15 Worst Mistakes When Moving House
And how to avoid them!
Mistakes when moving house don’t just slow the process down, they can be costly! But most potential pitfalls can easily be avoided with some simple planning and preparation.
1 Get A Survey
A removals survey isn’t just about giving you a price, an experienced surveyor will look at all the potential problems to ensure your move goes as smoothly as possible on the day. He’ll look for overhanging trees or tight entrances, parking/access, outbuildings, any special items that will need care. Always get a survey from a reputable removals company.
2 Get Your Own Insurance
With hundreds of items to be moved, accidents can happen. If you’re moving all your worldly possessions, it’s vital you make sure you have adequate insurance. Your removals company should have some cover in place (ask for exact details), but it might not protect everything or mitigate against mistakes/accidents you or your own helpers might make.
3 Use A BAR Member Company
The British Association of Removers is “the trade association for removal and storage services in the UK”. Members adhere to a strict code of conduct ensuring high standards of customer care, properly trained staff, ethical and eco considerate practises and offers you a higher level of financial security. We always recommend using a BAR member.
4 Don’t Overpack Boxes
“Yep, I can lift that” …. Crash! Firstly, you don’t want to be struggling with overly heavy boxes. It might feel like a good workout in the morning, but halfway through unloading, on a hot July afternoon… Not so much. Secondly, tape and cardboard have a finite load strength. To avoid problems, pack each box to a manageable weight load.
5 Label Your Boxes
It might seem obvious but it’s surprising how differently people do it. The best system is to clearly label each box according to which room it should go to (for your removals team) and to list what’s inside (for you to locate things later). Number bedrooms and corresponding boxes (“Bedroom 1”) and put a number on each bedroom door for the removals team who won’t know the layout of your property.
That ever-growing mountain of “stuff” in the spare room/shed/loft you’ve been promising to sort out for months/years… Why take it all with you? If you didn’t need it in the old house, do you really want it in your new one? Moving home is the perfect chance to declutter. It also means less to unpack/find space for at the other end. And you don’t want to pay to move items you no longer need or want.
7 Measure, Measure, Measure
If you’re checking for curtains, furniture access, make sure you measure twice (like your old woodwork teacher said, “Measure twice, move once!”). You don’t want to move/buy furniture that won’t fit in the space you want, or worse, can’t fit through the door (and yes, we’ve seen many beds that won’t make it up narrow stairways).
8 Don’t Do It All Yourself
If you’re moving a small property, that has easy parking and have plenty of help on hand then yes, moving can be a relatively easy process… Until you try and shift that sofa up a small staircase. Trained removals men with years of expertise will spot all the potential problems and know how to work around them. They’re also experienced at getting the job done quickly and safely.
9 Don’t Store It In The Loft
Storing already packed boxes out the way is a good idea. Garages and dry outbuildings are perfect to store items and create space inside. But the loft is a definite no-go. Some removals companies aren’t insured to enter loft spaces. Manoeuvring large boxes through loft hatches can also be tough on the back and time consuming.
10 Don’t Leave It Until The Last Minute
“There’s no rush…” Well, maybe not yet, but you don’t want to be rushing at the last minute, that’s when things go wrong. Start planning your removals and packing with plenty of time. The same goes for booking your removals team, like any industry, there are peak periods when removals dates can be hard to come by, so book as early as you can. You might be able to pay a deposit to secure your dates and then switch dates nearer the time if needed, ask your removals company for terms.
11 Pack A ‘Survival Kit’
Have a bag ready for the day. It should contain a printout of all the vital paperwork, phone charger, any required medication, water, snacks and some basic tools (screwdrivers, allen/hex keys, knife, packing tape, tape measure). Also take lightbulbs, a surprising number of homeowners take all the lightbulbs with them.
12 Don’t Do It On The Cheap
Booking the cheapest removals company might seem like a great saving but would you employ the cheapest company to fix your car’s brakes? With so many of your personal possessions on the move, make sure you find the ‘right’ removals company for you, rather than the cheapest. It’ll prove worth it in the end.
13 Cover Floors
There’ll be dozens of trips made by boots carrying heavy objects. Speak to your removals company/surveyor about the best type of floor protection and if it’s included.
14 Do Your Research
If you can get a recommendation for a removals company, that’s a great starting point. But take time to check them out online. Are they a member of the BAR? What are people saying about them on independent review sites like Trustpilot and Which?
15 Book Your First Shop
You probably won’t be able to take all your food, cleaning products, essentials with you and you don’t need the added hassle of a supermarket sweep. So do an online shop for the essential to be delivered the first morning in your new home.