Having worked as a “remover” myself I thought I could pass on some money saving hints and tips.
Moving home can be a lot cheaper than you think if you follow some of my tips and hints – but don’t cut too many corners as moving can be stressful and you don’t want to make life harder for yourself.
When deciding on a moving date or completion date, try to avoid Fridays. These are the busiest days for removal companies and your preferred ‘mover’ might be fully booked. There have also been instances of companies charging more to move on a Friday than on other days of the week.
Make sure all your possessions are insured for transit. Most good removers offer this service but you should ask the question when making enquiries and if they do not offer this service, then book someone else.
Always read the insurance documents carefully, especially the small print, to understand exactly what is covered. Most insurers include a compulsory excess relating to claims made when items are being moved, so make sure you understand your potential liabilities.
Move yourself or get a company in?
I moved just over a year ago and I did the job myself with a few friends and a 16 tonne truck borrowed from my stepbrother who runs Matthew Carter Removals and Storage. The process was reasonably easy as I had previous experience.
There is an art to packing your furniture/possessions into a removal van/truck. The sofa or sofas should loaded first and stood up on their ends – they are an awkward shape. From here work towards the back of the truck/van, securing items with rope, every two metres. Heavier items should be on the floor of the truck/van with lighter items stacked on top, roping along each level.
Most moves require you to have vacated the property by 12pm ready for the arrival for the new occupants. This means the complete contents of your home need to be packed on one or more trucks, ready to go. This creates a bit of a problem if you’ve only hired a 3.5 tonne transit van with space for only half of your furniture.
Hiring a professional removal company can take most of the stress out of moving day, as they will arrive early and load with time to spare, leaving you to leaving you to whizz the hoover round and take the meter readings with time to spare.
The cost of hiring your own vehicle or using a removal company can differ greatly, depending on the service you require from the removal company.
The contents of an average 3 bedroom home, accommodating 2 adults and a child, would probably take between 1200 cubic metres and 1700 cubic metres of space on a lorry if stacked well.
To hire a lorry would cost in the region of £100 for a 3.5 tonne Luton van and around £180 for a 7.5 tonne box van for the day, but remember you need to either collect the vehicle the night before or very early to allow yourself time to get it packed.
Truck hire guide and prices here, just to give you an idea.
A removal company should charge in the region of £500.00, but this would depend on whether you do the packing or leave everything to them.
Packing up the contents of a home can take days to complete and if you’re doing it yourself, you do need to do a good job. You will need decent packing cartons, and strong black sacks for clothing and bedding. If using a removal company, they should provide packing cartons in advance, you will simply need to estimate how many you need.
If you’re doing the whole job yourself you will need to purchase strong packing cartons from a local storage company or if you know someone who works in a warehouse you may be able to get them free of charge.
The packing of china and glass needs to be done properly with paper or bubble wrap between each item. Again, if you’re using a removal company they will supply packing paper. If not it is available from storage companies but it can be quite costly.
Most removers provide a packing service and they’ll normally send a crew in the day prior to your move date for what’s known as a full pack. Everything will be packed up ready for your move. This service is worth every penny and the average house will cost between £250 and £300 to pack.
The Big Day
You will save yourself £300 if you move yourself, but you will have one hell of a stressful day. Hire a reputable removal company and you’ll be in good hands. Always get 2 or 3 quotations.
Finally, if possible, get someone to look after the children and pets for the day – it will be one less thing for your to worry about.