We spoke to Charlotte Hepworth of Bespoke Home Moves about how to make your house move as seamless as possible.
The adage ‘to fail to prepare is prepare to fail’ could not be more appropriate than when referring to moving house. Without question, the key to seamless moving is preparation. At the point you are looking to either sell your home or purchase a new property, the wheels should be set in motion as early as possible. It is easy to procrastinate or delay the inevitable but these delays are the reason moving house is listed in the top three most stressful life events.
Anyone who has moved home will know the list of to do’s can be endless. So breaking it down into categories and time scales, the gravity of the tasks can be managed and the impact on your day-to-day life minimised.
Considerations when moving:
- Administration to include a foolproof plan of tasks & timescales
- Decluttering & organising for the move
- Preparing & planning for the packing
- Securing a reputable removal company
- Seek specialist companies for luxury items
- Book in support services
The move itself:
- Overseeing the removal company pack and relocation of items
- Ensure furniture location has been agreed and is adhered to
- Be on hand for last-minute questions or changes of plan if (likely when!) they arise
- Unpacking and putting away your belongings
To break some of these down further; administration can be done well in advance of your actual move and will be one less thing to manage as the completion day draws nearer. From utilities to mail redirection, the groundwork can be done in advance leaving you to be hands-on as you count down to the big day.
Spending time organising and sorting through your home in advance of getting removal quotes is so important. It will mean you have a good idea of everything you would like to move, you can donate or dispose of anything you don’t wish to take with you and this in turn means you are only paying to move things you want to take into your new space. This is a perfect opportunity to revalue your items from an insurance point of view. As part of your removal paperwork, you will be required to confirm the value of your belongings including individual items over a certain value.
A reliable and reputable removal company will be the difference between whether your move goes well or leaves you frazzled and promising to never move again. It is always worth getting three quotes and ensuring you have asked the same brief of each company so you are comparing like with like.
Some of these questions should be:
Are all staff directly employed? These people will be in your home, handling your personal possessions, it is important that they are reliable and trustworthy.
Are they using new packing material? Some companies will reuse packing material on multiple jobs to save on cost. Whilst sustainable, this option might not be suitable for everyone – particularly packing higher value items.
Will your belongings be fully wrapped when in transit or will they wrap items in loose packing blankets? Full wrapping takes longer and has additional costs on material but is likely to protect your belongings more effectively. Loose blankets are exactly that, for short journeys larger items are fine like this but nothing of high value or that is fragile. The response to this question will show the care and attention given to your items.
What is their unpacking service? This is a very important point for clarification. Some removal companies will unload your items in the requested room and leave the boxes as they are and some companies will deliver and offer an ‘unpacking’ service. In removal company terms this generally means they will unpack onto a surface. They will not put things away in cupboards so you have to decide what is most helpful to you. Do you want to have boxes in assigned rooms and you unpack at your own pace, or they unpack to a surface so the items are out for you to put them in the right places. One benefit of the ‘unpacking’ is they will take away boxes and material immediately. Most companies will offer to come and do a single collection of their materials post move, to allow time to unpack at your leisure.
Ask for a move plan as part of your quote so you can understand the labour they have quoted for i.e: four movers for three days or three movers for three days, another good indication if things will be rushed or done in a methodical and efficient manner.
High-value or luxury items:
Removal companies offer a ‘core service’, and some will be experts in specific fields such as art/sculptures or cars, but many will engage additional service providers to assist in moving specialist items.
I highly recommend sourcing specialist services for collections of wine, cars, and items of particular fragility or value as you can be more detailed in your approach, by getting inventory and condition reports etc. This approach is worth the peace of mind experts in each field provide.
Lastly, enlist help. With a lengthy list to deal with, the support of friends and family is priceless and if all else fails – call in the experts!
© 2023 Middleton Advisors Our advice papers address top-level questions that are often raised over the course of our client relationships. This paper is not intended to offer specific advice and you should not proceed with any investment decision on the basis of the advice contained herein; we recommend that you undertake personalised consultation with Middleton Advisors or another professional advisor.