As we’ve talked about here before, moving house is right up there on the list of life’s most stressful experiences. Every part of the process can be exhausting and tense for many people. Removal companies can be seen as luxury – an additional cost that can be avoided, because how hard can it be to do it yourself? Sometimes the answer to this can be ‘very’.
Doing things on your own can often lead to more stress and poor use of your time in the long run. Whilst it might look easy, there is a lot to think about and a good removal company will be professional and reliable – making the days prior to the move, move day itself and after the move stress free.
Prior to your move
When moving yourself there will be a number of important jobs to do prior to the big day. You will need to start thinking about and gathering materials to use for packing – paper, bubble wrap, boxes – in a variety of sizes plus covers for your furniture and carpets. These will often cost you money, at a premium, if you choose to buy these directly from a supplier. Otherwise, you’ll need to put in the time driving around various supermarkets and asking for freebies.
A decent removal company will always offer a full packing service. However, if you do want to pack yourself, materials would be delivered to you at a convenient time, in order for you to pack prior to move day and are often free of charge with every move. We certainly provide this service at Mardan.
Next will be the hiring of a vehicle or vehicles, and this will depend on how much you have to move. Rest assured, you will often have more than anticipated – many of our customers run out of time to have a good clear out! You will also have to ensure you (or one of your friends and family) feel comfortable driving a large vehicle and have the necessary licence to do so.
If not, it means you’ll need more vehicles and drivers at your disposal, or multiple trips to and from your properties – an added time pressure that should not be underestimated on moving day. An additional time stress will be that your old property will have to be vacated by completion, which is usually 12 – 1pm. A good removal company will have a range of vehicles, from 3.5 tonnes to an 18 tonne container vehicle with tail lifts, drivers will have full valid licenses and vans will be equipped with sack trucks, piano wheels, removal blankets, straps and ties ensuring the safe transportation of your belongings.
Finally prior to move day, if you are busy packing, loading, driving and un-loading you may need to organise who will look after your children/pets. Again, this may incur extra costs of kennels, dog walkers, after school clubs or baby sitters.
The day of the move finally arrives, often much sooner than anticipated. Not quite all of your packing is completed and you may have to get the kids up and off to school and pets walked and fed before you can finish the last few boxes.
Finally, when the last one is packed, you now need to start loading the van and emptying the house prior to completion. If you have a few friends on hand to assist you, then this isn’t so bad but people often have to move during the week and not everyone can take the time off work to help. People have good intentions and may readily offer to help you out, but find themselves unable to do nearer the time.
No time for niceties – patience is often in short supply. Tempers can be frayed. In addition to the multiple boxes to shift, there are a few, valuable items and large pieces of furniture to be moved including that huge double wardrobe from the first floor. You built it from flat pack in situ, but now you have to get it down the stairs in one go. It reminds you that you’re not as young as you once were and that some pain relief and a heat pack may be helpful tonight to sooth your back – if only you knew which box they were in…
If the weather is unkind and it’s raining, you’ll need to ensure you cover your mattresses and sofas adequately and also any other furniture you don’t want to get wet.
Finally the van (or vans/cars) is loaded and ready to go. You’ve been up early and you feel shattered – but you now you have to put the hoover through and dust the skirting board that was hidden behind the bed (and that wardrobe) and there is no time. Completion is upon you and the new owners have arrived with their removal company.
And it all has to happen again at the new house. After a hectic afternoon unloading with no time for tea and biscuits, when all you want to do is collapse in your new lounge, you need to collect the pets and kids and return the vehicle(s) prior to the hire company shutting for the day.
A good removal company would have arrived early or handled the move over two days, with all the packing completed the day before. Each member of staff would have had an assigned task, vans would be parked, ramps lowered, boxes packed and loaded, large pieces of furniture easily manoeuvred down the stairs and taken to the van. All pictures, glass wear, china or any other breakable items would be carefully wrapped and your furniture would be blanketed onto the van/lorry then tied securely. The van would then have been driven to your delivery address ready for keys and unloading.
You on the other hand would have been able to calmly make teas and coffees as required, sort the kids and pets and do a final check prior to locking up and taking the keys to the estate agent. In addition, many companies offer an unpacking service and will mark boxes when packed so that they are placed in the correct rooms on delivery. Removal teams will be fully trained to handle all items so you can be assured your goods will be packed and handled with the utmost care and attention. You would also have been spared the physical and mental strain of getting everything off the van and in the right place. Particularly if the weather is bad.
After the move
So you take a deep breath, straighten up your aching back and survey your new home. Packed boxes surround you, your furniture needs moving between rooms and you have no idea where your kettle, kitchenware or even your toiletries are.
As bone weary as you are, you’re now faced with unpacking it all, and you also have to think about the process of removing all the packing materials so your new home doesn’t look like a warehouse. Endless trips to the tip / recycling centre await you. If you had used a removal company and requested the unpacking service, everything would have been put in place and they would have removed all packing materials and they left, leaving you to enjoy your new home.
Cost is obviously a big factor when moving home and many of our customers have attempted handling their own move at some point in the past. But they all tell us that they couldn’t face doing it again, and after they totted up the cost of van hire, box and packing material purchases, the favours they had to call in (many of them got let down on the day after people who’d originally agreed to help had been unable to make it when the day dawned) together with the sheer physical and mental effort it took, they felt it wasn’t worth the difference in cost at the end of the day.
It also meant that they didn’t get their new houses straight for a lot longer and that in itself is a stressful experience. When you tot up the cost of everything else that’s associated with a house move, the removal company’s expenses within that sum are pretty reasonable compared to everything else you’re expected to pay for. Taking a huge amount of the strain away is worth a lot in the long run.
Diary of a house move: read what one satisfied customer had to say.