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What is the best day of the week to move house?

Posted on 22nd January 2018 by Master Removers

Moving house involves making a lot of decisions, and your moving day may be one of them. The most common moving day is Friday – but is it the best day? Here’s a guide to the pros and cons of moving house at different times of the week, and some of the key factors to think about….

Should you move house on a Friday?

Traditionally, the most popular day of the week for moving house is a Friday (with the exception of Friday the 13th – people are surprisingly superstitious!), while weekends are the least popular. However, this means that Fridays are also the busiest, so it doesn’t necessarily follow that it’s the best day for you to make your move.

One of the main reasons for Friday’s popularity is work commitments. The majority of people work during the week, and moving on a Friday means that you will only need to take one day off work. Then you can then make the most of the long weekend to start unpacking your belongings (some of them at least!) and settling into your new home.

On the flip side, though, Friday is also the busiest day of the week for removal companies, who often find that their Fridays get booked up many weeks in advance. So if you are planning a Friday move, it’s essential to secure your moving day as soon as possible.

 

When things go wrong…

In fact, availability is a key thing to factor in when considering what is the best day to move house.

One of the downsides of moving on a Friday is that there could be some serious repercussions if you should encounter any problems on moving day, such as issues with the chain, and payments not going through. As well as the removal firms, banks, estate agents and solicitors are all under additional pressure on the final working day of the week, and if it gets too late in the day there may be nobody available to assist you.

 

Banking on a Friday?

On the financial side, you cannot legally move into your new property until all of the funds have cleared. Because of their popularity, transactions can take longer on Fridays, and waiting for the funds to go through can lead to an anxious waiting period on a Friday afternoon!

Bank transfers generally need to go through by 3pm at the latest, and if for any reason the funds do not clear by the set time, you may find yourself unable to progress with the move until the following Monday – leaving you and your things stranded over the weekend. In addition, you could also find yourself liable for additional interest or legal fees.

It’s also worth noting that it can be harder to find an available tradesman on a weekend, should you find that you need any help with the plumbing, electrics or other utilities in your new home.

Moving on a Monday

Monday is the second most popular day of the week to move house, meaning again that it can be quite a busy day from a resources point of view.

Moving on a Monday has the bonus of allowing you additional time at the other side of the weekend to pack up and vacate your existing home, and to cover that inevitable last-minute packing rush!

A mid-week move

Moving house in the middle of the week, between Tuesday and Thursday, will mean that removal companies and other professionals have fewer reservations and are generally less busy, allowing you better access to resources, and meaning that in the event of any issues it will be easier to contact the necessary people.

Choosing a Thursday for your house move has the particular advantage of only requiring one additional day off work, while offering that extra back-up should anything go wrong – and you can take advantage of an extra long weekend to help with all that unpacking.

Securing your moving day

If you’re in a chain, it’s less likely that you will be able to dictate your moving day, and more than likely that a Friday will be put forward – but it’s still worth approaching your solicitor and proposing an alternative day of the week for your move.

Of course, if you are only buying and not also selling a house, you don’t necessarily have to complete and move in on the same day. You could complete on a Thursday, allowing you the whole of Friday to get established in your new home.

If you want to help ensure that your moving day goes as smoothly as possible, you should make sure that any mortgage funds are available in time for your completion, to help avoid any unexpected delays.

Choosing your removal company

It’s also important to choose your removal company carefully, and to check your contract to make sure you are clear on the terms applying in the event of any delays. This might include at what point the firm may begin charging for any overtime, how much notice they will give ahead of additional fees being incurred, and whether they will return the following day to finish the move if necessary.

Employing an experienced removals company, such as a Master Remover, will mean that they are better equipped to handle any unexpected issues, if things don’t quite go to plan. An established removal company should also be able to provide storage solutions should you find yourself in need.

Your day, your way

Exactly which day of the week is best for your move will ultimately depend on your individual circumstances. Whatever day of the week, or time of the year, you should choose to move, with a Master Remover you can rest assured that you will be receiving expert service from an experienced team, who will help to get you settled in as smoothly as possible. Contact us today for a quote.

Is it better to rent a furnished or unfurnished property?

Posted on 2nd January 2018 by Master Removers

If you’re looking to rent a house or flat, there are a number of different factors to take into account, including price, size, location, and whether you should choose a property that is furnished or unfurnished.

Whether it’s better to rent a furnished or an unfurnished property will depend on your exact needs. Here are the pros and cons of renting furnished versus unfurnished property.

 

 

Furnished vs unfurnished – what’s included?

First, let’s look at which items you might expect to find included in your rental property.

 

Unfurnished property

Exactly what’s included as part of your rental agreement will vary, but as a general rule an unfurnished property is limited to nominal fixtures and appliances, such as a fridge and cooker, basic floor and window coverings, and basic kitchen and bathroom fixtures – but nothing in the way of furniture, free-standing storage units, or smaller items like cutlery.

 

Furnished property

A furnished property, however, should have everything you need to in order live comfortably, including all of the main appliances, such as a cooker, fridge/freezer and washing machine. You can also expect all major items of furniture, including sofas or armchairs, beds, wardrobes and/or chests of drawers in each of the bedrooms, a dining table and chairs, soft furnishings and tableware.

 

 

Advantages of renting a furnished property

 

1. Convenience

One main advantage of renting furnished accommodation is that it’s arguably the easiest and most convenient option. You can move in quickly and easily and be ready to start life in your new home immediately, without needing to worry about sourcing and installing furniture, appliances and other items.

 

2. Flexibility

If you’re a student without any furniture of your own, a professional working on a short-term contract, or if you’re looking to move in a hurry, a furnished property can be a real benefit. It’s worth noting that there tend to be fewer furnished than unfurnished properties available on the market at any one time.

It may also be the case that you already own some furniture, but are looking to rent for the short term and would prefer to store your items for a period of time. Remember, an experienced removals company, such as a Master Remover, will be able to offer a range of storage solutions to suit your needs.

3. Lower initial expense

The lower initial financial outlay is another potential advantage of renting a furnished property. As all of the key items for day to day living are included, there’s no need to pay out large sums for that new washer/dryer, bed, wardrobe and three piece suite all in one hit.

 

 

Advantages of renting an unfurnished property

 

1. Cheaper in the long run?

On the flip side, supplying, maintaining and insuring the items for a furnished letting involves additional costs for the landlord. This is often reflected in higher rental charges and deposits for furnished properites, which could impact on your savings in the longer term.

If you rent an unfurnished property, once you have purchased any items you can of course take them with you to your next home. If you do need to supply your own furniture, you will be responsible for insuring it.

It’s also worth noting that some companies offer special package deals on furniture for new homeowners who are just starting out.

 

2. Less risk of losing your deposit

It’s also important to think about damage and wear and tear. When renting furnished accommodation, you could find yourself liable for the condition of the furnishings. It’s essential to make sure that your contract sets out clearly what you will be financially liable for in the event of wear and tear, damage or loss of any of the items supplied, so you don’t end up with any unexpected bills!

It is always advisable to prepare an inventory of items with your landlord, and to take photographs as evidence of the condition of the furniture and fittings when you move in.

 

3. More scope to personalise

Another important area to consider is whether you are looking to personalise your property. With a furnished property, you will be quite restricted as to how far you can make it your own. If you’re not too bothered about sharing someone else’s taste in decor, this may not pose a problem.

However, if you have untapped creative energies and are looking to stamp your own mark on your home – and that shabby chic three piece suite just isn’t your style – you may prefer to let your imagination run free, with an unfurnished letting!

 

 

How to make a decision

So, whether it’s better to rent a furnished or an unfurnished property will depend on a number of factors, including speed and convenience, your own personal taste, and your longer-term plans.

For those who are just starting out, or planning to move on again within a short time frame, a furnished property might best fit the bill – but if you’re in it for the long haul it may be worth engaging with your inner designer and investing in your own things!

 

If you’re looking to move into a new rental home and prefer to bring your own bed, or if you need to put your existing furniture into storage for a while, remember that a Master Remover can help.

Whatever your future plans may be, our professional teams will make sure that your furniture and all of your other possessions are moved safely and efficiently into your new homeContact us for a quote here.

Using a removals firm for business archive storage

Posted on 11th December 2017 by Master Removers

As a business owner, you inevitably have to keep a certain amount of paperwork. However, with office space at a premium nowadays, finding room to store your business records can prove something of a challenge – especially over time and as the business grows.

The services of an established removal company can offer a solution, by providing safe and secure storage for your business archives. Here we give the lowdown on what kinds of documents you need to keep, and how a removals and storage company can provide your business archive solution.

Why do you need to keep records?

Businesses are legally required to retain a range of different documents, from tax and accounting records to employee records, and many of these must be kept for a set time – often a minimum period of at least six years.

Proper financial records must be kept for tax and accounting purposes. The information could also be requested by HM Revenue & Customs in the event of an enquiry, so it’s important that you comply with the necessary requirements – failure to do so could lead to a visit from the taxman and some potentially serious consequences!

If you employ staff, you must also keep certain records relating to their employment, including information on their wages and working arrangements, as well as information relating to health and safety.

Data protection legislation also requires that all personal and sensitive data relating to your staff and customers must be stored securely.

So, it’s essential to make sure your records are safe, secure, and easy to access should you need them.

 

What records do you need to keep?

Here are some of the key business records you must keep by law.

 

Tax and accounting records

Exactly which tax and accounting records you might need to retain depends on a number of different factors (including the nature and size of your company), but they will commonly include:

  • records of sales and income
  • business expenses
  • VAT records, if you’re registered for VAT
  • PAYE records, if you employ staff (see more below)
  • details of your personal income

 

Records of transactions

You also need to keep sufficient proof of your business transactions, to back up your records.

These may include:

  • receipts for goods and stock
  • bank statements and chequebook stubs
  • sales invoices, bank slips and till rolls

 

Staff records

Again, the exact records you need to keep will depend on a number of factors, but they commonly include:

  • Information on staff pay rates
  • Payroll information for all employees – including income tax and national insurance deductions, student loan payments, employee benefits and expenses, and statutory payments
  • Original signed copies of employment contracts and any subsequent changes
  • Records of any paid sickness exceeding four days – including Statutory Sick Pay
  • Details of any disciplinary action taken
  • Information on any work-related accidents or injuries
  • Details of any termination of employment
  • Sufficient records to prove that you comply with working time limits, under the Working Time Regulations

 

How a removal and storage company can help you

An established removal company, such as a Master Remover, can offer a range of safe and effective storage options, reducing the headache and freeing up valuable space. Some key areas to consider when choosing a removal company include:

  • Security: your removal company should provide a well-managed storage site, with 24-hour security systems, CCTV, alarms and guarded access
  • Safety: your business archives should be packed in specially-designed packaging, and stored in a dry, clean and fireproof environment
  • Access: your removal company should provide a full inventory system, so that if you need to retrieve your records you can do so easily and with a minimum of fuss.

Setting aside sufficient space for secure cabinets to store all your business records can be an expensive and time-consuming business. Using your removal company’s storage facilities can offer an efficient and cost-effective way of meeting your business’s needs.

If you’re struggling to find the space to store your business records, contact Master Removers for help.

How to secure your moving date with a removals company

Posted on 30th November 2017 by Master Removers

Your moving day represents the final step in the often long and involved process of moving house – the culmination of months of planning and packing. Having secured a buyer, packed up all your belongings, sorted the pets and the children, and told everyone you need to about your new address, the big day has finally arrived.

All you’re waiting for now is the removal men to turn up… but what happens if they don’t? Here’s our guide to securing your removal date and helping to make sure that things run as planned.

Why is it important to secure a date?

One of the main concerns for homeowners when buying or selling a house is that the removal company will not arrive as scheduled, and that the move will not be completed in time. More often than not, a house move involves a chain of buyers and sellers, and not being able to move on the agreed date upsets the entire chain.

Once you have exchanged contracts and reached the completion stage, you are legally bound to move out of your property in order to make way for the new owners, and there could be serious legal and financial implications if you are unable to do so. That’s why it’s essential to establish a moving date ahead of time and to book a company that will be there on the day and will stick to the plan.

 

The legal issues

If you’re selling your home, you must vacate it within a reasonable timeframe, to allow the new owners to move in. Legally a buyer cannot gain entry to a property until the funds have been cleared.

Sometimes issues can occur which are outside your control, for example delays with bank transfers, which can lead to keys not being released on time, meaning that the removal team have to spend hours waiting in the van – which then in turn delays the process of unloading your possessions at the other end!

 

What do I need to do?

There are a number of steps you can take to minimise the risk of any problems such as delays, and to help ensure that your removal team arrive as agreed, and that your moving day runs as planned.

 

Get it in writing

Once you have chosen your removal company, it’s essential to book your moving date as soon as possible and to get written confirmation. Remember to allow plenty of time, as your chosen company may be booked up several weeks in advance.

You should make absolutely certain that the chosen moving date is communicated to all parties, to avoid any issues with double booking or failure to turn up. Don’t rely on a phone call, an email, or a provisional booking in the diary – you should ask for a written contract which details exactly what is included in the service and sets out the agreed removal date.

 

Read the small print

Once you have received your written agreement, read it carefully. It should include information on what would happen in the event of any delays, and at what point the firm may begin charging for any additional hours, whether they will give you notice of this, and whether they will return the following day to finish the move if necessary. Any additional fees and measures should be reasonable and proportionate.

 

Book a removal survey

If your removal company miscalculates the amount of possessions they need to move, this could run the risk of delaying the process. By arranging a removal survey ahead of time, you can make sure that they have all the information they need to move your goods safely and on time, including establishing exactly what needs to be moved, which vehicles to send, and how long the process is likely to take – as well as any other special considerations, such as dealing with any large, awkward or fragile items. Don’t forget to include a tour of the loft, garage and garden, so nothing gets missed!

 

Pack in plenty of time

Many’s the time that people have found themselves still hurriedly throwing things into boxes when the removal company knock on the door. Packing invariably takes longer than you expect, so if you want to minimise the risk of any problems make sure that you’ve sorted your packing before moving day, and that you have disassembled any furniture and prepared white goods such as fridges, freezers and washing machines ready for the removal company.

If you end up needing additional packaging materials, or if the move takes longer than expected, you could be charged extra by the removal company. Remember, an established removal company, such as a Master Remover, can offer a full professional packing service, helping to save you time and hassle and ensuring that your goods arrive safely at the other end.

 

Provide clear direction

Make sure that your removal company has clear directions to both your existing and your new house, and an accurate idea of how long it will take them to get there, together with any necessary parking permits. It’s worth providing a crib sheet with the relevant addresses, postcodes and mobile contact numbers.

 

Choosing a reliable removal company

Booking the right removal company also plays a vital part in making sure that your house move goes according to plan.

An established firm will have more experience and resources at its disposal, and is more likely to be able to deal with any issues that may come up.

It’s essential that you feel confident in your choice of removal company, so you should discuss your moving day with them ahead of time and ask any questions you may have. This might include how many vehicles and members of staff they will be using, and how much time they are allowing for the move, as well as any additional fees which may apply if the move over-runs, and what will happen if things don’t go quite as planned.

Taking the measures outlined above will help to ensure that your removal company has sufficient time and resources to move your belongings out of your old home, and also help to avoid a situation where you find yourself unable to move in when you reach the new one!

And if the worst happens – a Master Remover can rescue you!

Occasionally we are called by somebody who has been let down by their remover at the last minute. In most cases this is because they have booked a small owner-managed remover who has got a better offer. We have deep resources at our disposal – if you need a last minute removal rescue, call us and we’ll do our best to help you.

With a Master Remover, you can rest assured that you will be working with an established and experienced team, who are not only guaranteed to turn up on time, but will also be able to cope with any unforeseen issues – helping you to cross that final hurdle and get safely established in your new home. Contact us for a quote.

What to look for when choosing a firm for an overseas removal

Posted on 20th November 2017 by Master Removers

Moving abroad can be particularly challenging for you and your family, with extended journey times, continental crossings and customs considerations to take into account… not to mention settling in when you arrive at your destination.

So it’s essential to make sure that your chosen removal company understands and can deal with the logistical and other issues that an international move entails. Our handy guide considers the 8 key areas you need to think about when choosing a firm to manage your overseas move.

 

1) Experience

Don’t leave anything to chance! Ask your removal company what experience they have had with similar overseas moves. You need an established firm, with a good reputation and offering competitive rates. Ask for testimonials from previous customers, and take a good look at any online reviews. Find out whether the company is signed up to the BAR code of practice.

 

 

2) A dedicated move manager

With an overseas move, there are additional elements which will need to be carefully coordinated. Ask your removal company whether they have a dedicated manager who will be responsible for your moving strategy and who will act as your main point of contact. Find out whether this will be the same person when your reach your destination country.

 

3) A clear plan

It’s important to establish how your move will work in terms of timings, and what will happen when your reach the other end. You may need to arrive in the country before your possessions, for customs purposes. Your removal company should be able to advise you on all elements of the move, from identifying the most appropriate form of transport for your possessions, to giving you an idea of timescales for the transit of your goods and their passage through customs.

 

4) Legal knowledge

Depending on exactly where you’re moving to, there may be additional legal requirements and/or restrictions. For example, it may not be possible to pack certain goods into a shipping container for transit. Ask your removal company whether they can assist with any legal forms and cross-border issues. Your removal company should also have sufficient local knowledge and be able to take into account any events, such as festivals, which could potentially affect your moving schedule.

A good removal company, such as a Master Remover, will take care of all the official requirements, including customs paperwork, and make sure you and your goods are well looked after in transit.

 

5) Specialist packing and storage services

For an overseas move, you should consider making use of your removal company’s packing and storage services. Goods which are travelling overseas need additional protection, and an experienced removal firm will be able to provide expert packing services for export purposes, complete with quality boxes and containers, wrap and other specialist packaging materials. This will not only reduce stress and save time, but will help to ensure that your belongings arrive safe and sound following the long transit – however large, fragile or awkward they may be.

Find out whether your removal company can provide cost-effective packing and storage services, and how they will handle fragile items during their extended journey. You should also ask whether they offer a full unpacking service at the other end, to help get you established in your new home quickly, efficiently and with a minimum of fuss.

 

6) Transparency on costs

You should make sure that you are clear on exactly what is included as part of your moving package. Ask for a breakdown of what’s included in the fee, and whether there may be any additional costs, such as customs charges. It’s also important to ensure that you have in place appropriate insurance to cover your overseas move. Your removal company should be able to advise you, and offer any additional cover.

 

7) Opportunities to save costs for smaller removals

Depending on the size of your removal, it may be possible to combine your move with other overseas removals, reducing the overall cost. If you don’t need a full individual removal service it’s worth finding out whether your removal company makes regular consignments to your destination country.

 

8) Aftercare

Finally, once you and your possessions have safely reached your destination it’s important to consider what kind of aftercare your removal company can offer, and what will happen if there are any problems. Can they help you with settling in after the move, for example by offering multilingual support, and recommending local services such as plumbers or electricians?

 

If you’re making a move overseas, it’s essential that you choose an experienced and trustworthy removal company who can help with all aspects of the move, from securely packing your goods and coordinating their transit, to dealing with official requirements, and helping you and your family to settle in at the other end.

A qualified Master Remover can offer great value international removals without the stress, ensuring a safe and comfortable passage for you and your possessions throughout the duration of the move and beyond. Contact us for a quote.

Christmas parties and events – special storage and moving services

Posted on 8th November 2017 by Master Removers

If you’re hosting a big Christmas event, one of the biggest challenges is how to cope with all the furniture. You may need to shift dozens or even hundreds of tables and chairs to a location. Or you might just need to clear a lot of stuff out of your house for a few days so there’s room for your guests. That can be a real logistical challenge, not to mention all the physical work involved.

Hiring a team of professional removers can take the problem out of your hands, leaving you to concentrate on the catering, invitations and the thousand and one other things you need to organise. It can also be very affordable.

Here are some smart ways a removals firm can help you in the Christmas season.

 

Christmas parties and events

 

Short-term furniture storage

If you need to empty your house of furniture for a few days, a removal and storage firm is the perfect answer. A Master Remover can collect your furniture, store it for as long as is needed, and then put it all back in situ when the party is over. As one of our customers put it, it’s a ‘bed and breakfast service for my furniture’.

 

Moving furniture within a building

Need tables, chairs and other furniture shifted around a house, into a marquee, or within an office building for an event? A removal team can do it swiftly and safely – saving you the heavy lifting and stress.

 

Bringing tables and chairs to your venue

If you need to transport a large number of tables, chairs and other furniture to A to B, hire a removals team for maximum efficiency.

 

Bringing Christmas trees and decorations out of storage

Christmas features and decorations such as large artificial trees for office buildings are often stored away off site somewhere for most of the year. A team of movers will have all the necessary muscle, vehicles and equipment to bring them to you in time – and can then collect them again in the New Year.

 

 

Special Christmas services

There are many other, perhaps less obvious ways a removals firm can help you in the festive season. At Master Removers some of our more unusual requests include:

 

  • Hamper deliveries – if you or your business gives out bulky hampers at Christmas, using removers with vans to do a delivery run is a cost-effective solution.
  • Charity donation collections – some businesses have hired Master Removers to drive round their branches, collecting boxes of charity donations to deliver to a single address.

 

Master Removers offer much more than just house moves and long-term storage. We have vans, equipment and experienced teams of willing people who love to get a job done and can always find a way of solving any tricky logistical problem.

Call for a quote if we can help you this Christmas.

What forms do you need to remember when you move house?

Posted on 6th November 2017 by Master Removers

Moving house can be a complicated business. There’s so much to think about – from packing away and moving all your things, to finding new schools, to who will look after the dog… and then there’s remembering who you need to tell about the move, and all that form-filling to do…

As experienced removers, we know how daunting that can seem, so we’ve put together a handy bureaucracy-busting checklist to help make sure you don’t forget anything or anyone important!

Buying and selling

First off, there is all the paperwork associated with buying and selling a property. If you are using an estate agent to sell your home, you must sign a legally binding contract with them.

Your solicitor should help you with all the legal forms and questionnaires, covering such things as information on property boundaries, any proposed developments in the vicinity, and which fixtures and fittings are included as part of the sale. They will draw up a contract for you to sign and may also arrange the payment of any Stamp Duty Land Tax due on your new home as part of their service. You can calculate how much stamp duty you’ll need to pay here.

You must also arrange for the production of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which contains information about your property’s energy usage. You can find an accredited assessor here.

 

The move itself

You should have a written agreement with your removals company. This should include confirmation of your moving date, together with any special instructions or considerations and an inventory list of your possessions. A good removals company, such as a Master Remover, should be able to provide a detailed plan of action for your moving day.

 

Changing address: who you need to tell

But the paperwork doesn’t end with the legal forms. There’s a whole host of organisations you will need to tell about your move:

 

Royal Mail

It’s advisable to arrange for your mail to be redirected – not only to avoid missing out on important post, but also as a security measure to help prevent identity fraud. You can choose to redirect your mail to your new address for up to 12 months, for a fee.

Take a trip to your local post office for a change of address pack, or alternatively visit the Royal Mail website. You should ideally do this at least four weeks in advance of the move.

 

Banks and other financial providers

Update your bank and credit card companies with your new address details, not forgetting any store and loyalty cards too. If you use internet banking you can normally update your details online. Otherwise you can fill in a form and either post it on, or take it to your local branch. For credit and store cards, you can usually find a change of address form included as part of your regular statement.

You should also inform any investment or pension companies of your change of address. If you have deposited any important personal documents with local firms, such as solicitors, make sure you reclaim them and take them with you.

 

Medical practices

Before you move, register with the relevant medical practices in your area, such as doctors, dentists, opticians and vets, and arrange to have your records transferred. It’s also worth stocking up on any important prescriptions ahead of the move.

 

Utility companies

Contact your utility providers ahead of time and arrange for services to cease at your old address and begin at the new address. This includes electricity, gas and water services, as well as internet, mobile and landline phones, and cable/satellite TV providers.

You should schedule the shut-off at your old address for the end of your moving day, to ensure that you have access to power and other utilities throughout the move.

 

Insurance companies

It’s important to update your insurance providers with your new address, including household or rental insurance, car and pet insurance, card protection insurance, life insurance and health insurance. Be prepared to pay an adjustment fee or an additional premium for some policies.

Don’t forget to make sure you understand whether your household insurance policy covers your possessions during the move. An established removals firm should be able to offer insurance to cover loss, damage and valuable items.

 

DVLA

You must inform DVLA of your change of address, so they can update your driving licence, vehicle log book (V5C) and car tax records. If it’s only your address details that are changing, this is a free service.

You can apply to update your driving licence online or by post. To update your log book, you need to fill in the relevant section of the V5C and send it to DVLA. If you pay your car tax by direct debit, you must also contact DVLA to update your billing address.

 

Tax

Remember to notify HMRC and the local tax office of your change of address. You can find these details on your P60 or a recent payslip. You should also notify any other relevant government departments, such as benefits agencies, as appropriate. You 

 

Local council authority

You should also inform your local council about the move, for the purposes of council tax. Registering with your new council will also preserve your right to vote.

 

Magazines and clubs

If you subscribe to any magazines or belong to any clubs or societies, don’t forget to let them have your new address so you can continue to receive communications from them.

 

And not forgetting…

Last, but certainly not least, remember to send out moving cards with your new contact details to friends and family!

 

Keeping on top form

To help you keep on top of all those forms, try these tips:

  • Get filing: keep copies of all your important paperwork safely together, in a dedicated folder
  • Give notice: some service providers, such as phone companies, require a minimum of one month’s notice for cancellations or amendments, so make sure you do this in good time. If you’re living in rented accommodation you must also give the specified period of notice
  • Go online: some address updates can be made online, while others will need to be done on paper – though you may still be able to download the forms. If taking the online route, always make sure you’re using the official website for that particular organisation.

Filling in forms and notifying officials may not be the most exciting part of moving house – but remember it’s all in a good cause! As qualified Master Removers, we will help to make your move as smooth and trouble-free as possible. Contact us for a quote.

House removals: Moving awkward or heavy items

Posted on 31st October 2017 by Master Removers

From sofas and white goods, to flat-screen TVs and pianos, moving those beloved belongings out of your old home and into your new one requires planning, care, and the right equipment.

Here’s the Master Removers’ special guide designed to help reduce the wiggling, save the skirting and generally make your move a less awkward and heavy experience…

 

Get the gear

Firstly, it’s important to make sure you have the right equipment to help you move your items safely and efficiently.

 

Trolleys and dollies

If you’re looking to move large pieces of furniture, such as wardrobes and cupboards, a furniture dolly (a flat-based trolley on wheels) is a must. You may also need to use a utility trolley for other items. You will need a good supply of moving blankets, furniture pads and strong packing tape to cushion and protect your possessions, as well as a range of quality ropes and straps for moving and securing them. Oh, and don’t forget the tape measure!

An established removals company, such as a Master Remover, should be able to supply everything you need – and if it all seems a bit too daunting, remember your removals company can take care of everything on your behalf, saving you time, energy and hassle. It’s helpful to make them aware of any particularly awkward items ahead of time, so they can factor them into the move.

 

Wrap and disassemble

To make moving your items as easy, safe and trouble-free as possible, take off any removable parts, such as legs from furniture, and wrap them separately.

Disassemble beds and sofas as far as possible and put any pieces (such as handles or screws) in a labelled bag and secure this to the frame. Remove drawers from furniture where they are too heavy or unstable, and secure any drawers and doors which are staying put by either locking them or tying them shut.

Furniture should be protected with moving blankets and furniture pads – paying particular attention to the edges and corners. Using furniture slides or a piece of carpet attached to your furniture when moving it will also help to minimise any scratching. Glass doors or mirrored surfaces should be carefully wrapped and padded.

 

 

Don’t put your back into it

Secondly, it’s vital to plan ahead. If you want to make sure you, your house and your prized possessions remain in one piece, it’s important to follow some basic rules.

 

Plan a route

You should plan exactly where your items are going, and which route they will be taking. Doing this ahead of time will minimise the amount of physical manoeuvring, and will help you to identify any obstacles or hazards along the way, such as loose carpets, narrow doorways, tight angles or poorly lit spaces, and any ramps or steps.

 

Phone a friend

When moving tall, awkward or very heavy items, you should always bring in somebody else to help you. You will need to enlist extra assistance when moving items down stairs and up the ramp into the van, so arrange this with family or friends ahead of time. And don’t forget to put someone on furniture watch to make sure that your prized oak bookcase is going to make it around that bend!

 

Getting big sofas through small gaps

So you’re ready to go – but just how do you get your sofa through that doorway? The first rule of thumb is … don’t use your thumb – as with all large or awkward items, you should begin by carefully measuring the couch, and then measuring the space you need to get it through. It’s generally best to stand the couch on its end, with the bottom section facing the doorway, and then – enlist the help of friends or family for this bit – tilt the sofa so that the back and bottom form a ‘V’ shape. Now (and this is the fun part) slide the sofa through so that it ‘curls’ around the doorway.

If the couch really won’t fit through the gap, and you’ve tried removing the cushions, feet and any other removable parts, it may be necessary to either disassemble the sofa or remove the door and/or doorframe, or seek another way out of the building. If you’re unsure, it’s best to have a chat with your removals company, who will be experienced in this area.

 

Large appliances and white goods

Large appliances, such as fridge-freezers, ovens and washing machines, offer their own particular challenges, not least of which is their sheer weight and bulk. The first thing to do is to unplug them ahead of time, and give them a good clean. In the case of fridge-freezers, make sure they have plenty of time to defrost and dry out. If you have a gas oven to disconnect, it’s best to call in a professional.

Once everything has been cleaned and dried, pack away any loose parts (such as racking), tape any doors closed, and tape the power cords securely to the back of the machine. We do not recommend placing items in the drum except the hoses from the machine.

Remember, when lifting any heavy or bulky items, you should always bend your knees. Tilt the item at an angle, with one person holding the top and the other supporting the bottom. You may want to use moving straps, which will help to support the weight of the item while manoeuvering it onto a dolly or sack barrow.

 

Moving flat-screen TVs

Large electrical items such as flat-screen TVs are fragile as well as awkward. Ideally, you should keep hold of the original packaging where possible. However, if you don’t have it, you can improvise by wrapping your TV in a combination of cardboard, blankets or moving pads and then covering this with strong packing tape – and don’t forget the ‘fragile’ label!

Carefully manoeuvre the TV onto a trolley, and make sure it is properly secured. Remember to keep it upright, and to position it next to other large items in the van, and away from any sharp objects.

 

Moving pianos

Piano moving really is a specialist activity and you’re much better calling in an expert. But the first rule when moving a piano is to take it ‘softly, softly’. You will need moving straps and a furniture dolly, padding and blankets, as well as some trusted helpers.

Close the lid and either lock it or secure it by wrapping it shut. Wrap the piano itself in padding and secure this with tape (never use tape directly on the piano itself). You should aim to keep the piano upright at all times. Do not lift your piano by its legs – place a moving strap on each corner to lift the piano onto the dolly, and secure it in place.

Pianos are heavy on the bass side which is on the left side. So look to pivot on the corner when transferring to a dolly or piano wheels.

Ultimately, moving awkward and very heavy items can be a difficult and potentially hazardous experience, and at the end of the day it’s often best to talk to your removals company, who should have in place a finely-tuned process.

 

As experienced Master Removers, our teams are used to moving items of all shapes and sizes. We will help to ensure that all your possessions – no matter how big or challenging – arrive safely at your new home, with a minimum of fuss. So with your sofa and flat-screen TV safely in situ, you can relax and enjoy your new home!

Find your nearest Master Remover here.

Moving antiques, artworks and valuables: a complete guide

Posted on 18th October 2017 by Master Removers

Whatever you’re looking to take with you when moving house, from artworks to costly clocks and fancy furniture, here are our top tips for transporting your treasures.

 

First steps

As with all aspects of moving, when transporting precious or high value items it’s important to plan ahead, allow yourself plenty of time, and make sure you have access to the right help and resources.

 

Make an inventory

It’s a good idea to begin by making a list of all of your antiques and valuables. Taking some photos will provide evidence of their existence, as well as confirming their condition, should you need to make an insurance claim in the future. Give a copy of your list to your removal company, ready for moving day.

 

Update your insurance

Talking of insurance, you should check that your valuable items are covered by your current home insurance policy, complete with up-to-date monetary values. Be aware of any exclusions which may apply to your cover, and check the situation in respect of moving day.

 

Stock up on packaging

Depending on exactly what you are transporting, you will need plenty of supplies of good quality packing and protective materials, such as cardboard, packing paper and bubble wrap. You may also need other materials and aids, such as specialist containers and cases, polystyrene, furniture blankets, and for those larger or bulkier items, wooden crates, trolleys and furniture dollies.

Your removals company should be able to supply a range of packing materials to suit your needs.

 

 

Get packing

When it comes to packing precious and valuable items, particular care needs to be taken. Where possible, you should use the original boxes and packaging.

 

Glass and china

For glassware and china it’s advisable to line your boxes or containers with packing paper and use extra tape on the bottom of the box. Wrap each item in two further layers of packing paper followed by a protective layer, such as bubble wrap. Pack them into the box with additional cardboard in between, to act as a buffer. Use packing paper or bubble wrap to fill any remaining gaps. Larger or more unstable items can be wrapped in paper and bubble wrap and then secured in place inside the box using tape.

 

Mirrors

Glass panes and mirrors should be wrapped using a layer of bubble wrap and placed in a cardboard sleeve. It’s worth placing tape on the glass to form an X in case the glass breaks. Also adding some additional padding to the corners and edges will help to protect them against impact or pressure. Use a combination of polystyrene, foam, or cardboard and additional tape as appropriate.

 

Books

Valuable books should be wrapped individually in packing paper and placed in boxes – remember not to pack too many books into each box! Any gaps can be filled with packing paper or alternative light padding.

 

Paintings and other artworks

When packing paintings, wrap each piece individually in paper or linen and then tape across the entire frame, lengthways and widthways. Place additional cardboard over the front of the picture. Choose a box that is only slightly larger than the item –  you may want to use specialist boxes and corner protectors, which are specially designed for the purpose.

 

Furniture

Antique furniture is often all the more fragile, so extra care is needed. Use plenty of protective padding and line crates and trolleys with carpet or blankets. Wrap furniture legs individually, before wrapping the rest of the item. When moving grandfather clocks, remove the weights and pendulum and wrap them separately.

 

Putting items into storage

If you’re putting your prized possessions into storage, it’s best to avoid using plastic sheeting, particularly for furniture, as this can encourage moisture to accumulate, resulting in problems with damp and mould.

Specialist collections such as textiles, paintings or fine wines may require special consideration, including the use of acid-free packaging or a temperature-controlled environment. Consult your removals company for further advice.

Finally, don’t forget to use clear labelling to show that your items are fragile or valuable, and provide explicit instructions as to their new location and how they should be handled.

 

 

Loading up

You might consider taking small, expensive items, such as the family jewellery, with you in the car on moving day. However, if you have other, larger precious and valuable items, you should take extra care when handling and transporting them.

 

Watch your back

When it comes to loading your items, it’s essential that you do this carefully. Not only are you at risk of easily damaging your expensive piece of furniture or precious antique clock, by knocking, scratching or dropping it – but you could also do yourself a nasty injury!

To help ensure the safety of both you and your precious possessions, make sure you consider the following guidelines when moving and transporting your goods:

 

  • Think ahead – map out beforehand where each item is going, taking into account its size and weight
  • Be hazard aware – identify any obstructions or other hazards, such as low doorways or loose carpets
  • Take your time – take it steady and don’t rush
  • Remember health and safety – be careful when bending and lifting. Use trolleys where needed, and lift any furniture carefully, with at least one hand placed underneath and taking care not to pick up items by their handles, arms or drawers
  • Seek help –  ask family or friends to help with larger and bulkier items.

If you’re loading your possessions onto a van, make sure that you secure each item individually, using straps over padding, and then covering them with blankets.

 

 

Choosing an experienced removals company

At the end of the day, if you have precious and valuable items to transport, it’s often best to call in the experts. You should choose a removals firm with specific experience of dealing with antiques and valuables.

A reputable removals company, such as a Master Remover, will have the necessary tools and experience to safely and efficiently pack and load up your valuables, ready for transporting them to your new home.

Before you book, talk to the remover about their experience of and approach to moving valuables and antiques, and make sure they are confident and happy to tackle any challenges.

 

As experienced Master Removers, we understand that your valuables are often invaluable. We have many years’ experience of packing, storing and moving antiques and precious items, from fragile vases to fine art pieces, and our friendly and professional teams will help to ensure a smooth transit for you and your valuables.

Find your nearest Master Remover here.

Moving house and too much stuff? How to take the stress out of moving and storing your possessions

Posted on 27th September 2017 by Master Removers

It’s amazing how many things we tend to accumulate over the months and years. When the time comes to move house, it can be something of a surprise when you open up the attic and see just how much stuff is lurking up there!

As experienced Master Removers, we know that the thought of packing up and moving all your worldly possessions can be stressful – so we’ve put together this handy guide to help take the strain out of moving and storing your things.

First, get sorting

Moving house offers us an opportunity to sort through the things we don’t need, and start afresh in our new home. It makes sense to get rid of any items you no longer want or need, before going through the hassle and expense of storing and transporting them. However, if you don’t want to get bogged down in all those bits, bobs and boxes, there are some key rules to consider.

 

Allow plenty of time

In our experience, sorting and packing your things invariably takes longer than you think. Start decluttering as soon as possible before your moving day. Asking a friend or family member to help can offer both practical and moral support, not only saving time but also offering an objective eye when it comes to deciding what’s coming with you and what isn’t.

 

Be systematic

Just looking at all those possessions can feel overwhelming – so start systematically, tackling one room or area at a time. Sort your things into four categories: Keep, Throw, Sell and Donate. If you’re something of a hoarder, this task may be a particular challenge. Remember that having too many possessions can actually become a burden –  this process is going to make your new life in your new home a freer and simpler one!

 

Use it, love it – or lose it

As the artist and designer William Morris put it, ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’. While sorting, ask yourself: Do I really need this? What does it add to my life? Can I live without it? If you’re emotionally attached to something, such as your children’s artwork, consider keeping a representative sample and perhaps framing some favourite pieces to hang on the wall of your new home.

 

Make use of storage solutions

If you have a lot of possessions, you may well need to put them into storage for a while during the process of moving house, especially if you’re downsizing. Using a storage facility can have a number of benefits – not least of which is the ability to declutter at your leisure!

 

Decluttering in storage

Having your things moved into storage and sorting them from there allows you extra time to deal with them at your own pace, and without the added pressure of moving dates.

This is a particularly useful option if you are downsizing, as it offers a less stressful and more objective environment than your own home and will give you a good indication of what you can realistically live without. (Chances are, having spent some time in storage, you will find that you actually don’t need all those boxes of old DVDs after all!)

 

Choose the right removals company

There’s no denying that modern life often comes with more than its fair share of stuff, but a good BAR-approved removals company will be able to handle your things professionally and efficiently, with a minimum of fuss.

Make sure your company is capable of catering to your specific requirements, from providing storage solutions that suit your individual needs, to dealing with added complexities such as delivering to multiple locations.

It’s important to choose an experienced and reliable removals company, such as a Master Remover, who can offer expert help with all aspects of moving, from packing, storing and transporting your things – however large, awkward, or fragile they may be – to helping to get you safely established in your new home.  

 


 

Key storage tips

 

  • Make a plan – When putting your things into storage, first you should draw up a plan of where everything is going to go, especially if it’s complex!
  • Colour code – If you’re moving your possessions to a number of different locations, for example some into storage and some to a new property, use coloured stickers on boxes and furniture to indicate what’s going where.
  • Keep it clean – Make sure everything that’s going into storage is clean and dry. Avoid placing items such as sofas too closely together, as this will then allow the air to circulate and help to prevent any problems with damp or mildew. Any white goods should be fully cleaned and stored with the door slightly open.
  • Don’t overpack boxes – Don’t overpack boxes with too many heavy items such as books. Health and safety standards say you should not put more the 25 kilos of weight in any one box. Master Removers provide different sizes of box for this reason, include smaller ones for books.
  • Make sure boxes are strong enough – Proper removal boxes used by removal companies are ply cardboard. If you use cheap cardboard boxes from the supermarket in self-storage, you may be storing up trouble!
  • Label boxes clearly – Label on the sides as well as the tops
  • Be smart when arranging boxes carefully Don’t stack boxes too densely, and leave clear pathways so you can safely navigate around your things – and don’t forget to place those items that you are likely to need first close to the doors!

 

Remember, an established BAR-approved removals company will be able to provide a range of secure and readily accessible storage options to suit your needs, complete with packing services, racking and other specialist facilities – offering a hassle-free solution at a good price (which is often considerably lower than the typical self-storage options).

 

So, there it is – you’ve done your bit and sorted through your possessions, and what’s going where. Now it’s time to let the professionals take over! As Master Removers, we’re used to moving all manner and kinds of objects, to any number of locations – remember no job is too big!  Contact us for a quote here.