Whether you’re moving to your dream home, getting your foot on the first rung of the property ladder or doing a little downsizing, chances are you’re probably not looking forward to the logistical side of moving house. Thankfully, with enough preparation and planning, moving house doesn’t have to be an organisational nightmare, especially when paired with self-storage units that can take the strain out of moving day.
If you’re planning a house move, there are loads of resources you can use to get on track:
- Right Move Removals – Arguably the UK’s most well-known property site, Right
Move has removal company and man with van listings for the whole of the UK.
- Moveme.com – With listings for practically every profession you might want a quote from during
your move, and the ability to compare deals on entertainment and utilities, Moveme.com has it all.
- UKCrimeStats.com – If you’re contemplating a move to an area you’re unfamiliar with, check
out this site, which brings together crime statistics from across the UK to give users an overall view of the prevalence of crime in a given area.
- School performance tables – If you have children, the government’s school
performance tables are a must-visit to check for good schools in the area you’re looking at.
- Space Station – Click here to get a quote if you’re in need of a place to temporarily
put your items while you move, or a long-term storage location if you’re either downsizing or simply want to move into a decluttered home.
House move checklist
Moving house is stressful, but approaching it in an organised, bite-sized manner will make it a lot easier. Click here to download our checklist, or scroll down to view.
How to choose a removal company
Getting a good removal company can make all the difference when you’re moving home. If you have a lot of stuff or are moving from or to an upper-floor property, they’re immensely valuable, saving you plenty of time and effort.
Finding a removal company you can trust can be difficult, but you can get a good one with the following steps:
Get lots of quotes – Ask plenty of professional movers from The British Association of Removers or The National Guild of Removers and Storers for quotes well in advance of your move date, getting each company’s sales estimator to come to your home and give you a detailed assessment.
This process can take a few weeks or a couple of months, so the longer you give yourself, the better the chance you’ll get the mover you want – companies are often booked up weeks in advance!
Always see if you can get a discount for moving on a weekday or outside of peak times, but be aware you probably won’t get one if you’re moving during school holidays or at the weekend. If you can, get a recommendation from a friend or family member to help ensure you receive a good service.
- Be insured – While most good movers have dedicated moving
insurance, you need to make sure that this is the case. Also contact your contents insurer to see if your items will be insured during transit.
Self-storage when moving to a new home
A storage unit can be a godsend when moving home, allowing you to put away all the things that simply get in the way when we move, and if there’s an unexpected break in the housing chain, they can let you quickly store a lot of items on the fly. These are items and pieces of furniture that you won’t need during the first week, and that you can collect a week later once the dust has settled on the move.
Here’s how to make the best use of one.
Create an inventory
At least a month before moving day, you need to start by creating an inventory of your items. Go through every space in your home, including the loft, garage and shed, and list everything.
Organise your items
Go through your list and start by crossing off all the stuff you simply don’t need. Take it to a charity shop, sell it, give it to your friends and family or throw it away – whatever you do, just get rid.
With the items left on the list, go through and decide which things you 100% need in your first week in your home. These could be kitchen bits, your bed, mattress and some chairs to sit on, but try and be ultra-conservative, especially if you have plans to decorate your new home. The fewer items lying around taking up space, the easier it’ll be to make the decorations totally perfect.
Store your stuff
The items that didn’t make the cut can be put in a storage unit. Cheap, secure and climate-controlled, they’re a perfect short-term choice for any house mover, and thanks to their long opening hours, you can go and pick up your stuff whenever you want to.
In general, one-bedroom properties require around 50-75 sq ft of storage space. Two-bedroom homes need about 100 sq ft, three-beds around 150 sq ft, and four-beds between 150 and 200 sq ft. The space required can be reduced by packing items efficiently, and it’s good to be liberal with your storage unit size estimations – you don’t want to run out of space, only to have to move all of your items out of a smaller unit into a larger one!
Moving day survival tips
Deep breaths! You can get through moving day – just make sure to do the following and you’ll be prepped for all those little upsets that may pop up!
Create a moving day kitchen box
The last thing to go into your car and the first thing to come out, your kitchen box is on hand to give you the energy to get through your day. Make sure to pack:
- Tea, coffee, or squash – you, your family and your movers will work faster if properly hydrated
- Biscuits, cereal bars or other snacks
- An insulated sandwich box, bag or cool box containing milk and a meal for dinner, planned in advance (if you can resist a takeaway)
- Pet food
- Food and water if you’ve got a long journey
Create a moving house kit
Having all the tools and other important bits and bobs in one place will make your move much smoother. Pack:
- Screwdrivers (flat and cross head)
- Sticky tape
- Marker pens
- Sticky labels
- Wire strippers
- Bin bags
- Antibacterial wipes
- Antibacterial detergent
- Carpet spot cleaner
Pack an overnight bag
Unless your new house is tiny, chances are you won’t be totally unpacked by night time. Make sure to put your clothing and wash kit in one easy-to-find bag so you don’t have to rummage through lots of cardboard boxes.
Always pack as much as you can in advance, sealing the boxes and labelling them with information regarding the contents of each box and what room the contents need to go into – it’ll save you plenty of time.
Get the route right
Make sure everyone involved in your move, including you, your family and the removals company are 100% sure where your new house is so you can make all the tight moving day timings. Hard copy maps and written directions will ensure that everyone stays on schedule, even if they have a sat nav.
Keep the vacuum cleaner to hand
Make sure your vacuum cleaner is one of the last things into the car and one of the first out. The previous occupants might have been clean, but there might be one or two bits of dust that need cleaning up before you move your things inside.
Send someone on ahead to collect the keys
By getting a family member to go and get the keys and open up the house, you won’t have to have your nerves wracked leaving your car and everything important inside it out in the open while you visit the estate agents.
Have some dust sheets to hand
Useful for covering up furniture or carpeting while you get the house in order, dust sheets are a must-have. Beware though, that some removal companies will refuse to use dust sheets you supply due to health and safety fears, but if they do refuse, most will supply their own.