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The Ultimate House Moving Guide

posted: 25/03/2020

1. What to Do When You Move in the UK?
2. How Do House Removals Work?
2.1 How to Make Moving Easier?
2.2 What Are the Biggest Difficulties When Relocating?
2.3 What Is the Most Stressful Thing About House Moving?
2.4 How Far in Advance Should You Hire Movers?
3. What Is the Man and Van Service?
3.1 What Is the Difference between Removal Services and Man and Van?
3.2 When Is It Okay to Hire Man and Van And When – A Removals Company?
3.3 What Size Van to Get When House Moving?
3.4 How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Van for a House Moving in the UK?
3.5 How to Load a Van When House Moving?
3.6 Do You Need Extra Insurance When Renting a Moving Truck?
3.7 How to Move in One Day?
4. How to Choose a Reliable Moving Company?
5. How to Choose an International Moving Company?
6. How Much Does a Removal Company Cost?
6.1 How Does Charging for Cubic Feet Work?
6.2 How Does Charging Per Mile for a House Removals Service Work?
6.3 What Are the Additional Moving Costs?
6.4 How to Formulate a Moving Budget?
7. What Questions to Ask a Removal Company?
8. Do You Tip Movers?
9. What Will Movers Not Move?
10. How Many Movers to Hire?
11. Can Movers Be Hired to Move One Item?
12. Should You Get Movers Insurance?
12.1 What Is Removals Insurance?
12.2 What You Need to Know About Movers Insurance?
13.Why to Declutter Before Moving?
13.1 How to Declutter Before Moving?
13.2 How to Sell Stuff When Moving?
14. Where to Start When Packing a House?
14.1 What to Pack First When Moving?
14.2 What to Pack Last When Moving?
14.3 How Long Before Moving Should You Start Packing?
14.4 How Long Does It Take to Pack a House?
15. What Packing Materials to Use for a House Relocation?
15.1 Where Can You Get Free Boxes for Moving?
16. How to Pack for a House Move?
16.1 How to Pack Books?
16.1.1 How to Pack Paperback Books?
16.1.2 How to Pack Hardcover Books?
16.1.3 Additional Advice for Packing Books
16.2 How to Pack Musical Instruments?
16.2.1 How to Pack String Instruments?
16.2.2 How to Pack Your Drum Set?
16.2.3 How to Pack Brass and Woodwind Instruments?
16.2.4 How to Pack a Piano?
16.3 How to Pack Dishes?
16.4 How to Pack Cups and Glasses?
16.5 How to Pack Wine Glasses and Other Stemware?
16.6 How to Pack Clothes?
16.7 How to Pack Makeup?
16.8 How to Pack Antiques?
16.9 How to Pack Fitness Gear?
16.9.1 How to Pack Yoga Mats?
16.9.2 How to Pack Hand Weights?
16.9.3 How to Pack Big Fitness Equipment?
17. How to Move Eco-Friendly?
18. How to Unpack?
19. How to Lift Heavy Furniture When House Moving?
19.1 What to Use to Lift Heavy Furniture?
20. Who to Tell When You Move?
20.1 When to Change Utilities??
21. What Do You Need to Know When Moving with Your Pet?
22. How to Relocate With a Pet?
22.1 How Do Dogs React to Moving?
22.1.1 How to Relocate with a Dog?
22.2 How Do Cats React to Moving?
22.2.1 How to Relocate with a Cat?
22.3 How do Ferrets React to Moving?
22.3.1 How to Relocate with a Ferret?
22.4 How to Relocate with a Bird?
23. How to Move With a Houseplant?
23.1 How to Prepare a Plant for a House Move?
23.2 How to Pack and Transport a Plant?
23.3 What to Do with the Plant After a Move?
24. How Can a House Moving Affect a Child?
24.1 What Is the Best Age to Move with a Child?
24.2 How to Prepare Your Kids for Moving?
25. How to Move Depending on the Season?
25.1 How to Move in Spring?
25.2 How to Move in Summer?
25.3 How to Move in Autumn?
25.4 How to Move in Winter?
26. What Are Some of the Biggest House Moving Mistakes People Make?
27. How to Feel at Home in Your New House?

1. What to Do When You Move in the UK?

You need to formulate a detailed plan and include the following steps: Research, Preparation and Execution. The first one covers your basics: formulating a budget, finding a moving company, talking to your family and friends, and packing materials. Second, pack your belongings, deal with the utilities and the change of address. And the third step covers the transportation of your items and the arrival at the new place.

2. How Do House Removals Work?

House removal is the act of moving one’s belongings to one place of living to another. It can be done with or without the help of professional movers. There are different ways of packing, transporting and storing. Depending on where the person is relocated, the process can last from start to finish from a couple of days to 3 to 4 months for international removals.

1 Week House Moving Checklist

2.1 How to Make Moving Easier?

Plan and organise every step of the process. Use a checklist, so you won’t forget anything important. Bookmark this house moving guide and use the amazing resources we provide you with.

Make sure you have the support of your family and friends and don’t hesitate to ask them to help you.
Download for Free Top Removals’ 1-week moving checklist: 1 Week House Moving Checklist
Download for Free Top Removals’ 6 weeks moving checklist: Week by Week House Removal Checklist

2.2 What Are the Biggest Difficulties When Relocating?

House removals are difficult for a variety of reasons, and not all of them are related to money. Let’s explore deeper what are the most frequent obstacles you need to overcome when moving and what changes you may expect.

1. Missing Some of Your Utilities

Most places you move to will have heat and running water but you may end up without internet and satellite. If you are fortunate, you can still use your smartphone but even so, it’s a large nuisance. You have to search for good providers, arrange a date for the technicians to come and the process can last sometimes up to two weeks. So don’t forget to start the research earlier and schedule the installation in advance.

2. The Uncertainty in the First Weeks

Usually, this happens with people who come from smaller towns and tight communities. It’s normal after a house relocation to feel anxious and uncertain if you have made the right choice. Give it some time, and you will get used to the hustle and bustle of the big city.

3. Finding New Friends

This is one of the biggest difficulties when moving to a new city, especially for the more introverted people. It is common to feel lonely even if you are constantly surrounded by crowds. Thankfully, there are so many things you can do. Check out the local clubs and activities within your neighbourhood. Go introduce yourself to the neighbours and organise a housewarming party. You are already out of your comfort zone, a little more won’t hurt. Don’t be afraid of experiencing new things.

4. Getting Used to the New Work Environment

If you have not only changed your home but also your job, things can be very difficult for you. This is especially relevant for people who have moved from overseas. As long as you do your best and keep a positive attitude, everything will be alright.

5. The Change of Accommodation

Unless your new home is in the suburbs, you will most likely remove to a smaller house or apartment. This can be quite a shock for those who are used to the big country estates. Our advice is to pack as little as you can and to relocate with just a few boxes. This way you will avoid cluttering your new place and will have enough space to buy some additional decorations. Not to mention the expenses for hiring a moving company will be less.

6. Children Will Need Time to Adapt

The older your kid is, the longer they will need to adapt to the new environment. Housesmoving is especially hard on pre-teens and teens as they leave their newly formed social circles. You need to acknowledge this and give your child enough time to get used to the change. Do not force them right away to go to school. Let them settle down, unpack, and familiarise themselves with the new house. Go around the city together and spend as much family time as possible.

7. Your Pets Will be Scared at the Beginning

Your cat or dog will also be in shock after your relocation. There are so many new smells and sounds around them. Wait at least a week before introducing your pet to the outside world. You need to plan your time in a way that allows you to spend it with your animals and make them feel comfortable.

8. Your Plants Will Have a Hard Time

If you have decided to relocate with your houseplants, you need to put some effort into their acclimatisation to the new home. You must follow a couple of precise steps to ensure your plants will survive both the actual house removal and the months after. It may be inconvenient at first, but we guarantee you, there is nothing more relaxing than a home filled with healthy, blooming greenery.

2.3 What Is the Most Stressful Thing About House Moving?

The biggest stress during a house removal comes from the abrupt change of your surroundings and worrying that your belongings will arrive at your new home damaged or destroyed. The anxiety is created by the unknown. That is why you have to make a solid plan and stick to it. Before even packing the first box, you need to be aware of every little detail concerning the home move.

2.4 How Far in Advance Should You Hire Movers?

Hire a company 3 weeks before the moving date. Keep in mind that the busiest season is Summer and around holidays. During this period you need to find a removal agency at least 1 month in advance.

3. What Is the Man and Van Service?

It is a removal service provided by one person who drives a van and can transport your belongings from one place to another. It is likely the most budget-friendly way to move since you will have to do all the packing, loading and unloading on your own. If you own the proper permit, you can rent only the van and drive it yourself. However, Bear in mind that you won’t be covered by insurance if you break or damage any of the items.

3.1 What Is the Difference between Removal Services and Man and Van?

In the UK people refer to the business doing relocations as removal companies. The presumption is that these are organisations with more than one employee, therefore you can hire a whole team of movers if needed. “Man and van services” is a term created by the market thanks to the majority of sole traders advertising their work with this phrase.

And here hides the common misconception surrounding the two terms. People think the man and van services are performed only by one individual while as removal companies work solely with multiple movers. This is not true. For example, tenants who relocate from small properties can still hire just one worker from a big agency.

Actual Differences:

  • Additional benefits – Since they have more staff than the sole trader, moving companies can offer you extra relocation-related services. These can be packing, furniture disassembly, and providing you with boxes and other materials. Some businesses also employ cleaners to assist people who need end of tenancy cleaning. Removals agencies can offer you a tasty discount for every additional service you order.
  • Free slots in their schedules – More than 70% of people move on Fridays or during the weekend. Because of that, if you call a self-employed man and van and request their services on a busy day, there’s a high chance they won’t be available. Removal companies, on the other hand, have multiple teams of one, two or more movers. This means the chances of them offering to move you at a convenient time and day are higher.
  • Better credibility -People often get tricked by random men with a van who have no insurance. Some traders don’t even have a legal licence to perform such service. With bigger companies, you can easily check all of the important information online.

3.2 When Is It Okay to Hire Man and Van And When – A Removals Company?

Both the big company and the sole trader can help you if you are moving from a studio apartment or a one-bedroom property. The only difference is the first can send a team that will complete the relocation faster.

You should pick the company’s services when you are planning a big home or business relocation. If you have many items and heavy furniture, this is the most logical choice.

When moving in a hurry with fewer boxes and belongings, the man and van services are perfect for you. They are cheap and convenient for everybody who is on a budget.

3.3 What Size Van to Get When House Moving?

The size of the moving vehicle depends solely on the number of moving boxes you have. The more they are, the bigger the van.

15-20 medium boxesFord Transit MWB
25 medium boxes, 2-3 kitchen appliancesFord Transit MWB
Single studio flatFord Transit LWB
1 bedroom apartmentMercedes Luton Sprinter LWB Van (or an equivalent 3.5-ton Luton body van with tail lift)
2 bedroom apartmentMercedes Luton Sprinter LWB Van (or an equivalent 3.5-ton Luton body van with tail lift)
2 bedroom houseFord Transit LWB + Mercedes Luton Sprinter LWB Van ( or equivalent models)
3 bedroom houseFord Iveco 7.5 tonne Box Lorry (or an equivalent 7.5-ton Luton box van)
4 bedroom houseFord Iveco 7.5 tonne Box Lorry + Mercedes Luton Sprinter LWB Van ( or equivalent models)
4+ bedroom house2 x Ford Iveco 7.5 tonne Box Lorry (or an equivalent model)

3.4 How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Van for a House Moving in the UK?

If you are renting only a vehicle and not the manpower, the average daily prices in the UK as of 2020 are as follows:

Ford Transit MWB (or an equivalent model)45£ – 55£
Ford Transit LWB (or an equivalent model)60£ – 90£
Mercedes Luton Sprinter LWB Van (or an equivalent model)90£ – 110£
Ford Iveco 7.5 tonne Box Lorry (or an equivalent model)130£ – 180£

3.5 How to Load a Van When House Moving?

You need to start loading from the least used items and make your way to your essentials. Depending on how heavy the boxes are, there are different ways of carrying and loading. When you are arranging your belongings, remember: the heaviest items are always placed on the bottom. Remember, the weight must be properly distributed in the back of the van.

3.6 Do You Need Extra Insurance When Renting a Moving Truck?

It is optional. If you want to be sure that your items will be protected during the relocation, it is best to pay for extra insurance. It will cover both damages on your property and the vehicle.

3.7 How to Move in One Day?

You need to plan the move and have all the necessary packing materials. Take with you only the essential items. You can change your address and deal with the utility bills once you are at the new place.

1. Don’t lose your cool

You need to stay focused during the entire process. Mentally prepare yourselves that the next 24 or 48 hours you have to be efficient and organised. Stay positive and do your best

2. Get rid of all the things you don’t want

You don’t have the luxury to carefully sort your items and pick one thing at the time. You need to scan your whole home and decide on the spot what you want, and what has to go. Do not waste time.

3. The early bird gets the worm

You have too many things to do so you better start as early as possible. Remember you will need time to transport and unload your things. On that note, set your alarm clock for 6 am.

4. How to Choose a Reliable Moving Company?

You need to do some research and make an informed decision. The moving company you pick has to have a proper website and a good reputation.It’s important to check all of its customer reviews on Yelp and Trustpilot, the more positive they are, the better the movers are. If you are searching for a removals company in the UK, it must be a member of the BAR ( the British Association of Removals). Search for information about the movers, they must be vetted and working legally.

5. How to Choose an International Moving Company?

Most reputable removal companies offer an international service. Search for movers with good customer reviews who can offer you insurance and international storage, if needed.

6. How Much Does a Removal Company Cost?

The cost depends on the type of home you own and the distance the movers have to travel.
In the following table, you can see the average price of house relocations in London. The cost may vary depending on several factors and calculation methods.

How much does it cost to move a 1 bedroom house?300£
How much does it cost to move a 2 bedroom house?500£
How much does it cost to move a 3 bedroom house?700£
How much does it cost to move a 4 bedroom house?900£
How much does it cost to move a 5 bedroom house?1100£

Most removal companies in the UK charge for the labour. This means no matter the size of the property or the distance you pay only for the time you use the service of the movers.

For example, if the loading of your items lasts 2 hours, and the transportation and unloading take another 2, you will pay the price for 4 hours of labour. The only additional variable is the number of movers you’ve requested – the price is multiplied by the number of removal specialists involved.
This is by far the fairest method of charging customers and this is what we use at Top Removals. The prices can be easily estimated by using our moving calculator, so you don’t have to worry about hidden expenses.

6.1 How Does Charging for Cubic Feet Work?

When moving companies charge for cubic feet, it doesn’t matter how long will the relocation take – the price stays the same. Even though it is a fairly old approach, some movers still use it, so it’s good to have it in mind.

If you are planning to use storage for some of your belongings, be mindful the practice of charging per cubic feet is very much alive for most companies. Therefore, you will still need to know how much space your belongings will take to rent a unit with the right size.

6.2 How Does Charging Per Mile for a House Removals Service Work?

Some removal companies charge by the mile. This means they will price their service on both labour and distance. Be careful because some professionals who offer such pricing do it to lure customers with low labour rates and only later introduce the distance fee as well. When collecting the quotes, always make sure to learn about all the factors that affect the end cost. Charging per mile is not a bad pricing model, and some companies use it only for long distances.

6.3 What Are the Additional Moving Costs?

When relocating you need to consider the following additional charges that may occur:

  • An extra fee if there is no elevator;
  • Some money on top if there is furniture that needs to be disassembled;
  • Additional charge for heavy items such as safes, pianos, and American fridges. Those require special equipment which the movers may have to rent.
  • Hiring crates or buying boxes – Boxes are still the preferred option when moving, but crates are becoming more popular with every year. Usually, the cost of hiring a crate is close to the price for a box.
  • Packing – Prices are per worker, per hour. Usually, the rates are the same as the rates for the house removal service.
  • Storage – The most common option is hiring self-storage. It comes around £30 per week for a 35 square feet unit.
  • End of tenancy cleaning – Depends mostly on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Typically, it starts from around £100 for a small studio.

Bear in mind that many companies hide the prices of their removals services or show significantly lower prices that don’t include things like furniture disassembly or insurance. Мake sure to ask for a final written quote of the move before choosing your provider.

N. B.

To receive an adequate offer, you must give the removal company a full rundown of what you want – how many boxes you have, what furniture and/or kitchen appliances are you planning to move, the exact address of the new place, are there stairs or an elevator, etc.

Otherwise, if you miss some of the details, your estimation won’t be accurate. This means on moving day you might be faced with an increase in the price. If there is a big difference between what you have declared and what you actually have, the removals company may be unable to provide you with the necessary time slot for relocating all of your belongings. So you must properly inform your movers about everything concerning the relocation during the initial estimation.

6.4 How to Formulate a Moving Budget?

Depending on how fast you need to relocate, you must decide on your budget. This is not an easy choice as you need to take a lot of things into consideration.

1. Moving expenses

  • Removals company fee;
  • Packing materials;
  • Moving Insurance;

2. Additional moving services – you might want something extra from your movers like professional packing/unpacking or lifting extremely heavy items such as a piano, for example.

3. Home-related expenses

  • Utility bills;
  • Administrative taxes or fees related to the change of your living conditions;
  • Rent and deposit;
  • House cleaning company;
  • Initial repairs;
  • Shopping expenses – when you’ve decided to buy stuff rather than moving it from the old place. This may include furniture, kitchen appliances, bedding, etc.

4. Unplanned expenses

  • Hotels;
  • Food;
  • Other.

7. What Questions to Ask a Removal Company?

You need to get information about their prices, insurance policies and additional services. Ask to read the contract before signing it and check carefully for hidden expenses and changes in the rates. Here are the most frequently asked questions:

  • Does the price include the cost of both loading and unloading?
  • Are there any transportation fees?
  • For long-distance removals: Who pays the traffic and toll taxes?
  • What happens if the weather is bad (it’s raining or there is a snow storm)?
  • What time will the movers arrive at the property?
  • Can the move be postponed and are there any cancellation fees?
  • Will the moving company organise the parking and permits or it is your task to do so?
  • What is your insurance policy?
  • Are there any additional services that may speed the moving process and what are their prices?
  • Will the movers disconnect my kitchen appliances?
  • Can the movers disassemble furniture?
  • What type of packing materials do they offer (specialised boxes, biodegradable foam peanuts, etc)?
  • Can you hire crates from them and at what price?

What will movers refuse to transport

8. Do You Tip Movers?

If you are happy with the provided services you can tip your movers, however, it is not obligatory. Bear in mind that moving companies don’t include a tip in their prices. If you want, you can express your gratitude by leaving a percentage of the moving cost as a tip.

9. What Will Movers Not Move?

Moving companies will refuse to transport hazardous materials, chemicals, explosives, large sums of money. Some will also decline to relocate firearms, pets, plants and valuables.

You should avoid packing any of these. In addition for safety reasons do not leave in the van the following:

  • Personal documents;
  • Delicate electronic devices such as tablets and laptops;
  • Valuable artwork;
  • Expensive antiques;

10. How Many Movers to Hire?

The number of movers depends on how big your home is. Usually, removal companies have predetermined teams for each type of house. However, you are free to request a specific number of people. Bear in mind that your decision may influence the cost of the relocation. Here is an estimate of the number of movers you need depending on the type of your home. Know that the bigger the house is, the longer it will take to load and unload all of your belongings.

1 bedroom /studio2 movers
2 bedroom house2 movers
3 bedroom house3 movers
4 bedroom house4 movers
4+ bedroom house4 movers

11. Can Movers Be Hired to Move One Item?

Yes, you can hire movers to transport just one item. Large pieces of furniture (beds, wardrobes, couches), kitchen appliances (washing machines, fridges, dishwashers), musical instruments (pianos, drum sets), hot tubs or any other household item you own can be moved. It can be transported locally and long-distance as well as internationally. The cost is calculated depending on the method the moving company uses – per hour of work, per cubic feet or per mile. Sometimes it can be a combination of all three.

12. Should You Get Movers Insurance?

In general, if your moving agency is insured, you automatically receive a limited cover policy. So before booking the removal company, ask them for more information about their insurance policy and what is included in it. If you are not happy with their basic terms, you can always purchase an additional open cover insurance plan from the moving company.

12.1 What Is Removals Insurance?

This is a type of insurance designed specifically to cover your losses in case something gets damaged during the relocation. The removals insurance is provided by the moving company and guarantees you will be fairly compensated. It is not to be mistaken with household insurance as it has a different objective.

12.2 What You Need to Know About Movers Insurance?

Now it’s time to answer some basic questions about how insurances work and hopefully, help you pick the right plan for your needs.

  • Top Removals offers standard limited liability cover included in the price of the relocation. This means that if you are moving domestically, you don’t have to have additional insurance. Your interests will be protected in case something gets damaged during the process. The compensation included in this type of insurance is 40£ per item. If you are not happy with the amount of compensation, you can always pay a little more and get additional open cover insurance.
  • If after the relocation you notice damages to your belongings, you have 5 days to issue a claim with the moving company. If it’s accepted by the removal agency, you will be compensated.
  • When you are moving internationally it’s important to have open cover insurance. This way if something is damaged your claim will be directly processed by the insurance agency. Top Removals strongly recommends such policies to all of its internationally moving customers and offers them to the domestic ones, as an optional additional moving insurance. Clauses covering antiques, family valuables, jewellery, etc. can be included in the insurance.
  • You can’t make a verbal insurance contract. You must always have it in ink. Never sign before reading it. If there is something you don’t understand – always ask.
  • If your moving company is insured, it does not mean you are as well. In case you are moving your office to a different location, you need to make separate business insurance. Your movers will cover only the actual transportation of the items.
  • Owning a home contents insurance policy doesn’t mean you are fully covered. Make sure to carefully check all terms and conditions before accidentally placing yourself in a vulnerable position.
  • Every moving company has its own basic removals terms and conditions and Liability, Extended Liability, Standard Liability, etc. can have different meanings. Be certain to read all of the provided information and understand what each phrase stands for. Again if you have any questions, always ask.
  • Merely 8% of all professional house movers in the UK need to pay compensation to their customers.

How to declutter your wardrobe when house moving

13.Why to Declutter Before Moving?

The main reason is it will save you the most valuable resource you have – time. If you pack all your stuff, move, unpack, and only then declutter, you will spend unnecessary time dealing with items that will eventually go away. Therefore, spend a day or two to assess your belongings instead of increasing the price of your relocation by packing and moving all your things.

13.1 How to Declutter Before Moving?

You throw, recycle, sell or donate the things you don’t want or use. There are a few great techniques you can use to determine what to do with each item.

1.“The Four Box Method”
As its name states, for this method, you will need four boxes that should be labelled accordingly:

  • Keep it – here you should store all your favourite clothes, daily used items, cherished knick-knacks and other possessions you intend to keep and use in the future.
  • Store it – in this group, you need to place seasonal items as well as belongings you no longer use regularly, but you’re unsure whether or not you should keep.
  • Bin it – all things you will no longer need, want or are not worth selling/donating should fall into this group.
  • Donate or Sell it – the items you place here will go either to different charities or you can make some profit out of them by selling them.

2. “Extreme” Decluttering

Even though fewer people use this technique, if you are not afraid of extremes, it might just be the right thing for you. Three months before the day of your relocation, pack all your belongings as if you’re about to move the next day. In the following 90 days, take the items you need out of the boxes and use them as you would normally. If you’ve used an item, don’t return it to the box, but rather leave it where it used to be in your home. At the end of the period, you will have all your most needed things out of the boxes. The ones you haven’t used – donate, sell or bin.

3. Recycling and Upcycling

Recycling is one of the most environment-friendly practices. A couple of decades ago, only paper and plastic items could be effectively recycled. However, that is not the case today because glass, metals, clothes and more can all be reused in some way or another.

Upcycling means to repurpose old items instead of throwing them away. It can be of great use to people who are looking to decorate their homes on a budget. With a little bit of work, you can turn the old ladder into a beautiful shelf, make a coffee table out of pallets or craft an ottoman out of a washing machine drum.

13.2 How to Sell Stuff When Moving?

There are a couple of ways to sell fast the items you no longer want and expand a little your moving budget:

1.Have a yard/garage sale
2. Post ads on Facebook Marketplace
3. Sell your items on Craigslist
4. Go on eBay
5. Gumtree is a great solution for unwanted furniture
6. Try Depop for all the clothes you no longer want
7. Amazon Marketplace is a good alternative as well
8. Preloved is a great site where you can sell practically everything
9. Another place where you can sell your books is WeBuyBooks
10. For all kinds of CDs and DVDs, the place is MusicMagpie

14. Where to Start When Packing a House?

You need to start from the least used items or pieces of furniture and make your way to the essential stuff, as the date approaches.

14.1 What to Pack First When Moving?

Start by packing out of season clothes, sporting equipment, books and other non-essential items. Clean your cabinets from expensive silverware, china sets and all the plates, pots and mugs you use only occasionally.

14.2 What to Pack Last When Moving?

The final boxes you pack must contain your everyday clothes, toiletries, documents and medicines. As for the furniture – your bed alongside its mattress. Leave the kitchen appliances you are taking with you for last.

14.3 How Long Before Moving Should You Start Packing?

Once you have picked a removal company and established a moving date, you will have the time frame in which you have to organise your affairs and pack your belongings. It’s best to start right away with researching the new city or neighbourhood. Checking what documents you will need to change schools and/or kindergartens for your children. The bigger the family the earlier you need to start preparing for the move. A four-member family may have to begin organising the relocation for one to two months in advance. For a single person or a couple without kids, the packing can start one week before moving day. It all depends on how many belongings you have.

14.4 How Long Does It Take to Pack a House?

It depends on whether you have hired a packing crew or you are doing it by yourself. The bigger the team of packers, the faster the job will be finished.

Type of property2 professional packers2 regular people
Single studio flat2 – 3 hours1 day
1 bedroom apartment2 – 3 hours1-2 days
2 bedroom apartment3 – 6 hours2 – 3 days
3 bedroom apartment8 – 10 hours3 – 4 days
4 bedroom apartment12 – 15 hours4 – 5 days
4+ bedroom apartment20 – 24 hours1 week

15. What Packing Materials to Use for a House Relocation?

Lots of materials can be used for packing, here is a guide of the most popular ones and their uses:

1. Regular Cardboard Boxes

The most traditional of all packing materials. You can find a good box both from your local store and your house moving company. There is nothing special about them, you just need to make sure they are the right size, have a lid and are not damaged in any way. Medium boxes are the preferred choice when it comes to house moving as they can be easily carried and transported.

2. Specialised Boxes

The following list consists of boxes that have a very specific purpose and are more convenient than the regular type. You can buy them from your moving company.

  • IT box – It is a plastic or cardboard crate used to transport delicate electronics like servers and PCs. Some models even have additional padding from the inside.
  • Wardrobe boxes – They are a mini wardrobe equipped with a hanging pole where you can transfer and safely relocate your clothes. It is very convenient especially if you own lots of suits and expensive gowns.
  • Mattress boxes – Designed in a couple of different sizes and equipped with handles, these boxes are perfect for the safe transportation of your mattresses.
  • Mirror box – They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are designed to tightly snug around your mirrors protecting them from cracks and scratches.

3. Plastic Wrap

Also known as “stretch wrap” or “cling wrap”, this material has many uses when it comes to wrapping and protecting your belongings. If you own some valuable pieces of furniture, you can use this stretchy wrap to cover it and shield it from harm. You can also use it to seal your regular boxes and prevent water damage.

4. Bubble Wrap

One of the most widely used and well-known packing materials. If you are relocating especially long-distance you must have it in your arsenal. Bubble wrap is not expensive, and you can purchase it from lots of places. For maximum effect carefully seal all edges with tape. There are different types and sizes. If you are unsure what to pick, consult with your moving company.

5. Packing Paper

Used for padding inside your boxes or for wrapping delicate items, packing paper is usually the first layer of protection of your belongings. Do not try to substitute it with newspapers or old magazines as the printing ink can get transferred and damage your things. Cheap and available this material is essential when you are organising your house move.

6. Plastic Crates

One of the best packing options is to rent some plastic crates. Lots of big companies can provide you with this moving service. Plastic carriers are sturdier and easier to transport than cardboard boxes. Their lids seal tightly and usually have handles to make the loading and unloading easier.

7. Packing Tape

You can’t execute a proper packing without one. There is a large variety of colours, sizes and materials – from paper to clear plastic tape, to choose from. Some models have labels on them like “Fragile” or “Do not drop.” The tape can be used not only for sealing boxes but also for reinforcing their bottoms and making them sturdier. Make sure you are equipped with at least two rolls before you start packing your belongings.

8. Plastic Sheets

You will find this product especially useful if you are relocating to and from the UK as the country is famous for its bad weather. Plastic sheets can be used to cover your larger pieces of furniture and protect them from raindrops and snowflakes. You can also put them on the floors to avoid having to clean mud and debris.

15.1 Where Can You Get Free Boxes for Moving?

There are a lot of places to find free boxes: your local supermarkets, internet sites, online stores, even your removals company can offer you a deal. You need to be inventive and not be afraid to ask. You will be surprised how many ways to get free moving boxes there are.

16. How to Pack for a House Move?

The most important thing when packing is to have quality materials and lots of patience.
Each item must be carefully placed and secured so it won’t get damaged during the transportation process. There are different methods, depending on what you are packing.

16.1 How to Pack Books?

To move your books safely you need to pick the right moving boxes. Depending on the distance you are planning to relocate to you can choose between sturdy cardboard boxes and plastic crates. Bear in mind that regardless of how it’s made cardboard is essentially paper and if you are moving in the rain or snow, you might want to rent yourself some plastic carriers.

Another important thing is the size of the box. Professional house moving companies use primarily medium-sized boxes, preferably with handles. The heavier the load, the harder it is to carry. If you can’t have a comfortable grip on it, you can easily drop it while loading or unloading.

16.1.1 How to Pack Paperback Books?

Usually, the majority of books are not hardcover, so you need to spend a little more time prepping them for the road.

  • You can put them in flat and stacked or spine first so that the paper edges are facing up. It all depends on how big your box is. However, the first method will guarantee you won’t incidentally fold or rip a page.
  • Secure the crate with foam peanuts.
  • For the more expensive volumes, you can wrap them in bubble wrap but be careful with the edges.

16.1.2 How to Pack Hardcover Books?

Packing hardcover books is way easier than paperbacks. Just arrange them with their spines against the side of the box. You can put a piece of cardboard separating the paper edges this way you can have two rows side by side. The danger with hardcover books hides in their weight. It is better to use more medium-sized boxes than one big one. Depending on the covers of your books, you might want to wrap each one individually in paper to prevent scratches, ink transfer or other damages.

16.1.3 Additional Advice for Packing Books

Here are a couple of more professional tips from our London experts. Follow them, and you will have a safe and smooth house moving:

  • If you are using cardboard boxes before putting anything inside them, seal the bottom with tape. This way it won’t rip if you accidentally overload it.
  • Wrap the cardboard box with tape a couple of times just to add extra sturdiness.
  • Always label the boxes with “Books” or “Fragile”. So your movers will know what is inside.
  • Do not overload the crates or else the boxes may rip.
  • If the weather is bad, you can wrap your cardboard boxes in plastic sheets and secure them with tape to prevent water damage.
  • Do not use old newspapers or magazines as padding as the ink can get easily transferred to your book covers.

16.2 How to Pack Musical Instruments?

You need to be extra careful and follow the packing instructions for each type of musical instrument. Do not rely on cheap wrapping materials and make sure you have additional moving insurance.

16.2.1 How to Pack String Instruments?

The good news is you probably already have a case for your guitar, violin or cello. So let’s go from there.

  • Before putting away the instrument, loosen the strings as much as you can. If it’s convenient for you, remove them altogether. This will relieve the pressure and prevent deformations of the body of your instrument.
  • All keys must be adjusted to be in line with the headstock.
  • Wrap the instrument in bubble wrap before putting it in. If there is not enough space, cover it with one sheet of bubble wrap and add packing peanuts for that extra padding on the sides.
  • It is important to also wrap the case itself to protect it from denting during the house move. Again use bubble wrap.

16.2.2 How to Pack Your Drum Set?

This musical instrument is maybe the hardest to pack since it has so many parts. However don’t despair, our movers have extensive experience and know-how to prepare your set for the road.

  • If your drums have a proper case use it, otherwise rent a large enough plastic crate to ensure the uneventful journey of all parts.
  • Disassemble what you can and wrap it in bubble wrap.
  • Place it in the crate/case and cover it with foam peanuts.
  • The actual drum can’t be taken apart, and it’s too big to be tightly wrapped so:
  • Put a sheet of bubble wrap on the floor of the box and place the drum.
  • Secure the edges with crinkle packing paper.
  • Before closing the lid put another sheet of bubble wrap on top of the drum.

16.2.3 How to Pack Brass and Woodwind Instruments?

The good news is these types of instruments can be taken apart fairly easily. The bad is if you are not careful, you will end up with a pile of small pieces. So don’t go overboard with the disassembling.

  • Use their cases or a plastic container, either way, one instrument goes in its separate box, to avoid mix-ups.
  • Remove some parts and place them in tightly sealed ziplock bags. They go with your instrument in the box.
  • Pour some packing peanuts in the case.
  • Wrap the instrument in bubble wrap and place in the crate.
  • Cover it with foam peanuts and close the lid.

16.2.4 How to Pack a Piano?

Here is where things get tricky because we are not talking about something you can easily fit in the back of your car. If you own a piano and you want to take it with you when you relocate you need to be very careful as it is a gentle instrument. Here is what we suggest you do:

  • Remove the lid of the piano and wrap it tightly in bubble wrap.
  • Use thick blankets in combination with large sheets of bubble wrap secured with tape to protect the strings and the insides of the instrument.
  • Wrap the whole piano with plastic to prevent scratches.

16.3 How to Pack Dishes?

To protect your dishes during the removal service, you need to fill the bottom of each moving box with some packing paper. The trick here is to avoid lining the paper and instead crumple it and cover at least 15 centimetres of the box. Don’t worry about wasting space because once you put the dishes, they’ll press onto the wrapper. Crumpled paper works best because it absorbs the shock waves more effectively.

When placing the wrapped dishes into the box, make sure to start with the heaviest and most sturdy items. Load it until you end up with at least 5cm of space left. You’ll need to fill that with more crumpled paper before closing the box. Press and fill with the paper until there’s no more room left and everything is firmly packed.

16.4 How to Pack Cups and Glasses?

To safely transport your favourite glassware, you need to pack it carefully before the removal service takes place.

First, you need to protect each piece by placing it on a paper sheet and folding its ends into the opening. This provides a better cushioning and protects the glass from shock waves. The key is to wrap each item separately and be generous with the paper, especially if packing crystal or very thin glass.

Remember, your goal is not to make the wrapping look even or pretty but to secure the piece with enough layers of paper.

When placing the glasses into the boxes, always start with the heaviest and sturdiest pieces. Put the most fragile glassware at the top and again, make sure the box has a layer of crumpled paper for better protection.

16.5 How to Pack Wine Glasses and Other Stemware?

To protect these beauties, make sure to wrap each glass individually. Before placing the bundles into the boxes, make sure to have that protective layer of paper. Next, start placing the wrapped stemware side by side while switching the directions of the openings. This will allow you to distribute the glasses evenly. Add more packing paper into the corners and edges of the moving box, where impact risk is greater. Also, make sure to add crumpled paper between each layer of glasses.

To check if you’ve packed the box well, close the lids and shake it a bit. If you’re hearing that ‘clunking’ noise, it means you need to double on the packing paper because the glasses aren’t secure enough.

16.6 How to Pack Clothes?

Packing is a lengthy process and you need to take your time with it. Don’t rush anything and calculate your every move. If you screw up now, it will most definitely cost you a significant sum of money to correct your mistakes.

  • Never transport damp clothes. The risk of mould development is very high and not only that but your items can get easily damaged.
  • Keep newspapers and magazines away from any fabrics. Do not use these materials as wrappings. Ink can get easily transferred and stain your beautiful clothes.
  • Remove all belts, brooches and pins before packing. Accidents happen, and you want to avoid ending up with a huge hole in your favourite shirt, or finger.
  • Pack accessories such as bags, gloves, belts, shoes and purses separately. Each type must have its moving crates. Better safe than sorry.
  • Label everything. Put a “Fragile” sign on top of the boxes containing the most expensive pieces.

There are a couple of great ways to prepare your clothes for the long transportation:

  • Use big bin bags. If you don’t own designer pieces and don’t mind ironing your clothes once you arrive at your new home, you can try this method. Put all of your hangers directly in the bag. This is a fast altho a little messy way to pack.
  • Wardrobe boxes. If wrinkled shirts and costumes are not something you desire you can always ask your moving company to supply you with a wardrobe box. This is a container made from cardboard, equipped with a rail. So you just need to move your clothes while on their hangers.
  • Mimic your wardrobe and drawers. This method will make unpacking easy and fast. Take a couple of medium boxes and transfer the contents of each drawer in them. It is important not to mix your clothes. Now when you arrive at your new home you not only know the location of all your clothes inside the boxes but will also spend way less time arranging them.

16.7 How to Pack Makeup?

Makeup is extremely delicate, and you need to be careful when transporting it. Follow these packing rules when you relocate:

  • Use elastic bands to secure your eyeshadows and pallets.
  • Put your brushes in a makeup roll to protect their bristles.
  • For the makeup that is bottles and containers, wrap each one individually in tissue paper and place it in a zip-lock bag.
  • Use only waterproof makeup bags.
  • Avoid packing liquids alongside powders.
  • Clothes or other fabrics should not be used as padding.

16.8 How to Pack Antiques?

  • Packing antique furniture is something very delicate, and you must hire a reputable company to do the job for you. They may need to construct spatial plywood crates to ensure the safe transportation of your belongings.
  • When choosing your packing materials you must avoid using newspapers or any inked paper. The ink may stain your valuables. Instead, use acid-free paper, its neutral pH will not corrode or stain the surface of your precious items.
  • Don’t use synthetic wrappers when packing wood furniture.
  • Tape or any labels mustn’t touch the surface of your antiques, especially if they are made from wood or glass.
  • Don’t be shy when using packing peanuts and bubble wrap. Your fragile pieces need good cushioning and protection.
  • Ask the movers of your choice about ideas and advice on how to pack different items and what materials they recommend. It is always best to consult with professionals when handling expensive and delicate pieces.

16.9 How to Pack Fitness Gear?

Before packing everything into a big box and ship it to your apartment or house, you need to carefully prepare all of your gear. You don’t want to transfer a box of germs to your new place, that is why you need to clean everything. Here is what you need to do:

  • Wipe your yoga mat, dumbbells, jumping rope and all the smaller fitness gear with a mixture of water and multipurpose cleaner.
  • Use wet wipes to clean the handles and the surface of the bigger gear like treadmills and ellipticals.
  • All of the towels and blankets that you use needs to be laundered, dried and then placed in a vacuum bag for easy transportation. Make sure they are not moist or else you may have a serious mould problem.

16.9.1 How to Pack Yoga Mats?

Yoga mats are not easy to pack because they can get easily damaged. To protect the fabric and general shape of your mat:

  • Put the yoga mat on the floor and place some of your lighter dumbells on one of its sides.
  • Roll the mat with the dumbells inside. Try to make the roll as tight as possible.
  • Secure it with the mat’s strap or with elastic bands.
  • Pack it in bubble wrap.
  • The dumbells inside will help keep the shape of the map and won’t allow it to be flattened and damaged. If you don’t have light weights, you can use bed sheets or towels as a filling.

16.9.2 How to Pack Hand Weights?

The big problem here is the boxes you need to use for transportation. Naturally, your weights and dumbbells are heavy, which means you need strong boxes. Avoid cardboard and choose plastic. You have many options, but we recommend contacting your preferred moving company and ask them for reusable plastic containers with handles. Choose the size carefully, you would want small or medium-sized boxes because they would be easier to lift. Wrap neatly everything in bubble wrap and place it in the container. Be careful, your goal is to put everything in a way that will allow the even distribution of the weight. Make sure to use enough padding to avoid the bumping of the dumbbells in one and other. You don’t want to damage them during the move.

16.9.3 How to Pack Big Fitness Equipment?

How to move your treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike without damaging them in the process. This will be a workout on its own.

  • Treadmill. This is the heaviest of all house fitness gear, and you need to be careful not to injure yourself during the packing and moving. Unplug all wires and either tape them to the body of the treadmill or place them in a ziplock bag. Then fold the treadmill up and lock it into place. Wrap it in blankets and then with bubble wrap and tape. You need to be sure it won’t get damaged during the move.
  • Ellipticals. With this one, you need to get your tools out and disassemble it. Take the handlebars and pedals apart from the main base. This way it will be easier to pack and transport it. Collect all the nuts and bolts and place them in a ziplock bag. If you are unsure of your abilities to assemble it back, take some photos, that will indicate to you what goes where. Wrap the handlebars and pedals separately in towels or sheets of bubble wrap. Do the same with the body of the elliptical.
  • Stationary bike. The good news is this is the lightest of the three, and you don’t have to disassemble it to transport it safely. Use the described method with blankets and bubble wrap and you are ready.
    When loading your gear into the truck make sure you place some cardboard sheets under the equipment, to prevent scratches and chips.

17. How to Move Eco-Friendly?

Going green doesn’t necessarily mean to start composting and recycling everything that you can. You can begin with something small but significant.
During a standard house relocation you will use somewhere around 20 and 30 cardboard boxes and at least one or two rolls of bubble wrap, not to mention the packing tape and paper. You can significantly reduce your expenses and the waste you will accumulate by adopting an eco-friendly approach to the whole situation. Here is how to do it:

1. Use What You Have

It is a bit of widespread advice, but there is a reason for that. In every home, there are boxes and crates in various shapes and sizes that can be used for storing different things. During the decluttering procedure, you will find even more things that can be used for packing. If you still are unsure of what we are talking about here is a shortlist of all the items you may use:

  • Shoe boxes;
  • Cardboard boxes from electronic devices or cosmetics.
  • Old wrapping paper and/or bubble wrap from previous moves;
  • Plastic or fabric bags, even paper bags can be used in various ways;
  • Torn, old or damaged clothes, sheets or bedding – do not throw anything. Wrap your big furniture pieces in old blankets to protect them from scratching;
  • Shoelaces and rubber bands can be used for securing and tying your packages;
  • Altho it is inadvisable to use newspapers or any other inked paper to wrap things you can use it for padding. Once you have put the smaller shoe boxes in the crate, use old crumple magazines to cushion them. This way if the larger carrying box is dropped, its load won’t get damaged.
  • Rely on the “Russian nesting doll method” – use your bigger pots and put other items in them. This way you won’t waste boxes.

2. Use Professional Packing Materials

Many agencies offering removal services also have a great variety of packing materials. You can choose the size and shape of your reusable containers and simply rent what you need. This way, at the end of the relocation, you won’t have to deal with the mountain of spare cardboard boxes. The reusable crates are usually made from plastic and undergo a sanitation procedure after each customer has used them. Other things you can purchase are biodegradable packing materials like paper or foam peanuts.

18. How to Unpack?

The first but most important step is to create a deliberate unpacking plan even before you start boxing your belongings. Take a piece of paper and sketch your new home. Imagine where you want to put the furniture, which side the TV is going to face and what you want to display on your living room shelves. Make a detailed list of everything you wish to arrange.

If you want to unpack fast, you firstly need to properly pack. Here is what you need to do:

  • Label each box with the name of the room and the number in which you wish to unpack it.
  • Use your detailed checklist to assign items to boxes and give them the correct number.
  • Don’t put too many things in one place. It is better to use multiple crates than one big one, you can’t lift without help.
  • When disassembling furniture take your time and write down what you are doing. Put bolts and nuts in ziplock bags and label them. Keep everything wrapped together.

So far so good, you have managed to transport everything to the new location, but the hard part isn’t over yet. Some important moving tasks lay ahead of you:

  • Make sure to properly instruct your mover where you want each box delivered.
  • Inspect all of the boxes for dents or other damages. If you see something out of the ordinary, inform your moving company immediately.
  • Check the truck or van for forgotten boxes or suitcases.
  • All surfaces and floors must be sanitised and cleaned before your arrival, so you should be able to start organising your belongings right away.
  • Assemble your bed first. You will need a place to sleep tonight.
  • Move on to unpacking the bathroom boxes.
  • The third room you need to start arranging during your first hours in the new house is the kitchen.
  • Try to arrange everything the way it was at your place. This way you won’t spend half an hour in the morning searching for your socks.
  • Use a bin bag to collect all of the wrapping materials you don’t need. It would be great if you can sort the rubbish and collect plastic and paper separately.

19. How to Lift Heavy Furniture When House Moving?

To avoid any injuries on moving day, you need to learn to carry the heavier pieces of furniture properly. Here is what you need to know:

  • Lifting a wardrobe or a couch is a two-man job, do not attempt to do it all by yourself.
  • The taller furniture, like a bookcase or a dresser, need to be tipped over, so one person is grabbing the top and the other the bottom. Do not attempt to carry it while it is still standing upwards.
  • You need to shift the weight of the object while you are moving it around corners or door frames. Be inventive, sometimes it may take half an hour to figure out how to get something out of its original room.

If you can’t afford to book movers and all your friends are busy, there is still a way to carry the big not so heavy pieces of furniture to the front door.

  • Remove and roll up all the carpets and rugs in your home.
  • Use an old blanket as a furniture slide. You can also buy one of these but why waste money?
  • Push the piece of furniture on the blanket. All of its legs/bottom parts must be on the blanket.
  • Now start pulling and pushing. Once you get the hang of it, you can easily move all of your big furniture items through the front door.

19.1 What to Use to Lift Heavy Furniture?

There is such a thing as specialised equipment for lifting heavy objects. Not all house movers are direct descendants from Hercules, sometimes they also need a little help. It comes in the shape of different straps and belts. The expert from our London removals company explains the difference between each type and how to use it properly:

  • Forearm Forklift Lifting and Moving Straps – they are used to lift heavy but flat-surfaced objects, like washing machines or dishwashers. Each strap is secured around the forearms of the two lifters and crisscrossed at the bottom of the item you wish to move. So the strap on your left arm is attached to your friend’s right arm, and the one on your left is at his right.
  • Rope Sling – a great way to carry mattresses. It is a long rope with handles at both ends. Flip the mattress over, so the rope is at the bottom, and use the handles to carry it. Again this is a two-man job.
  • Shoulder Dolly – professional straps that allow the equal distribution of weight on your back and shoulders, and prevent injuries. However, avoid using them if you have a staircase at home because the shifting of the weight may cause you to lose balance and hurt yourself.

20. Who to Tell When You Move?

You must notify not only your friends and family but also some government agencies, your bank, your internet, water and electricity providers. Here is the full list:

Government agencies:

1. HM Revenue and Customs
2. Inland Revenue
3. Department of Work and Pensions
4. Electoral Roll
5. Council Tax
6. DVLA to update your V5C Vehicle Log Book
7. DVLA to issue a new driver’s license
8. The Pension Service, if you are eligible for such services

Utilities:

1. Electricity
2. Water
3. Gas
4. Royal Mail
5. Broadband
6. Cable/ Satellite
7. TV Licence
8. Phone company (for landlines)
9. Internet

Other important people and organisations:

1. Bank
2. Loan companies
3. Premium Bonds
4. Insurance company
5. School and/or University
6. Accountant
7. Solicitor
8. Probation officer
9. GP
10. Vet

Remember to cancel or transfer your subscriptions for:

1. Newspapers and magazines
2. Gyms
3. Health and SPA clubs
4. Other club and store memberships

20.1 When to Change Utilities?

Your electricity, gas and water providers may take up to 48 hours to change your information. So inform them at least one week in advance. This way they will be able to send a specialist to take a reading on your utilities, and you will be charged fairly. However, check your provider’s website one month before the move and see if there are any additional requirements.
Template Pet CV

21. What Do You Need to Know When Moving with Your Pet?

Here are some important things that you should think about when moving with your pet:

  • Get familiar with all the legalities concerning renting a house with a pet in your city and county.
  • Most landlords are very sceptic when it comes to pets. A good idea is to introduce your animal companion to the future landlord before moving.
  • When signing the tenancy agreement you are allowed to make small changes to legalize the stay of your pet. It is a good idea to consult with a lawyer.
  • Search the area in which you are moving for a new vet, groomer and walking parks.

One thing that you can do to assure your future landlord that your pet is not the next Cujo, and it will not destroy their property, is to create a pet CV.
Download your free template here: Pet CV
When you are filling it in, remember to add references from previous landlords and information about how long your pet is going to be alone at the home.

22. How to Relocate With a Pet?

You have to start the preparations for the relocation at least a couple of weeks in advance. There are different techniques depending on the type of pet you own, you can use to make the transition less stressful for the animal.

22.1 How Do Dogs React to Moving?

Dogs are very adaptive, and since they are mostly attached to their owners, they tend to recover fast after a house move.

22.1.1 How to Relocate with a Dog?

Spend a few hours before the moving date to arrange the new house and create a safe doggy corner. Bring some of your pets’ toys and put one of your old shirts there, anything that will give your dog a sense of security and familiarity. If it is possible, take your furry friend to the new place and let it sniff around and introduce it to the surrounding area.

Dogs have a great sense of smell, and it is important to restrain yourself from cleaning the new house for a couple of days after the house moving. The well-known smell of the old home will calm and assure the dog.

22.2 How Do Cats React to Moving?

Cats have a strong connection and a sense of ownership when it comes to the place they live in. A house move is a particularly stressful experience for them, and you need to be very cautious with its preparation.

22.2.1 How to Relocate with a Cat?

A good idea is to talk to your vet and ask them for medications that will calm your cat. Different types of pheromones can be sprayed in the house, and help the animal feel more secure in its new surroundings. Cats, like dogs, need a safe space in the home, so make sure to arrange a spot for them.

22.3 How do Ferrets React to Moving?

You need to be extremely careful when relocating with your pet ferret. These small creatures are sensitive, curious and with an excellent sense of smell. These factors are the reason why ferrets often develop depression or serious behaviour changes if the relocation is not done properly.

22.3.1 How to Relocate with a Ferret?

Preparation is everything if you want your pet to adjust well to the new environment. If you can, introduce the new place to your ferret in advance. Go to your future home for a week with your little friend and do some exploring. Let the ferret out of its cage and give it some treats throughout the visit. This way it will associate the new place with positive things. Create a safe space for your pet and contact your vet if you notice signs your ferret is feeling sad and unenergetic.

22.4 How to Relocate with a Bird?

In terms of actual moving, birds are easier than cats, dogs and ferrets, but they still need specific care. Make sure to provide your feathery friends with a proper carrier for the car ride. It is best to remove all toys for the duration of the transfer. Check the door of the cage as it needs to be properly secured. After arriving at the new home, put the cage back to its former condition. Place it in a quiet room away from the hassle of unpacking. Ask in your local pet shop for a specialised food with more minerals that will energise your bird.

How to relocate with a houseplant23. How to Move With a Houseplant?

Plants need more attention than pets when it comes to house relocations. You need to be extremely careful when moving them as they are quite fragile. Relocate your home vegetation in 3 stages – preparation, packing and transportation and adjustment.

23.1 How to Prepare a Plant for a House Move?

  • You must report all plants in unbreakable plastic pots – They are lighter and easier to carry. The chance of breaking the pot and damaging the plant is small.
  • Trim where possible – Take a good look at your plants and cut all excess branches, leaves and foliage. Your leafy friend needs to take as little space as possible.
  • No unplanned travellers – Inspect the soil and the vegetation for any worms and insects. If needed, treat the plant. You need to transport only healthy ones.
  • Last-minute reassurance – If you want you can take cuttings of the plants with you. Store them in a plastic bag containing damp material such as peat moss or perlite. Don’t seal the bag tightly – the cuttings need to breathe. A good alternative is wrapping their bases in a wet paper towel and securing them with ties or rubber bands or using floral tubes filled with water. The ideal conditions are when the cuttings are rooted, which means you have to take them at least a month in advance.

23.2 How to Pack and Transport a Plant?

  • Water your plants – Two days before the move, water your house vegetation as usual. Do not overwater them or you might cause them to freeze or grow fungus in the soil. In summer, water them the day before moving since the temperatures are generally the highest in that season. Remember that cacti and other desert plants do not require much watering.
  • Wrapping time – Assuming you have obtained the needed packing materials from your removal specialist you must start to pack your plants the night before the scheduled relocation.
  • Wrapping the big ones – Large plants must be wrapped in an old sheet, in tissue paper or in old newspapers to prevent branches from breaking. If you must fasten large plants, do it with soft bands in the direction of the growth to prevent breakage. Wrapping and interweaving the foliage of the big plants, makes them more susceptible to damage if they tip over.
  • Wrapping the hanging ones – Place hanging plants in individual boxes and gather foliage gently on top. Do not put sheets or newspapers tightly on top of the plants – they can cause a greenhouse effect and suffocate your leafy companions.
  • Wrapping the smaller ones – Construct protective funnels out of heavy paper with the height of the plant and the diameter of its pot. Place them around the plants while making sure the foliage is gently folded and tape it firmly. Put each pot gently in a transport box.
  • Make the box comfortable – Pack paper in the box around the base of the pots to hold them in one place. Make small air holes in the sides of the box (if it is not already perforated) so plants can breathe. It’s a good idea to pack the vegetation by size so there will be equal space between the lid and the top of the highest plant.
  • Nametags – Mark the boxes so you know which plant is in which box. This will come in handy when unpacking. You can also put warning labels or use tape marked with the “Fragile” sign.

23.3 What to Do with the Plant After a Move?

  • Let them breathe – When you move the plants into the house, open their boxes immediately, but leave them inside for a few hours to minimize the shock.
  • Setting in – Later in the day, unpack them gently. To avoid breaking branches, cut around the base of the carton and lift it off the plants by its lid. Place the plants in locations similar to the ones they were used to at your old place. Try not to move them around too much. Don’t forget to water them and consider giving them some plant food.
  • The sun is not their friend – Be careful not to put them in direct sunlight for the next two weeks.
  • Don’t forget the cuttings – Pot the rooted cuttings and take care of the fresh ones according to the type of plant and its demands.
  • Recovering – After the initial move the plants may experience short-term shock, so don’t be alarmed if some of their leaves start to yellow or drop. Monitor them and contact a specialist if this persists.
  • Time for a new pot – In a month it’s time to remove your green companions from their transport pots to new ones. Give them some time to adjust.
  • The outside world – If you have prepared in advance a proper greenhouse for your outdoor plants, you must replant them immediately after arrival.

24. How Can a House Moving Affect a Child?

Change can have a different effect on children depending on their age and personality. Kids are considerably stronger than we give them credit for, but some situations can stress them immensely. Be aware of the following symptoms:

  • starting to suck its thumb;
  • can’t sleep or has night terrors;
  • insomnia;
  • a sudden change of personality – becomes shy, aggressive, starts arguments easy, constant crying;
  • wet the bed;
  • refuse to eat;
  • can’t concentrate and starts to fail school;

These are all signs your stressed child needs your help and support. Kids can’t always express their emotions correctly and explain what is bothering them. More often they don’t understand what is happening. Moving to a big city, that is so overpopulated and noisy as London can confuse your child and can create a feeling of uncertainty and depression. During the transition period, it is essential to have parent-child days to do things together and enjoy each other’s company. You need to assure the little ones that they are safe and can always talk to you.

24.1 What Is the Best Age to Move with a Child?

It is best to organise a house moving while your kid is still little. Toddlers have a very short attention span and usually don’t get very affected by external factors. This is the perfect moment to relocate.

24.2 How to Prepare Your Kids for Moving?

To make the transition easy and help your kids feel good about changing their home you can do a couple of things:

  • First and foremost, sit with your children and explain the situation, why you need to relocate and where you are going to live next. Let them speak and tell you about what scares and excites them. Kids need to know that their voice is heard and their opinions matter.
  • Start making a moving plan together. No matter how little the kids are, they each have to have their own chores. If they are toddlers, make a fun game of packing the boxes with their toys. If they are preschoolers they can put the coloured tape on boxes. There is always something you can do with them to make them feel special.
  • If you can, bring them to see your future home. Go on a walk in the neighbourhood and the nearest park or playground. Let them get used to the new environment. It will be perfect if you meet up with your friendly landlord or future neighbour. Buy small gifts and hide them somewhere in their moving boxes. This way when the time for unpacking comes, it will be a fun event filled with laughter and lots of smiles.
  • After your home relocation is finally over, make sure to spend a lot of time around your children. The first month or two will be hard for them and they need to feel your love and support.

25. How to Move Depending on the Season?

Each season has its own specifics and you should always take them into consideration when house moving. In order to relocate successfully, you need to follow some seasonal grand rules.

25.1 How to Move in Spring?

You need to be especially fast when moving in the Spring because the UK weather is quite unpredictable during this part of the year. Here is how to do it:

  • Book your moving company in advance. And we mean at least a month. The Spring is the busiest season, and many of the good companies are fully booked.
  • Check the forecast daily. You need to be prepared on moving day.
  • Discuss with your movers the possibility of changing the date or time of the relocation if the weather conditions are bad.
  • When packing your belongings wrap everything in plastic sheets. Carpets, furniture, boxes, all must be tightly bundled up and secured with tape.
  • Hire a cleaning company in advance. If you are using cleaning services to prepare your new or old place for the upcoming living changes remember there is such a thing called Spring cleaning, and everybody is doing it. Do not wait for the last minute.
  • Prepare yourself properly for the beginning of allergy season. With the blooming flowers and pollen all around you remember to pack some medicines in case of a nasty allergy attack. There is nothing worse than relocating with a runny nose and swollen eyes.
  • Be properly dressed for the weather. When packing your hand luggage, don’t forget to put an extra pair of shoes and socks. Wear a waterproof coat and remember to take an umbrella with you.

25.2 How to Move in Summer?

First and most importantly you need to look after yourself regardless of how old you are. The heatwaves can strike at any moment, and you have to be ready.

  • Drink lots of water. Make sure you always have a bottle of fresh water with you, especially during the extensive car rides. Stay hydrated.
  • Don’t stay out in the sun for too long. Leave the loading and unloading to your professional movers and remain inside as much as possible. If you have to go outside wear a hat and lots of sunscreens.
  • Don’t leave the AC blasting. If the room temperature is 20°C and you go outside where it is 35°C and above, you will have a heat stroke. The difference can’t be more than 5°C, or else your body will go into shock.
  • Do not leave your kids and toddlers alone in the car/van. The heats are extremely dangerous for children so be very careful not to leave them unattended.
  • Put in your essentials bag cooling packs and extra water bottles. If you have a cooling bag, now is the time to use it.
  • Coordinate the relocation process with your movers and drive safely. The moment you start to feel unwell, stop the car at the nearest gas station.
  • Water extensively your plants. Bear in mind in the truck or van the temperatures can rise up very quickly in the summer heat. If you own delicate greenery maybe take the pots with you in the car.
  • Avoid transporting your pets in the heat. Much like your toddler, animals can’t be left unattended in a vehicle in the blazing heat. Always keep your pet close to you and let them ride in the family car.
  • Pick a local moving company. You don’t want to end up stuck in conjunction or lost just because your movers don’t know the city. Summer is the season of road repairs, and many streets are closed.
  • Do not pack meat and dairy snacks. These products can go easily bad in the hot weather. Pick veggies and fruits and try to avoid mayonnaise, eggs and ham.
  • Do not leave food products in your moving boxes. It will go bad very fast, and you will be greeted with a wretched stench of rotten leftovers once you unpack.
  • Use a cooling bag to transport special medicines that need to be kept under a specific temperature. Do not leave them in the moving truck.

25.3 How to Move in Autumn?

Plan ahead your relocation and constantly check the weather forecast. Pay special attention to the following:

  • Heating. The number one concern is the indoor heating system. Make sure to check if everything is working properly in your new place.
  • Cleaning. Take special care with the gutters, drains and windows. Your home needs to have proper ventilation and good isolation throughout the winter.
  • Repairs. Before the moving date comes, you need to check all the windows and doors in the new place. They need to work properly to assure your home won’t suffer major health losses during the winter.
  • Protection. You don’t have to worry about snow just yet, but the rain is a different story. Be very careful not to pack wet items and keep moisture out of the transportation boxes.
  • Plants. If you are moving with plants, avoid leaving them in the moving truck for more than a couple of hours. They might freeze. Take them with you in the car, if possible. Consider collecting cuttings, just to be sure you can grow them again.
  • Health. Remember to pack basic cold medicine in your hand luggage. Autumn and the common cold walk hand in hand.
  • School. The new school year starts in autumn which means you need to prepare all the documentation for your child’s new school in advance. It is important to have good organisation and not to skip more than a week of lessons.

25.4 How to Move in Winter?

Winter is not a good season to move due to the extensive amounts of snow and bad weather. However, if you are going with the relocation, follow these points:

  • Check your heating and lights. Everything in the new place must be fully functional. If you can go and switch the heating on in advance, so you won’t arrive in an ice cave.
  • Ensure safe access. The movers must be able to load and unload the boxes and furniture to their van. So you need to clean your driveway and porch from the snow.
  • Have a bag of salt or sand. If necessary, you can sprinkle the walkways and prevent accidents.
  • Drink a lot of hot beverages and make sure to take some for the trip. Keep yourself warm and avoid getting sick in the middle of the move.
  • Pack an extra pair of clothes, shoes and socks. You need to have spares if the ones you are wearing get wet.
  • Regularly check the weather forecast. You have to know for any snowstorms or sudden changes in the temperature levels.
  • Do not transport your plants or pets in the moving van, they will freeze, as there is no heating in the back.
  • Protect your property. Put large pieces of cardboard or plastic sheets on the floors of both your old and new place. This way the high traffic areas will be safe from snow, water and mud. Plus it will shorten the cleaning time afterwards.
  • Wrap your furniture and boxes in plastic to prevent any moisture getting in and destroying your belongings.

26. What Are Some of the Biggest House Moving Mistakes People Make?

1.Miscalculating the Cost for a Home Relocation

It is not cheap to transport your belongings and usually, people concentrate only on them. When it’s time to move, people stress on how much will the loading and unloading cost, or what the price per kilometre is. However, there is a lot more that needs to be calculated. Before actually starting to pack, you need to have a good idea how much you are going to spend on the whole process. Expenses that are often overlooked and can easily break the bank are:

  • Toll taxes;
  • Packing materials – bubble wrap, wrapping paper, cardboard boxes, wardrobe boxes, plastic containers, tape, “Fragile” stickers and bands;
  • Overtime – if your movers work on weekends or after the end of their daily work hours;
  • Cleaning expenses – you may need to hire a company to prepare your new home for your arrival or clean your old place. If you are doing this by yourself, you need to calculate the cost for all the cleaning supplies you have to use;
  • Babysitters and/or pet sitters;

2. Not Packing Hand Luggage

The content of your hand luggage is often overlooked. These are all the belongings that are going to travel with you. The things people commonly forget to pack include:

  • Clean underwear for a couple of days;
  • Two pairs of clothes according to the season and the weather outside;
  • Toiletries;
  • Bandages and medicine;
  • Wet wipes and hand sanitizer;
  • Chargers for your phone and laptop;

3. Not Preparing a Survival Moving Kit

It is a box which contains everything that you are going to need in the first couple of days in your new home. Having one will allow you to get settled into your new home with minimum hassle, and will allow you to unpack at your own pace without having to rush to find things.
You will need a big cardboard box to make your survival kit. Make sure it is clearly marked and loaded into the removals van last, so you can get it out first.

What you will put in your survival kit will depend on what you’re going to need, but we are now going to list just some of the things that you consider:

  • Plastic plates and cups
  • Cutlery
  • Long-life milk
  • Biscuits
  • Sugar
  • Snacks
  • Champagne – after all, it is time to celebrate!
  • Wash-bags (containing shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste, toothbrushes and anything else required for getting cleaned up)
  • PJs
  • Bedding
  • Pillows
  • Mini tool kit
  • Lightbulbs
  • Bleach
  • Cleaning products
  • Tea towels
  • Bin bags
  • Keys
  • Torch
  • Change of clothing
  • Notepad and pen
  • Scissors
  • First aid kit

4. The most common things people forget

  • To make a backup to your computer or laptop. Everything can happen, and you need to ensure the safety of your information;
  • Skip the final check. Before closing the door and moving to your new home, go around the house and check every room for things that you may have forgotten. It will take no more than ten minutes, but this will save you a ton of stress.
  • Check the traffic information and regulations in your city or region.

27. How to Feel at Home in Your New House?

You need to the following things to adjust quickly to your new environment after the house move:

  • Start unpacking and arranging your items right away.
  • Put up some pictures and paintings to feel more like your home.
  • Place house plants around the home to make it cosier.
  • Light up candles with your favourite aromas, to relax you.
  • Go shopping for new household items.
  • Start cooking in your new kitchen.
  • Organise a housewarming party with your new neighbours and start socialising
  • Walk around your neighbourhood regularly and familiarise yourself with the shops and pubs.

At the end of the day, this is a lot of information and a lot of tasks that must be completed. If you feel overwhelmed and in need of professional moving help, you can always rely on Top Removals. Our experienced teams can do everything for you in no time.

We hope you found our house moving guide detailed and informative enough. If you have any questions or you want us to include more insights on a certain topic feel free to contact us.


Stephanie Cooper

Stephanie is a content marketing specialist for Top Removals for the past several years. She has extensive experience working with moving companies and knows her audience. Stephanie creates engaging and useful content helping the customers of Top Removals with their struggles and providing them with the most accurate insight.

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