at the piles of things I shipped (44 boxes / items!) However, as things began to get unwrapped, I started to feel better. My main responsibility as they brought the boxes in was to check off each box’s number to make sure everything was accounted for, so I knew when we were getting close to receiving everything. The crew unwrapped the big items for us (chairs, dresser, sofa, TV stand, TV, etc), probably about 1/3 of the items.  The rest is stuff that need to be assembled (kitchen island, front entry closet, etc), boxes of clothes, and of course the kitchen boxes. We will tackle that over the weekend.

Here are a few photos of everything after it arrived at our apartment. Braden really had no way to visualize everything I packed and I will admit that I made a point to be the one to accept the delivery. I think he might have freaked out seeing everything arrive. In my defense, the movers pack every single little thing wrapped in a ton of paper. It looks like way more than it is! Even still, it’s a bit freaky looking at the tiny apartment like this.

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The first items start to arrive and get unpacked. So exciting!
The dresser shows up.  And a huge box.  What on earth is THAT?
The dresser shows up. And a huge box. What on earth is in THAT?
The much anticipated sofa comes through the door!
The much anticipated sofa comes through the door!  The blue tape on the floor shows where the kitchen island will eventually sit.
I was happy to see my stump stool show up!
I was happy to see my stump stool show up!
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The packers in Vancouver had fun with their labels! They said it was to make it fun for the movers in Hong Kong.
Here’s how the movers left things in the bedroom. I put red ‘x’s on each item that I didn’t want the movers to unpack.
The movers unpacked a lot of the big items for us, which is a huge help and also helps to make our place feel like a house!
The movers unpacked a lot of the big items for us, which is a huge help and also helps to make our place feel like a house!
The movers will come back, probably at the end of the weekend, to remove all remaining cardboard and packing material.
The movers will come back, probably at the end of the weekend, to remove all remaining cardboard and packing material.
To keep the tradition going, we took a selfie at the end of the move.  Great crew!
To keep the tradition going, we took a selfie at the end of the move. Great crew!

It only took about an hour to deliver and unpack things, and then I had a bunch of paperwork to review verifying everything arrived without damage, all boxes were accounted for, etc. So Denny (or Danny?) hands me the stack of forms to look through and says to me, “Now. Lots of signature. You hold pen.” Hahaha! So great!

Check back for photos of our unpacked apartment. We will be busy this weekend building the pieces of furniture we sent, setting everything up, and finding homes for everything I sent over. I really really really hope I didn’t over pack!


One thought on “Hong Kong Apartment: The Container Arrives

  1. Alison, I thoroughly enjoy your blog. Your spirited script and photos create lots of anticipation for your next chapter. Thanks for all your work in providing us with our own edition of House Hunters International!!

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