My husband recently got a fantastic job opportunity, and like any supportive spouse, I said, ‘Go for it!’ So he went for it. Then he got the job. And I realised I hadn’t thought through the situation properly. His new job was in Hamilton and we lived in Wellington. It would be a six hour commute to work, which was only marginally worse than a daily Auckland commute (boom boom).
However, with the majority of our family in the Waikato, we decided to go for it—this was a chance for our son Jacob to grow up with his cuzzies. And so, a series of catastrophic life events unravelled—the day after saying ‘yes’ to the job, we put our house on the market and resigned from both our jobs.
We are no strangers to moving. I spent a long time flatting in the notoriously ramshackle student digs around Wellington. But out of the entire stress tornado that was hitting us, the thing that was giving me heart palpitations was the idea of packing. Every. Single. Thing. We. Owned.
We had never used more than a ‘man with a van’ for moving, but I decided to call Crown Relocations. We were visited by the warm and friendly sales consultant Nigel. As we sat down over a cup of tea, he opened by saying that Crown are proud supporters of The Salvation Army. ‘I know!’ I exclaimed immediately – since I work for the Sallies.
Crown is one of only a handful of businesses to have been given The Salvation Army’s ‘Valued Partner’ Award, and I’ve always been impressed by the creative ways they find to support New Zealanders in need.
We decided to move with Crown not only because of its partnership with the Sallies, but because I was impressed by Nigel’s professional but helpful approach. We got the full works – packing, moving and storage – which meant we really didn’t have to think much more about moving logistics until a few days beforehand.
I kept an eye on the handy ‘checklist’ from Crown, which detailed absolutely everything we had to do, and when it would have to be done by. It provided helpful tips I would never have thought of – like making sure we kept our passports with us. And Nigel gave us some great ideas on the best way to move our pets.
One of the most helpful things for our family was the wonderful resources Crown had for children. You would have thought our seven-year-old son Jacob had won the lottery when he received his box of goodies. ‘Leon the Lion’ has been part of his bedtime gang ever since.
He got a delightfully colourful ‘moving journal’, which contained a bunch of fun activities, but also some really thoughtful things—like a place to write down your friends’ contact details, and special places to keep memories. These activities quite beautifully turned an unsettling and stressful time into a fun experience.
On the day of the move, the Crown team arrived promptly at 8.30 am. What a great bunch of guys they were. TJ was the team leader – he was in charge of making a plan for the day and ensuring it all went smoothly. He told me the highlight of the job was definitely the people and his crew of guys. He wasn’t quite so keen on the notorious Wellington steps. TJ’s passion is fitness – he works part time as a personal trainer, so working as a mover was a fantastic way of keeping fit.
Team member Thomas had a lovely, friendly smile. Although he’s deaf, Tom says it is not a disability. ‘I got meningitis when I was two – I was very lucky,’ he explains. ‘It’s not a problem not having hearing, I probably see more than what your normal hearing person would.’
He spent most of his life in the logging industry, but had to give it up after a falling tree shattered his jaw. ‘I can feel the screws moving in there sometimes’ he laughs, with typical good humour. ‘I’ve been with Crown for four years and it’s gone so fast. It’s great.’
The team was rounded off by Pat and Rangi, who were hard at work filling the truck like a game of Tetris.
I was given a box for any unwanted items, which Crown then passed on to the Sallies. And I only felt mildly guilty enjoying a nice cup of tea, while they packed around me.
I was impressed by their professionalism and hard work—ensuring they used special techniques to pack fragile items, and handling our furniture with respect.
It was another day on the job for them. But as we waved off a very full, very large Crown Relocations truck at the end of the day, we knew it was the beginning of a whole new life for us.
By Ingrid Barratt, The Salvation Army