Find out how to ensure all your household belongings get packed up, moved, stored or unpacked in this detailed guide.
Moving house is never going to be an easy task, because there is so much to it. It is like one huge project with lots of different elements to constantly chase up and rearrange. Add to that children, pets, tricky estate agents, property chains and other complications and you can feel stressed just thinking about it! It is up there with one of the most stressful things we do with our lives, along with having a baby and getting married.
In this guide, we can’t promise to help the entire process be completely stress free. But we can help you focus on an element of the move that can often be a big cause of stress: moving your belongings.
Packing, safely moving, organising, storing and unpacking your belongings is often one of the most laborious and stressful parts of moving house. If you’re somebody who can’t stand going grocery shopping and hates putting shopping away, then moving house would just be a complete nightmare.
Sure enough there are the Monica Geller’s of the world who love organising and would actively choose to organise things. But most of us just would never choose to have to pack and organise an entire house worth of items.
So, in this guide, we are going to help the process of moving things from one house to another be a lot more streamlined. At the very least, it will help you get your items moved safely.And at the very most you will feel a lot more in control of at least one element of your house move.
Getting a Removals Company
A removals company is likely to be the first thought that comes to mind when you think about moving all your stuff from one house to another. If you have the budget, having a removals company do everything (even packing the house up) will make things so much easier.
You won’t have to do anything but tell the company what’s what. And they should safely move your entire house without you having to lift a finger. Even just having a removals company move the packed items from A to B is a lot easier than hiring a van yourself.
That being said, there are good reasons to not hire a removals company. For example: you may not trust them with your belongings. Accidents do happen and, it isn’t unreasonable to want to be in charge of protecting your worldly goods. It might also be that you don’t have the budget to pay for these kinds of service. Or, you don’t want to pay because you know you can do it yourself.
If you do decide to get professionals to help you move your items, it is very important to choose the right removals company for you.
Not all removals companies are made equal and choosing the right removals company takes some research and time.
How to Choose The Right Removals Company
It may be that you just need to search reviews and opinions online or from friends or family. If a trusted family member tells you that they had a great experienced with a certain company that might be all you need to hear.
Or perhaps looking through endorsement sites like on Trusted Traders or Check A Trade will work better as tradesmen are rated in detail. Also you can see how different companies have been rated by previous customers.
Do try to remember that online there is often a bias towards complaining over sharing positive feedback. People often feel more compelled to complain than to praise. Because f they have had a bad experience they want to warn other people. Whereas with a good experience they are content and often don’t think to share the information.
With any removals company remember to look out for:
- Excellent customer service
- Dedication to finding solutions
- A good reputation
- The right van and team for your needs
- A company with reasonable prices
You should look at a wide range of removals companies in your area. Get a good idea of the different types of services on offer. If you have specialist needs, i.e. you have a very large house or you have extremely fragile goods, then remember to enquire about whether or not companies can handle your needs before getting them out for a quote.
The Costs of a Removals Company
Lots of different things will affect exactly how much a removals company services will cost you.
- How many boxes/ items you have to move (or how many rooms you need moving).
- How big your house is.
- The distance between your current house and your new house.
- How many people are needed to move your items.
- If you want the items packed as well.
All these will all impact the cost.
You should expect your removals company to be transparent about pricing and to offer you various options at different price points. For example: you may get a cheaper deal if you pack some rooms yourself and only have the company pack up fragile items professionally.
When you get quotes, look at getting at least three different quotes from companies who will come and see what needs moving so their estimate is accurate.
You’re looking for a completely broken down estimate that explains the costs involved. The more transparent the quote is, the better able you are to understand if the costs are acceptable to you, and if you can reduce the costs at all.
One of the most important aspects of using a removals company is insurance. The removals company should offer insurance to cover claims for breakages. Or on delays with the move. The company should have adequate cover and you should know how long you have to claim after moving day.
Communicating With a Removals Company
When you have a removals company chosen is a really good idea to let them know about your items. For example: a large piece of furniture that needs taking apart, a valuable antique that requires special packing, details of the new property and where items need to go.
You may need to liase with them a few times over this information if they are packing up your entire house. You need to be really specific with certain things. For example, if a large item like a piano is going into a certain room, you need to be clear about this. You don’t want to have to move the piano yourself. Especially if it is meant to be up some stairs or an elevated floor. Keep the lines of communication open and remember to be clear as much as possible to avoid confusion.
Everybody moves house in summer. So if you want a good removals company for this period of time you should book well in advance. As soon as you know you are moving house, start researching moving companies so you can book your favourite without being disappointed.
Moving yourself is a great idea if you don’t mind adding the additional organisation. Get a list of everything you need moving before looking at van price estimates so that you can get the right van size for your needs. It may be that you can move big items with a van hired for a day, and then move smaller items back and forth with your family vehicle.
Many people choose to utilise self storage when they move house. They might use it for several reasons including:
- Storing items because they are downsizing
- Moving some items to storage because they aren’t sure about keeping or selling and want time to consider their options
- Storing items whilst the new house is decorated/ renovated
- Storing seasonal items to make more room in the new property
If you do choose to use self storage as part of your moving home process, it is important to choose the right company. After all, they will be taking care of your treasured possessions.
How Much Storage Do You Need?
You don’t want to have to pay for space you do not need. Estimate the amount of space you will need so you have an appropriate sized storage unit. Lots of companies can help you estimate how much space you will need. Cheap self storage can come in the size of a gym locker all the way up to the size of a football pitch! So there will be something to suit your needs.
Do You Want Access To Your Items At All Times?
Some storage facilities are only open set times. Whereas others open 24 hours a day. If you have a specific time you need access to the unit, you should check their opening times suit your needs before getting a unit with them.
Are The Company Local Or Is It A Nationwide Company?
Although each and every cheap self storage company will have their benefits. A lot of the time, the family run local units have extra benefits that appeal to some people. A friendly set of staff who get to know you, they often take a lot of pride in their premises.And they likely have local connections they can recommend (removals companies etc).
Alternatively, larger companies will probably have better capacity and range of space sizes, and they are more likely to be open 24/7. Visiting both types of self storage is a good idea to get an idea of which you prefer.
There is a contract with self storage as there is with anything financial. Check the terms carefully before signing. Make sure you can afford the payments for the duration of the contract term. It makes sense to understand the financial implications of any contract and to know you can fulfil those obligations every month.
How to Pack Your Home
Packing up your home is a long process and it can be very tricky. Follow these tips to minimise the stress of it all and avoid problems.
Last minute packing is a no-no unless you want to add a lot of stress on to your moving process. Instead, start the process very early on where you can plan at least to know what needs doing and when. Making a plan about what you need to do in each room and when you commit to doing it is a great idea. Then the time is allocated and you know you will be packed on time.
Get Your Equipment In Order
Moving boxes, recycling bags, packing tape – get everything you need to pack so that you’re prepared and so your items will be adequately protected in transit. You can get boxes for free at supermarkets and other places. Often the boxes are very strong. For example: banana boxes are extremely strong and often come with lids.
Label in great detail so that you know where each box needs to go. Sticky labels easily stick on boxes and can be written on in seconds. It is an extra element to packing but a worthwhile one if you want to stay organised.
Don’t bother packing up items you don’t want to take with you. Have a big declutter session and sell your unwanted goods. You could make the cash you need for some paint or accessories in your new home just by getting rid of things you no longer use.
Moving Your Stuff Can Be Minimally Stressful As Long As You Plan
With plenty of planning, moving your items can be organised and as stress-free as possible. Do your research, plan the move like it is a project, and focus on the details. Soon enough you’ll be moved and settled in your new home, making new happy memories with the moving day being a distant memory far behind you.