Moving home is one of the most stressful things you can do, so it makes sense for you to be as organised as you can be on the removal day itself.

There are many things you can do in the days and weeks running up to moving day that will help the day go as smoothly as possible.

Who should I use?

The best removal firm to use is one who has been recommended by someone who has had a good experience.  Failing that, there are a number of checks you can make to ensure you are entrusting your belongings to a reputable firm.

You can contact the BAR (British Association of Removers) or the NGRS (National Association of Removers and Storers) for a list of member firms in your area.  Members will operate within the terms of a code of practice and also offer an independent conciliation and arbitration service should the worse happen and you have to complain.

What moving date should I choose?

If you’re buying/selling, the moving date will usually be agreed on by all parties and is usually the date on which your sale/purchase is completed.

If you can, avoid Fridays and bank holidays as removal firms are always in high demand on these days and will not only be stretched but will probably be more expensive.  For a less stressful move, opt for off-peak times such as mid-week.

What do I need to do?

In the best Boy Scout tradition, Be Prepared!

Make sure your possessions are insured for transit.  Most removal companies will include this but it’s always best to check what is covered and whether there are exclusions.  This is especially important if you are packing your belongings yourself as some firms may only insure items packed by their operatives.  If you are planning to transport any items yourself, check your contents insurance to see if your belongings are covered by your contents insurance.

Make sure you keep a kettle, mugs etc accessible.  Your removal men will be grateful of a cuppa.

If you can afford it, hire professional cleaners to give your new home a good spring clean before you start moving in your possessions.

Moving home is a great time to de-clutter.  Be methodical and pack one room at a time.  Divide unwanted items into three piles

  • Items for charity
  • Items for sale
  • Items for the tip

Some charities will collect donations.  The Red Cross and the British Heart Foundation will collect certain bulky items which they can resell in their shops.  You will need to contact them and give them a description of the item you want to donate and they will tell you if they can help.

There’s also great recycling sites such as Freecycle and Freegle where you can offer your unwanted items to other people.  These sites work on the basis “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and you’d be surprised what you can find!  they are also a great place to get packing boxes as many people offer their packing materials once they have finished with them.

If you’re being really ruthless, you could always get a miniskip to save lots of trips to the local tip.

Moving Day

Kids and moving day don’t mix!  If you’re moving within the same area and your kids aren’t moving schools, don’t bow to pressure to let them have the day off.  Far better to keep them in a routine. Take them to school as normal and ask a friend if they can pick them up for you.

The same goes for pets – ask someone to look after them for the day or book them into kennels or a cattery. Ensure they have identity tags with their new address on as cats especially will try to find their way back to their old home.

Make some time to compile a fact file for the people who are moving into your property.  This can include such things as instruction leaflets and service information for the heating system and appliances you’re leaving, details of rubbish collection days, recycling days etc.

Collect all the keys to your home, including those left with neighbours and relatives, and give them to your solicitor or estate agent. Label all sets of keys so the new owners  know what they open!

Label each packing case with the room you want it left in your new home.

Final preparations should include making an inventory of everything to be moved, advising the post office to redirect your post and cancelling the milk and newspapers if you have them delivered. If you are moving to a different area, register with a new GP.

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