CONTRIBUTED BY MICHELLE KING
Receiving your HHG (Household Goods) and UB (Unaccompanied Baggage) in Germany can be a little overwhelming. All these boxes coming into the house and people that don’t speak English constantly asking, “where does this go?”
If you don’t know any German you might want to try to learn these words: bedroom (das Schlafzimmer), kitchen (die Küche), living room (das Wohnzimmer), office (das Büro), dining room (das Esszimmer), bathroom (das Bad/die Toilette/das WC), 1st floor (der erste Stock), 2nd floor (der zweite Stock), one (eins), two (zwei), three (drei) and four (vier).
Here’s an interesting fact that might solve some moving day woes: Germans, among others, don’t consider the ground floor as the first floor! Their first floor is the floor above ground level (Erdgeschoss). Their second floor is our third floor and so on. This will also be a handy fact when it comes to elevators!
Most Germans speak English but if they don’t speak it they usually understand it. But that is not the case for all of them. You may have movers that can’t understand anything and you will have boxes in all the wrong rooms.
They might offer to unpack everything, mine did not, meaning they will take everything out of a box and lay it on the floor leaving you with a huge mess! Take your time unpacking your items. You can schedule a time later for the moving company to come back and pick up the boxes and paper.
Once they unload everything it’s time to sign away! Be sure to read all the paperwork before signing it. If you have a high value item list make sure you have physically seen all those items before you sign for it. When my movers came they helped me unpack a few boxes to find those high value items.
Make sure you ask the movers to also put tables, chairs, and beds together. They may not do it unless you ask. If you have broken furniture do not throw it away. You have to keep all broken and damaged items for the claims process. Unfortunately you have to keep it until the claims process is finished.
My HHG and UB were delivered on the same day. They should unload one shipment and have you sign papers for it then unload the second shipment. It’s important to keep the 2 shipments separate in case something is damaged. You’ll need to know if it came from HHG or UB. Also, just a small tip or reminder, make sure you unwrap everything in the box. I accidentally threw out my spoon rest that was tightly wrapped in the bottom of a box.
Tipping the movers is not necessary but is often done. Providing water and maybe a snack is a good way to go!
Note: Michelle originally posted this article on her site, but has graciously shared it with us here as well.