A DIY Guide to Moving House
Posted: Mar 29, 2016
Moving house is an expensive business and some of the expenses you will incur cannot be avoided, such as stamp duty and legal fees. But if you are fairly fit and have some willing hands to help, then the actual removals part of moving home can easily be managed without calling in the professionals. This is not something recommended if you are moving overseas, have a very large house or very valuable possessions, such as antiques. A specialist remover will always be required for antiques to ensure the right insurance cover and the correct type of packing. But for the majority of us this can be done simply by hiring a van, loading it up, driving to the new home, and unloading.
Sounds simple doesn't it? Well it is relatively simple; just be prepared for some hard work and you could save yourself a substantial sum by doing it yourself.
But what about the storage service that most removal companies offer if the dates for moving out of your old home and into your new one are not the same? Or if your new home needs decoration or renovation before you move in? Well, there's a simple option for that too because there are plenty of cheap self storage facilities available all across the country.
So here are the basic steps to a DIY house move:
Create a list of everything that will be moving to your new address
If you are in a rented property, much of the furniture may be staying and it might just be your personal possessions that need moving. But if you own your current home, then you are probably going to take everything. And if you have a freestanding kitchen, you may even actually take the kitchen sink. For small items, make an estimate of how many packing boxes you will require. Don't use boxes that are too large – they will just become very heavy once full and remember you will be lifting them.
Sell your surplus stuff on Ebay
Be ruthless - if there are any possessions that you no longer want, then get selling on Ebay as soon as possible. The less you have to transport from your old home to your new home, and possibly store in between, the easier and less expensive it will be. You may even earn enough to pay for any storage.
Contact several companies to get quotes for hiring a vehicle
A reputable hire company should be able to tell you over the phone what size of vehicle is necessary if you describe the amount of belongings you have.
Book your vehicle
Once you have a definite moving date, confirm the vehicle hire. Don't be tempted to book your removal vehicle before your moving date is confirmed. Moving dates are notoriously prone to change and you could end up losing your deposit.
Pack non-essential items in advance.
Buy or borrow packing boxes and start packing non-essential items as soon as you can. Books, DVDs, bedding, children's toys, kitchen gadgets whatever you think you can do without for a couple of weeks. It will take much longer than you expected, particularly if you have to sort through storage cupboards, lofts, sheds and garages etc that have not been used for a long time. Use plenty of bubble-wrap for fragile items and fill any spaces in the boxes with old newspaper. Always tape up boxes once full to prevent anything falling out during the move and label them on all sides with a thick black marker with the room (or other location such as the self-storage unit) where they should be put.
Pack out-of-season clothes in advance.
The best way to transport clothes is by using wardrobe cases. These are boxes that have a hanging rail so you don’t need to remove your clothes from their hangers. Clothes can simply be taken out of your wardrobe, hooked into the wardrobe case and put back in the wardrobe at your new home. These are such a great way to keep the creases out of your clothes and save on ironing.
Pack essentials on the day
Pack a small suitcase with all the items you’ll need for your first night in your new home such as toiletries and medicines, toilet roll, bedding, and a change of clothes. Use a small, separate bag for valuable items such as jewellery and important documents so these can be kept with you on the moving day.
It may sound obvious but pack a small box with the kettle, mugs, teabags, milk and biscuits. By the time you have arrived at your new home you will need a reviving drink and something to eat.
Load the van.
Cover any furniture likely to get scratched with old blankets. Make sure any high pieces of furniture like wardrobes are well secured or lay them on their side if possible to prevent falling over. Tie string around doors and drawers to prevent drawers sliding out or doors flying open when the van is turning corners.
Place the heaviest boxes at the bottom and stack boxes in the lowest piles possible, otherwise they are likely to topple over when the van is on the move.
Unload the van.
Once you arrive at your destination, whether that's your new home or a self storage facility, you simply have to unload everything in reverse order. Since all the boxes were labelled, it will be a simple job to place them in the correct location.
Put your feet up and have a well-earned cup of tea.
This is when you will be glad you packed that small essentials box and kept it handy. Now is the time to sit back and congratulate yourself on the money you have saved hiring a van and using cheap self storage and doing your own house removal.
The author has written and published articles on a wide range of topics including Small Business Advice, Tax and Accounting, Interior Design, House Renovation and Project Management.