Removals advice and moving home hints & tips:
When moving home It's so easy to feel under pressure to book the cheapest or first removals company you find. STOP! It's not worth the risk.
Collect quotations from at least 3 reputable moving companies that you have either heard of or that have been recommended to you by a friend or family member.
Consider the cost of the whole removals service, any waiting time charges, insurance or additional charges hidden in the small print. A few favourite "trick's" are to charge extra for waiting time during a "pre-priced" move or offer "FREE" boxes and to then charge a massive amount for any boxes not returned in "perfect" condition.
Don't feel pushed into handing over money for deposits (unless moving overseas) and NEVER pay for the service before it has been provided. Some company's are asking for the service to be paid in full seven days in advance by cheque, what happens if your not happy with the service they provide on moving day? What happens if the move is delayed at the last minute? What happens to your money?
Some companies will keep 100% of your cash unless you have paid an additional 10% for a "waver" on top of the original quoted price. We do not ask for deposits unless our vehicles are going overseas.
Tip: If you do pay a deposit, do so using a credit card and not a cheque, cash or debit card. This will enable you to "claim" your money back from your credit card company should the service fail to be provided or you are in dispute.
Check the quote you have received will not be increased owing to "Peak" or "Premium" moving dates. These will be during the half term holidays, the week before any bank holidays and most of the school summer holidays.
We do not charge any premiums for doing any job, after all, your boxes don't get heavier on a Friday!
Any good removals company won't ask for payment until the service has been provided.
Don't be caught out by blind, telephone "quotes" or estimates, you will be "charged" extra for every item you did not list or mention. On moving day its difficult for you to negotiate a fair price as you are stuck with the company you have booked. These companies are often removals brokers, the movers they book for you will be from out of town with no reputation to protect. In some cases ALL the quotes supplied will be from the same organisation under three different names.
10 VITAL Things to ask any removals company:
- Do they guarantee the price they quote is the only price you pay with NO hidden extras?
- Will they demand a deposit, or ANY money "up front?
- Are they fully insured and registered as a removals service?
- Does THEIR insurance cover any loss or damage during the whole removal?
- Are they members of any recognised trade organisation?
- Does their trade organisation offer a FREE conciliation service?
- Can they provide independent references from previous customers?
- Can they provide details of other companies who will vouch for them?
- Will they deliver boxes and packing materials to you?
- Are all their staff fully trained, full time removals professionals?
Tip: Ask any removals company to provide proof of insurance, its too easy for an uninsured "company" to claim to be "fully insured". Full removals company insurance costs a small fortune and can only be gained by companies like ourselves with a proven track record.
Any member of our removals crew or staff visiting your home will be pleased to show you certificates of insurance. We have removed our insurance certificates from this website as they have been copied.
Tip: All insurance companies insist a complete list of terms and conditions are published on removals companies websites. Removals companies who only have vehicular insurance or no insurance will not have terms and conditions published or available.
We hear more and more often of pushy salesmen/surveyors and "others" calling on customers homes, always check the person viewing your home has some form of I.D confirming they are who they say they are.
Never allow a visitor view your home unaccompanied. Always check for referring customers comments, ensure they are genuine and ask for proof. Our customers can check out ours here by sending a quick email asking for confirmation of booking & recommendation. Some web sites supply references with a code number! Most don't bother! what does that tell you? Check out ours here: Testimonials.
Don't delay in packing. During the weeks before your move if you don't use it, pack it. There is nothing more stressful than trying to pack your possessions on the day of your move.
Pack a suitcase for each member of the family moving, pack a suitcase as if you’re all going on a 3-day holiday, including changes of clothes, medications, glasses, toiletries, etc. Keep the suitcases separated from all the other items to be moved, such as in your car, at your new home etc. so you’ll have everything you need for the first few days without searching through boxes.
Create “Open Me First” boxes- Pick one or two boxes per room as "Open Me First" boxes. Put in them the things you'll need first at your new location. Then mark the sides of the boxes so you'll know which ones are which.
One at a time- Wherever possible, work on packing just one room at a time (instead of several all at once) to keep things focused and organized.
Less is more- Use packing as a way to clean out belongings for donations, a car boot sale, and or the recycling center.
Off the floor- Instead of the floor, use a completely cleared-off table top or counter in each room for packing boxes. You'll find you get much more accomplished.
Tracking small parts- When taking apart items to be moved, such as tables, securely tape screws and other small parts securely to the underside of the item. You'll always know where to look and save time putting things back together.
Save space- Use towels, pillows and t-shirts you’re packing as extra padding around fragile items. It will save room in your boxes.
Criss-cross tape- Tape boxes along the seams where the flaps meet together. Then tape perpendicularly at the center of the first tape, forming a cross.
Stacking- Stack boxes with the heaviest on the bottom, lightest on top to prevent crushing.
Heavier boxes lead to injuries, are much more likely to burst their tape or seams and may get dropped.
Tip: Packing Electronics
A picture is worth 1000 words- Use a digital or cell phone camera to take pictures of how complicated wiring (computer cords, speaker wires) is hooked up. Be sure to use plenty of light and careful focus so the pictures will be clear. Print each picture and put it in the top of the box holding the item. This will make hooking up the items in your new place much easier.
Always use the original packaging when available. (I realize that most of us don’t have the original packaging for much of anything, but I thought I would bring it up anyway).
Double boxing- For especially fragile electronics, pack them first in a box with an excessive amount of bubble wrap. Then pack that box in a larger box filled with bubble wrap This two-box system seems like a pain but seems to do a better job isolating items from jarring impacts.
Wrap each cord carefully with cable organizers, heavy twist ties or heavy rubber bands. Never throw unwrapped cords into boxes- they get tangled and caught on other items.
Consider getting a label maker and labelling the end of each. Then you'll know exactly which cord you're seeing and where each end connects when you put things back together.
Use the thickest, darkest marker you can find for labelling boxes. Pencils, pens, tin or light markers are almost impossible to see even just a few feet away.
Label each box on the two broadest sides, opposite one another. That way if a box gets turned, you can still identify its contents.
Abbreviate room names- Start box labels with the abbreviated name of the room followed by a box number, such as “BTH2-6” for "second bathroom, 6th box." You can then track each box to make sure everything arrived safely.
Label "Open Me First" on boxes where it applies. Mark "Fragile" where appropriate.
Identify contents- Identify the major contents and where they came from, such as "Medicine Cabinet" or "Linen Closet- Towels and Wash Cloths."
Box Inventory- Keep a clipboard and write down each box's room, box number and contents (graph paper is great for keeping things recorded neatly).
Verifying delivery- When unloading, check off each box as it gets unloaded at your new place. Then you'll know everything arrived safely.
Ask movers to stack boxes in your new place with the labels facing out so that you can easily spot a specific box.
|Tea or coffee with |
2 sugars and milk
is the norm for removal men.
Earl Grey, Sweetener and goats milk tends to go down like a wet sock!
Check that the boxes are not dirty, second hand and that they
are not single layered. Cheap single layered boxes as supplied by some
companies are not in our opinion suitable for removals
in most cases as they tend to collapse when stacked.
Please call us as soon as possible with details of any items you find whilst packing that you did not inform us of originally when making your booking, this enables us to allocate the correct amount of vehicles and time our crews will anticipate to be working for you.
First impressions do count, Using a uniformed removal service will improve your status. You may even find time to introduce yourself while we do the work.
If possible secure an area of road outside your house for the removal truck to park. Use your own car, traffic cones or dustbins. Try and do the same at your new home.
Our vehicles are 3.5 Luton vans, enabling us easy access on to most driveways or loading areas without blocking your neighbours access. Our vans will normally require the space of at least two cars in which to park, load and unload.
Give yourself plenty of time to pack, it takes longer than you expect. If you are struggling with packing why not give us a call and book a packer to help?
Don't use old or single layered boxes, they become weak and may end up at the bottom of a stack, causing it to collapse!
Loaded boxes should weigh about 20-30lbs each. Our guys are strong but not exactly the Governor of California!
Pack your goods in new, double walled, cardboard removal boxes and mark them clearly as to which room they are to be delivered to in your new home.
Tape them closed using the "H" method, one all the way along the seam and up half way, two up the sides, half way.
Order plenty of boxes, you will surprise yourself by how many you will actually use!
Pack your heavier items at the bottom of the box and lighter items at the top.
Try to keep the weights of your boxes as uniformed as possible.
Mark your boxes with a complete description of the items inside. When it comes to finding that item you need urgently you will be pleased you did.
Pack plates to stand vertically, NOT laid flat, wrap them individually using packing paper or bubble wrap. Ensure you don't overload your boxes so they don't close.
Fill any voids or gaps in boxes with soft items like towels, bubble wrap or soft toys.
Stack your packed boxes against walls or in corners leaving our team room to work.
Mirrors and pictures too large to be boxed will be wrapped by our crew. Bundle items like brooms and brushes and tape them together.
Remember to remove the glass shelf from the bottom of your fridge and the glass dish from inside your microwave.
Transit Bolts for washing machines are recommended but NOT essential. Remove the hoses from the back of the machine and place inside the drum. Check the washers are still in place before reconnecting. Any good removal company will protect your goods using packing blankets and Coversafe © sofa and armchair protectors, mattress protectors.
A GREAT idea for protecting your mattresses is to put them inside an old duvet cover, you can easily pop the cover in the washing machine later. All our vehicles are supplied with mattress bags for double protection. For pressed garments take up to six items on hangers, strap the hangers together with a cable tie, then cover with a clean bin bag. We will then transport your clothes hanging inside your own wardrobes on the vans. Or choose a few or our wardrobe cartons.
Removal men don't like glass (unless its full of lager on a Saturday night!) If possible transport fish tanks, glass shelves and very delicate items yourself in the car, or pack them in plastic removal crates using acid free packing materials and bubble wrap.
Mark any delicate fragile items clearly and ensure your removal team are aware.
Please leave fridges and freezers to "stand" for a while before turning them on again in your new home as the gas may need to settle in the motor.
Moving day is one of the most stressful days in your life. Packing the kids and pets off to a favourite auntie or grandparents for the day is a great idea. Alternatively a day at the children's nursery or kennels works wonders.
While moving home ensure your keys are kept safe on the draining board at all times, because nobody really moves the kitchen sink!
Don't leave your bags or personal belongings around while the crew is loading, you would be amazed how many times a handbag with keys inside are loaded onto vans.
Why not book yourself into a local hotel while you sort your stuff out.
Imagine your in the middle of sorting your stuff out, beds upside down, duvet's still in the bags no curtains on the windows. Lock up, go to the hotel and get a nice hot bath, have room service deliver a nice meal and relax. For menus try www.takeawayfoodcolchester.com.
We travel all over the UK and our staff are away, overnight on a regular basis, we always try to find a local Best Western Hotel. They are independently owned and offer great value.
Don't forget to have the locks in your new home changed, we have arranged for Lock'n'Roll to offer our customers a special price for cylinder locks, patio door locks, insurance approved 5-lever mortice locks or garage door locks.
Buying or selling a property?
We have found that the smart guys will offer the property they are living in with immediate vacancy, thus not getting involved with a chain. What they do is store there goods and stay with friends, relatives or rent. When it comes to buying once again they are in a strong position with no chain behind them.
You may be expecting a call at any time giving you a date to move, hang fire, in most cases we find it takes weeks and weeks or in most cases months and months before you will get a confirmed moving date.
When it comes down to it we see more house moves than the average estate agent or solicitor.
We have learnt that solicitors don't have a call feature on their phones!
When they say they will call you as soon as your sale or purchase has gone through don't hold your breath.
House sales appear to go through at 12.15 1.15 or 2.15pm, so on the day of your move call your solicitor at 12.20 1.20 or 2.20pm and ask for an update (if he's back from his pub lunch!)
Our crew leaders are very experienced and will offer you good advice, ask them or call our office should you need last minute advice or help.