“That moment when you let yourself be dismissed”

Hans van Haastrecht , Move trainer
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Moving is letting go. Closing the door in the morning and coming back to a wrapped and packed house in the evening.  It’s not something everyone can do. This is a story about the art of moving, for both the movers and those who leave behind their permanent residence.

They exist. People who have moved 10 or even more times. According to Hans van Haastrecht, long-time mover at Voerman International, these are the easiest people to relocate. “They treat you with a cup of morning coffee, give you their keys and phone and they’re gone. They know exactly how things work”. How things work is when a mover packs your things in no time, taking into account what should and should not be wrapped and does it structurally, too. Because moving is a profession. A profession that concerns your home and belongings. And that’s what you should be able to let go.

Direction is key

Yet personal belongings are often not the main issue. The largest part of stress comes with losing one’s grip, wanting to return and the fear that not everything is timely wrapped. With those who not often move and walk around stressed as soon as the movers arrive, it is important to gain confidence. How a mover does that? By asking the right questions. “A mover must be able to direct the customer.

Over the years, you learn to know where things can go wrong. You check whether they have kept their keys and passport separate. Before I even started moving, I would have asked 10 questions. Questions that show you have a grip on the situation and that everything will be fine. Questions that get you to direct the situation”.

That moment when you let yourself be dismissed.

After directing comes managing. “A customer has to see that you are making progress. Often their biggest fear is that things won’t be wrapped up in time, but we have tricks for that. First, you remove the paintings from the walls, which will make the house look empty. Usually, this really calms the customer. It will appear that you’ve done a lot of work in a short time and that’s something the customer longs to see. This is the moment when they let themselves be dismissed, to go downtown or take the dog for a walk through the park. It’s the moment they let go of the control they never really had in the first place.

Passing on control

Eventually, things always get wrapped up at the end of the ride, the house is emptied and a new destination awaits. The same rules count for the mover at destination: getting a grip on direction, asking the right questions and above all, keeping up the pace of wrapping. The person that moves must let go here too; point out where stuff goes and just accept that the mover knows what they’re doing, and can sometimes even give interior advice.

“A party”, Van Haastrecht calls it. “The moving industry is fun. You are pampering your clients. You wrap up their stuff and move it to their new home. To a new country”.

A move is not going to be a party for everyone, but for those that can let go, it surely can be.