From anti-witch chimney breasts to buried treasures, here’s a list of weird and wonderful housebuilding superstitions to keep your home safe.
All houses have their strange quirks, the single squeaky floorboard, the mysterious switch that doesn’t actually do anything, that strange shape in the living room that grunts and emits terrible smells (oh no, that’s actually our teenage son). But along with their unique character, many houses were built with curious traditions.
Here are some of the strangest house building superstitions from around the globe.
Two medallions that have often been found buried in the foundations of houses are those of St Joseph and St Benedict. As the patron saint of carpenters, Joseph is believed to ensure a strong construction. St Benedict medals are believed by some to ward off evil spirits.
In many cultures coins are buried in the foundations to bring the homeowners good fortune. In some versions, coins are placed under the doorstep to encourage wealth into the home.
Housebuilders in the Philippines are very careful with the number of stairs, which are counted in threes “Oro, plata, mata” meaning, gold, silver and death. Superstition states that the topmost step must not end in mata (death), as this will surely bring bad luck to the new occupants. It’s also unlucky for there to be 13 stairs.
The fear of the number 13 is reflected throughout our homes Many people won’t buy a house that is numbered 13. Some property developers will simply skip number 13 as statistics show it will sell slower and for less. 28% of British streets don’t have a number 13 (check your street). On average, properties numbered 13 sell for 2% less than 11 and 15. Less than 5% of high-rises in New York have a 13th floor.
Buy-Day The 13th
It’s not just the house, it’s also the date. Fewer homes are sold on the 13th day of the month. While Fridays are normally one of the busier days of the week for completions, when Friday the 13th occurs in a month, on average sales/completions drop by 43%.
In Italy 13 is a lucky number, the expression “fare tredici” means “make thirteen”, or strike it lucky.
Topping out ceremonies began in Scandinavia where builders would celebrate reaching the top and finishing point of the house by hanging a bough to thank the forest and tree dwelling spirit for allowing the use of the wood. The tradition is now observed by different trades such as masons, brickies and carpenters, but is aways tied to reaching the highest point of their job.
In China, 8 is a lucky number and homes with 8 in the number tend to fetch a higher price. Chinese buyers will also often include 8 in the final fee. 4, 17, 19 and 53 are all considered unlucky (not great news if you were born on the 17/04/1953).
Long & Winding Road
Chinese gardens often have winding paths and houses built with curved rooves, both of which are said to confuse spirits who can only travel in straight lines.
That’s The Spirit
In parts of Southern Asia, ‘spirit houses’ are built close to homes to give dead spirits somewhere to live away from the main house (“Mum, Great-great-great-great-grandma’s walking around the garden again!”).
Exit This Way
Back in the Philippines, spirits are thought to hide in low, dark places, so special escape routes are sometimes built into basements to allow ghosts and spirits to leave.
In Europe, the biggest fear for housebuilders was witches getting down the chimney. Mummified cats, animals’ hearts pieced with iron nails, pots of urine… all manner of anti-witch totems were buried within the chimney or under the hearth to keep the pointy-hatted harridans away. A ‘witch’s crook’ was another tactic, essentially building a bend in the chimney to stop witches flying down it.
Moving into a new home and want to ensure everything starts with a pinch of good luck? Here are some new home traditions from around the world you can try.
Paint Your Porch Blue
According to Gullah superstitions (associated with African-Americans in some southern states), ‘haint’ spirits can’t travel over water, so painting your porch, doors and windows blue would keep those evil spirits away. There was also a practical purpose, the paint would be mixed with lime which would ward off mosquitos.
In Chinese tradition, different fruits symbolise or bring about different fortunes and so will often be presented as new home gifts. Oranges for prosperity, pomegranates for opportunities, peaches for good health and apples for safety. As well as the fruits themselves, fruit trees or plants might be presented or planted by the new owners.
Roll A Pineapple
Another Chinese tradition involves rolling a pineapple into your home from the moment you enter it. It should be rolled in every room while chanting phrases of good fortune (in Mandarin naturally). And afterwards, you can make a nice fruit salad.
Bring Bread & Salt
Russia & Germany
A Jewish custom in Russia and Germany says bread and salt should be the first items in your new home. Bread to ensure you never experience hunger, salt to fill your life full of flavour. They’re often presented as gifts.
If you’re moving to a new home in Thailand, remember to invite an odd number (even numbers are unlucky) of Buddhist monks to perform a Khuan Ban Mai blessing ceremony. The monks tie a sai sin (holy thread) around the wrists of those moving in to bring them luck.
Hang the Chimney Hook
Pendaison de crémaillère, refers to ‘hanging of the chimney hook’. Dating from the medieval period, when a house was built, the last thing to be put in place was a hook in the chimney to hang cooking pots from. Once in place, a meal would be prepared to thank everyone who helped build the house. In France pendaison de crémaillère still means housewarming party.
Spill the Beans
In Korea red beans are spread throughout the new home to banish evil spirits and bring luck (red is considered a lucky colour in many parts of Asia).
Ring a Bell
A Tibetan bell will help clear out stagnant or dying chi, allowing room for positive energy to flourish. But if you hear a soft ‘ding!’ it could just mean you’ve received a text message.
Bless This House
Religious ceremonies have been used in many cultures, in Italy the local priest would bless the new house with incense. He’d also hang around to enjoy a good meal afterwards.
Native Americans would burn sage to remove bad energy from their homes.
Right Foot First
In India new homeowners should step into their new property with their right foot first to bring good luck.
Rather than bring their old broom, with its old dirt, old luck and maybe old spirits, a new home would always require a new broom.
Germany & Scandinavia
Acorns were considered the best way to keep evil spirits away so windowsills would be lined with acorns. They would also be carved into doors and shutters. Gifts with acorn emblems are still given as housewarming gifts.
Can On A Hot Tin Roof
In New Zealand, once the new homeowners have settled in and night has fallen, friends and family throw tin cans onto the roof to scare away evil spirits (and probably frighten the life out of sleeping neighbours!). They’re then welcomed inside for a housewarming.
In the Philippines coins are buried in the foundations of a new home, or if moving into an existing building, scattered on the doorstep to bring prosperity.
Rice & Easy
Rice features in a number of new house traditions. In India milk and rice are heated in a pot until the pot overflows to symbolise an abundance of wealth and happiness.
The Chinese carry uncooked rice inside to bring about prosperity.
But in Italy, bringing uncooked rice into the house brings about fertility. So if you look at your children and think, “We already have too many of these!” it might be best to give the rice a miss.
Plant a Pomegranite
India, China, Persia
Pomegranates are another food associated with fertility and trees would be planted outside new homes of couples wishing to have a family.
Spreading salt in a room features in a number of different cultures. Salt is sprinkled on the floors of the new home and is left overnight to ward off evil spirits then swept up the next day.
It’s not just another excuse for a knees up (although it is a good reason to have a party). The tradition of housewarming comes from lighting fires in a home that might have been left empty and cold. Also candles would be carried from room to room to frighten away evil spirits.
Opening A Bottle Of Wine
Your New Home
Open a bottle of wine. This isn’t actually a tradition at all but if you’ve just spent the entire day moving house, we think you deserve a nice, chilled glass of wine. Good work and cheers!
A HUGE thank you to everyone that has helped donate aid for our Ukrainian Appeal. So far your incredible generosity has meant we’ve sent 15 pallets of aid (clothes, food, toys, toiletries, bedding, shoes), amassing over 7 tonnes of much needed support to displaced people arriving in Poland.
We received the following letter from Sofia, who made the difficult journey from Ukraine.
I would like to express my gratitude for the entire indescribable support that we are receiving from you.
It is difficult to express in words how crucial your help is. I’m a mother of a 5-year-old daughter, which whom I have stood for almost 24 hours on the Ukrainian-Polish border crossing during the first day of the war. There were a lot of people standing there with me, and fear was all that could be sensed in the air. Standing there I knew that a couple of kilometres ahead was my sister, on Polish side of the border, and that there was safety waiting for me.
However, many of the women that stood next to me with their children had no one waiting for them, they did not know where they would sleep or if they would have something to eat. They did not know if they would be able to wash their children. Sometimes the women did not have enough strength to carry their bags with them and would leave them on the pavement. Some of them only took very small bags with them as they had no time to pack themselves nor their children.
After a while a lot of people had nothing to drink, and some begun to lose consciousness. When the night has come, that is when we began fearing the most, as it was very cold, temperatures were falling below 0 degrees, and we were all still on the Ukrainian side of the border. The children were crying out of cold, tiredness and out of fear of not knowing what would happen to them. There were drones flying over us – now I think that they were belonging to the press or to the police, but then I was afraid of them, I was thinking only about possible provocations or bombardment.
When I crossed the border, I was very happy to see my sister waiting for me with hot tea, it was already after almost 24 hours that we managed to cross it. There was a lot of help waiting for everyone that was crossing. I knew that now, thanks to the good people that were helping, Irina, who was crossing the border with her newborn child next to me, will now have somewhere to sleep as well as food to eat.
At that moment I was calm as I knew that all women crossing the border will receive help. Your hearts are enormous, thank you very much, each one of you.
Most of us are guilty of hanging on to things too long. Never is this more evident than when moving home. The last thing you want to do is increase packing (and moving costs) by taking ‘stuff’ with you that’ll simply clutter up your lovely new home. Our experts have some quick tips and hacks to help you say goodbye to clutter.
The hardest step is just getting started. “I’ll do it next Bank Holiday…”, “I just need a plan…”. “Maybe if I leave it long enough pixies will come and take it away for me?”. We all prevaricate but sometimes you just need to dive right in and get started or it’ll never happen.
It’s natural to hold on to things of sentimental value. Sometimes we hold on too long, so ask yourself are you going to display it, use it, repair/upcycle, if the answer is ‘no’ then it’s probably time to let go.
“But “XXX” gave me this…”, “But this reminds me of…”, “But what if one day…”. We all find reasons not to let go. Apply the rule above, sometimes, you’ve just got to let go to move on.
Some items are too precious/useful to let go and that’s fine, you really might want them in the future. That’s what storage is for. It lets you keep what really is going to be of use again without reducing the size of your home but taking up useful living space.
Some of that ‘stuff’ can probably be replaced with new items. It’s ok to let things go and enjoy the luxury of new and improved when the time comes.
Items not going into storage can still be valuable. Offering items on ebay, Freebay, Facebook Marketplace can give them a second lease of life without adding to landfill. You could even make a few pennies to redecorate that old dumping room.
Have you used that item in the last 90 days? Are you going to use it in the next 90 days? If the answer is ‘no’ then it’s time to let it go or store it elsewhere.
Clothes and shoes can be a major cause of clutter. Simple test, if you haven’t worn something in the last year, there’s probably a reason. They can have a good life elsewhere with a new owner.
If you have multiple cluttered rooms or areas, don’t try and tackle them all at once. Simplify the task by doing one room at a time. As the various mountains get smaller, you’ll have a more manageable amount of items to make final decisions about.
Decide what the end result should be. Once decluttered you can redecorate or repurpose that reclaimed space by turning it into the studio/dressing room/home office you’ve always dreamed of.
Grab 5 rubbish bags. Your challenge is to fill those bags quickly with stuff you know needs to go. No pausing, make quick, simple decisions on stuff that you just don’t need. It can be easier than you think once you get started. That’s 5 bags done. Take a breather, have a well-earned cuppa then go for the next 5 bags. Look at you go!
Another simple challenge to get you started. Chose 10 items to go, 10 items to donate, 10 items to keep.
To keep inspiring yourself for the next room and spaces to clear, take a before and after photo of the first room you declutter, so you can see just how great the difference is.
Get a friend to help. They don’t have the emotional attachment and can assist you in making clearer decisions about what you really do or don’t need to hold on to.
Got any clutter reducing tips? We love hearing great hacks and ideas and will add any great ideas to the blog for other people to read and use. You can send your hacks and tricks to firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to polls and studies, moving house is one of the top 5 most stressful life events. And this stress is usually months in the making, with negotiating, endless paperwork, waiting on other people in your chain, packing and decluttering… Phew! It’s no wonder that by the time moving day comes around movers are already pretty frazzled. But although hectic, moving day is also very exciting and should be enjoyable.
By following some simple tips and avoiding potential pitfalls you can make the experience as smooth as possible and wave a cheery goodbye to moving house stress.
Make A Priority List
Putting it on paper, gets the worries out of your head and allows you to organise and prioritise. Once you can see what lays ahead, you can make notes and solutions beside each entry and start ticking off each job as you complete it.
Choose Your Moving Dates Early
Once you know the day it’s happening, that can reduce some of the uncertainty and anxiety, it gives you something to aim for (even if it does have to move slightly due to latter events). Try to avoid holidays and Bank holidays as these days are always very busy, putting a squeeze on the availability and prices of removers.
Book Time Off Work
That’s not just for moving day, book some time prior to your move to allow you to declutter, do little repairs, start packing. The more you can get done well in advance of the move, the more prepared and relaxed you’ll feel as moving day draws closer. It will also mean you have time to deal with any extra issues that crop up.
Declutter To Free Up Space
It’s amazing how beneficial decluttering can be for both your mind and your move. It doesn’t just empty loft spaces and overstuffed spare rooms/dumping grounds. It can actually feel like spring cleaning for the brain. Reducing the ‘junk’ you don’t want to take with you, or simply sorting it and packing things that are currently taking up more space than needed, will also make packing easier and cheaper.
You can read more here; 14 Tips To Declutter Before Your Move
Book Your Removals Company
Early birds catch the removal vans. Like many services there are peak times, some days of the week are busier and certain months are more popular for moving home. But those who leave it to the last minute will find they don’t get their first choice of company, end up paying more and certainly worry more. Avoid unnecessary panic. Companies like Armishaws allow you to pay a deposit to save your dates and offer flexibility should your dates suddenly change.
Get Packing Ahead Of Time
Try and you pack everything you can ahead of time. Here are a couple of tips on packing to help keep it simple and worry free:
Do Your Homework
Redirect post, cancel suppliers/direct debits, make sure everyone who needs to know has been told you’re moving. Then think of your new home, setting up suppliers, arranging a food/grocery delivery to arrive the day after your move… Get all those little paperwork jobs added to your master list and get them ticked off well ahead of the day.
Check The Weather
Make sure you keep an eye on the weather in the week before your move in case you need to take extra precautions. Although obviously in Britain our weather is about as reliable as a sundial at midnight.
Have An Early Night
If you’ve planned all of the above well, then you shouldn’t need to stay up until daft o’clock the night before your move. Waking up tired could make you irritable which could set the tone for the day, so get your head down at a decent hour the night before the move.
Ask For Help If Needed
Many hands make light work, so don’t be shy, pressgang friends and relatives in to help out on the day. The more help you have, the less pressure on yourself to get everything done single handed. Having relatives look after children for the day and keeping them occupied can be a HUGE way to reduce stress (“Are we there yet?”, “I’m hungry!”, “I need a wee.” “Jacob says he’s going to stuff me in a box!”).
Plan The Van Parking
Not all gardens and drives can accommodate a large removals van. That means they’ll be on the road, so make sure you’ve considered street parking. Officially you’re not allowed to place anything on a public highway (such as cones or wheelie) when trying to reserve parking. You can politely ask neighbours or put up polite signs asking people to leave space. Any potential parking or access issues should be communicated with your removers in advance.
Make Sure You Eat
It is very easy to get carried away and forget to look after yourself on moving day, make sure you have a break! Lower blood sugar will mean energy levels will start to flag and make you ‘hangry’. And no matter how strong your removals team is and how little lifting you plan on doing, it will still be a physical do, toing and froing, answering questions in one area of the house before being called to the garden… Have
food handy to keep you going (high energy foods such as bananas, are a good idea) and pack more food than you expect to need in case of delays.
Clean As You Go
It’s a lot easier to clean an empty house, if you can get into your property before the movers arrive this is an ideal opportunity. It gives you a chance to assess the state of the property before everything starts happening. This is your chance to check everything over and make sure no rubbish or mess has been left, and gives you a chance to sort it. There are also those that like to clean their old home before you go. This is a lovely gesture but if you do find yourself tight for time on the day, remember you’re not obliged to clean. Making sure you and your family get settled into the new house should be your priority and there’s no reason to feel guilty about that.
Unpack The Essentials First
The first thing to reach for when unpacking is the essential items. You need somewhere to sleep, the means to make a drink, functional heating, light bulbs and window coverings. So just give yourself a quick arrival shortlist;
After these essentials, any other packing should be seen as a bonus. You have plenty of time (years ahead!) to make your mark and start dressing your new home. A well earned take away is a far better reward for everyone on moving day than hanging a few pictures. The other reason is that if you start unpacking other items and then find yourself getting tired before the beds have been put together, you’ll still have things to do. If you have the four essentials covered, you can collapse into bed any time you like.
If you have any particular moving day questions or concerns, want some quick advice or a free quote,
simply contact our friendly team and we’ll be happy to help.
New home, new you! A big house move can be life changing in many ways. It’s certainly a time many people look at the way they’re living and make positive changes (“I’m going to eat more healthily.”, “I’m going to start jogging.”, “I’m going to cure my Netflix addiction!”). Many of us strive to ensure the way we live has less impact on the world around us and moving home is the ideal time to turn over a new, greener leaf. But before you get there, here are some easy ways to make moving home gentler on the environment.
Use Recycled Boxes
Lots of shops and companies pay for used boxes to be taken away. Rather than buy purpose made new boxes, look for somewhere willing to give you boxes for free. Sites like Facebook Marketplace often have listings of people giving away moving boxes after their move.
Opt For Recyclable Materials
If you are buying boxes, make sure they are made from recycled cardboard and that they can be recycled after your move. Avoid using plastic fastening tape as this can mean the boxes can’t be recycled, also most plastic tape can’t be recycled once removed from the boxes.
Acid Free Paper
Yes, many paper manufacturers use bleaches and acids in the production of paper. This is not only bad for the environment, it can be harmful to your items. Recycled, acid-free paper is better for wrapping breakable items.
Say ‘No’ To Plastic Bubble Wrap
Another easy thing to avoid is plastic bubble wrap. There are now non-plastic alternatives easily available to buy. You can say no to bubble wrap altogether by using smarter packing tricks.
Smarter Packing Tricks
Wrap fragile items in towels, sheets and soft fabrics. You’ll need to pack fabric items anyway so this is a handy space saving hack. You can also ask family and friends for unwanted fabric such as old clothes, sheets, etc and cut them up into smaller pieces to wrap items. Once your move is complete you can list them for free to other house movers or take the used material pieces to a recycling centre where they’ll be transformed into new fabrics and greener products.
Use A Greener Removal Company
Not all removals companies share your environmental ethos. When choosing your movers, ask them about their green credentials. At Armishaws we’re proud to be market leaders in eco moving. As well as a host of greener working practises we have started a tree planting program close to our Somerset HQ. We’re not merely paying for trees, we’ve bought the land and are planting the trees ourselves. We’re committed to protecting both the trees and creating vital habitat for plants and animals.
You can read more about our Armishaws Eco Pledge here…
Avoid Food Waste
Ahead of your move, start planning meals and rather than restocking, using what you already have in the cupboards and freezer to avoid food waste. As the move date draws closer, stick to buying fresh foods, this will also reduce waste and packaging.
Buy Natural Cleaning Products
When cleaning your old home before you go and new home as you arrive, use eco-friendly cleaning products. There’s now a huge range of environmentally sound cleaning products, some can be a little more expensive but shops like refill stores have some budget friendly options.
Start New Greener Household Habits
Once you’re in your new home, start as you mean to go on by switching to greener products (like cleaning fluids, etc). It really is the perfect time to start afresh and became a more environmentally aware household. You can also switch to green energy suppliers, start composting, growing your own veg and a whole host of positive changes.
Upcycle Old Furniture
If you have old furniture you don’t want to take with you or just want a new look for your new home, then upcycling furniture is a great option. There are plenty of chalk-based paints and products to transform furniture. The internet is a mine of furniture upcycling ideas and “How to…” videos. If you don’t fancy giving it a go yourself, there are groups up and down the country that accept furniture to train youngsters and special students to give furniture a new look and second lease of life. Some groups sell their new creations to make money for good causes or fund their students. Win/win!
Don’t Give In To Landfill
Most items can be given a second life. Old toys, crockery, bikes, electrical goods, that can all be reused or upcycled (there are companies that will strip electrical items of useable materials). If you’re letting things go, you can add a free listing on sites like; Freebay, Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace. Some items could go to charity shops, clothes and blankets can go to homeless shelters and there are charities that will take furniture, bikes, toys that run free shops for people and families in need.
Check Your Traders
If you’re employing a local trader to dispose of unwanted items when eco moving, check their credentials. Sadly, there are unscrupulous people that will take your money, take your unwanted items and rather than dispose of them properly, they’ll find somewhere to fly tip. Not only can this come back and haunt you (your items could be traced back to you and you’ll face a fine), but it’s costly to clear up and incredibly damaging for the environment. Check their waste license and make sure it’s legit (this can be checked online).
Got any green moving tips you think we should know? We’re always keen to hear from others that share our green ethos and have new, exciting eco-solutions. If you do have some handy eco-hacks, tips, tricks or have questions about your house move then get in touch.
If you want more house moving hints and ideas, our blog is written with the help of our house moving experts and a great free resource we’re happy for you to use which will hopefully help take away some of the worries and hassles often associated with relocating.
Moving house is stressful enough for humans, but if you don’t understand the move at all and would rather be chasing balls, sleeping by the fire and barking at next doors cat, moving day can be unsettling. You can reduce their stress by following a few simple tips.
Pack your pet’s favourite things last.
There’s always the list of things that can’t be packed until the morning of the move; toothbrushes, phone chargers, etc. Make sure your pet’s most treasured items (food bowls, bedding, toys, etc) are also left until later. Your pet needs to feel secure and surrounded by familiarity for as long as possible, to shorten any period of turmoil.
Think carefully about how to get your pet to your new home. If your new home isn’t too far away, you can drive them yourself or take a taxi; cats will need to be kept in a carrier for the journey, and dogs should be in a dog cage or secured by a harness.
If you’re travelling further afield, be sure to make regular stops to offer your pet water and toilet breaks. For longer journeys, it may be a good idea to place your cat carrier within a larger dog crate containing a litter box and space for water for use during these breaks. Most dogs will also need to be given a chance to stretch their legs.
Carry blankets and covers.
For longer journeys, it’s a good idea to make the car a little more comfortable for larger animals like dogs and cats. Also blankets or coverings can be used to make cages or tanks dark for animals likely to be upset by light and motion.
Have distraction techniques.
For most animals, distraction principally boils down to food. As they say, give a cat a fish and you’ll feed him for a day, teach a cat to fish and he won’t bother because he’s lazy! But make sure you’re armed with rewards, treats, travel water bowls, tinned or dried food for mealtimes (if your journey is likely to still be happening at their usual feeding time), toys and familiar/favourite items.
Update your pet’s details.
Once the move is complete, don’t forget to update your pet’s details. Pet passports and microchip IDs will need to be updated with your new address and you should ensure that your pet is registered with a local vet as soon as possible.
Don’t clean or replace bedding.
One temptation is to get your dog/cat a nice new bed for their new home but resist (defer) that urge for now. Smells are hugely important. Familiar smells, like their bedding, will reassure your pet that it’s in a safe space. So, avoid buying all new bedding or washing existing bedding ready for the move. Keep the familiar smells, you can soon wash or replace their old bedding once they’re settled.
Plan rest points for your route.
For long journeys, map out rest points along the way for animals that need exercise or aren’t used being used to confined small spaces. Letting animals out at motorway service stations obviously has serious safety issues, as well as being loud and potentially traumatising. Check your route in advance and look for handy stopping points just off the main route, where it’ll be quieter and safer to give your furry friends a comfort break and a run if needed.
Create a safe, quiet space.
When you get to your new home, unpacking your pet’s prized possessions should be one of your top priorities. The most important thing is to find a safe space for your pet to explore or place cages, tanks away from all the noise of moving and where they won’t get knocked. Find a room empty of boxes. unpack your pet’s bedding, food and toys, secure all windows and other possible escape routes and let them settle but make sure you pop in so they know they haven’t been left.
Don’t let your pet out of their carrier or cage until the door to the room is closed. You may want to make a sign for the door to ensure that your movers don’t accidentally open the door to your pet’s ‘safe space’.
Check boundaries are secure.
Before you let your dog, cat, tortoise or alligator loose in the garden, make sure you’ve checked all the boundaries are secure. Your new neighbour possibly won’t want your pet entering their garden unannounced and you certainly don’t want them to be able to get out and onto unfamiliar/busy roads, but any animals will feel compelled to mark their new territory.
Here’s our top 11 tips to help you begin packing for your big move.
Prepare A Safe Place
“Now where did I put that…?” The last thing you need is to be hunting for that document/passport/important address in a house rapidly filling with packed boxes. So before you do anything, set aside a safe place where you can place a box/document folder that won’t get moved when all the other boxes are being shifted from room to room. Then when you do need an important piece of paper, you won’t spend hours searching every box.
Declutter To Reduce Items
There’s no point taking things you don’t need/want at your new home (you’d be amazed how many people pack up and move things they no longer want!). Moving home is the perfect time to clear out unwanted items. Prepare to be a bit ruthless, but also be green. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, rather than let things go to landfill, there are lots of more environmentally friendly alternatives. You could make money on unwanted stuff or let someone else give it a second life by selling or giving them away on websites like; Freebay, Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree.
Pack Early, Panic Less
Packing can seem a little daunting, also there is a thought that you don’t want to pack too early in case you need things. But the earlier you start the better. Have decluttered, you’ll now have an idea of what’s left and what rarely gets used (but you still need). The more you can get done early on the better, then once the move is finalised, you won’t find yourself running short of time and packing badly in a rush.
Least Used Items First
Start with the least used things. Loft spaces, outbuildings, winter/summer wardrobes, spare bedrooms… Make a quick shortlist of stuff that you can happily temporarily live without ahead of the move and get it packed.
Consider Shapes & Weight
Some items are really easy to pack because of their shape. Books, CDs, DVDs, boxed collectables, etc. You’re not going to read every book or play every album between now and moving day, so get them boxed. Not only are they easy to do, they tend to be heavier boxes so should be at the bottom of any pile.
Don’t Over Pack Boxes
Remember that every box will need to be moved. Possibly by you. Even if you have a removal team on the day, you will probably find yourself having to move boxes between rooms as you pack so don’t overdo the weight.
Don’t Under Pack Boxes
Don’t leave empty space at the top of boxes. When you come to stack them you could find that area crumples which can lead to items getting damaged as the boxes lose their structural integrity. Worse still you could find yourself under a box avalanche! Use blankets, sheets, towels or paper to fill boxes to the top.
Size Matters So Box Clever
Pack light items in large boxes and heavy items in small boxes and try not to cram too many items into a box, it’s safer and easier to have more light boxes, than less boxes that are incredibly heavy. By keeping your boxes within a reasonable weight range, you won’t injure yourself or find boxes splitting. Safer for you and your items.
Leave Fragile Items Until Last
This means there’s less time for those boxes to get knocked and that they’ll go at the top of any piles. It also means you’ll have practised your packing skills on less fragile items before you tackle delicate or breakable pieces.
Call In The Pros
If you’re worried about packing, simply don’t have the time (or inclination), call in the experts! Our teams are trained to pack fragile belongings with care, using recyclable cartons and materials. Our vehicles are fully equipped with purpose made protective covers for dining tables, soft furnishings and white goods. We can supply heavy duty bed and mattress protector bags. Packing services can range from entire contents to just your fragile items, so if there is one area you don’t want to tackle, let Armishaws do the hard work for you.
Plan Your Food Shopping
It’s so easy to overlook food. Plan ahead, rather than re-stocking, start using remaining food to avoid having to take it with you. Top Tip; do a grocery shop online arranging delivery at your new address the day after you move in, so you can at least have the basics at your new address, giving you one less thing to worry about or squeeze into an already busy week.
Environmental Packing Tips
Boxes and packing materials are easy to buy, some companies can deliver. Our teams only use recycled and recyclable materials, such as a non-plastic alternative to bubble wrap. We always urge people to use environmentally friendly materials, reuse old boxes, many companies pay for boxes to be disposed of and are happy to give away boxes to people moving home.
After your move you can recycle boxes by offering them to others or taking them to a recycling centre. Armishaws offer a free cardboard box recycling service to help reduce waste and give our movers one less thing to worry about, so they can concentrate on turning their new house into a home.
Moving house can be stressful time with so many plates to spin (and pack!), so food shopping and planning might not be at the top of your to do list.
Apart from perhaps boxing up the slow cooker (last used two winters ago) and dusting off the cake mixer (you only think of when watching Bake Off), and clearing out that corner cupboard no one looks in, most of us leave the packing the kitchen until the last minute. But that can bring its own headaches (and stomach rumbles).
In the run up to your you can by simply planning meals, shopping wisely and inspecting the cupboards (“There’s a Marathon bar in here! They don’t even make those anymore!!”) you can reduce food waste and the amount of heavy food you have to take with you.
Avoiding food waste is also better for the environment. You can also donate to food banks. Less for you, more for someone else who might need a helping hand. Win/win!
Plan Pre-move Food Shopping
Once your removal company is booked take a good look in your cupboards, fridge and freezer so you know exactly what you have left and plan what needs eating. Although taking your cupboard essentials with you is a possibility, eating up what you have could save you some time with one or two less boxes to pack and un-pack at the other end.
Get Creative With Leftover Food
Set your own Masterchef challenge with perishables goods in advance of the big moving day. It’s a fun way to try new (experimental?) dishes of your own concoction. Get the children making pizzas with those tins of tomatoes, or baking cakes to use up open packets. Moving can be stressful time for them too and having some fun activities in the lead up can really help!
As the big day approaches, start to limit the food that you buy and avoid putting long lasting products in your basket.
Only Buy the Essentials
Cut down on the big food shops prior to moving day and stick to the essentials. If you’re uber organised you can create a meal planner and only buy things you need to create those meals that also use up existing food in the cupboards.
Buy Fresh Food Before Move Day
Avoid buying frozen food, tins, packets where possible and switch to only buying fresh foods. It’s not only good to help reduce food waste and avoid over stocking ahead of the move, it’s also healthy.
Start Making Packed Lunches
Be a legend in your own lunchtime. If you usually pop out at lunch to buy food, switch to preparing a lunch to help empty the cupboards, use up overlooked food (I remember that cous cous!) and save some cash. Easy to make meals like pasta bakes and soups can use up lots of ingredients that are quick to create and easy to reheat at work.
Donate To A Food Bank
If you’re clearly going to have food left you know you won’t be able to consume and don’t want to take it with you, donate to a local food bank. Many small shops and supermarkets have areas to donate food for people in need. Make sure to check items you can’t donate. And don’t forget to check the expiry date in case that packet of Hobnobs have been around longer than you think!
Have Your Own Great Bake Off!
Eat your heart out Paul Hollywood! Literally!! Those packets of pink icing, flour, cake decorations, marzipan, hundreds and thousands of opened packets you really don’t want to be packing and taking with you. Get baking and treat everyone in the office to a cake day. You’ll be the toast of the HR department. You could even charge for cakes and donate the proceeds to charity.
Make Munchies For Moving Day
Moving home is hungry work, so if you have things left in the kitchen the day before you move then prepare food to keep you going. Whether it’s a quick meal that you can eat hot or cold or a number of high energy snacks, making sure that you have food to hand can only be a good thing. Particularly if you have kids moving with you (especially teenagers!). Make sure that they have plenty of treats to keep them happy. It will not only offer a few minutes peace, it can reduce cranky, hungry, hangry youngsters. And don’t forget drinks.
Try A Little Tin-derness
Tin food can be bulky and heavy. It also keeps for ages, so check the dates, work out what you really need kept handy (pet food, family favourites and regular items) and get the rest boxed up and out the way. This will free up space for getting to grips with the rest of the food cupboards.
Have A Date Night
Take an evening to check the dates on all the food in your cupboards. Yep, when was the last time you did that?!? People are often surprised at just how long some food has been lurking, hidden behind the peppercorns (unopened) and dried lemongrass (ditto). The worst offenders are spices. That time you were going to start cooking curries from scratch (you never did and that was 7 years ago!), the spice rack that was a wedding present and has never spiced up the marriage dinner plates. Those emergency tins of soup you bought when you were nearly snowed in (2014!!). Check dates and either bin it or send it to a museum!
Prudent Packing Preparations
Ah yes, the three Ps; Prudent Packing Preparation. The last thing you want to find as you’re unpacking is spilled food, opened jars, Marmite covered everything! While packing sauces, packets, jars and bottles take an extra second to check the lids are secured properly. Also, if you’re packing your boxes yourselves, make sure you reduce room for movement and wrap all breakable food containers. Shield glass containers with extra padding and look for anything that could go pop (home-made drinks, fizzy bottles, squeezy containers).
Don’t Forget The Drinks Cabinet!
Ah yes, limoncello, Sorrento 2002, the ouzo someone brought you back from Greece (still unopened), that mulled wine you bought one December and have forgotten about every Christmas since. So much booze, so few parties. Well there’s no time like the present! Give your old home a proper send off and have a party to help say goodbye to all those spirits in great spirit. It’s also a nice way to raise a glass to your neighbours.
Moving Day Fish & Chips
Ah yes, the nation’s favourite, fish and chips! It’s a moving staple, a great way to say hello to your new home and have an easy tasty meal on moving day once the removal team have gone (seriously, make sure they’ve left the premises, our crews can smell a large cod, chips and battered saveloy from 100 yards!).
Book A Food Shop Delivery
Ok, you’ve done the good bit, you’ve reduced the cupboards this end, donated to food banks, fattened colleagues with cakes, got all the neighbours tipsy (“Sarah from across the road was doing karaoke… With the microwave!!”) but what are you going to eat week one in your new home?!?
Get organised in advance and book a food shop of essentials to arrive the first full day in your new home. It not only means you can feed everyone, but you can also get some of those other ‘must-have’s’ delivered (loo roll, hand soap, washing up liquid, etc) that you might not want to pack up and bring with you.
Armishaws have helped hundreds of families move across the UK, Europe and beyond and have a wealth of moving tips and handy hints. Check out our other blogs or contact feel free to email us any quick house move queries. We’re happy to help.
If you would like to chat to a member of our friendly team and discuss your move, then get in touch today. We understand that no two moves are the same and can help design a removal quote that is right for you.
Or we can just swap recipes!
Advice For Rainy Removals
We always advise clients to be prepared. After months of foreboding weather reports warning that your moving month will bring storms and pestilence! Suddenly the forecast is looking brighter but as any Wimbledon fan knows, the British weather has a habit of misbehaving.
So having a ‘wet-weather plan’ ready is no bad thing. To help you get prepared, here are some handy tips to help deal a rainy relocation.
Double check the seals on boxes to ensure the flaps are secured with no gaps for rain to get into. Yes, that seems obvious but is overlooked surprisingly often. Also have cleaning products to hand. Even with the most diligent removal crew, the chances are there will be drips and splashes inside your home, so keeping a mop and vacuum cleaner handy could prove useful.
In damper weather, old boxes will suffer worse. If you’re expecting rain, use new boxes where possible, they’ll be stronger and more rain resistant. Your boxes can still be reused and all cardboard should always be recycled (Armishaws use only recycled and recyclable cardboard wherever possible).
Mark Special Items
If there are some items that are more at risk should they get wet, make sure they’re clearly marked and discuss these with your removals team.
Wood that might mark and electrical goods should be completely covered. A good removals crew will know how to get the job done quickly and efficiently. Most companies offer full packing services, this will allow the pros to take care of the fiddly protective measures so you can relax.
At Armishaws our trained crews can provide floor coverings and it’s certainly something we recommend. Cardboard boxes or plyboard can create an interior runway although they should be securely fastened together so there are no trip hazards. If you use boxes they should be clean and any printing placed facing up, away from flooring and carpets. To be doubly sure, use plastic sheeting under your makeshift walkway.
Available from DIY shops or even pound stores, plastic decorating sheets can provide an extra layer of protection. They tend to not be very robust and won’t stand up to a few trips of heavy boots, so should only be used as a secondary layer under something more durable.
Buy Bin Bags
Larger wheelie bin sized bin bags are conveniently large enough that they will slip over most boxes and wardrobe cartons without having to cut them. Don’t just leave them in place once they are in the van, they will drip water creating a wet floor, soaking the bottom of the boxes. Instead, place them over a box to carry it to the van, once in the van, remove the bag and take it back to cover the next box/item. Keeping the bags in one piece also means they can be reused (for your new bins) to prevent unnecessary waste.
Tarpaulins can provide quick, short-term protection if you have to place items outside for a short time. They won’t protect against really heavy downpours, but they can help keep the worst off in lighter rain. Make sure they are secured in place if covering items, or if you’re using them as temporary ground cover, ensure they are securely anchored and don’t create a trip hazard.
Check Your Route
It’s likely you might not be hugely familiar with the route to your new home. So check ahead, use a route finder app or map to look at your route. Check for any areas that might be liable to flooding (roads running close to rivers, low bridges where water might gather, etc) and have a ‘Route B’ as back up. Your removals team probably know a number of potential routes, so it’s a good idea to consult with them to make sure everyone is on the same page/map.
Tents & Marquees
Pop-up marquees can offer extra protection on the day so if you don’t own one but have a friend, relative or neighbour that could lend you one for the day it could help (it should be firmly anchored in place).
Use A Garage As A Staging Area
Moving items into a garage for easier access can reduce the number of wet boots entering the house. You can have an indoor team and outdoor team working in relay so those ‘wearing the rain’ don’t bring it inside.
Get Your Moving Vans Closer
To reduce the distance and amount of time items and boxes might be exposed to the rain, get your removals vans as close to the property as possible.
Don’t Drive On Grass
Even if you’re keen to get vehicles as close as possible, avoid driving on grass. Heavier vehicles will inevitably damage lawns, and in the worse-case scenario where there is particularly soft ground, they could get bogged down.
Cover Wet Ground
Plyboard, cardboard boxes, old carpet are all ideal to cover wet or muddy ground. If your removal team are likely to be crossing outdoor areas that are muddy or grassy, laying down a protective layer can keep the worst of the mud at bay. But if the day is likely to be windy, make sure to secure your temporary walkway in place using something like tent pegs.
Do not use scaffold boards. It’s something we see from time to time but scaffold planks are thin and can be wobbly, they’re certainly not suitable for heavy guys carrying even heavier boxes and furniture.
Wet Weather Clothes
In your rush to get everything packed, removal day arrives and… “Where did we put the wellies?!?” Make sure you have suitable wet weather gear to hand for everyone. It’s better to have it and not need it than realise it’s somewhere at the bottom of a huge pile of boxes (and you’re not even sure which box!).
Recycle & Reuse
Where possible, any items you use should ideally be reusable or be recycled. Moving home does have an environmental footprint which can be minimized with a little bit of planning. Our teams operate a box recycling scheme, use an eco-friendly alternative to bubble wrap, Armishaws are also planting sustainable woodland to offset carbon emissions and taking huge steps to ensure every move we undertake has as little impact on the environment as possible.
Don’t Forget The New House
Yep, you’ve managed to get everything out of your old house without too many boot prints or soggy cardboard. But don’t forget you’ve got to do it all again at the other end. If you can, take any floor coverings or protective measures with you to use at your new house.
Further Advice For Moving House In The Rain
In wet weather things will inevitably move slower and take longer. Crews might have to temporarily halt to avoid moving your items through the heaviest downpours, traffic is likely to be slower, wrapping furniture will need more attention. Plan ahead as much as possible to reduce the impact of the weather. Have floor coverings at the ready, communicate with your removals team, mark items that are more susceptible to bad weather. Rain is inconvenient but with simple steps and measures you can avoid major hold-ups.
If you are driving to your new property, your car will possibly be carrying more and therefore heavier than usual, drive accordingly, leave extra breaking space, drive slower on bends and roundabouts and avoid driving through standing water.
Patience is a virtue. Yes, moving home can be stressful but remember your moving team are on your side. They are experts at what they do and will want to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible. They want to do the best job for you, so work with them and take advice where offered.
Made that decision already and need help with packing or removals?
Click to view more information on our UK Removals page.
With so much to do and arrange, it’s easy for some things to be forgotten. To prevent any last minute panics, here’s a complete, easy to follow new home checklist, covering everything you may need to consider/arrange before, on the day and after your move.
Set Up Utilities
Shop around to find the best deals and arrange to have utilities connected for the day you are due to move in (in most cases this is done remotely and won’t require someone turning up on the day).
Broadband & TV
Similarly, make sure you have TV and broadband live on the day of moving in (especially if you have younger family members!).
Other Bills, Suppliers, Services
Council tax, home insurance, wood (for fuel burners), rubbish collection. If you prefer grocery delivers, you should also check which supermarkets deliver to your new address.
Change of Address
Ensure everyone that needs to be told has been updated. You can also set up a Royal Mail redirect service for a set period (3, 6 or 12 month options).
If you’re moving with children arrange to have their records transfered and order their new uniforms (most school websites give a list of local uniform suppliers).
Book a shopping delivery of all the essentials to arrive the evening of your move or your first full day (don’t forget binbags and loo roll!).
Bulbs, Batteries & Curtains
Three things that are easily overlooked but often vitally important on your first evening. Some homeowners do take lightbulbs. Batteries may be required for smoke, carbon monoxide detectors. Even if they’re only temporary, make sure you have curtains (and a means of hanging them) for the first night.
If time is on your side, arrange for a cleaning company to carry out a deep clean ahead of your items arriving at your new home.
Check your new garden is child/pet friendly and make sure any escape points have been secured.
Sweep For Forgotten Items
Check rooms, outbuildings, loft spaces for any items the previous residents might have left behind by mistake.
Read utility metres and take photos of the readings.
Pet Safe Zone
Create a safe, quiet, room for your pets by placing their familiar smelling bedding, toys, food and water (don’t wash bedding before the move, familiar smells will help them feel safer in the new surroundings). Put a sign on the door so your removals team don’t enter by mistake.
Safe Item Space
Set aside a room/area for delicate/fragile items to be placed, safely away from potential knocks or bumps.
Assemble The Essentials
Assemble essential furniture such as beds, hang bedroom curtains and set-up a TV for the kids. It’s best to get it done sooner rather than later. After a long day, you don’t want to head to bed and find you haven’t built it yet!
Locate Shut Offs
Find where the water stopcock, gas supply valve and fuse board are. If you have tradesmen coming to fit appliances or carry out work, you’ll make their job easier (and your bill cheaper), if they don’t have to waste time looking for those important switches.
Test Smoke Detectors
Make sure any smoke detectors are working. If you don’t already have one, invest in a carbon monoxide detector.
Lock Out Remedy
Decide where/who your emergency spare key is going, so you have a solution in place before it happens.
If you haven’t already done so, get all your household registered locally with a new dentist, medical practice, vets, etc. Have your patient files/records forwarded to your surgery.
Ask Your Neighbours
There will no doubt be all kinds of local delivery services or interesting artisan suppliers tucked away. Your neighbours will be a great source of local tips and handy companies you might enjoy.
Made that decision already and need help with packing or removals?
Click to view more information on our UK Removals page.
Moving day delays are often avoidable. Something has been forgotten, something packed that should have been kept handy, people aren’t properly prepared. If we had a pound for every time our crews had to sit, drinking tea, waiting for their homeowners finished getting things ready, we’d be able to afford all those cups of tea!
So here’s our easy moving day checklist to keep your move on track.
Dress For Action
At some point you will be getting hands on, whether that’s carrying every box or just tidying up. Wear older clothes you’re happy to get dirty and sturdy footwear.
Clear over hanging branches or other obstacles that might make life difficult for the removal van/s. If the moving vehicles will be parking on the road, make sure there is adequate space outside your property (have a friendly word with the neighbours if needed).
Pet Safe Zone
Create a calm, safe space for pets by placing bedding, toys, food and water in a quieter room. Clearly mark the door so your removals team know not to enter.
Use plyboard, or cardboard boxes (print side up) to protect floors from the many shoes that will be walking through. For extra protection use a layer of (clean) plastic sheeting underneath. Make sure it’s well anchored with no trip hazards.
Wet Weather Precautions
Hot Weather Precautions
Keep Valuables Separate
Some removals companies won’t be covered for transporting expensive items like jewellery, cash, watches, stamps, etc, so these may need to travel with you. Ask your removals company in advance for exact details of what they can and can’t transport.
You might have them stored digitally but make sure you have a printout of all the essential paperwork to hand in case you lose your internet connection or your device’s battery fails.
Moving Day Survival Kit
Have a moving day survival kit ready containing; toys/food/drinks for pets or children, medication, phone charger, old keys, paperwork.
Pack A Moving In Bag
Prepare a bag with the essentials you’ll want when all the chaos has finally subsided, toothbrush, pyjamas, etc. That way you won’t be hunting for things at the end of what could be a very long day.
Take final metre readings (and photographs).
Essential Tool Kit
Prepare a bag/box containing basic tools so they’ll be handy when you inevitably need them; knife, screwdrivers, allen/hex keys, packing tape, scissors and lightbulbs (in case they’ve been removed from the new property).
Look After Your Crew
Yes, they are paid to do an excellent job, but having some cold drinks or showing appreciation really can go a long way in ensuring your team go the extra mile (we mean work hard, not keep going past your address!).
Last Day Check
Check all windows are closed and locked and switch off water (stopcock), gas and electricity at the fuse box/mains.
Do one final sweep of the entire property, including outbuildings, loft spaces, garages, before your removal van leaves in case something has been missed.
If you’re leaving before your van/s, arrange for a friend/family member to stay behind to supervise the removals crew, to ensure nothing is missed and everything is locked up.
Ensure your new garden is pet/child friendly by securing any potential escape points before you let the little animals run free (and yes, as a family run company, we’re including children in that!).
Check For Forgotten Items
Inspect your new property for any items the previous occupants might have left behind by mistake. Set them aside for the owners to collect later.
Read the utility metres and take photos for your new billing.
Pet Safe Zone
Set a room aside for your pet away from strangers, boots and noises. Place bedding, toys, food, water and items with familiar smells to keep your pet calm. Clearly mark the room so your removals men don’t enter.
Safe Item Space
Set aside a room or space to place valuable or fragile items, away from the hubbub of the many items and boxes coming in.
Assemble The Essentials
Once your removal team has left, assemble essential items such as beds, bedroom curtains, dining table and set-up a TV to keep young movers entertained, they’ve had a long day too and will need some down-time. Our tip is to do it as soon as possible, you don’t have to reassemble your bed at the exact moment you really want to get in it.
Congratulate yourselves on a job well done with wine, chocolate, a take-away or a lie down in a dark room!
Made that decision already and need help with packing or removals?
Click to view more information on our UK Removals page.
To borrow the words of Robert Burns, “The best removals plans of mice and men often go awry”, (he was a very moving gent). You’ve happily marked all your boxes, stacked them in your new home, then as you start to unpack them in order, you realise all the labels are on the top, under other boxes and you can’t read them. “Doh!”
Yep, labelling boxes really does seem like a simple task but there are a few handy hints to make sure you get it right to make your move flow like the words of the afore mentioned Mr Burns.
Buy The Right Equipment
Start by purchasing some labelling equipment. Some large sticky-back labels and a thick black marker pen are a good starting point. If you want to be uber organised, use different coloured markers or card to colour code specific rooms. Having labels makes them easy to spot, rather than simply scribbling words in biro straight onto the cardboard – which can be hard to read (and it’s surprisingly tricky to write on a corrugated box).
Position Your Labels Strategically
Always stick your labels in roughly the same area on each box. This will make labels really easy to find. You should also place labels on the side of each box; when boxes are stacked on top of each other, you won’t be able to see labels placed on the tops.
Plan A System That Works
Although there are definitely wrong ways to label boxes, there are also various right ways. The key is to find the way that will work for you. Some people like to label by item, some label the item and room (always preferred by removal men as they can see exactly where it’s going at your new property). Some people like to have it colour coded, by either pen, sticker/label or even coloured tape. Whatever system you choose for labelling your boxes, keep it consistent e.g. don’t jump from colour coding to words, as it can get confusing to remember after several weeks of packing or confusing for anyone helping that doesn’t know your system/s.
Make Sure It’s Obvious
You can come up with a brilliantly complex but efficient system in your head. But if that stays in your head others might not follow your plan. Your labelling system should be easy to understand, so that anyone that picks up any box will know exactly what it is and where it’s going without having to cross reference your perfect spreadsheet and code of such ingenuity that Bletchley Park would be left scratching their heads and looking puzzled.
It’s also a good idea to add a mark or a sticker to those boxes that contain important, most needed items. Toiletries, loo roll, lightbulbs, curtains to cover children’s’ bedrooms, bedding, tea bags, mugs and of course the kettle! This will tell your removal company to keep these boxes at the top and safely placed in one space making sure they are first for you to find at your new home so that you can find them when needed.
Clearly Label Fragile Items
Finally, always make sure that your fragile items are clearly labelled. Any reputable removal company will take the utmost care of your possessions anyway, but labelling boxes that are fragile will help provide that extra bit of reassurance that your goods will all arrive completely undamaged and heavier items aren’t placed on top unknowingly.
Breaking valuable items and losing everyday possessions are among the things that worry us most about moving house. But, the good news is – along with hiring a top quality removals firm – you can take the stress out of moving by packing and labelling your boxes properly.
Those that forget or choose not to label their boxes while packing may find themselves surrounded by a sea of boxes and no idea where to start when they get to their new properties.. Imagine having to search through a mountain of cardboard cubes just to find the kettle. In short, labelling your boxes can save you a lot of aggravation when you get to the other side.
This will also help your removal company to unload your boxes into the right rooms, preventing your kitchen cutlery from ending up in your bedroom and your toiletries sitting in the living room. This will make things a lot easier for you when you start to unload your possessions – saving many unnecessary trips up and down the stairs.
Let’s be honest, although many employees and clients don’t like change, it is a big advantage to help keep things fresh, and improve costings, space and efficiency. Many businesses would prefer to relocate to help save money and resources. But what can be done to make the move faster and easier?
Planning an office move from one site to another can seem a lot like moving to a new house. To reduce lost sleep and precious man hours you need to make sure everything is organised and planned. So here’s a few simple tricks to help reduce the impact for your staff, customers and productivity as our experts lift the lid (and several large boxes!) on how to make your business move more efficient with a simple office move checklist.
Starting Planning Early
Most people underestimate the time it takes to pack goods securely and safely, especially something with a large inventory like an office. Never wait until the last minute as the packing will be rushed, and items are more likely to be damaged. It is better to make sure that all of your items are wrapped up safely and securely, and that every item is accounted for (and well labelled!), rather than wait and pack so fast that you have to cut corners and do a bad job at bubble-wrapping your computers, or favourite mug.
Leave the vital elements (such as customer facing sales teams, vital IT systems, etc) until last so you can trade as usual for as long as possible.
Assign Storage Space For Your Move
Create a space where the elements of your business you can get packed and ready can be stacked ready for your removals team. You can then make steady progress in the run up to the big move and reduce the amount of items needing to be packed last minute.
Arrange For Key Departments/Personnel To Work From Home
In recent times there has been a massive shift to people working from home. For some companies it was vital in order to keep operating during the Covid pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. There are online services that can reroute incoming calls to your teams’ mobile phones or landlines. Video conferencing can allow departments to communicate for meetings. The key is to work out what you need to ensure the least disruption for your customers (they’re the ones that pay the bills) so they are kept unaware of any chaos happening as you move lock, stock and HR department.
Print Box Labels For Staff To Fill In
If uninstructed every member of staff will have their own way to mark boxes (often badly) or worse still, not mark boxes at all. You’d be surprised how many companies overlook something that with hindsight seems obvious. Print out labels of exactly what a box contains and where it is to go at the other end. This will make life easier and quicker for your removal team and simpler to find what you need when unpacking. Be sure to mark all sides of the boxes as then if some are covered, it saves time picking up and moving other packages to try and find the details. It’s also good to number and print and inventory of exactly how many boxes should be where, then you can soon spot if a box is mossing or has been placed in the wrong location.
Pack Tech Separately
Computers should be wrapped separately in thick blankets or bubble wrap. Also, ensure all data and information is backed up, either online or on a physical drive, just in case a computer is lost or broken in transmission. With printers, remove the cartridges, tape down covers and follow specific instructions for moving machines since improper moving may void warranties. The more valuable the item, the more care you should take with it, and with computers, tablets, or technology that could easily break it’s best to take extra precautions. We recommend computers/tech, should be placed in their own separate box (one for each) and avoid placing items on top if possible.
Create Spreadsheets & Checklists
Checklists are a great way to avoid mistakes and be prepared for any eventuality. Think about an stacking/unpacking plan, for example; what needs to be opened first, putting heavy items at the bottom of piles with lighter on top to avoid damage, what will have to be set up first at the other end…. Although packing this way takes a little more time, unpacking will be quicker and a lot more efficient. It can take even more time sorting through boxes in no structured order. If you do label your boxes, then use a checklist to ensure you haven’t missed anything. A ‘Big Move Spreadsheet’ is a great way to create an inventory (for each room/office/department), set timelines, assign tasks, and create a running order for the day.
Call In The Experts
Yes, you could save time and money on your move by doing it yourself, but you could lose more of both through loss of productivity. An expert removals team will know exactly what needs to be done and in what order. While your company is unique to you, the logistical problems of planning an office move is something experienced removals crews will have seen before and a good team will help save you time and money.
At Armishaws our experienced, trained crews really have been there, done that and wear uniformed T-shirts (plus photo ID). They’re all background checked and experts at what they do. We’ve moved porcelain manufacturers, shops, IT companies, even homes and private offices at Kensington Palace. Send us a quick enquiry for a free survey.
Be Prepared That There Will Be Issues
“The best laid moving plans of mice and men…” Even the most meticulous planning can hit snags but it’s important to not get annoyed at every little thing that goes wrong. Listen to your removals team, they might not know your business, but they do know removals and how to avoid issues before they occur. Give them as much information as possible about access, parking, fragile items, etc. You should also look at insurance coverage for your belongings. Whether you’re overseeing the entire move, or just packing away your items, it is important to not let it get the better of you. Be organised, keep to your plan, and if anything changes or doesn’t go your way, then just take things one step at a time, and you’ll find seemingly big problems are simpler and easier to overcome than you think.
Make The Most Of Your Move
It’s a great marketing opportunity so have a press announcement ready for local and trade press to get some free advertising. Invite valued customers, suppliers, contacts, press to an opening ‘do’. It’s a good way to meet face to face, renew and strengthen relationships and wow people with your new improved premises. Use social media to spread the word, send out a newsletter, temporarily change your email footer… It’s a big deal, you don’t get many chances to shout about the inner workings of your company so plan ahead to make the most of this big, exciting event.
Thank Your Staff
Studies show that staff who feel part of a team and appreciated achieve better results. Moving is a big upheaval for them too. It’s interrupted their work, altered their commute, changed their daily status quo (“My new desk isn’t as close to the window/coffee machine/pot plant!”). A little thank you can go a long way.
To summarise our
Just because it’s not your ‘forever home’, doesn’t mean your rental property should feel like someone else’s house. There are some easy ways to make your mark and inject your own personality on what might be a fairly dull and characterless colour scheme.
Here are a few easy and cheap ways to make your rental property feel more like home:
Some landlords will allow you to paint, re-carpet and remodel, others will insist the property is returned in exactly the state/colours when you moved in. Before you start on any renovations, decorating, additions, always check your contract or speak to your landlord or letting agent before making changes.
If you’re bored or simply don’t like the current décor, you don’t need to buy new, you can give your existing furniture a makeover. The internet is full of great ‘How to…” videos, tips and ideas. If you’re renting for the first time and haven’t started getting furniture yet, second-hand stores, charity shops, car boot sales, Facebook Market place are all good hunting grounds for older furniture you can upcycle and really make your own.
Remember to check your contract before hammering nails or drilling screws into the walls but if the answer is no, no problem. There are other ways to add fixings to your walls or ceilings now without destroying them in the process. Pop down to explore your local hardware store or supermarket and you’ll find stainless/hole-free alternatives that won’t lose you your deposit.
Most rental properties are usually a blank canvas, with white walls and some neutral flooring, it gives you the opportunity to put your own stamp on it. Light coloured walls and flooring are great for opening up the space but adding colour and patterns back in will bring warmth and personality into your new home. Try a statement piece of furniture as your centre-piece, this will be a good place to start decorating. Once you have chosen your focal point you can work colours and styles around it.
On the other hand, your new property might already have certain unchangeable qualities, like a brightly coloured wall or a certain style/period. Don’t fight with what you have, as this can sometimes work against you. Try to incorporate the colour/style you want into the textiles you choose or try finding items that match with the style/period of property.
Plants are a great way to liven up a room, especially if your property doesn’t have any outside space. High or low maintenance, take your pick! Bringing the outside in doesn’t need to be hard work, and they are great for softening up any space. No matter what type of property you live in, you can find plants to suit your needs. For example, if your property is lacking in light there are many types that will suit low light settings. Or if you are looking for some plants to brighten up your bathroom, try plants that thrive on a bit of humidity.
Plants are also good for the body too and help improve the quality of indoor air. Why not try growing some herbs for the kitchen too, these can make great fresh ingredients to add to your cooking!
If you are struggling with a boxy room or draughty flooring, try experimenting with textiles to make your home as cosy as possible. If you aren’t able to paint your walls the colour you’d really like, why not try a wall hanging? Textiles are easy, non-permanent and you can take them with you. It’s also a simple way to transform any sofa or chair. Try purchasing some rugs too, these will cosy up any hard flooring and help to keep it feeling warmer in the colder weather.
Textiles are also a great cover for any pre-furnished properties; especially old looking sofas. Try layering some throws and cushions, these can easily modernise or hide any tired furniture and are cheaper than buying a whole new suite!
Lighting can make all the difference in your rental property, a top tip is to try to avoid any bright white lights as these can make rooms feel cold and uninviting. Try using warmer white bulbs to add a cosier atmosphere. Also, why not experiment with a variety of different lamps, fairy lights or even candles as they don’t only add ambience to your property, but also allow you to control your use of electricity a lot more easily.
Photos are one of the easiest ways to personalise your new home, as we’ve all got old ones lying around and you don’t need much to make them look nice either. Get some textured, colourful frames or simply a cheap pin board will do to display all your old snaps. Art doesn’t have to be hard to find either, it is a lot cheaper and more accessible these days with an abundance of online print sellers.
It can also be easy to make. You don’t need to be Rembrandt to try splashing paint onto a cheap canvas. Once again, there are ideas and videos online so give it a bash! The result will be so much more personal than anything you can buy, and it’ll be truly unique.
Ornaments are another fun way to make it ‘you’. Once again, charity stores, junk shops and car boot fairs are good hunting grounds. You can always find smaller items to makeover, spraying items gold, yellow or neon can really add a bit of kitsch fun and colour drama. Go for it, you’ll be surprised with the results and it’ll get your creative juices flowing.
December is a busy month and coupled with moving home, it can easily feel like a logistical nightmare. If you have booked in your house move near Christmas, you are probably wondering how you can make it as simple as possible for yourself and your family. Here’s our top tips to make sure both your Christmas and removals go to plan.
Plan ahead for the move and C-day.
Sounds obvious but planning is what will get you through the festive season, while also allowing yourself to enjoy it too. But be realistic, don’t expect that everything will be It’s A Wonderful Life perfect on Christmas day, just make sure you have the basics in hand. A good place to start is to get your removals and packing company booked up first and work from there, if you set the date early it will allow you plenty of time to sort the rest. Professional packers will help relieve some of that pressure as packing can be massively time consuming.
That includes the food.
For most, the main Christmas event is the food, but it’s understandable that fridge might not be as well stocked as usual. Check opening times of your new local shops (although the closer to Christmas you get, the longer the queues and less options). You could break with tradition and have a Christmas take away instead, an increasing number of restaurants offer a Christmas Day service and it’s another thing not to have to worry about this year. Or book a food shop to arrive the day after your move, ensuring you have everything you need for the big dinner, along with key home and kitchen essentials (soap, toilet roll, etc). And don’t forget the Brussel sprouts!
Be prepared for bad weather.
Weather is unpredictable especially around this time of year and you don’t want to be caught out. Snow and ice are just some of the possibilities that can make moving heavy items dangerous. Make sure you have plenty of salt and a shovel to hand if the weather does get icy. You’ll also need warm, durable clothing accessible too, so bear this in mind when packing. A simple solution is to have a bad weather box ready, just in case.
And if you’re moving to a house with a log fire, wood burner or oil powered heating, make sure you are stocked up, removal boxes don’t burn for long!
Don’t forget furry family members.
No, we don’t mean Uncle Keith, and although it’s one more thing to squeeze into an already busy festive schedule, make sure pets don’t get overlooked when there’s so much going on. Moving home can be a stressful time for animals too. Strange new surroundings, smells, people, loud noises, car travel… Set time aside for your furred or feathered friends during your Christmas removals to get them bedded in and ensure they still get the exercise they require. If you can throw in a new toy and occasional distraction, even better!
You can read more tips on Moving With Pets here.
Keep some simple decorations handy.
The last thing on your mind is probably decking the halls but after you’ve taken care of the essentials, you’ll still want to feel a little bit of Christmas cheer. In fact, having a slightly ‘less is more’ rustic/minimalist approach to Christmas decorations can make it feel even more unique and special. Pack a box of the Xmas must haves, a mini tree (or inflatable one), a few baubles here and there, eco-friendly tinsel or hangings, just enough to make one room the hub of your festivities. You don’t need your home dressed from head-to-toe to make it feel Christmassy, some simple touches and festive lights will work wonders!
Make sure your new house is secure.
Security can be a big issue especially at Christmas time, and with so many distractions and expensive items sat under the tree it can make you an easy target for criminals. Make sure you keep your home secure and your valuables out of site. A basic tip for your new home is to get your curtains up early, making it harder for anyone to see in, a simple deterrent.
Don’t pack the presents!
That might sound counter-intuitive, but if you can, arrange to leave gifts and presents with a friend or family member. This is especially important when moving with children (in particular if they know it’s the big guy that brings the presents down the new chimney, not Mum, Dad and the removal men). Not placing them in the van will keep presents away from any bumps, stop them being spotted stop them being seen (Santa myth busting disaster!), stop them getting mislaid (even worse!) and help keep the magic of Christmas alive. Just remember to go and get them before Mr Claus is due to drop by.
Take time to relax and enjoy it.
No, those pictures aren’t going to hang themselves, but the walls will still be there after Boxing Day. You’ve had a busy time, it’s your Christmas too and you deserve a well-earned break to enjoy the time with the rest of your household. There’s no denying that moving can be a bit stressful, tempers can get frayed, words may be said, sometimes loudly, so take time to reconnect, remember why you put yourselves through it in the first place and we hope you enjoy this magical first Christmas in your new home. So from all the Armishaws’ team, we wish you a successful move and a very merry Christmas wherever you’re moving to.
And if the worst comes to the worst…
Descend on family members instead!
There’s a lot to think about when making the decision to buy a new home, you want to make sure you’re picking the right one. So if you’re a first time buyer or not well practised in the art of house hunting, here are some of our tips on what to look out for when picking out your new home…
There are many things to check for when walking in to view a house and it can be slightly overwhelming trying to remember everything. So here are some of the main points important for you to think about during your viewings:
This is just as important as the property itself and the checks to take are easily forgotten, so follows these tips to make sure you don’t get caught out!
You may not have confirmed your decision yet but think about what might come next if you do. Buying a house can be a stressful process at times and you want to make sure you are prepared.
If you keep these main points in mind these tips should help you to make a well informed decision on your potential future home. Remember to take your time with the viewings, don’t feel you have to rush and ask loads of questions.
Moving house can be an exciting time and no doubt the first thing most of us want to do is unpack everything to try to start to make it feel like home. But unpacking can become chaotic if you don’t have a plan in place, knowing where to start and how to manage it will help you to settle in as quick as possible. Follow these steps below on the best way to unpack your new home:
Not the most fun start to kick off your to do list but the best thing you can do once in your new house, is to clean it. Unfortunately you can rarely guarantee the state of the property you are moving into so it is always recommended a good deep clean prior to unpacking. Especially if the house has been sat empty collecting dust, without all your belongings in the way cleaning will be a lot easier to do. A good idea before moving is to pack a box of essential cleaning products so you don’t have to go rooting through all your packing to find them. For a more in depth guide on where to start with cleaning see our blog post on Cleaning Advice for Moving into a New Home.
After cleaning a good idea is to make sure you have divided up the boxes into the right rooms, if it is all in one place that will make it seem like one major task – seeming unachievable. For your own sanity, the best way to work is room by room. This way you will break it down into small tasks, feeling accomplished each time you finish a section of the house. This will also help you to plan; your new home is different to your last so placing and organisation will need to be rethought in this first stage.
When packing up your old house, if you followed our previous blog on How to Reduce Moving Day Stress, you will have packed some essentials together in one box or bag. This is a great place to start. Just to get you through the first day and night, you will need things like toilet roll, hand wash, a change of clothes and maybe some coffee too (!). It might also be a good idea to keep some basic appliances in this kit also – items like the kettle and some basic crockery and cutlery will definitely come in handy on that first day.
In the chaos of a house move things can frequently go missing, so it is useful to dedicate a draw or a safe place for all those important documents/spare keys etc. to keep together so they don’t get lost. Do this early on so you don’t have to worry about it when your house is in full unpacking mode!
Now we begin the real unpacking, and it’s best to start with larger items like beds, sofas, larger appliances/white goods (fridges, washing machines etc.) and dining tables as these will determine the basic layout of your rooms, and make a huge difference when starting to organise your unpacking. Getting these items assembled and laid out will make a visible dent in your pile, so getting this done first will have you well on your way. And you will thank yourself at the end of that long first day when you don’t have to worry about making the bed up!
Now we get into the rooms, and doing this one by one will help you to keep from feeling overwhelmed. The bathroom is a great place to start as one of the most essential rooms in the house – along with the kitchen. It is also an easy place to begin as there usually isn’t as much to unpack as you don’t have any furniture to contend with.
Next is the Kitchen, probably one of the largest tasks, so a good one to tackle early on. Start with the appliances – your cupboard organisation will most likely depend on where you place your white goods and counter top appliances. For example, you probably want to co-ordinate your kettle with your mugs/tea/coffee cupboard, it’s good to keep certain things within reach of each other.
Assessing the space within the cupboards is also something to bear in mind before putting away, as bottles and glasses will need shelving with certain heights and crockery is usually stored in a large cupboard altogether. But a good way to plan this out is to layout in front of the cupboards what you want together and where, as it’s easier to move around and re-organise outside the cupboards than when they are packed away.
As the start of the lesser essential items to unpack, clothes usually take up a lot of space and time to organise. So to begin with split your clothes into seasons, this will most likely determine which clothes you use the most and where you want to store them. Pack your least used items at the bottom of drawers or the back of the wardrobe and then keep your most used at the top, making them easily accessible. Lost some space in the move? Try using vacuum packing to store those off season pieces, this will help maximise space for your most currently used items.
Again these are usually non-essential and decorative items so leaving them till the end is a good strategy to keep them from getting ruined in the moving in process. They can also be a nuisance when trying to move any larger items as they can bunch and buckle making the process a lot harder. So once you have finished moving everything into the new house and moving around to where you want them, then you can place any carpets and rugs down – leaving till the end will also help you to avoid having to clean them again.
Probably the best part of unpacking, and therefore a good one to leave till the end – like a reward at the end for all your hard work. Decor can be done over time, so if you focus on the functional items first you can spend time to decorate later on. Instead of rushing to do it all at once, you can see what space you have left to work with, allowing you to place more thoughtfully.
Follow these tips to efficient unpacking and your house will be feeling like a home in no time! For more help and information on packing and removals why not call us on 0800 917 1015 or view our Removals page for a detailed breakdown on the services we offer.
As if you don’t already have enough to do just to get moving, you also have to tell everyone about it! (When will the madness end!?!). Don’t panic, the list isn’t actually as long as you think, it becomes even easier if you break it down. Getting organised is easy with a simple change of address checklist to make sure everyone who needs to know has been informed as in some instances it is a legal requirement to update organisations or documents (driving license), while some suppliers might invalidate a contract if you haven’t told them of a change of address (although most do give a little leeway).
So pens at the ready, deep breath and here’s a quick easy checklist to get the job done.
Although this may seem very obvious, informing your close friends and family about your move is important. Whether it’s through social media, or good old-fashioned mailing, you should keep everyone updated as to what’s going on, so that they can change their address book information. Image if they travel from far away to surprise you and find you’ve moved miles away. They also should be able to get a hold of you easily. It is important to keep on top of it.
It’s best not to assume your employer will ask for your new address. You need to tell them your new location in case they send our payslips, important documents, or need to get information to you in an emergency. If you are starting a new job, make sure you have the house’s address handy for when you need to fill in forms, or piece of information.
You will need to inform your bank or building society about your change of address as soon as possible, and this may be a convenient time to transfer to a branch closer to your new home. If you have any savings accounts, investments or pensions, don’t forget to update your details with them too. You don’t want to miss out on any statements or pieces of information, and there may be better alternatives, which can be discovered after a simple hunt around.
Failure to update your Vehicle Registration Document (V5C) and/or your driving licence can carry a fine. Plus your license is often used as a form of identification when proving your home address, so updating all vehicle related address logs is vital. In the event of being pulled over by police, you would need to present your license which should correlate with other forms of identification to prove your identity.
You should also inform your car breakdown service in case of emergency.
When you tell your car insurance company about your change of address, you may find your premiums change because of the new postcode, and there may be a charge for changing your address. Shopping around for cheaper quotes will help save you money, and you should check your current home policy and whether it still offers adequate cover for your belongings when in transit between your old and new property. This should all be checked before the move, and it will save you time and money.
You should ask the Post Office to redirect all your post to the new address, so you receive everything you should. It takes more than a few days to set-up, so you should organise this in advance of your move. There is a charge, but it is worth it and is important to do.
You are required, by law, to be on the electoral register, and you need to be included on it to vote. You receive your polling card in the post to your noted address, so if this is incorrect you are unable to vote. This needs a certain amount of time prior to the voting day in order to be registered, so get it sorted straight-away, and get voting!
The dentists’ and doctors’ surgeries need you address information on record, and it’s important that they are up to date. It is also of great interest to know where the closest doctors and dentists are, so that you know how to get there with no real trouble, and so you can choose ones which suit you. A simple phone call should allow for the receptionist to sort the address change, and all your information on the system should be transferable, which is then sorted by your old and new surgeries.
If you have your landline, internet, TV and mobile phone contract all the same company, this process should be rather easy. If not, it will take a few phone calls but will get everything up and running faster, and don’t forget to alter your TV license too. It is important to sort this before the move, otherwise there will be a wait once in the new house.
You will need to contact your utility suppliers in advance of your move to settle any outstanding bills. You can keep your current supplier but may be able to save money by shopping around and finding a local, cheaper alternative.
If you’re staying in the same town and your children will be attending the same school then their records should be updated, along with any clubs, groups or teams they attend. Schools need to keep accurate records of how far their pupils commute. It’s also the primary emergency contact address.
Moving home certainly isn’t something you do every day and can be a little bit daunting. In fact, moving house often appears in top 5 lists of most stressful life events. Having the right removals company in your corner can make all the difference between a happy, “They took care of everything for us.” kind of move and a “THAT WAS THE WORST DAY EVER!” nightmare experience.
Here’s a quick Q&A of how removals could and should help you.
What does a removals company offer?
A good company will give you knowledge, skills and of course plenty of safe hands on the day. They should also provide financial security (should anything go wrong). Floor coverings, recyclable boxes, padded furniture covers, a dedicated coordinator so you have a single, constant point of contact, storage options (if required), cover for your possessions while in transit, but mostly experience. Every move is different, there will always be something unexpected but a reliable experienced team will have seen it all before and know every solution.
How to choose the right company for you.
You need to find a company that can offer you the flexibility and security that suits you. Don’t get just one quote. Equally, we wouldn’t recommend going for the cheapest (do you really want to entrust all your possessions to someone based on how cheap they can do the job?). Can they provide all the services you require? Are all their staff trained and go through a background security check? Work out what matters and ask those questions.
Find more tips on choosing the right removals company here.
What to consider.
Size and budget can also matter. A man with a van can be perfectly adequate for smaller moves and is a better lower priced solution. If you have precious items, a larger move, want to be 100% confident you won’t be let down, a larger, more experienced company could be better.
Alternatively, you might want a company that share your green credentials. Some movers are taking great steps to reduce their carbon impact and make your relocation more environmentally friendly, ask them about their eco-credentials.
Or you might require specific services, make a list of exactly what you need;
Are video surveys ok?
Yes, in a modern world video surveys are perfectly acceptable using smartphones or tablets. You can still speak to the removal company on the phone to find out more about their service. And of course do your research about any company before signing on the dotted line.
What to look out for.
A good removals company will have the right accreditation. We always recommend using a company that is a member of the British Association of Removers. This means they must adhere to a strict code of working practises that protects clients, staff and takes account of things like good environmental practices. It also gives you greater financial protection should anything go wrong. But do your research. A company might claim to be a BAR member but by checking the BAR website or making a quick call you can be sure.
Do your research.
It’s always good to be recommended a removals company, that way you’ll know they have delivered good service to someone who’s opinion you trust. If you can’t get a personal recommendation, then check out prospective companies online. While there are a number of websites offering to give ‘Removals Reviews’ these are paid platforms and removals companies can pay to get positive reviews. So check independent review websites like Trustpilot, Which or even Facebook. Don’t merely look at scores, but read reviews, see what people are saying and importantly how a company responds. This will give you a good indication of whether they’re the right fit for you.
Should I pay upfront.
No. A good company won’t ask you to pay the entire amount weeks prior to your move. You might be asked to pay a small deposit to secure your dates and many companies require full payment the day before your move, but you should never pay huge sums way in advance. If you do feel you’re being pressured into paying, then find a company that feels more comfortable to deal with. It’s your move. Your money. A good removals company will respect your custom and treat you accordingly.
Choosing the services that suit you.
Financial security should a given, so you know you’re getting what you pay for and a team will turn up on the day, so be sure to ask what assurances they offer. You’re paying for your move, so what do you want for your money? Packing services, furniture disassembly/assembly, security checked staff, overnight quick storage, long-term storage, experience of international removals (these are a whole different kettle of poisson). Some companies will have different areas of expertise so make sure they can supply the right service to suit your exact needs.
How can I make my move easier?
Get organised early, otherwise you could end up losing sleep over how much still needs to be done. People can underestimate the time it can take to pack goods securely and safely. Never wait until the last minute and make sure that every item is accounted for. Labelling boxes means you or your movers can deliver them to the right room and you can see exactly what’s inside by creating an inventory of boxes. Computers and technology should be wrapped separately, and all data should be backed up. Take extra precautions for items with a screen to ensure they won’t get damaged or broken in transport. Making checklists is another great way to avoid mistakes and be prepared for any eventuality. Having an idea of which rooms furniture will be going to can speed up the move, as the removals team can place everything where requested and save you from moving it around later.
How much does a removal cost?
The general price of a removal depends on the size of property/number of rooms (and therefore the amount of items to be moved), outbuildings, extra services (packing, assembly, storage, etc), distance between properties, whether your team will be required for multiple days… Some items may need specialist care when packing or unloading. All these will affect the price. A good removals company will give you a bespoke quote based on your exact needs, charging you for the service you need, not simply pricing it on a one price fits all basis.
What are the most vital things to go on my checklist?
Decluttering, informing people of change of address (including your driving license, car insurance, etc), planning/acquiring packing materials/boxes, assessing what you need to move, checking loft/outdoor storage areas, creating a room by room inventory, checking access to your property (are there any roadworks planned, parking issues), informing/cancelling service suppliers. You can then create an order to get things done in the countdown to your move.
What can go wrong?
Removal teams not turning up on time, or even at all (we do hear of crews simply not showing up because they got a better paid gig). Damaged goods (not uncommon when entire house loads of things are being transported, some of which may not be as well wrapped as they should be). Vehicles breaking down. Vehicles being too big to gain access. Most problems can and will be avoided by a reputable and experienced removals company. One problem we sometimes find is clients aren’t always totally honest about things. The more you tell your removals in advance (especially things that might be problematic), the better service and easier the move will be on the day.
How can I save money?
Do your own packing, ask friends and family to help, hire your own van (check your driving license to see what you’re qualified to drive), buy your own packing materials, reduce the amount being moved be decluttering your house, plan food shopping (through our blogs you’ll find a number of articles that can help save you money. Smaller moves can be done without a large, professional team but you should give yourself a little more time to plan. A good removals company will save you headaches, they bring experience/knowledge to negotiate problems and provide financial security as well as peace of mind.