There are two ways of going about the big move:

The cheaper option is to attempt it yourself. The easier way is to get a firm of professional removers and leave it to them.


  Moving companies
  Moving insurances
  Moving boxes

There are certain factors which will influence the choice you make, however.

Doing it yourself is undoubtedly cheaper, but will involve a lot of hard work. Are you willing to carry your belongings up and down stairs? Can you cope with the prospect of having to pack all your possessions?

On the other hand, you might not have much to move or you might not be happy with the thought of strangers handling your stuff. Here are a few tips to help you decide what option would suit you best.

First, take a good look at your possessions. Furniture and other heavy items will be difficult to shift, especially if you have lots of flights of stairs or awkward landings and narrow hallways to carry them through.

Are you certain that you can get your belongings out without damaging them or chipping the paintwork? How many friends and relatives can you count on to help?

Tip: Find out exactly who will be available to help on the day and have some people standing by ready to pitch in.

Hiring a van

If you decide to handle the move yourself, you'll probably need to hire a van. Contact a number of companies to find out exactly what they charge some bill by the hour, others have daily rates. Try to work out how much you need to move and roughly how long it will take. Often you can hire a driver who will also, for an extra fee, be able to help with the loading and unloading.

Some firms supply boxes, crates and a trolley to help you shift your gear. It's a good idea to find out what the company can supply to aid your move. Remember, you'll have to return the van. If you are moving a good distance away from where you hired it, this could prove time-consuming and expensive. Find out if there's a drop-off point near to where you're moving.

Tip: Don't pack away your driving licence you will need it when you collect the van!

Find a professional

Give yourself a fair amount of time as they tend to get booked up, particularly on Fridays the most popular day for moving. A personal recommendation is always best ask friends, family and colleagues.

Tip: If you are moving some distance you may want to contact removers in the area to which you are moving, they may charge less.

Getting an estimate
Ask two or three firms for a quote. A good firm will always send someone out rather than doing it over the phone. The estimator will work out the size of the van required and how many people it will take to move your belongings. Make sure you show them what's in the loft, the cellar, the shed and the garage so it can all be included in the calculations.

Some firms charge by the hour, others charge a set fee. Clarify exactly how you will be billed. Some firms that charge by the hour ask more for evening or weekend work.

Don't forget to enquire about the remover's insurance and check whether your belongings are covered by your house contents insurance during transit.

Tip: If you have antique furniture let the estimator know it may need special handling and insurance.

Packing and unpacking

Many removal firms also offer a packing and unpacking service which can range from the entire contents of your home to only glass and china. If you decide to pack everything yourself, removal firms will provide crates, tea chests or flat-pack cardboard cartons.

The kettle, cups, tea, milk, toilet roll plus a few basic tools such as screwdrivers should be packed in your car so that you can find essentials immediately.

Tip: Pack heavy items such as books in smaller boxes or they will be impossible to lift and always label all boxes with which room they should go in.

Some useful links

Packing guide
Packing your computer
Packing value items

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