We recently moved Cassie, she is an author and interesting lady to talk with – during her move we spoke about what it is like for a customers when moving house. She thought it would be good to write an article about what she did in the build up to her move with us.
What Cassie wrote, I could never write as whenever I write an article it is always written as a expert within the industry. It lacks emotion and understanding of exactly what our customers are going through.
Please read Cassies article:-
MOVING TO A NEW HOME? ME TOO!
I had forgotten how many papers you need to get a mortgage. To be fair, the problem isn’t the amount of papers as such but the time taken to locate them. I had put them in a variety of “safe places” around the house eg the kitchen cupboard, behind the bread bin, a pile in the bedroom and even a few in the filing cabinet (very impressive!) I can never understand how I can be so meticulous and organised at work, but so chaotic at home.
We are moving to a smaller house in the hopes that this will streamline our lives. I will waste less energy being annoyed about having a messy house and will have more time to play with my son. After all with a smaller house there will be a smaller mess (I hope!) and less space to keep toys (yippee!). There are other advantages too; having less house to heat up means that we will be toasty warm all year round. I can’t wait to move to my tropical house!
So, I’ve managed the first hurdle and organised the paperwork. Are you impressed? What happen next? How do I move house? I guess all I need to do is book a removals company, pack and then that’s it? New home here we come!
How to Pack?
Moving used to be easy. I slung all my belongings into black bin liners, chucked them in the back of the car and all II needed was a small peephole from which I could see other cars and (hopefully) miss them.
I look around the house and feel overwhelmed by the amount of belongings I have. Even my seven year old has enough toys to start a small crèche and would happily fill a whole house with his “treasures” if not kept in check To the untrained eye they are tatty bits of cardboard, rubber bands, bits of plastic and strange springs which he found on the street. In his eyes they are transformed into friendly monsters and alien landscapes.
Preparing to Pack?
I decide that the best approach to this is to tidy up the house first. If there are fewer things and they are already in some kind of order then packing them will be easier to do. I start in my son’s bedroom. Progress is slow and it takes us a day to sort out his clothes and toys. Although we manage to separate some items to take to charity shops, or to give to friends the amount of stuff still in the bedroom is quite scary.
Why do seven year olds love to collect things? Unfortunately for my son I see little value in his lovely “treasures” so the day is filled with constant squawks of protests. I emerge from his room feeling as if I have escaped from the Land that Time Forgot. It is dark by now so exhausted and frazzled I leave the packing for another day.
My brother is visiting tomorrow. He is business like (ruthless), organised (a bit too much!) and has little time for emotional attachments, either for people or objects so under his supervision I am confident that I will make fast progress.
TIPS FOR PACKING
Packing (and Unpacking)
Brothers are not always helpful! My brother came and left. Although no doubt very practical he arrived with a large roll of tape which made me feel as if I had entered a crime scene. I thanked him for his help and spent the rest of the day rescuing items that had been discarded as “trash” (he lives in America). At least I have I can emphasise with my son and his beloved little pieces of card and plastic. Possessions have emotional attachment. He threw away the dress I had worn when I was younger – just because it is a bid faded doesn’t mean I don’t love it still!
A friend calls round and we discuss the “packing issue”. She loves lists and gets quite excited about trying to organise me. I am not very good at lists or being organised, but I can see my present method needs a lot to be desired.
It’s mainly common sense, but here it is in case you find it useful too.
How to Prepare for Packing
1. Organise your belongings grouping similar items together eg all the books together, all the CD’s together.
2. Dispose of any items which are no longer used as there is no point moving unwanted items from one house to the next. Donate to charity or take to the local council tip. Some councils collect bulky items free of charge.
3. Tackle one room at a time so that the task is not too big.
1. Ensure that you have all the packing materials you need before you start. Useful items are:- bubble wrap, sturdy boxes, old newspapers (from wrapping fragile objects), and tape.
2. Tape a piece of paper on the side of each box and write the contents on as you pack. Also write on which room the box is from (Coloured sticky notes are useful for this)
3. Don’t pack boxes too full. Make sure that you can still carry them.
According to my friend’s list I should do this room by room, so I start with the bathroom. It is only small, well “bijoux” I think is the estate agent’s word, and should not take long.
Despite my reservations, it makes sense to use the move as an opportunity to have a good sort out. There is no point moving rubbish from one place to the next.
How to Pack
Yeah! I have packed the entire bathroom apart from items we use every day, into one of the large boxes my brother donated. At least he came fully armed with boxes and tape. I have no idea where he got them from. I have thrown away quite a few old toothpastes and some out of date hair dye as well. The bathroom looks great now. I should have done that sooner.
OK, so where next? I decide to pack my son’s bedroom up. How can a 7 year old have so many toys? I spend the morning sorting out his clothes and then start to pack his toys. They are not big items but I am already on my fifth box and have only one left.
Packing is easy!
Where are the Box Shops?
I asked at the supermarket if they had boxes. They used to always have boxes near the tills but when I enquired they said they were all flat packed now. Flat packed?
I asked at the local corner shop and they were far more helpful providing me with a selection of boxes. Not all of them were very big or strong but some are useable.
I phone my sensible friend. Here is a list of companies which provide packing materials:
Packing is very stressful and not easy!!!
HOW TO BOOK A REMOVALS COMPANY
I abandon the packing for now due to the lack of packing materials and decide to look for a removals company instead. Where should I start? I ask my friends for recommendations but nobody has used a removals company or has any knowledge about this so I do a quick search using keywords such as “Removals” and “Moving House”. This search brings up a long list of websites which is even more confusing. How can you tell if the company is professional and reliable?
I decide to approach this in three ways
1. Use your gut instinct
If the company’s website looks professional then it means they have taken care with it and may take care of my belongings too. I really liked Movingeverywhere’s website because they seemed approachable and friendly.
2. Consider the services that are offered.
3. Read the reviews
If customers are willing to send feedback this is a good indication that the company really has gone the extra mile as people are quite lazy in giving praise. A company that is proud of their reputation will ensure that their customers (that is me!) are well looked after.
4. Ask for quotes and compare the services offered.
My dad would do this. I can see that this is a very logical approach but if somebody is moving my belongings it is far more important that I can trust them and feel comfortable with them, so I discount this option.
I decide to use Movingeverywhere as they are local, have good reviews and their website has a friendly feel. Having made this decision I had a cup of coffee and then went out to the shops. The next day, having gathered my strength and courage I made the plunge and gave them a ring.
Questions that your Removal Company May Ask You
When I phoned Movingeverywhere they were friendly and sounded approachable, but also asked a lot of questions.
(As I now know!) when you are moving there are several things that the removals company may ask you in order to provide a more detailed and accurate quotation.
Useful information you may need:-
1. How many rooms are there?
2. What are the main pieces of furniture (make a list)
3. Are there any special items such as a piano or grandfather clock?
4. Are there any stairs, and if so how many?
5. Is there on-road parking? If not are special parking permits required?
6, Do you require packing materials? (So they know where the box shop is!)
7. Would you like a full or partial packing service?
I managed to answer most of the questions with the assistance of the lovely Movingeverywhere man, but am still considering the last one. I was very tempted to scream “YES, YES, YES!!!!!” down the phone. Are you impressed? I said that I would need to consider this carefully.
Twenty minutes later I phoned back and said that I would love a full packing service.
I booked the move, making arrangements for a home visit so Nick can see what we have to be moved.